The Battle of Alcazar: An Account of the Defeat of Don Sebastian of Portugal at El-Ksar El-Kebir

By E. W. Bovill | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 14
Philip I of Portugal

T HE MOORS SEARCHED anxiously among their prisoners for Don Sebastian and Mulai Mohammed. A captive Christian king would offer an unprecedented opportunity for political and financial advantage. The possibility of indulging their most brutal instincts by avenging themselves on the archbetrayer of their country was also an agreeable prospect. But their two principal enemies were not among the prisoners and none, neither Moor nor Christian, knew what had befallen them.

Sebastian, like Mulai Mohammed, was among the dead. Towards the end of the battle his few surviving personal followers tried to persuade him to surrender, but he refused. One of them rode forward with a white handkerchief tied to the point of his sword. He was seized by the Moors who then hurled themselves upon the little band and, it was presumed, killed them all. No Christian who saw the King fall remained alive or, if he did, he kept silent rather than incur the odium of having witnessed an incident which it was a dishonour to survive. The Moors afterwards said that Sebastian had been killed unwittingly and unrecognised. This was probably true, for they would certainly have preferred him alive.

The Moors sent two of the Portuguese royal servants who were with the prisoners to search for the King among the dead, promising them their liberty if they found his body. Presently they found it, stripped of its armour and finery and covered in blood and wounds. They carried it, slung naked across a horse, into the camp where it was taken into the dead Shereef's tent. Some of the noble prisoners confirmed its identity but their offer of 10,000 ducats for its surrender was refused. Later the body was buried somewhere in El-Ksar el-Kebir.

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The Battle of Alcazar: An Account of the Defeat of Don Sebastian of Portugal at El-Ksar El-Kebir
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Illustrations vi
  • Preface vii
  • Introduction ix
  • Chapter I - The Fear of the Moor 1
  • Chapter 2 - Don Sebastian 7
  • Chapter 3 - Mulai Mohammed 19
  • Chapter 4 - The Kingdom of Fez 25
  • Chapter 5 - Mulai Abd El-Malek 36
  • Chapter 6 - Queen Elizabeth's Secret 43
  • Chapter 7 - The Meetinq at Guadalupe 53
  • Chapter 8 - Ways and Means 62
  • Chapter 9 - Lisbon 74
  • Chapter 10 - Africa Invaded 89
  • Chapter 11 - The Road to El-Ksar 100
  • Chapter 12 - On the Plain of El-Ksar 114
  • Chapter 13 - The Battle 127
  • Chapter 14 - Philip I of Portugal 141
  • Chapter 15 - Mulai Ahmed El-Mansur 158
  • Chapter 16 - The Moors Re-Arm 169
  • Chapter 17 - El-Mansur and Elizabeth 175
  • Note on the Contemporary Accounts of The Battle of Alcazar 187
  • Bibliography 189
  • Index 192
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