Travels through the Empire of Morocco
John Buffa

Part 3 out of 3


I heard only to-day of your arrival at
Tetuan on your way to Larache, and this evening
received an express from Indy Mahamed Slawey,
Governor of that place, to request that, if I knew
you had been in this country, you would use
every possible endeavour to come to him at
Larache; and to accompany him to the Emperor
who wished to see you.

Let me therefore request your moving as quick
as possible to Larache direct from Tetuan, and
join him before he departs. Should you miss
him, he has left orders to his Lieutenant-governor
there, to forward you to Sidy immediately.

No. V.

Letter written to JOHN ROSS, Esq. Acting Consul General at Tangiers.

Larache, May 17th, 1806.


His Excellency the Governor of this place having last evening received
a letter from the Emperor, inclosing a communication transmitted by
the French Consul, together with a note from Paris, His Excellency has
honoured me with both to peruse. Their contents were the most severe
philippics against England; our blessed government was represented the
most perfidious and treacherous in the world, and great art used to
excite distrust, and to produce a rupture with England. M. Talleyrand
informs His Imperial Majesty, by command, of the taking of Naples, and
the republic of Ragusa; that Bonaparte, for certain political reasons,
has thought it expedient to appoint Louis Bonaparte King of Holland;
and Joseph, his other brother, King of the Two Sicilies: that it was
Bonaparte's determination to exclude the English from every port in
Europe: that Ceuta should, as soon as an opportunity offers, be
occupied entirely by French troops; that Spain and Portugal would soon
become provinces of France, and that His Imperial Majesty could do no
better thing than to abandon the English, and make common cause with
France: that the French Consul was charged to demand five thousand
bullocks, as many horses and mules; wheat and barley for the French
forces: that an equivalent in territory should be given to the
Emperor, and a certain scheme submitted to the Court of Morocco highly
honourable and advantageous to Barbary.

I told His Excellency to be on his guard; for that, by art, Bonaparte
has enslaved, plundered, and overturned the continent of Europe: that
I could not help ridiculing the idea of exporting provisions and
cattle from Barbary: that Bonaparte might cause them to be exported by
air-balloons, but by no other means or conveyance, while England rules
the seas. I availed myself of this opportunity of delineating the
features of the Great Nation, and relating the acts and deeds of
Bonaparte at Alexandria, Acre, and Jaffa; which had the desired
effect. He then confidentially informed me, that the Emperor had
commanded him to reply to the French government as he deemed most
conducive to the interest and good of Barbary: that he should cut
matters short: that proper steps should be taken to defeat their
cabals and intrigues, and a watchful eye kept for the future on the
motions of the French Consul, and all his agents; and that I might
assure the British government, that his influence shall always be used
for the interests of the English. Upon which I thanked him, and told
him that the Emperor might always command my services, whenever he
deemed them necessary.

You will no longer apprehend the ascendancy of the French in this part
of the world, as it is all over with them; nor will they ever succeed
as long as this excellent Moorish Chief guides the councils of thee

I remain, with due respect,


Your Most obedient servant,


To John Ross, Esq.
Acting Consul General, '

No. VI.

Letter from Captain STEWART, of His Majesty's
Ship Seahorse, to ----.

His Britannic Majesty's Frigate Seahorse, June 1806.


Presuming on the great friendship between our royal masters, I have
sent an officer on shore to request of you, leave to purchase some
cattle, sheep, and fowls, for myself, my officers and crew, who have
been long cruizing without fresh provisions. He is authorized to draw
bills on the British government for the amount of the purchase, which
I will approve and sign.

The quantity of cattle we want, will be about twenty-five, of sheep
about eighteen, and of fowls about twelve dozen (besides some eggs and
vegetables), more or less, according to the price.

May the light of Heaven be shed upon you many years!

I have the honour to be, with great respect,
Your most obedient humble servant,

No. VII.

Letter from Lord COLLINGWOOD to His Excellency
the Governor of Larache.

Ocean, off Cadiz, 8th July 1806.


I have received the letter which Your Excellency directed to be wrote
by Dr. Buffa to one of my officers who sent to Larache for stock; and
I beg to express to you the great satisfaction I have in every
instance which demonstrates the friendship which is entertained, by
His Imperial Majesty, for the King of Great Britain, and his subjects;
and to assure Your Excellency, that, on my part, I shall always be
happy in every opportunity of shewing you, that the same sentiment of
friendship and kindness is felt by us towards the Moors.

I am much obliged to Your Excellency for the supplies of refreshment,
which you are pleased to offer to my ships, which may call at Larache.
And wishing you health,

I am,

Most excellent Governor,

Your friend and servant.


To His Excellency

the Governor of Larache.


Letter to the Right Honourable Lord COLLINGWOOD, &c. &c. &c.

Michanez, July 16th, 1808.


I am instructed by His Excellency the Governor of Larache, and
principal minister of the Emperor of Morocco, to acknowledge the
receipt of your Lordship's letter, directed to him at Larache, of the
8th instant, and feel great satisfaction in being able thus to convey
His Excellency's assurance to your Lordship, that nothing shall be
wanting on his part to forward (which is verbatim what he directed me
to write) the interest of the English, as long as he shall retain any
influence with his royal master; that he has always felt great
pleasure in promoting the views and wishes of the late English Consul,
and shall ever continue the same.

He has represented to His Imperial Majesty the affair of the French
privateer, which was driven on shore near Tangiers, by one of your
Lordship's small vessels. His Excellency commands me to inform your
Lordship, that His Imperial Majesty highly approves of the noble and
generous conduct of the English on that occasion, and deprecates that
of the French, lamenting, that when the marauders landed on the
Moorish shore, his subjects did not put every Frenchman to death.

His Imperial Majesty greatly laments the undeserved treatment which
was offered near Tetuan to one of your Lordship's officers, by an
unworthy officer under the command of Governor Ash-Ash. His Imperial
Majesty, at His Excellency's representation, solicited by me, has
written, some time since, a letter to Ash-Ash, strictly enjoining and
commanding him to favour the interest of the English only, and not to
take any French part directly or indirectly, on pain of His Majesty's
eternal displeasure; the more so, as His Imperial Majesty's solicitude
and resolve is now to keep up that friendship and good understanding
which has hitherto been evinced on all occasions on the part of the
King of Britain, and His Imperial Majesty, who desires to be made
known to your Lordship his decided partiality to the English. His
Excellency wishes your Lordship health and prosperity.

I have the honour to be, my Lord,

Your Lordship's

Most obedient humble servant,


To His Excellency
Lord Collingwood,
&c. &c. &c.

By order of Mahomed Abdalah Eslawee,
Governor of Larache, and first Minister
to the Emperor.

No. IX.

Translation of a Letter written by His Excellency the Governor of
Larache, And first Minister to the Emperor of Morocco, to the Right
Honourable Lord COLLINGWOOD.

Larache, July 27th, 1806.

His Imperial Majesty having been pleased to permit Doctor Buffa to
return to Gibraltar, and entertaining a great regard for him, on
account of the good he has done in Barbary, the Emperor has also been
pleased to testify the same in a letter written with his own hand, to
the King of Great Britain, strongly pressing His Majesty that the
Doctor may be permitted to attend him occasionally, and to reside upon
a fixed appointment at Gibraltar. In compliance with His Imperial
Majesty's wishes, I have now most earnestly to request that your
Lordship will be pleased to order him a sure and commodious conveyance
for Gibraltar, and to take in the presents he has received as a reward
for his merit, and for his good and steady conduct during his stay
with us. The Doctor carries with him the good wishes of all the Moors
attached to my Royal and Imperial Master; and I have the honour to
assure your Lordship, that he has daily exerted himself with me, and
lately with the Emperor, for the service of His Majesty's navy, and
for the garrison of Gibraltar.

On this account alone, I hope your Lordship will, as soon as possible,
afford him an opportunity of joining his family in safety.

Health and prosperity.


No. X.

Translation of a Letter, in the Arabic Language, from Sultan SOLYMAN
BEN MAHOMED, Emperor of Morocco, to His Majesty GEORGE the Third, King
of Great Britain, &c, &c, &c. &c.

In the name of God, the all-merciful and commiserating God; on whom is
our account, and whose support we acknowledge; for there is neither
creation, nor power, but that which proceeds from God, the high and
eternal God.

From the servant of God, the commander of the faithful in Mahomed,
upheld and supported by the grace of God, Solyman the son of Mahomed,
the son of Abd' Allah, the son of Ismael, Prince of Hassenie, ever
upheld by the power of God, Sultan of Fez, of Morocco, of Suze, of
Dea'ha, of Tafilet, and of Tuat, together with all the territories of
the Garban West.

/ L .S. \
/ Solyman the \
| Son of Mahommed, |
| &c. &c. |
| God illumine |
| and support |
\ him, /
\ &c. &c. /

To our cherished, our dearly beloved brother (who is exalted by the
power of God), Sultan George the Third, Sultan of the territories of
the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, Duke of Mecklenberg,
Prince descended from the line or dynasty of the Emperors of Rome and

This premised, we inform you, that we continually make diligent and
friendly inquiry concerning you, desiring from our heart, that you may
be at all times surrounded by wealth and prosperity. We wish you to
increase in friendship with us, that our alliance may be stronger than
heretofore, even stronger than it was in the days of our ancestors,
whom God guard and protect. Now therefore we make known to you, that
your physician and servant Dr. Buffa has been in our royal presence,
which is exalted by the bounty of God; and we have been pleased with
his medical knowledge and diligent attention; and moreover with the
relief he hath given to us. We have therefore to entreat or to ask of
you, to give him your royal order to return to our neighbourhood, to
Gibraltar, well provided with all good and necessary medicines; that
he, residing at Gibraltar, may be ready to attend quickly on our royal
person, whenever we may stand in need of his medical assistance: we
trust you will therefore return him immediately without delay or
procrastination; seeing that he has been of essential service to us.
And we recommend you to exalt Dr. Buffa in your favour, and we will
always be your allies and friends. May you be ever surrounded by
wealth and prosperity! Peace be with you! The fourth day of the month
of Jumad Elute, in the year of the Hagira 1222, answering to
the fifth or sixth of July 1807.

Done into the English as literally as the incompatibility of the
idioms of the two languages would admit of, by JAMES GRAY JACKSON,
professor of African and Arabic languages.

Fenchurch Buildings, July 1807.

No. XI.

Translations from the Arabic. The first received the 18th January; the
latter, 6th July, 1808.

In the name of God, from Mahomed Ben
Abdalah Eslawee, Governor of Tetuan, Tangiers,
and its dependencies, &c. &c. &c.

To Doctor BUFFA.

Since your departure from us, we have not received any letter, nor
heard from you; so not having heard any thing of you, we are much
uneasy and concerned about you: for we love you. We are ordered by the
sacred commands of our Sultan, to require you will acquaint us how you
are, if any thing has happened you; and that you will return to us
with an answer to the sacred letter entrusted to you, with a fresh
supply of medicines, according to your promise.

We also request you will endeavour to obtain from the English
Government, two masts for a frigate, of forty-five feet each, which
you will cause to be sent by a frigate to Larache; and all the
expense which may occur, will be paid without fail. We hope you will
assist as much as possible in this business; and we wish you health,
prosperity, and a speedy return among us.



In the Year of the Hagira 1223.

No. XII.

The second Letter, prefaced as the former, to Doctor BUFFA.

We have continued to make incessant inquiries after you, but all to no
purpose. What has become, or befallen you, we know not; nothing, we
hope, very bad. We consider you a very good man, honest and
honourable; you cannot wilfully forfeit your sacred pledge, your
promise, your honour to return to us. We were afraid you were dead,
but we heard lately you are alive, and resident in London. Return then
to the presence of our great Sultan, and every thing you will
reasonably ask for your nation shall be granted to your nation, shall
be granted to you. The supplies shall be increased to Gibraltar, and
you will be treated as before, and, if possible, better still; for we
love you. Return then without fear to the presence of our great
Sultan, and prove yourself a true Englishman, by keeping your
promise. We wish you good health and prosperity.




In the Year of the Hagira 1223.


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