The Complex Relationship Between Elizabethan England and the Ottoman Empire

TLDR The relationship between Elizabethan England and the Ottoman Empire was multifaceted, characterized by trade, joint military expeditions, and even proposals for joint colonization. The English Levant Company played a significant role in facilitating this relationship, which led to the arrival of Turkish and Moorish individuals in Elizabethan London and the rise of British slaves in the Ottoman Empire.

Timestamped Summary

00:00 The Battle of La Panto was a turning point in European history, giving Italy and Spain confidence in their ability to defeat the Ottomans.
05:06 The Ottoman Empire is a powerful force ruling over a diverse empire, allowing marginalized people to practice their faiths, and engaging in global activities such as arming rebels and commissioning artwork.
09:51 During the 16th and 17th centuries, England was relatively impoverished and of little economic importance, and was even raided by the Ottoman Empire for slaves.
14:29 The Reformation in Britain led to the country trading with the Ottoman Empire and forming the English Levant Company, which was profitable and formalized the relationship between the two.
18:57 The English Levant Company established factories in Constantinople, Smyrna, and Aleppo, and the trade between England and the Ottoman Empire included silk fabrics and currents, and the two countries were brought together not only by trade but also by their shared dislike of the Pope and idolatry.
23:26 The relationship between Elizabethan England and the Ottomans led to joint military expeditions against Spain and even a proposal for a joint Moroccan-Elizabethan colonizing mission in North America, but the Turks were rude about English cooking.
28:13 The Levant Company facilitated a growing relationship between Elizabeth and Murad III, leading to the possibility of joint colonization of Florida and the arrival of Turkish and Moorish individuals in Elizabethan London.
32:36 British slaves who converted to Islam and rose in rank in the Ottoman Empire, including diplomats and eunuchs, chose to stay in the Ottoman Empire because they had a better life there than in Britain.
37:04 British diplomats in the Ottoman Empire are anxious about British citizens staying there because they are afraid they will be seduced by the Muslim way of life, while the Levant Company thrives in the 17th century as the East India Company struggles.
41:44 Sir Henry Hyde, a big royalist during the looming Civil War, was the Levant Company agent in the Peloponnese, a spy for the Venetians, and eventually became the consul of the Ottomans for the Peloponnese, but was later expelled and forced to fight in the Civil War before being sent to Istanbul as an ambassador, where he clashed with his enemy Thomas Bendish and eventually ended up in the Tower of London on trial for treason.
46:54 The Levant Company is ultimately replaced by the East India Company after the East India Company defeats the French army in Egypt with Indian sepoys.
51:29 The East India Company takes over the territory of the Levant Company in Egypt, and the host expresses interest in learning more about the relationship between Elizabeth and the Ottoman court, as well as the role of women in history.
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The Complex Relationship Between Elizabethan England and the Ottoman Empire

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