February 6, 2023

Ruy Perez de Viedma (Captive Captain)

Captain Viedma’s First Appearance: Readers first meet Captain Ruy Perez de Viedma, a Captive Captain of the Spanish Infantry, when he arrives at a Granadian inn that Don Quixote stays at.

Captain Viedma’s First Action: When introduced, Captain Viedma asks for a private room at an inn but is told that “there isn’t any.”

Captain Viedma’s Birthplace: Captain Ruy Perez de Viedma is from an unnamed village in the mountains of Leon in the northwestern province of Castile.

Captain Viedma’s Birth Order: Ruy Perez de Viedma is the oldest of three brothers. His youngest brother, Juan Perez de Viedma, first studies law in Salamanca; then he becomes a full-fledged Mexican Supreme Court Justice, while his unnamed younger brother is a merchant who pays for his older brothers’s law degree and support the family, as well.

Captain’s Viedma’s Dress: When readers first meet Captain Ruy Perez de Viedma he wears the outfit of a Moorish slave, which consists of: a blue woolen doublet with short tails, half sleeves, and no collar; blue cotton breeches along with a blue sailors cap; date brown leather riding boots; and a scimitar hanging from a broad strap that crosses his chest.

Captain Viedma’s Physical Appearance: Captain Viedma has a fine, robust, muscular physique. Since he is in the sun a lot he has a swarthy, tanned complexion. In terms of facial hair he has a long mustache and a good length beard.

Captain Viedma’s Lineage: If Captain Viedma had not been wearing the uniform of a slave of the Moors he would have been considered a well-born person of high rank.

Captain Viedma Becomes a Soldier: When Ruy Perez de Viedma’s father divides his fortune between his three sons, his eldest child becomes a soldier “to serve God and his King by fighting in wars of conquest.” Thus, when a Genoese ship visits Alicante to load wool, Ruy Perez de Viedma travels to the port to enlist as a soldier. His next stop is Milan where he equips himself with arms and military clothing. From there he goes to Piedmont to reenlist as an infantry captain. On his way to Alessandria, Captain Viedma hears that the Duke of Alba marches to 26Flanders on route to southern Europe. Heeding this, Captain Viedma changes his plans to join the allies. In service of the Duke of Alba, he is present at the executions of Count Egmont and Count Hoorne in Brussels on June 5th 1568. Eventually, Captain Viedma rises to be an ensign under a famous Captain from Guadalajara called Diego de Urbina, who is his commanding officer in the Battle of Lepanto. Since Don John of Austria is in general command of the allied armies, Captain Viedma goes to Naples to join the Venetian fleet fighting in the naval battle of 27Lepanto, where on October 7th 1571 an alliance of Venice and Spain defeats a large Turkish force. Despite a resounding Spanish victory, Captain Viedma is captured by Alouk Ali, the King of Algiers, when he tries to rescue a besieged Maltese flagship. When Captain Viedma is captured, Ali Alouk, the commander of the Ottoman forces, takes his entire squadron to Constantinople, where Sultan Selim decides Captain Viedma’s fate.

How Captain Viedma is Captured: When Captain Viedma leaps aboard an enemy galley to aid the Knights of Malta, his vessel sheers off the Algerian galley, preventing his soldiers from following him. Left alone on an enemy sloop to fend for himself, Captain Viedma is “overpowered, covered with wounds, and finds himself with his feet fettered and his hands manacled.”

Captain Viedma’s Promotion: If Captain Viedma had not lost his liberty at the Battle of Lepanto, he would have been promoted to a field officer. But thanks to Captain Viedma’s great courage, dauntless determination, and high virtue, he rises to become a Captain in the Spanish infantry solely on merit ? not because he is backed by a powerful patron.

Captain Viedma is a Slave: As a prisoner, the Captive Captain is taken to Constantinople, where Sultan Selim promotes his captor to Admiral, since he not only escaped the crushing defeat at Lepanto but also since he carried off the Standard of the Knights of Malta. In 1572, the second year of Ruy de Viedma’s captivity, he goes to Navarino to row in Admiral Alouk’s flagship, where he is a galley slave for two years. In 1574, the Captive Captain rows at the oar during Hassan Aga’s attack of a Spanish fort at the mouth of the bay at Tunis. There, he becomes a prisoner in a fortified compound called a bagnio, where Christians are kept hostage by the King of Algiers. Since he is classed as a ransomable captive, Captain Viedma is placed on a list of gentlemen slaves, where he spends his time in a bagnio with many other gentlemen and important people. Although hunger and lack of clothes distresses him greatly, nothing afflicts the Captive Captain more than hearing and seeing Hassan Aga’s harsh treatment of prisoners. Since every day Hassan Aga hangs one, or impales another, or cuts the ears of a third—for petty cause, or for no cause at all—Captain Viedma tries to escape, lest he suffer the same fate. Since his prison yard is overlooked by the windows of a house belonging to a rich and eminent moor, Captain Viedma is fortunate enough to receive gold coins, gems, and other valuables, from a prominent Moorish Woman named Lela Zoraida, who wants to escape with him back to Spain.

Captain Viedma Makes His Father Take Back Two Thousand Ducats: Before leaving to become a soldier, Ruy Perez de Viedma makes his father take back two thousand, of the three thousand, ducats he gives him, since he thinks it would be inhumane to make his father live off of two thousand five hundred ducats in his old age.

Captain Viedma Does Not Communicate With His Father or Brother for Twenty-Two Years: Although Ruy Perez de Viedma becomes a soldier in 1568, he does not hear from his father or brothers in twenty-two years.

Captain Viedma’s Letter: In a letter to a Moorish woman named Lela Zoraida, Captain Ruy Perez de Viedma says that since “the Virgin Mary filled her heart with a firm desire to go to the lands of the Christians,” perhaps she can help him escape to his motherland by continuing to provide him with enough money to ransom his freedom and make his way back to Spain. In this missive, Captain Viedma tells Lela Zoraida that he, himself, and all the other Christians in his group, will do everything they can for her, even dying if necessary. Afterwards, Captain Viedma asks her to continue writing to him to tell him what she intends to do because the “great Allah” had sent him a Renegade Muslim, who can speak and write Arabic like a native, as she can see from his translated letter. Therefore, the Captive Captain says that Lela Zoraida can send him anything she wants to without fear of betrayal since he will be discrete in his words and actions. As for her request, in a letter, to become the Captain’s wife, he swears, in his return letter, that as a good Christian he will marry her once they reach Christian lands together, since Christians, according to him, “keep their promises better than Moors do.” Finally, he ends his letter by asking Allah, and his mother Mary, to protect her as she proceeds on their dangerous mission.

Ruy Perez de Viedma’s Father (Captive Captain’s Father)

Senor Viedma’s Geographic Origins: Senor Viedma comes from one of the villages in the mountains of Leon.

Senor Viedma’s Youth As A Soldier: Senor Viedma was a soldier when he was young.

Senor Viedma’s Offspring: Senor Viedma has three grown-up sons.

Senor Viedma’s Wealth: Senor Viedma has a reputation for being rich.

Senor Viedma’s Generosity: Senor Viedma is very generous with his money, since he splits his property between his three sons, stipulating that one should enter the church, one should take up trading, and one should either go to the sea, or take-up service in a King’s palace. In essence, Senor Viedma wants one of his sons to study to become a man of letters, another to go into commerce, and the third to serve the King in his wars. As such, Senor Viedma divides his cash into four parts, one for each son, and the fourth for his living.

Ruy Perez de Viedma’s Younger Brother (Merchant/Trader)

Ruy Perez de Viedma Younger Brother Goes Into Trading: When Ruy Perez de Viedma’s father divides nine thousand ducats equally among his three sons, his middle child buys merchandise with his share, sails to America, and becomes a trader. Many years later, we learn that this middle sibling becomes a wealthy merchant in Peru, who not only repays the money his father had given him with interest but also provides their father with plenty of money for him to retire on. In addition, he finances his brother’s education so he reach his current position as a lawyer, in a more respectable and dignified way.

Ruy Perez de Viedma’s Younger Brother Makes His Father Take Back One Thousand Ducats: Inspired by his two brothers’ example, the middle son returns one thousand ducats to his father for him to live off of in his old age.

Ruy Perez de Viedma’s Uncle

Ruy Perez de Viedma Buys The Family Estate: When Ruy Perez de Viedma’s father decides to split nine thousand ducats amongst his three sons, his uncle pays for the entire estate in cash since he wants to keep it in the family.

Ruy Perez de Viedma’s Companion Prisoners In Barbary

Description: When Captain Ruy Perez de Viedma is a bagnio prisoner in Algeria he is locked-up with other distinguished Christian captives who are also classed ransomable. But when each of the Captain’s companions try to retrieve a cane laden with gold coins, silver escudos, precious gems, and discrete missives, lowered by a Moorish woman named Lela Zoraida ? she raises the cane, and makes a side-to-side motion with it, which signals that they are unworthy to receive the bundle. Later, when all of the Captive Captain’s companion’s offer to ransom themselves with the money Lela Zoraida gives them (in order to return to Spain, buy a boat and return for the others) a Muslim Renegade objects to their proposals, since, in his experience, “Christians who are free and find themselves in Spain do not risk coming back to Algeria [for risk of recapture:] despite the promises they make in captivity.”




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Originally posted 2020-01-04 04:52:39.