Discover if your ancestors from Devon, England raised money to pay the ransom fee to free men and women held as slaves by Barbary pirates in Turkey and Algiers.

What can these records tell me?

Each record includes a transcript and an image of the original donations list from 1680.

The amount of information listed varies, but the Plymouth subscribers for the redemption of captives in Turkey & Algiers records usually include the following information about your ancestor:

  • Name
  • Parish
  • Date of donation
  • Amount donated

Discover more about the Plymouth subscribers for the redemption of captives in Turkey & Algiers

Between 1600 and 1900 over a million people were captured by pirates and sold into slavery in the trading ports of North Africa. The pirates, also known as Barbary Corsairs, roamed Europe raiding coastal villages and capturing ships. Captives could be freed by paying a ransom.

  • There are 248 names on the list of donations
  • The smallest donation was 1d (one old penny)
  • The largest donation was 2 shillings and 6d
  • The total raised was £18 11s and ½d the equivalent of about £36,400 today.


The original Plymouth subscribers for the redemption of captives in Turkey & Algiers 1680 document is held at Plymouth City Council's Plymouth & West Devon Record Office. They are the principal archive repository within Plymouth and the West Devon area. It exists to collect and preserve the historical records (archives) of the area and to promote and encourage their use by all who want to study them.