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From Courtly Curiosity to Revolutionary Refreshment: Turkish Coffee and English Politics in the Seventeenth century by Alexander Mirkovic A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Masters of Arts Department of History College of Arts and Sciences University of South Florida Major Professor: David Carr, Ph.D. Giovanna Benadusi, Ph.D. Kathleen Paul, Ph.D. Date of Approval: April 9, 2005 Keywords: Food, History, England, Islam, Orientalism Copyright 2005, Alexander Mirkovic
ii Table of ContentsAbstract...............................................................................................................iv The Contact Zone.................................................................................................1 Historiography............................................................................................6 The Courtly Coffee.............................................................................................20 Sir William Harvey and His Less Known Brothers....................................26 Coffee and the Chancellor of England.....................................................30 Ottoman Coffee Men Go to London.........................................................38 Reasons for Emigration...........................................................................44 Brewing Coffee under Puritanism ......................................................................49 Edward Pococke......................................................................................52 Puritans, Islam, and Coffee......................................................................57 Taxing the Alehouses..............................................................................63 The Lack of News....................................................................................69 The Revolutionary Refreshment.........................................................................74 Exclusionary Practices.............................................................................75 Rhetoric of Resentment...........................................................................83 Symbolic Geography of Coffee Houses...................................................92 Paul Rycaut and Orientalism...................................................................97 King James II and the Last Crusade......................................................100 The Aftermath...................................................................................................106
iii Bibliography......................................................................................................108 Primary Materials:..................................................................................108 Secondary Works:..................................................................................110
iv From Courtly Curiosity to Revolutionary Refreshment : Turkish Coffee and English Politics in the Seventeenth Century Alexander Mirkovic ABSTRACT Why was coffee so fashionable yet so divisive a political symbol during the latter half of the seventeenth century? Historians have offered several answers, including the suggestion that the nascent Orientalism generated its popularity. Undeniably seventeenth century England imported exotic commodities, including coffee and tea, and began to appropriate them for the English culture. Did that also imply maintaining the cultural superiority over the natives? I argue that coffee was symbolically transformed during the political and revolutionary turmoil of the seventeenth century. Coffee was first introduced in the early part of the century to the Stuart court where it was an item of sophisticated curiosity. After the Restoration, the City of London and its many newly opened coffee houses created the alternative to the courtly culture of the Stuarts transforming coffee into a political symbol, indeed a symbol of distinction in taste. The emerging political parties began a bitter struggle over coffee. The Tories considered coffee unpatriotic, not adequate for an Englishman, and too Mohammedan. The Whigs emphasized its more pleasant qualities. When king James II implied that the Whigs harbored sympathies for the Ottoman Sultans, coffee became a symbol of
v anti-popery and English patriotism. James calls to a crusade against the Turk besieging Imperial (and Catholic) Vienna went unanswered because the English were more afraid of absolutism at home and across the channel. In this way the last call to crusade fell on deaf ears, and drinking coffee became a patriotic statement. At that point, we can see the beginnings of Orientalism.
1 The Contact ZoneThe Whigs who overwhelmed the Stuart monarchy in 1688 loved to socialize in numerous coffee houses of the Restoration England. On the other hand, the late Stuart monarchs, namely King Charles II and King James II, suspected such gatherings. Charles II attempted to ban coffee houses in 1675 indicating that the people who congregated in such establishments were not, by and large, his political allies. Such popularity of coffee and coffee houses, especially among the emerging Whigs in the Restoration England, is not without irony. The caprice of history is that coffee first came to England through the patronage of the Stuart dynasty before the Civil War and the Protectorate. In particular, Kings James I and Charles I played a very important part in establishing coffee, mostly as a medical remedy, in the court and among the courtiers. The tumultuous winds of seventeenth century politics played a very important part in the history of coffee drinking, turning coffee from a medical remedy popular at the court into a drink popular among the anti-Stuart Whigs. The grand narrative of coffee during the century of civil wars and revolutions in England is complex and multifaceted, full of unpredictable turns and ironic twists. This study seeks to map out and explain shifts and transformation in the symbolism of coffee as it played an important role during the century of political turmoil.
2 This study will present the history of coffee in England as a history of symbolic fashioning of a foreign product by the forces of internal political and even religious struggles, recognizing that the history of coffee in England is first and foremost related to the English domestic politics. By no means an allencompassing social history of coffee houses, this essay examines the cultural history and semiotics of a foreign product.1 I will explain how during the seventeenth century coffee traveled, in terms of symbolic geography, from the court at Westminster down the river to the City, and then during the Restoration moved again, this time to the fashionable West End. The royal palace at Westminster, the bustling and sober City, and the highly urbane, sophisticated West End represent three phases in my narrative of coffee drinking in England. The first phase centered on the court at Westminster, involving people such as Sir Francis Bacon and William Harvey, the personal physician and the chancellor of England under King James I. The second phase happened under the Commonwealth in the City of London, where the first coffee house opened in 1652, and it was brought about by the specific social and political conditions that existed only during the Civil War and under the rule of the Lord Protector. The third phase occurred during the Restoration, especially after the Great Fire of 1666, when coffee houses of both the West End and the City of London got involved in the treacherous politics of the Exclusion Crisis and the Glorious Revolution. 1 Following Barthes method of symbolic analysis of the social phenomena as defined in Roland Barthes, Mythologies (New York: Hill and Wang, 1972).
3 Before treating coffee drinking in England and its movements across the different strata of the London society, one needs to say a few words about its origins in the Near East. My focus is the political and the cultural symbolism of coffee in the seventeenth century London, but my narrative will also emphasize coffee as an Oriental drink appropriated by the English as their own. A short synopsis of history of coffee in the Near East should be useful.2 The story of coffee begins in the Ottoman Empire, the state that controlled the only two existing coffee-growing regions in the world, Yemen, on the southern tip of the Arabian Peninsula, and the mountains of Ethiopia on the Horn of Africa. The Ottoman Empire was not only a place where the English bought their coffee throughout the seventeenth century, but also a state that the English symbolically associated with coffee.3 The register of London coffee houses lists sixty-two that had Turk in their names. Another dozen mentioned Saracen, Sultan, or Smyrna, indicating how strong both the symbolic and the economic connection 2 The bibliography on coffee in the Near East is quite extensive. I can point just to the most important: E. Birnbaum, Vice Triumphant: the Spread of Coffee and Tobacco in Turkey. Durham University Journal (December 1956), 21-27; John Chamberlayne, The Natural history of Coffee, Thee, Chocolate, Tobaccoo (London: 1682); S. D. Goitein, A Mediterranean Society. 4 vols. (Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1967); Ralph Hattox, Coffee and Coffeehouse (Seattle and London: University of Washington Press, 1985); Ira Lapidus, Muslim Cities in the Later Middle Ages, Harvard Middle Easter Studies no. 11 (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1967); Robert Forster and Orest Raum eds., Food and Drink in History(Baltimore and London: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1979); Wolf Mueller, Bibliographie des Kafee, des Kakao, der Schokolade, des Tee, and deren Surrogate bis zum Jahre 1900 in Bibliotheca Bibliographica, vol. 20 (Vienna: Walter Krieg, 1960); William Ukers, All about Coffee(New York: Tea and Coffee Trade Journal Company, 1922).3 Until the opening of the direct coffee trade route to Yemen by the East India Company, England still imported most of its coffee indirectly from the Ottoman Empire and through the Turkey Company. The shift in trade patterns began to occur around 1681. See the pamphlet: Allegations of the Turkey Company against the East India Company (London, 17 of August 1681)
4 with the Ottoman Empire was and how appealing that symbol must have appeared to the customers.4 The process of brewing coffee bean seems to have been invented in Yemen around 1517, but as with any account of origins, this one is also shrouded in mystery and enveloped in many legendary stories that are hard to prove. 5 From the southern tip of Arabia, where the plant originated, coffee moved into the homes and coffee houses of the Turkish Mediterranean Empire. While it was consumed at homes, it became much more popular as a social drink. Drinking coffee in the company of friends and neighbors soon became one of the favorite pastimes of many male subjects of Ottoman Sultans; Muslims, Christians, and Jews alike enjoyed the benefits of coffee and the good company of friends and business associates. Coffee houses became especially popular during the reign of Sultan Suleyman the Magnificent (1520-1566). They were primarily a place where the lower orders of the society gathered and intermingled.6 As places of social gathering, they provided to the poor and the middling sorts an opportunity to meet and entertain their guests, friends, business partners, and associates at a very low cost. Entertainment in a coffee house is much cheaper than a formal dinner at home. 4 See Bryant Lillywhite, London Coffee Houses(London: George Allen, 1963).5 Hattox, Coffee and Coffeehouse, 11-28. 6 According to the Ottoman historian Ibrahim-I-Peevi who wrote in about 1635, the first coffee house was opened by two men named Schems and Hekim, the one from Damascus, the other form Aleppo in the year 963 in the Islamic calendar (1554/55). Peevi states, their coffee house was situated near the bustling market near the port and the shops around the Rustem Pasa mosque, and was furnished with very neat couches and carpets, on which they received their company. Schems and Hakem offered their coffee at an easy charge. Peevi reports that a dish of coffee cost but an aspre, which was less that a halfpenny of English Money. See Markman Ellis, An Introduction to the Coffee-house: A Discursive Model, accessed at: www.kahve-house.com/coffeeebook.pdf on May 18, 2003.
5 Coffee and coffee houses in the Islamic Near East caused quite a lot of anxiety among the Ottoman authorities, but not because its consumption was opposed to religious principles of Islam.7 Despite the Islamic prohibition of the consumption of intoxicants, such as wine and beer, the legal rulings of most Muslim scholars of the time rejected the argument that coffee belongs to the same category. Coffee houses attracted the lower classes and threatened the established social order because they were the place where class distinctions were less pronounced and where even the poor could afford to entertain. The reason for this anxiety lies at the core of coffees popularity. It became the drink of the emerging European (including the Ottoman) merchant class that spearheaded the mercantile revolutions of the sixteenth, seventeenth, and eighteenth centuries. Because the Ottoman Empire was involved in the European exploration, colonization, and the fostering of foreign trade, it was only natural that coffee spread from the cities of the Ottoman Empire into the cities of Europe. England, and its emerging Atlantic Empire with London at its center, was among the first in Europe to embrace this new drink of mercantile middle class. London opened its first coffee house much earlier that many other European cities. While the first coffee houses opened in London in 1652, the first coffee 7 The usual justification for many bans on coffee drinking, starting with the first one in Mecca in 1511, continuing with the fatwa issued against coffee in Cairo in 1523, and concluding with the ban of coffee drinking in Istanbul issued by sultan Murad IV in 1623, was that coffee houses were not only against religious rules but were very dangerous for public morality. Hattox, Coffee and Coffeehouse, 11-28.
6 house in France opened in Marseilles in 1671 and in German lands, in Leipzig in 1684. 8 Local Ottoman pressures toward Immigration from the Near East to London also played a role in the coffee trade. As usual in the Ottoman society, the ban of coffee by Sultan Murat IV (1623-1640) did not necessarily mean all coffee houses. The decrees of the sultan were often very flexible, and the key to that elasticity was in implementation. For example, the ban did not affect Muslims and non-Muslims in the same way. The crackdown affected non-Muslim coffee house owners much harder, and they, therefore, were much more willing to emigrate then the Muslims. Consequently, non-Muslim coffee merchants were looking for a locale to continue their trade and that led them to seek a way of moving their trade to the West. The fortunate and timely meeting of these two networks of merchants, the English and the Ottoman, resulted in the introduction of coffee and coffee houses into London in the middle of the seventeenth century. That will be the subject of the chapters following the short historiographical analysis.HistoriographyThis historiographical survey starts with Whiggish (classical liberal) historians of the nineteenth century and ends with contemporary post-colonial 8 E. E. Rich and C. H. Wilson eds., The Cambridge Economic History of Europe, volume 4 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1967), 296-7. In spite of my persistent search I have not been able to find a document that would decisively link opening of coffee house with the permit to the Turks and Jews to settle in England. The argument seems plausible, but it still rests only on the reasoning along the lines post hoc ergo propter hoc.
7 accounts. Coffee was, in many ways, a victim of the grand synthesis of English nineteenth century historiography represented by the work of T. B. Macaulay (1800-59), S. R. Gardiner (1829-1902), and in the days of its waning, G. M. Trevelyan (1876-1962).9 Scholars following this kind of Whig/Victorian line of interpretation claimed that coffee houses, hand in hand with the newly invented pamphleteering and newspapers, facilitated the forming of public opinion. Whig historians saw coffee as a drink of the revolutionaries the people who organized and implemented the Glorious Revolution, who gathered their strength, relaxed, and socialized with the like-minded progressives in the coffee houses of the Restoration England. Indisputably Englishmen of the seventeenth century had a passion for pamphleteering and politics. Newspapers and pamphlets had become a new obsession and Englishmen of all political and religious persuasions did not miss the opportunity to express their opinions publicly and use the occasion to criticize real and perceived ills of the society. More problematic is the second point emphasized by the Whig historians. They argue that the Stuarts, Charles II in particular, regarded coffee houses as dangerous places of Puritan and Parliamentarian rabble-rousing. The key element in the Whig version of the story is the attempted ban of coffee houses issues by the government in 1675.10 The ban was rescinded almost immediately after it was issued, and the Whig historians attribute this change of heart to the realization on the part of the royal 9 Thomas Babington Macaulay, himself a colonial officer, became an object of inquiry in postcolonial studies. See Balachandra Rajan, Under Western Eyes: India from Milton to Macaulay(Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 1999). 10 Lawrence Larson, History of England (New York: Henry Holt and Company, 1923), 444.
8 government that the ban cannot be enforced because the Stuarts and their political allies favoring royal absolutism of the French kind could not stop the march of English liberties. Unfortunately no historian has ever suggested to connect the patronage of coffee by the early Stuarts with the later change of heart expressed in the attempted ban of coffee houses issued in 1675. It will be one of the main tasks of this thesis to illustrate and explain how coffee was transformed from the drink expressing the courtly curiosity of the kings James I and Charles I to the fashionable drink of the anti-Stuart party, the Whigs, during the reigns of Charles II and his brother, James II. Among older scholars only Hugh Trevor-Roper managed to stay away from the established Whig narrative of coffee as a drink of the English Calvinist bourgeoisie, notwithstanding his self-professed admiration for the champions of Whiggish historiography such as Gibbon and Macaulay.11 In his attempt to rehabilitate Archbishop Laud and the High-Church party, Trevor-Roper proceeded to put in writing a revisionist account of the seventeenth century.12 Trevor-Ropers point is that the traditional Whig heroes were not really blameless and the traditional villains, such as Laud, had many redeeming qualities. TrevorRoper might have underestimated the wide-ranging hatred that Archbishop Laud engendered, but as far as coffee is concern, he has a point. He correctly maintained that coffee came to England with the help of the high-church party led by the ill-fated archbishop. 11 Blair Wordern, Obituary Lord Dacre, The Guardian, January 27, 2003. Trevor-Roper after ennoblement became Lord Dacre.12 Hugh Trevor-Roper, From Counter-Reformation to Glorious Revolution (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1992).
9 No single individual did more for the history of food and daily life than Fernand Braudel, one of the founders of social history. Unfortunately, the passages in Braudels writings devoted to coffee leave much to be desired. Braudel glosses over the symbolism of coffee drinking, a foreign item introduced to Europe during the Age of Exploration. While devoting many pages of his books to bread, wine, and olive tree, Braudel did not pay sufficient attention to coffee. He simply assumed that England was oriented toward the Atlantic and it did not participate in the coffee craze of Europe.13 For Braudel coffee remained a distinct continental European phenomenon, mostly confined to the upper classes of the ancien rgime Braudel also failed to understand the revolutionary changes introduced to the Ottoman society by the mad dash of coffee obsession taking the empire by storm over the course of the sixteenth century. He also neglected to take into account the importance of coffee as a symbol imported from the Ottoman Empire in the times when Europe was facing not only the sustained Ottoman attempt to penetrate central Europe, but also continued sectarian fighting culminating in the English Civil War. With the increased popularity of social history after World War II, the narrative account about coffee and coffee houses began its departure from the Whiggish story of English liberties and started to coalesce into its own perspective. For the first time, historians deemed it worthy that coffee should have a history of its own. The work of Aytoun Ellis and Bryant Lillywhite made the 13 Fernand Braudel, Capitalism and Material Life 1400-1800 (New York: Harper and Row, 1967), 183-8.
10 necessary first steps toward writing of a history of a social habit.14 They collected the necessary primary materials and made them available in accessible and comprehensive monographs. Even though both Ellis and Lillywhite wrote in the 1950s, their work still represents the standard in the history of coffee. Unfortunately, no significant update of their research has been offered.The Penny Universities of Aytoun Ellis represents one of the most significant works on the history of coffee in England. Relying exclusively on the newly collected and systematized primary materials, it is the first monograph exclusively devoted to that subject. Because of its emphasis on coffee houses as elements of the English society, it could justifiably be called the first social history of coffee drinking in England. In spite of its positive contribution, it still presents the story of coffee imbedded in the Whig story of the emergence of constitutional monarchy and civic society and essentially understands the history of coffee houses as an evolutionary stage in the development of the clubs, that more typically English institution.15 Therefore, contradictions overburden the book. On the one hand, it sees the coffee houses as an institution which made accessible the news and disseminated less reliable information through gossip and friendly conversation to a large number of common folks, anyone willing to pay a penny to enter the premises. On the other hand, it carefully documents how this typically English institution, the university of democracy the Penny University, 14 Aytoun Ellis, The Penny Universities: A History of the Coffee-Houses (London: Secker & Warburg: 1956) and Bryant Lillywhite, London Coffee Houses (London: George Allen, 1963).15 Ellis, Penny Universities, xiii.
11 actually had its roots in the obscure connections between English merchants and their partners in the Ottoman Empire. By claiming the coffee houses were predominately places gathering the Roundheads during the Commonwealth and the Dissenters during the Restoration, Ellis is one of the first historians to raise the question of how coffee was accepted under the Parliamentary rule. The book presented coffee houses as a Puritan answer to the licentious and frivolous alehouses and taverns, an antidote to alcoholism.16 It is not clear on what basis this connection between Puritan somberness and coffee is made. Ellis not only provided no evidence to support it, but he also contradicts his own main thesis that coffee houses were penny universities, accessible to anyone. Furthermore, Ellis makes Cromwell indirectly responsible for the opening of the first coffee house, not only in England, but also in the whole of Christendom.17 Ellis identifies the Syrian Jacobite, who opened a coffee house at Oxford in 1650, as a Jew and tentatively ascribes his coming to the Parliamentary Ordinance allowing the Jews to resettle in England. Both points seem to be rather hasty assumptions, a remnant of the old Whiggish thesis of the growth of England as a tolerant society.18 Social historians, such as Ellis, while emphasizing different aspects of social and cultural life, often simply adopted the well-entrenched assumptions of 16 Ellis, The Penny Universities, 19. 17 Ibid.18 Jacobites were ethnic Syrians, who spoke Aramaic (in addition to Arabic), a language relatively close to Hebrew. One can understand that a seventeen century writer could mistakenly identify them with Jew. Jacobites were, however, Christian of Semitic origin. They opposed Greek domination in Syria and separated from the Greek speaking imperial church after the Council of Chalcedon in 453.
12 older Whiggish historiography. They combined the story of the Whiggish historiography with the social history of coffee drinking without much investigation on how coffee came to Europe in the first place and what effect the place of origin had on political symbolism of coffee houses. Coffee became the drink of the emerging European bourgeoisie. In Tastes of Paradise, Wolfgang Schivelbusch connected the old Weber thesis about Calvinist ethics and the emergence of capitalism with the Whiggish assumption that only the emergent bourgeois middle class frequented coffee houses. Coffee was a drink of the practitioners of the Protestant work ethic the Puritans, because it stimulated the mind of the drinker, increased his waking hours for productive work, and reduced his sexual desire: it implied masculinity, patriarchy, asceticism, and antisensuality all characteristics of the new society emerging in Restoration England and on the continent.19 Revisionist historiography is usually dated with the appearance of Conrad Russells monograph explaining the origins of English Civil Wars as the simple failure in war and diplomacy.20 On the basis of an assumption that seventeenth century members of Parliament did not have the bourgeois consciousness and intentions typically attributed to them, revisionism argued against traditional Whiggish and Marxist explanations of the Civil War in terms either of the inevitability of class struggle, or the inescapability of the ideals of constitutional 19 Wolfgang Schivelbusch, Tastes of Paradise: A Social History of Spices, Stimulants, and Intoxicants, (New York: Pantheon Books, 1992), 35-64.20 Conrad Russell, The Origins of the English Civil War (New York: Barnes and Noble Books, 1973).
13 monarchy.21 Probably in reaction to the Whiggish emphasis on coffee houses as classrooms of English liberties, revisionist historians decided to ignore coffee altogether. The revisionists downplayed the importance of anything foreign, including foreign policy and the foreign products such as coffee, in favor of political and social divisions of English society during the Civil War. The revisionists transformed the history of coffee houses into the history of clubs and associations, without seriously challenging the connection between coffee and the emerging civil society. Revisionists pushed the process from the seventeenth into the eighteenth century. For example, Kenneth Morgans History of Britain does not mention coffee and coffee houses at all.22 John Walter in his article The Commons and Their Mental Worlds sees coffee houses as a part of a larger social change characterized by the easy access to the printing news and political information in the newly emerging urban society at the end of the seventeenth and the early eighteenth centuries.23 Nothing is said about coffee during the seventeenth century, because Walter understands the Civil War as mainly a religious and not as a political or social conflict. For Walter and other moderate revisionists the seventeenth century was the century of continuity with the past in spite of all the political turmoil. No new political ideas were discussed in the Stuart coffee houses, because no new political ideas emerged during this 21 The idea of class struggle is most eloquently defended by Christopher Hill, The Century of Revolution 1603-1714 (New York: W. W. Norton, 1961). The court and country thesis was launched by Perez Zagorin, The Court and the Country: The Beginning of the English Revolution. (New York, Atheneum, 1969).22 Kenneth O. Morgan, The Oxford Illustrated History of Britain (Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 2000).23 In John Morrill, The Oxford Illustrated History of Tudor and Stuart Britain (Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 2000), 214.
14 time. There was no political symbolism of coffee, since there were no real political parties to use them for their purposes. The old Whig stories about the role of coffee in the defense of English liberties from the absolutism of the Stuarts and their ally, the much-maligned Louis XIV of France, were removed from the historical narrative. In a short but influential article Steven Pincus attempted to create a neoWhig narrative of coffee in England. Pincus represents the so-called postrevisionist position, a reaction to radical revisionism. Basing his research on numerous local studies, a genre that was made so popular by the revisionists, Pincus attempted to put the jigsaw puzzle together into a coherent picture describing the spread of coffee across larger and smaller towns of the realm. He claims that far from being a strictly London phenomenon, the coffee houses spread out all over England in relatively significant numbers. Focusing on coffee and coffee houses, Pincus presents compelling evidence for the rise of coffee houses all over England and Scotland. The connection established in Pincus article between coffee houses and the emerging public sphere is convincing and well supported by evidence from all over England. Pincus links the emergence of coffee houses with the civic society, and it is exactly this emerging public sphere that requires an institution. Pincus work on the importance of coffee for the emerging public sphere as well as his work on the importance of foreign policy for the English national identity is seminal and represents a tidal shift in historiography of coffee.24 Pincus, however, neglected to emphasize how the 24 On foreign policy see Steven Pincus,Protestantism and Patriotism: Ideologies and the Making of English Foreign Policy 1650-1668 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996).
15 symbolism of coffee drinking played out in the Restoration England and why the emerging public sphere materialized specifically in coffee houses, an institution imported from the distant Ottoman Empire, and not, for example, in widely popular alehouses of England? While Pincus depicts the divisions over coffee as a continuation of the old Civil War divisions between the Cavaliers and the Roundheads, I will argue that conflict over coffee was a part of English national self-definition in which the political groups used coffee as an effective symbolic weapon. I agree with Pincus that the popularity of coffee and coffee houses provided the architecture for the emergence of the public sphere in Britain, but I think that Whigs used coffee to secularize the old religious conflicts and present them in a new guise. By making coffee into a revolutionary drink, a symbol of progressive anti-popery and anti-absolutism, Whigs managed to redefine English national identity and effectively marginalize and neutralize the Tory Jacobites. Further change in the historiography of coffee in seventeenth century England occurred with the appearance of S. D. Smiths article on how tea became the islands favorite drink during the eighteenth century.25 Smiths article covers the eighteenth century decline of coffee houses and asks why tea became the favorite English drink, but his careful research in the archives of Georgian Britain enables us to form a clear and verifiable picture of how important coffee really was in the later part of the seventeenth century. By looking at customs records, Smith noticed that coffee trade had a dynamics of its 25 S. D. Smith, Accounting for Taste: British Coffee Consumption in Historical Perspective in Journal of Interdisciplinary History, Volume 27, issue 2 (1996), 183-214.
16 own. Smith rightly points out to the rivalry between the Levant Company (Turkey Merchants) and the newly ascending East India Company as the main determinant of the price of coffee on the market. He clearly indicated that coffee drinking in England was linked to the social trends and fashion. In other words, even though Smiths article mostly deals with the economic history of the decline of coffees popularity in the eighteenth century, he also points out that symbolic factors played an important role in the popularity of one or the other drink. The importance of Islam in the symbolic transformation of coffee from a drink of courtly curiosity to the symbol of revolutionary zeal was often ignored. Following Edward Saids influential work on Orientalism in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, many post-colonialist authors simply assumed that the picture of a stereotype of Ottoman Turks as alluring but tyrannical existed already in the seventeenth century. Even a thoroughly researched book by Nabil Matar on the history of English attitudes toward Islam during the late Tudor and Stuart periods is full of misconceptions and factual errors about coffee. For example, Nabil Matar subscribes to the great-man theory of the introduction of coffee to England, while assuming that the negative stereotype about Islam and all things Islamic existed unchanged from the time of the Crusades to the modern times. Furthermore, Matar also implies that the negative stereotype existed among all groups and political parties in England.26 26 Matars great contribution to the historiography of the seventeenth century British Isles consists in emphasizing the importance of the Ottoman Empire for the allegedly Atlantic oriented island kingdoms. He also rightly points out that in the relationship between the Ottomans and the British, the Ottomans were those who felt superior. Nabil Matar, Islam in Britain 1558-1685 (Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press, 1998), 11.
17 I will argue that the image of Islam and symbolism of coffee, which came from a predominantly Islamic and militarily exceptionally successful Ottoman Empire was exactly the object of the political battles surrounding the issue of the Catholic succession. Having ignored the complexities of the party politics and their consequences for the symbolic role coffee played in them, Matar presents an extremely simplified version of the history of coffee in England. Matar arbitrarily picks Edward Pococke, the first professor of Arabic at the Oxford University, as the one who introduced coffee to England.27 He simply neither mentions the history of coffee before Pococke nor any of the contacts that Pococke and other Englishmen involved with the Oriental trade had with the numerous peoples of the Ottoman Empire. Matars exaggerating notwithstanding, the categories of post-colonial analysis are not entirely without value in the seventeenth century setting. For example Richard Barbour in his Before Orientalism suggests, on the one hand, that to read pre-colonial ethnography as if its rhetoric bespoke European dominance of world is anachronistic.28 It is hard to argue that Europeans and the English in particular felt superior over the Orient, because not only they were not militarily and politically dominant vis a vis the Ottoman Empire, the main symbolic representative of the Islamic East in the minds of most Europeans, but they also constantly bemoan the reality of Oriental economic and military 27 Edward Pococke (1604-1691) was the professor of Arabic at Oxford and probably the most successful procurer of Greek, Syriac, Hebrew, and Arabic manuscripts. Matar, Islam in Britain, 110.28 Richard Barbour, Before Orientalism (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003), 3.
18 superiority over the disunited Europeans.29 On the other hand, as Barbour points out, many of the literary and cultural tropes associated with Orientalism were present in England and represented a solid base upon which the future imperial and colonial discourse could and did build in the era of high-imperialism, the edifice of Western cultural and economic domination over the Orient.30 It is much more historically accurate to look at the seventeen century as a period of Orientalism in the making. I will argue that the forgetting of Ottoman coffee men and their erasure from the history of coffee was not an act of the mounting English Orientalism, but a consequence of internal political struggle in England between the proponents and opponents of the Stuart monarchy. The political conflict in the Restoration England was fought not just over issues of power and control, but also over symbols, especially the symbols of foreign policy and all things foreign including coffee. The story of coffee in the second half of the seventeenth century Britain is the story about how the Whigs successfully used coffee as an item of political propaganda. Before the Whigs were able to define coffee as the drink antipopery, coffee was mostly a courtly drink unknown beyond the confines of the palace and the circle of royal advisors. In the process of transformation from a courtly curiosity to the revolutionary refreshment, coffee became more than just a drink. It emerged as symbolic capital by means of which political power and prestige could be purchased, opponents discredited, and ones own side 29 The most important work that describe and disseminated the knowledge of the Ottoman achievements and European impotency in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries was Richard Knolles, General Historie of the Turke (London, 1603).30 Barbour, Before Orientalism, 195.
19 presented as tolerant and inclusive.31 Whigs made this drink of the Turks into a drink of liberty, effectively transforming the image of Islam and the Ottoman Empire. The fact that the Ottoman coffee men who combined coffee and Oriental manuscript trade brought coffee to England was simply forgotten. For obvious reasons, the Whigs consigned to the memory loss those who during the early Stuart monarchy patronized coffee. During the Commonwealth coffee became popular not because the Puritans saw it as an alternative to alcohol, but because coffee houses provided an alternate way of obtaining news in face of official censorship. Furthermore, the increase in the price of grain caused by the Civil War and the excessive regulation of alehouses made beer less competitive on the market of hostelry trade. During the Restoration period coffee was not merely a symbol of neopuritan sedition, but and effective propaganda weapon in the hands of the Whigs used to annoy and even infuriate their Jacobite opponents (the Tories). King James II and his few followers tried to win this culture war over coffee, by appealing to Englands past. During the daring Ottoman penetration in the heart of Europe in 1680s, the Duke of York called for a Crusade against the infidels. It was already too late to take England back to her medieval crusading past. Not only did the thousands of Londoners enjoy their daily cup made out from the Mohammedan berry, but also several Turkish baths operated in the city. One has to wonder whether the kings call for a crusade against the Turks besieging the ramparts of Vienna was actually directed at the local Whigs? 31 Pierre Bourdieu, Distinction: A Social Critique of the Judgment of Taste (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1984), 15.
20 The Courtly CoffeeFor the courtiers, merchants, and government officials who first came in contact with coffee, the new drink seems to have represented an exotic item, a drink important not only for its practical or therapeutic value, but also as a signifier of their rising social status, an item that showed their distinction.32 Because knowledge about coffee never moved beyond the informed court circles and houses of wealthy merchants who knew about the drink and who had seen it consumed during their trading missions in the Ottoman Empire, coffee drinking did not capture a wider audience. In a courtly setting it was impossible for coffee to become something more than a curiosity, much less a social habit. For the upwardly mobile Englishmen who came in contact with coffee, this Oriental habit had very little utilitarian value that is why they did not drink it and did not take any major steps to introduce the drink to the wider public. Coffee was a status symbol and a topic of conversation. It was much more important to know about coffee than to actually drink it, because the knowledge indicated that the bearer of that information was also an active participant in the English economic and commercial expansion. English court became informed about coffee at the same time when the country was becoming an important European commercial power.33 Knowledge 32 Bourdieu, Judgment of Taste, 15. 33 Even though the English court was much less visually spectacular than many of its continental counterparts, the concept of courtly culture seem quite relevant for the social and cultural history
21 about coffee arrived at English court directly from the Ottoman Empire, following the recently established dependable commercial network between England and the Levant. As an emerging power England no longer needed intermediaries or linkage points such as Antwerp or Venice, entrepts where England, relying mostly on the help from local merchants, sold cloth and bought expensive, finished, manufactured products. England, in the case of coffee, dealt directly with the source, the Ottoman Empire. The Ottoman Sultans not only ruled a great number of peoples who were already consuming huge amounts of coffee in countless coffee houses and private homes throughout the empires numerous large cities of the Balkans and the Near East, but they also controlled the only coffee producing areas of the time, Yemen and Ethiopia.34 In order to obtain coffee, England went to the person who controlled it, the Ottoman Sultan. England established links with the Sublime Porte (the court) of the Ottoman Sultans in response to the unfavorable political and economic situation on the continent during the reign of Queen Elizabeth (1558-1603). The turmoil of the later half of the sixteenth century in the Netherlands severed Englands main artery that had linked the island with the pan-European trade system. Important seaports of Flanders, such as Antwerp, through which the English exported their wool and imported more or less everything else, became off limits for the English of early modern England. See, Shephard, Robert. Court Faction in Early Modern England in Journal of Modern History, 64 (December 1992), 705-748.34 Ottoman control of Yemen started in 1547, when the capital Sana was occupied and two provinces created, coastal Zabid and inland Sana. Local family called Zaydis resisted the Ottoman rule and were able to take the province out of the Ottoman control in 1626. During the same time period the Ottomans controlled also a small coastal area of Ethiopia. Ira Lapidus, A History of Islamic Societies (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002), 256-7.
22 ships.35 Seeking alternative markets in Russia, Northern Europe, and the Atlantic, merchants of England also began to have a noteworthy presence in the Mediterranean.36 In the 1580s, facing war with Spain, the strongest European power at the time, England was looking for allies. In these critical times when the Spanish invasion loomed on the horizon, the queen, the Privy Council, and the merchants of London turned to the Ottoman Sultan for help.37 Informal ties between England and the Ottoman Empire, first established by free-lance English merchants traveling in the Mediterranean, were soon pushed to a higher level and formalized. On November 20, 1582, William Harborne, merchant of London, received the royal commission making him our true and undoubted orator, messenger, deputie, and agent at the sultans court.38 With the issuing of the writ allowing the English merchants to sail under their own flag and, finally, with the appointment of the first royal ambassador to the Grande Porte, English commerce in the Eastern Mediterranean received the long awaited official endorsement.39 Activities of the royal ambassador bore fruit very quickly and led to a substantial increase in not only diplomatic, but also mercantile activities. In 1583 35 C. G. A. Clay, Economic Expansion and Social Change: England 1500-1700, volume 2 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1984), 115.36 Hakluyt, v, 168-9.37 A letter from the Ottoman Sultan Murat III (1574-1595) reveals that, The Queen of England desires to enter into friendly relations with my Port against the common enemy, Spain. Cal. S. P. Venetian, 1581-91, p. 52. Cf. Alfred C. Wood, A History of the Levant Company (New York: Barnes and Noble, 1965), 9.38 Hakluyt, v, 221-4.39 This official stamp of approval did not come cheep for the English merchants and privateers. Queen Elizabeth insisted that the merchants put up the bill for all the diplomatic activities, even though she personally paid for the first ambassadors trip. See Wood, the Levant Company, 12.
23 consuls were appointed to Cairo and Alexandria in Egypt, Aleppo and Damascus in Syria, Amman in Jordan, Tripoli in Lebanon, and finally Jerusalem. The cooperation was generally warm and went beyond mere trade and customary diplomacy. On occasion, an overzealous ambassador, such as Edward Barton, would join the never-ending Ottoman fight against the Roman-Catholic Habsburgs.40 During the uneasy times of the late European Reformation, enemies of the enemies of the Protestant queen were looked upon as friends.41 The relationship between England and the Ottoman Empire, however, soon became much more then just a temporary alliance against the common enemy. Overseen by English ambassadors and consuls, cloth and tin were being sent out to the Ottoman Empire, while raw silk, mohair, cotton wool and yarn, carpets, drugs, spices, currants, indigo, and finally, coffee were brought back.42 During the reign of Queen Elizabeth, England was becoming a great European power by developing a web of military and commercial alliances in the Atlantic, in the North Seas, and finally, in the Mediterranean and the Near East. The defeat of the Spanish Armada in 1588 gave England much more flexibility in her dealings with the Ottoman Empire and made its commercial fleet 40 In 1595, Barton, on his own initiative, joined the campaigns of Mehmed III (1595-1603) against archduke Maximiliam. Barton was a firm Calvinist and that might explain his zeal for fighting the Roman-Catholic Habsburgs, even without an explicit approval of the queen. See Dictionary of National Biography, s.v. Burton, Edward.41 There was a special connection between the Ottoman Christians and the Anglicans, because both groups were still using the Old Style (Julian) calendar, which led to celebrating Christmas, the New Year, and other holidays on the same days. The French and the Italians, who were already present in the Ottoman Empire, celebrated the same feasts according to the New Style calendar. See Sonia P. Anderson, An English Consul in Turkey (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1989), 10.42 Wood, Levant Company, 17.
24 bolder in the pursuit of trade.43 The formal regulation of the commercial activities followed the formal establishment of diplomatic ties between the two countries. In 1590 Lord Burghley received a petition from about thirty merchants belonging to Venice and Turkey Companies asking for separate trading monopolies with the Most Serene Republic and the Ottoman Empire. The merchants reached the agreement with Lord Burghley on 7 January 1592. Venice and Turkey Companies, previously in possession of the separate trading monopolies in the Eastern Mediterranean, merged into a single Levant Company. Fifty-three merchants of the newly formed Levant Company received for a period of twelve years the monopoly of English trade with Venice and Turkey. In the following years the number members of the company grew somewhat. When King James issued the company charter in 1605 the Levant Company had 118 merchant members.44 The company was established as a regulated company, not a jointstock company.45 The participating merchants were paid a membership fee and the company received full incorporation under the name of The Governor and Company of Merchants of the Levant. Throughout the seventeenth century the Levant Company remained if not the only, then certainly the largest supplier of coffee.46 43 Many Elizabethans shared a vivid interest in the Orient as seen by the writings of Sir Walter Raleigh who wrote one of the first histories of Islam and the Saracen Empire. See Sir Walter Raleigh, The Life and Death of Mahomet: the Conquest of Spaine, together with the Rysing and Ruine of the Sarazen Empire (London: D. Frere, 1637).44 Activities of about a dozen or so are noted in historical records. See Robert Brenner, The Social Basis of English Commercial Expansion 1550-1650, Journal of Economic History, volume 3, issue 1 (March 1972), 365-66.45 Wood, Levant Company, 22-23. 46 Only in the last decades of the seventeenth century the East India Company unseated the Levant Company from it role as the largest supplier of coffee to the English. See S. D. Smith
25 The wind that destroyed the Spanish Armada and spared the English ships in 1588, contributed considerably to the bringing of coffee to England. The English victory over the Armada contributed toward the development of English commercial relations with the Ottoman Empire both in substance and symbol. First of all, many families, such as the Harveys received their first assignment in the Royal Navy during the threat of the Spanish invasion.47 Monies were collected in order for ships to be built in all of Englands coastal communities and the court quickly noticed people who excelled in those efforts. After the encounter with the Spanish Armada, the Harveys, formerly fishermen now sailors decided not return to the dull life of coastal towns, but decided to stay at the sea and become merchants. Those who decided to trade with the Ottoman Empire had to sail around the Iberian Peninsula, where the on-going struggle between the Ottoman corsairs and the Spanish fleet represented the single greatest source of losses for the English merchant marine.48 While the situation in the waters around the Iberian Peninsula might not have changed substantially before and after the defeat of the Armada, there is no doubt that after 1588 the English ships sailed those waters with much more confidence. The story of coming of coffee to England, which lasted the first half of the seventeenth century, always concerned, in one way of another, merchants of one particular company, the Levant Company in charge of the trade with the Accounting for Taste: British Coffee Consumption in Historical Perspective, Journal of Interdisciplinary History, 27.2 (Autumn 1996), 184-5.47 Geoffrey Keynes, The Life of William Harvey (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1966), 25.48 The Privy Council advised all the vessels sailing around the Iberian Peninsula to come together and sail in convoys. Acts of the Privy Council 1591, pp. 136, 159.
26 Eastern Mediterranean. Merchants of this company were not acting independently from the court, but relied heavily on its support. This chapter will look at several men most of them merchants and courtiers at the same time important for the introduction of coffee to England, including William Harvey, the personal physician of King James, one of the first Englishmen to drink coffee in England, his brothers, who as merchants of the Levant Company supplied him with coffee beans, Sir Francis Bacon, the source of the earliest description of coffee, and Sir Thomas Roe, a successful and entrepreneurial royal ambassador to Constantinople (1621-28).Sir William Harvey and His Less Known BrothersWilliam Harvey (1578-1657), famous physician and the person credited with the discovery of the pulmonary circulation of blood, seems to have been the first Englishman to drink coffee on regular basis. His coffee habits emboded the courtly phase in the history of coffee. Harvey, a courtier and a private physician of King James, had six brothers, all actively involved in the trade with the Ottoman Empire. The Harvey family represents well the relationship between courtly interest in the exotic items, such as coffee, spices, antiquities, and manuscripts. The mercantile activity of Harvey family provided those artifacts and profited from this emerging market. William Harveys early biographer, John Aubrey recorded that, he was wont to drinke coffee, which he and his brother Eliab did, before coffee-houses
27 were in fashion in London.49 Harvey got his coffee from his brothers, as Aubrey says, the merchants of the Levant Company. It cannot be said for certain when did Harveys passion for coffee begin, but we know that Thomas and Daniel Harvey, two of his six brothers, were admitted to the Levant Company in 1616. We also know that in his will drawn in 1652, William Harvey bequeathed his coffee pot to his brother Eliab.50 It is hard to know why William Harvey chose to drink coffee. He is not around to tell us about the intricacies of the inner thoughts. Was it because of its qualities as a stimulant or he simply enjoyed its taste? Physicians used a mixture of coffee powder, butter, oil, and honey in order to induces vomiting long before coffee drinking became popular.51 One also must wonder whether or not the gentle push to the blood flow that coffee provides has anything to do with Harveys work as a scientist and a physician and his discovery of the circulation of blood? There has been a lot of speculation in this regard.52 Harveys were typical of the people who introduced coffee drinking to England. They represent the rising middling sort, families of local fishermen, who, much like the gentry and the yeomen, under the protection of the crown turned toward merchant adventures, earned considerable amounts of money, received peerage and joined the aristocracy. These families represented the backbone of royal administration under Queen Elizabeth and King James and 49 Keynes, Harvey, Appendix I, Account of William Harvey by John Aubrey, transcribed from the Aubrey manuscripts in the Bodlean Library, Oxford, 431-437.50 Keynes, Harvey, 407. 51 In a tract published in 1657, Walter Rumsey, a student of Sir Francis Bacon, recommended coffee as medicine suitable for procuring a comfortable vomit. Keynes, Harvey, 408. 52 Ulla Heise, Coffee and Coffee Houses (West Chester, PA:Schiffer Publishing, 1987), 15.
28 were rose up on the social ladder through greater economic prosperity. The Harveys started as yeomen and within a generation rose to prominence and joined the ever more prosperous gentry of the Tudor and Stuart England. The most famous son of the family, William Harvey rose up the social scale through education, eventually becoming the court physician of King James I. His brothers, Daniel, Eliab, Michael, Matthew, and Thomas, became merchants trading with the Levant and the Far East.53 One of William Harveys nephews rose to the position of royal ambassador in Constantinople. Daniel Harvey, son of the elder Daniel Harvey, was appointed ambassador in 1668 and left the Ottoman Empire when he was recalled in 1672.54 Harvey family represents one of those families that were propelled to prominence by the struggle against the Spanish Armada. Harvey family came from East Kent the five-town area that includes Hastings, Sandwich, Dover, Romney, and Hythem, also known as Cinque Ports. The towns formed a powerful corporation charged with the defense of the English Coast and crucial in the struggle against the Armada. Harveys were yeoman farmers from Folkestone, a corporate member of the Cinque Ports attached to Dover. During the early part of Queen Elizabeths reign Folkestone was a town of 120 houses of which seventy were fishermen. They possessed twenty-five ships and boats.55 In response to the Armada, Folkestone, a town where Thomas Harvey, William Harveys father, was the alderman, supplied thirteen vessels for the Royal Navy. 53 Keynes, Harvey, 128. 54 Dictionary of National Biography, s.v. Harvey, Daniel.55 Keynes, Harvey, 5.
29 The luck of the family seems to have changed after the Armada was defeated. Thomas Harvey developed a lucrative trade between Folkestone, Dover, and London on the one hand, and coastal cross-channel towns in France, on the other. Merchant Adventurers of London, unhappy with the regular postal service from London to France (via Dover), asked Harvey to organize an alternate reliable route for mail via Folkestone.56 In this way Thomas Harvey came in touch with Merchant Adventurers in particular and merchants of London in general. With the exception of William, who became a physician, all the Harvey brothers followed their fathers footsteps and all became successful merchants. William Harvey had undoubtedly encountered coffee during the course of his studies at the University of Padua. The introduction of coffee into Italy was customarily ascribed to the Paduan Prospero Alpino, a famous botanist and physician, who brought with him some sacks from the East and, having observed the plants characteristics, described it in his book De Planctis Aegyptii et de Medicina Aegiptiorum, printed between 1591 and 1592. One cannot know for sure whether or not Harvey ever read this book, but its existence indicates that the circles of educated physicians knew about coffee already in the last decades of the sixteenth century.57 The Harveys did not make money by trading with coffee, because there was no market for it in England. A few pounds of coffee beans could have fulfilled 56 Ibid., 6.57 Coffee first became known in the courtly circles of Italy long before the first coffee houses were open in 1650s in Venice. According to the popular story now transmitted through the internet, the priests in Rome wanted it banned but instead Pope Clement VIII (1592-1605) gave it his blessing stating: "This Satan's drink is so delicious that it would be a pity to let the infidels have exclusive use of it. We shall cheat Satan by baptizing it. Mark Pendergrast, Uncommon Grounds: The History of Coffee and How It Transformed Our World (New York: Basic Books: 1999), 25.
30 the needs of all English physicians who used coffee as a medical diuretic. The Harvey case actually combines two main social forces at work in England that both contributed to the introduction of coffee. First there was economic prosperity. The whole family had moved up the social scale, became merchants trading with the far away lands, and made a considerable fortune from their endeavors. One from the family, William Harvey, riding on the tide of family prosperity and making an ample use of his considerable talent, led the clan close to the apex of the social hierarchy, the court. While Harveys interest in coffee as a medicine played the part in his decision to have and consume the beverage, one can also surmise that his interest in coffee was also a part of the extensive courtly interest in the exotic. Harvey and his brothers represent the courtly phase in the history of coffee in England, the time when coffee was known in the courtly circles, used as a medical remedy for cleansing and other kinds of stomach aches and pains. Notably, Harveys most famous patient who had to undergo the coffee-therapy was no other than Francis Bacon, the chancellor of England another courtier.Coffee and the Chancellor of England Francis Bacons information about coffee provides a further evidence of the interest of English court in foreign artifacts, including the exotic drinks and their potential medicinal qualities.58 Bacon never traveled to the Ottoman Empire, 58 Even though the honor of being the first Englishman to mention coffee in writing is usually bestowed on Sir Francis Bacon (1561-1626), my research indicates that this honor belongs to
31 but as a chancellor of England, he had direct access to many of those who had seen coffee and the coffee houses first hand. The source of the Bacons knowledge about coffee might have been William Harvey and his brothers who traded with the Levant Company. In addition to being a personal physician of King James I, Harvey also served as a physician to the chancellor of England, the post occupied by Bacon from 1618 to 1621. Harvey writes that he had cured Bacon from a stone in gallbladder attack on the 6 March 1619.59 Harvey probably used coffee on exactly that occasion, because a thick mixture of coffee powder, butter, sallet oil, and honey was considered a good treatment for many stomach problems, including gallbladder colic.60 In the tract Sylva Sylvarum posthumously published in 1627, Bacon described what he knew about coffee, indicating how well informed was the Chancellor of England about both curative and social aspects of coffee consumption in the Ottoman Empire: They have in Turkey a drink called CAFFA made from berry of the same name, as black as soot and of a strong scent but not aromatical, which they take, beaten into powder, in water as hot as they can drink it, and they take it and sit in their CAFFA-houses, which are like our taverns. This drink comforts the brain and heart and helps digestion.61 William Biddulph, Elizabethan clergymen from Staffordshire. Following the establishment of the friendly relationships between England and the Ottoman Empire Biddulph traveled widely in the Near East. In his letters published in 1609 he briefly describes coffee houses. Biddulph emphasized their low social status and compares them to common alehouses of his native land. William Biddulph, Travels of Certaine Englishmen into Africa, Asia, Troy, Bythinia, Thracia, and to the Black Sea (London: Th. Haveland for W. Aspley, 1609), 66.59 Keynes, Harvey, 157 and 406.60 Bacons student, Walter Rumsey, in a tract published in 1657, recommended coffee as medicine suitable for procuring a comfortable vomit. See Keynes, Harvey, 408. 61 Francis Bacon, Sylva Sylvarum or a Naturall Historie.
32 Bacon makes a clear distinction between the two functions coffee had in the Ottoman society. First, coffee was consumed for its stimulating qualities and beneficial therapeutic effects on the body. Second, it was consumed in the company of friends, much like the English, in their taverns. The choice of words Bacon made, using the word tavern, a more exclusive place than the ordinary lower class alehouse, indicates that he was not aware of the low social reputation coffee houses had in the Ottoman Empire. The English went to an alehouse in order to drink cheep domestic ale and beer, to a tavern in order to consume the costlier imported vine, and to an inn in order to lodge, eat, and drink. According to Pierre Bourdieu, distinctions in taste and distinctions in class correspond and create a hierarchy of value judgments.62 When we encounter an unknown item, like Bacon encountered the coffee houses, we place it in an already existing hierarchy of taste. Bacon, looking for an English counterpart for the Ottoman coffee houses, found them in taverns, passing over the alehouses and inns. He placed Ottoman coffee houses higher on the social scale from where they actually were. Bacon, by this slip, assumed that, in his eyes, coffee was an upper class artifact, not entirely appropriate for the ordinary lower class establishments, such as alehouses of England. Bacon saw coffee as a sign of the distinction of taste, therefore, not yet a commodity, but a courtly curiosity.63 Sir Thomas Roe 62 Bourdieu, Judgement of Taste, 135. 63 Bacon made a mistake that some make today by assuming that all foreign films are artistic, while in reality a foreign film could have simply targeted the general audience in its country of origin and had no artistic intentions whatsoever..
33 Sir Thomas Roe (1581-1644), one of the preeminent English diplomats and explorers of the seventeenth century, traveled extensively, from the forests of the Amazon to the shores of India. During his ambassadorship in Istanbul, which lasted from 1621 to 1628, he sought exotic and alluring objects of high value for his patrons in England, including books, diamonds, and ancient marbles. Of special interests to Roe were ancient Greek manuscripts, still available in local libraries of Istanbul and of great interest to the collectors and humanistically educated elites of England. With Thomas Roe, the courtly phase in coffee drinking came to its apex. Roe was a career civil servant specializing in very sensitive diplomatic missions. His general interest in Oriental artifacts and antiquities included coffee. In 1614 King James sent him as an ambassador to the Mogul emperor of Hindustan.64 His travels took him also to Persia where we became acquainted with the silk and other luxury goods markets. After he arrived in Istanbul on December 28, 1621, he succeeded in enlarging the privileges of English merchants undertaking tough negotiations with the Ottoman Sublime Porte. For that purpose he assembled around the embassy a group of trusted friends from the Greek (Christian) communities all over the Ottoman Empire and used this network to enhance English exports and acquire goods of interest for potential customers back home.65 He sought Greek marbles on behalf of the Duke of 64 See Dictionary of National Biography, s.v. Roe.65 Hugh Trevor-Roper, From Counter-Reformation to Glorious Revolution (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1992), 102-3.
34 Buckingham and the second Earl of Arundel. Donated twenty-nine Greek and other manuscripts to the Bodleian Library at Oxford. After his death, his widow also donated a collection of 242 ancient coins to the Bodleian.66 Roe was an avid collector of Greek manuscripts and during his service acquired a good number of ancient texts for his private collection. He also organized the transfer of Greek manuscripts and precious ancient bits and pieces to the wealthy patrons in England interested in classical learning. Roes greatest success as a collector of antiquities was the gift of one of the best biblical manuscripts in existence so-called Codex Alexandrinus, to the king of England. The valuable ancient codex was presented as a gift to King James from the Greek Patriarch Cyril Loukaris, a good friend an ally of Roe. This valuable manuscript is today one of the most cherished possessions of the British museum.67 The Patriarch chose the gift of such an important biblical codex carefully with the purpose to increase the standing of England and King James in particular among the European Protestants. The Patriarch desired to open a printing press in Istanbul and for that he needed the diplomatic help of European powers. 68 Roe, as a diplomat, served an essential role in establishing the ties that would bring coffee to England. 66 Dictionary of National Biography, s.v. Roe.67 Throughout the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries European Protestants were hectically working to improve on the biblical text that was degraded by medieval scribal corruptions. The arrival of Codex Alexandrinus led to the publication of the London Polyglot Bible in 1675, which was considered to be the most reliable biblical text at the time. Throughout this period, the search for the real text of the bible led to considerable excitement among European Protestants. For a brief history see Kurt and Barbara Aland, The Text of the New Testament (Leiden: E. J. Brill 1989), 3-20.68 Steven Runciman, The Great Church in Captivity (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1968), 272
35 Sir Thomas Roe was not the only Englishmen engaged in the chase of antiquities in the Ottoman Empire. Edward Pococke (1604-1691), who served as a chaplain of the Levant Company in Aleppo in Syria, was also an avid collector of ancient Greek and other Oriental manuscripts. Like Roe, Pococke acquired manuscripts not only for himself, but also for wealthy patrons in England. Pococke developed a close connection with Archbishop Laud (1633-1645) was a man who showed great interest in classical Greek culture and especially the works of the Greek theologians of Late Antiquity.69 Edward Pococke eventually became the first professor of Arabic at the Oxford University, mostly due to the patronage of Laud, who became the universitys chancellor in 1629. Pococke left a good deal of evidence about his interest in coffee. In 1659 he published a tract, translated from Arabic, advocating the medicinal benefits that the new drink can bring. 70 There should be no doubt that he interest in coffee stemmed from the days he spent in Aleppo, Syria. The Greeks, who held the keys of monastic and diocesan libraries where many precious manuscripts were housed, demanded something in return. Usually a small bribe would open the closed doors, but the Greeks quickly noticed the considerable demand on the English side for the ancient Greek 69 William Laud and Lancelot Andrews as scholar led the revival of interest in late ancient Christianity. Lauds favorite late ancient writer was John Chrysostom (347-407), the outspoken archbishop of Constantinople, who used the whole panoply of classical rhetoric in his sermons. See H. R. Trevor-Roper, The Church of England and the Greek Church in the Time of Charles I in Derek Baker ed., Religious Motivation: Biographical and Sociological Problem for the Church Historian, Studies in the Church History XV (Oxford: Blackwell, 1978), 217.70 Dawud ibn 'Umar Antaki, The Nature of the Drink Kauhi, or Coffe, and the Berry of which it is Made, Described by an Arabian Phisitian (Oxford: Printed by Henry Hall, 1659); Microfilm. Ann Arbor, Mich. University Microfilms, 1964. (Early English books, 1641-1700; 140:2).
36 authors and that they could ask for more.71 In 1615 Patriarch Cyril Loukaris wrote to the archbishop of Canterbury Abbot (1611-1633) asking him for help and support in the education of the Greek clergy.72 He needed help badly, especially in the difficult times of the Counter-Reformation, when the religious propaganda relied on educated clergy, well equipped with the latest printed books and manuals. Even though the practice of Christian religion was officially tolerated, the Greek Church suffered considerably under the Ottoman rule. Especially difficult was the lack of printed books, because the Ottoman authorities did not allow a printing press to be imported. The Patriarchs request for support was approved not only by the archbishop, but also by the king himself and the Greek monks started to come to study theology at English universities under the direct royal patronage. These strange visitors from the East also contributed to the way in which the English upper classes got acquainted with coffee. Interest in coffee was a part of this general interest in the sophisticated treasures possessed by the Ottoman Empire and its diverse subjects. Avid antiquity collectors, such as Roe or Pococke, said very little about coffee, but it seems that coffee came to England piggybacked on the lucrative antiquity trade. English merchants and leaders of the Greek communities in the Ottoman Empire were the circles from which we have the earliest evidence about the first instances of coffee drinking in England. In 1639 a Greek monk called Nathaniel 71 Thomas Roe writes in 1624, this rich merchandise could be easily got with a little encouragement. The rich merchandise in question are the Greek authors that are lost to us and not in print, of which the Patriach is able richly to store England. See Trevor-Roper, From Counter-Reformation to Glorious Revolution, 102-3. 72 Boldeian Library, Oxford. MS. Smith 36, fol. 39, 41. As cited in W. B. Patterson, King James VI and I and the Reunion of Christendom (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1997), 209.
37 Konopios was hand picked by Patriarch Loukaris and send to study theology in England. At Oxford Konopios, patronized by Archbishop Laud, appeared in the annals of the university as the first man to drink coffee there. Anthony Wood, the annalist of Oxford, wrote the following about Kanopios: It was observed that, while he continued in Balliol College, he made the drink for his own use called coffee, and usually drank it every morning, being the first, as the antients of that house have informed me, that ever drank in Oxon.73 Kanopios was a monk; subsequently upon his return to the Ottoman Empire he became a bishop of Smyrna, the place that along side with Cairo was one of the main coffee markets of the Ottoman Empire.74 He fitted perfectly in the courtly phase of coffee drinking, because as a monk and future bishop, he belonged to the top echelons of the Ottoman society. Because of the peculiarities of the Ottoman millet system, patriarchs of Constantinople, such as Loukaris, and his synod of bishops, had both secular and spiritual authority over the Christian subjects of the Ottoman Sultans and, therefore, the belonged to the Ottoman ruling class.75 Because of Konopios status it was unthinkable that he would open and even get involved in the opening of coffee houses in England. His coffee drinking at 73 Anthony Wood, Athenae Oxonienses (London, 1721), t II, col. 1140.74 Runciman, The Great Church, 272. 75 In the Ottoman state the patriarch of Constantinople and his synod of bishops were also the head of Rum millet, that is, the secular head of all the peoples called Rum in the empire. Who belonged to the Rum millet was not always clear, but the core consisted of Greek speaking Christians, with the Slavic population being occasionally included or excluded. Armenians had their own millet and their own patriarch was also placed in Constantinople. See Victor Roudometof, From Rum Millet to Greek Nation: Enlightenment, Secularization, and National Identity in Ottoman Balkan Society, 1453-1821in Journal of Modern Greek Studies 16.1 (May 1988), 11-48. Michael Ursinus, "Millet," The New Encyclopaedia of Islam, new ed. (Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1960); Daniel Goffman, "Ottoman Millets in the Early Seventeenth Century," New Perspectives on Turkey 11:2 (1994): 13558.
38 Oxford represents just a courtly phase in the coffees arrival to England. Only later, when small merchants and coffee men started to come to England following the footsteps of their business partners in the Levant company, would coffee escape from the confounds of the elite courtly settings and move to the streets of English towns, in particular London and Oxford.76 Coffee found itself here in the company of luxury goods that the English upper classes desired to obtain from the Ottoman Empire. The English upper classes sought not only Greek marbles, vases, and manuscripts but also carpets, silk, velvets, damasks, satins, and china.77 A lucrative trade quickly developed and coffee was a part of it. Admittedly not very significant in the beginning, but it importance grew in time. The subjects of the Ottoman Sultan quickly realized how lucrative this market in luxury goods could be and apparently wanted to get a greater share of that market by selling the goods directly to English aristocrats, without the intermediaries in the embassy and the Levant Company. Thomas Roe wrote that he is forced on a daily basis to deny visas to the Greeks interesting in traveling to England. How many of them wanted to go to England with the specific purpose in mind to open a coffee house? The answer to that question will provide the focus for the next section.Ottoman Coffee Men Go to London 76 Pasqua Rose, the Ottoman coffee men who opened the first coffee house in London came from Smyrna, where Kanopios was a bishop. It is not certain if that was his birthplace.77 While the Levant Company was establishing the luxury trade with the Ottoman Near East, the East India Company started to do the same with the countries of the Indian Ocean, including Iran and India. East India the Company gained rights to freely trade there in 1616. Ira Lapidus, A History of Islamic Societies (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002), 237.
39 Immigrants from the Ottoman Empire started to arrive to England even before the Parliament made a decision in December of 1648 to allow Turks and Jews to trade in the kingdom.78 Immigration was a complex and unpredictable process, and in order to be successful, a good number of conditions had to be suitably aligned, both in the country of departure and the country of arrival. According to the current anthropological and post-colonial theory, in order for cultural exchange to take place between two cultures, first the contact zone needed to be established. The contact zone represents social spaces where disparate cultures meet, clash, and grapple with each other, often in highly asymmetrical relations of domination and subordination.79 On the English side, the Stuart court had an increasing appetite for exotic and luxury goods.80 On the Ottoman side, the Empire, while on its political and military peak, contained a considerable underclass of non Muslims, namely Christians, and Jews, the very people who came into the contact zone with the English merchants and aristocratic collector of antiquities. Several elements contributed to an economic and social crisis in the Ottoman Empire that made it possible and even preferable for some of secondclass Ottoman subjects to leave their home and seek their fortune in England. First considerable inflation plagued the Ottoman State from this period onwards. 78 Cited in H. S. Q. Henriques, The Return of the Jews to England (London: Macmillan, 1905), 36.79 Mary Louis Pratt, Imperial Eyes: Travel Writing and Transculturation (New York: Routledge, 1992), 4.80 Lisa Jardine, Worldly Goods: A New History of the Renaissance (New York: Doubleday, 1996). 25-27.
40 It began in 1575 and led to the pulling of the old currency out of circulation and the introduction of the new one (para ) under Sultan Osman II (1618-1622).81 Second, because of the economic and fiscal crisis, the ruling Muslim elites became more exclusive and less willing to share their privileges with the remaining population, both Muslim and non-Muslim. Ottoman society ossified because it was ruled by the military and religious elites, and the established hierarchies became less flexible then before. Third, the Muslim military ruling elites became much more suspicious of the activities of ordinary people, leading to many crackdowns on suspicious activities, including the famous ban on coffee houses issued by Sultan Murad IV in 1623.82 All these pressures mounted slowly and led some coffee men to seek their fortunes in Europe. This tendency appeared most pronounced among Christian coffee men, although in some cases Jews facilitated the transfer of coffee from the Ottoman Empire to Europe. In all my research I have not found a instance of a Muslim emigrant opening a coffee house in Europe. On the basis of the general social trends in this period, one assumes that they must have moved to the Arabic speaking Near East and other Ottoman Provinces.83 The first coffee house in London opened in 1652 as partnership between Pasqua Rose, a recent immigrant from the Ottoman Empire and Christopher 81 Peter F. Sugar, Southeastern Europe under Ottoman Rule 1354-1804 (Seattle and London: University of Washington Press, 1977), 37.82 Because of his repressive policies Sultan Murad IV (1623-1640) is often called the Ottoman Nero. Lord Kinross, The Ottoman Centuries (New York: Morrow Quill Paperbacks, 1977), 305.83 Lapidus, Islamic Societies, 275.
41 Bowman, who was a coachman of Mr. Hodge, one of the Aldermen of the City.84 Our most reliable source, Houghton, writing in 1698 actually confirms this close cooperation between Ottoman immigrants and the people involved with the Levant Company: It appears that Mr. Daniel Edwards, an English merchant of Smyrna, brought with him to this country a Greek of the name of Pasqua, in 1652, who made his coffee; this Mr. Edwards married one of Alderman Hodges daughter, who lived in Walbrook, and set up Pasqua for a coffee man in a shed in the churchyard in St. Michael, Cornhill, which is now a scriveners bravehouse, when, having great custom, the ale-sellers petitioned the Lord Mayor against him, as being no freeman. This made Alderman Hodges join his coachman Bowman, who was free, as Pasquas partner; but Pasqua, for some misdemeanor, was forced to run from the country, and Bowman, by his trade and a contribution of 1000 sixpences, turned the shed to a house. Bowmans apprentices were first, John Painter, then Humphry, for whose wife I had this account.85 We would call this endeavor today a joint Anglo-Ottoman venture. It is worth noting that both Rose and Bowman occupied the lower end of the social scale and worked for powerful and influential masters. Except for the fact that Pasqua Rose was an immigrant coming from the Ottoman Empire precious little can be told about him.86 Unlike tens of thousands of immigrants who came to England from France or Flanders and were fairly quickly naturalized, Rose was, apparently, never naturalized.87 His name does 84 The advertisement for the first coffee house is preserved today in the British Museum and it reads among other thing: made and sold in St Michaels Alley in Cornhill by Pasqua Rosee at the Signe of his own Head, indicated that the shop had a sing hanging from a high beam. Lillywhite, London Coffee Houses, 436.85 Ibid., 438.86 To answer this question with more certainty, further research in the Ottoman archives and the archives of Ragusa (Dubrovnik) would be required.87 I have looked at several lists of naturalized foreigners for the seventeenth century and Pasqua Roses name does not appear there. There is an extensive List of Foreign Protestants, and Aliens Resident in England 1618-1688 transcribed from the State Papers by W. Durrant Cooper and published by the Camden Society, London 1862.
42 not appear in any of the lists of naturalized immigrants, called denizens at the time. Because he was never enfranchised, he did not enjoy any of the liberties of the City of London, which would explain his partnership with Mr. Bowman. As a foreigner he had no right to run a business on his own. Some scholars claim that Rose was a native of Smyrna (city on the western shore of Asia Minor) where he came in touch with Daniel Edwards, a merchant of the Levant Company. At that time the Levant Company also ran a consulate in the city. Rose came to London as a servant of Edwards.88 One can say with certainty that he was a Christian, because it is hard to imagine that a Muslim would carry the name Pasqua (originating from the Greek word for Easter pascha ). Others indicate that he was a native of Ragusa (the present-day Dubrovnik on the Adriatic coast) and consequently probably of Slavic not of Greek extraction.89 The Latinized form of his name (Pasqua not the Greek form Pascha) points to his origins from Ragusa, a city on the Adriatic with the population of Slavic origin, but with deep connections with Italy. It was very common for the Ragusans to use the Latinized form of their names, because the city used to run its administration in Latin. In spite of the Latinized form of his name that is mentioned in English sources, it was hard to tell with absolute certainty that Rose a Ragusan Slav and not Geek, because in Greek the name 88 J. Pelzer and L. Pelzer, "Coffee Houses of Augustan London," History Today, (October 1982), 40-47.89 Alfred C. Wood, A History of the Levant Company (New York: Barnes & Noble 1964), 203. See also Edward Robinson, The Early History of Coffee Houses in England (New York: Humanities Press, 1972. Reprint of the 1893 ed. published by K. Paul, Trench, Trbner & co.), 56-87.
43 Pascha(les) is also very common and the Latinization (Pasqua) might have occurred in England. While the information about the person of Pasqua Rose is scant, one can venture to guess more about his social standing. In the Ottoman Empire three classes of people were involved in the coffee trade. First there were the large merchants called tccars or bazirgans, who handled empire-wide or exportimport trade. It is highly unlikely that Rose belong to this social group, because as men of empire-wide standing and great privilege, they were the least likely to run away from the rule of Ottoman Sultans. This class of merchants was bringing coffee from the south of the Arabian Peninsula and the Horn of Africa into the main distribution centers of the Ottoman Empire. Since the early days of the fifteenth century two cities emerged as the main coffee markets, Cairo in Egypt and Allepo in Syria.90 Eventually Istanbul, as the largest city of the empire, the seat of a highly centralized government, and the largest consumer of coffee, became the third distribution center for coffee. Cairo supplied the African provinces, Allepo the Anatolian, Syrian, and Mesopotamian provinces, while Istanbul provided coffee from the Aegean and the European provinces of the Empire. Cairo also provided the bulk of coffee that was distributed at the Istanbul markets. Cairo was close to the Egypts main port of Alexandria and shipping goods by sea was the cheapest way of transportation. The second class of people involved in the coffee trade stood lower on the Ottoman social scale. Esnaf were the small merchants and tradesmen who 90 Hattox, Coffee 97.
44 served local markets and needs. They bought coffee from the tccars and sold it at the local markets to both coffee shop owners and for private use. As a rule esnaf were the small tradesmen and they never moved far away from the local markets. It was highly unlikely that they ever came in contract with the foreign merchants and, therefore, very improbable that Rose belonged to this class. The tccars held entirely in their hand the contacts with European merchants, including the English. The third class of people involved in the coffee trade were called usta. They were the coffee shop owners, who were members of Ottoman city-guilds that controlled local arts and crafts. It was most likely that Pasqua Rose belonged to this group. Crafts, including coffee making, were strictly regulated by the Ottoman guild system. Local markets of Ottoman cities worked in such a way that the practitioners of a given profession always worked in a specific location. Thus, carpet vendors worked on the street of carpet vendor, tailors in the street of tailors, and so on.91 At this time there were coffee houses in almost every Ottoman city. Because of their public nature, they were usually located near the center of the city close to public facilities, such as public baths, fountains, religious foundations, inns, etc. Unlike other crafts, coffee houses were not limited to their own street.92 Reasons for Emigration 91 Sugar, Southeastern Europe, 77. 92 On the geographical patterns of Ottoman Cities see Traian Stoianovich, Model and Mirror of the Premodern Balkan City in Nikolai Todorov, ed., La Ville Balkanique, vol. 3 of Studia Balcanica (Sofia: Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, 1970), 83-110.
45 Great majority of people who were involved with the introduction of coffee to England and the transfer of the export of coffee houses from the Ottoman Empire were non-Muslims. This is not an indication of some kind of religious preference on the part of English upper classes to cooperate with Ottoman coffee traders. English merchants dealt through official Ottoman channels and did not show particular preference toward non-Muslim inhabitants of the Ottoman Empire, at least when business deals were involved. If fact, quite the opposite might have true. English travelers to the Near East expressed great respect and admiration for the vital and energetic society of the Ottoman Turks, while at the same time, they often show considerable contempt and pity toward the subjugated (non-Muslim) subjects of the Sultan. During the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries growing religious intolerance in the Ottoman Empire put considerable pressure on all non-Muslim groups. The plight of Salonika Jews, the city with the largest Jewish settlement, offers the best illustration. The approximate numbers of Jews living in this city dropped from 40,000 in 1660 to about 12,000 by 1792. Other Ottoman cities with sizable Jewish population followed the same pattern of decline.93 Most of those Jews ended up either in England or Holland, two European states that reversed the traditional medieval policy of excluding the Jews. One of those Jewish emigrants to England appeared at Oxford in the 1650s and opened the first coffee house there. Anthony Wood records the following about him: One named 93 Sugar, Southeastern Europe, 223.
46 Jacob opened at the Angle in the parish of St Peter in the East the first coffee house not only in England but in the whole of Christendom.94 Without further research into Ottoman coffee houses it would be hard to say how many people actually tried to emigrate. What is known is that nonMuslims, that is, Jews and various kinds of Christians such as Greek, Armenian, Syrian, Coptic, and Slavic, were represented in trades and crafts in much larger numbers then their share of the population. Since the most coveted professions in bureaucracy, army, and Islamic education were reserved for Muslims, nonMuslims naturally turned to business.95 A large number of non-Muslims could be found among coffee house owners, a profession that required skills in coffee making, hostelry, as well as good connections with merchant supply lines. This is not to say that there were no Muslim coffee houses owners in the Ottoman Empire. For urban non-Muslims running a small business was the only option. They constituted the most vulnerable segments of the population. The immigrants from the Ottoman Empire opening the first coffee houses in England, came from exactly that segment of the population. Christian subjects of the Ottoman Sultans, while legally tolerated, often faced public humiliation and unofficial discrimination. While Islam officially acknowledged and tolerated other peoples of the book, in practice Christians were often treated as Goure or kafir, that is, infidels. Already by 1600s English travelers to the Ottoman Empire noted the unofficial discrimination of Christians, 94 Anthony Wood, Athenae Oxonienses (London, 1721). Cf. Ellis, Penny Universities, 18.95 On Ottoman careers see Norman Itzkowitz Mehmed Raghib Pasha: The Making of an Ottoman Grand Vizier (unpublished Ph.D. dissertation, Princeton University, 1959), 15-17.
47 and William Biddulph gave the following warning to the Englishmen intent on traveling to the Ottoman Empire: Neither if a man receive a box on the eare at any of their hands, must he give one bad word, or looke frowningly upon him that smote him: for then hee will strike him againe, and say, What Goure? Dost thou curse me, an wish that the Devil had me? But hee must kisse his beard, or the skirt of his garment, and smile upon him, and then he will let him passe.96 Many traveling Englishmen experienced this unofficial discrimination of the Christians first-hand, because the Ottoman treated the English in the same way. George Manwaring, for example, recounted that a Turk nearly pulled off his ear and dragged him around the streets of Aleppo with much company following me, some throwing stones at me, and some spitting on me.97 In light of such open, but unofficial discrimination, some of the more successful Christian coffee men sought better fortune in the West and tried to use their connections with the newly arrived English merchants in order to reach shores of the British Isles. In short, a small group of Ottoman coffee men, who may have served not only the population of Ottoman cities, such as Smyrna and Istanbul but also an increasing number of European merchants established in those cites, brought coffee to England.98 One cannot tell exactly how many of these coffee men left the Ottoman Empire and settled in England, but the archival lists of strangers and foreigners mention several dozen of names of Greek and Armenian origin living 96 William Biddulph, Purchas his Pilgrimes, (1600) vol. VIII, 192. For more details on how the Ottomans felt superior in their encounter with the English see Nabil Matar, Islam in Britain: 15581685 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998), 4-5.97 Sir Denison Ross ed. Sir Anthony Sherley and His Persian Adventures (London: George Routledge & Sons, 1933), 184.98 The Levant Company used to run a consulate, a factory, and a warehouse in Smyrna. In addition to Allepo in Syria, it was one of the main bases of operation for the company merchants. Daniel Goffman, Britons in the Ottoman Empire 1642-1660 (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1988), 74.
48 in London or in the south of England.99 These people emigrated with the help and protection of their powerful patrons, merchants of the Levant Company on the English side, and high ecclesiastical officials, such as bishops of the Rum milleton the Ottoman side, who had a vital interest in developing good diplomatic relations with the Christian powers of Europe. The policy of cooperation of the leaders of the Rum millet was not just a desire of the Ottoman side to seek powerful protectors in the West or to make a profit trading with distant lands. King James, for example, found cooperation with the Ottoman Christians extremely useful and congenial. He used it to present himself to the European and domestic audience as one of the most important leaders of the Christian world, somebody who could rival the papal leadership.100As a consequence of this relationship the Ottoman coffee men established relations not only with the merchants of the Levant Company, living and working in the Ottoman ports, but also with the courtly circles, who were the first to show some interest in the coffee. For this reason I believe it is justified to call this phase a courtly phase in the advent of coffee to England. The future developments of the coffee houses took part mostly in the burgeoning metropolis of the country, London. 99 See State Papers (Domestic), James I, vol. 131, art. 104 as listed in Lists of Foreign Protestants, and Aliens Resident in England 1618-1688 (London: Camden Society, 1862).100 H. R. Trevor-Roper, The Church of England and the Greek Church in the Time of Charles I in Derek Baker ed., Religious Motivation: Biographical and Sociological Problem for the Church Historian, Studies in the Church History XV (Oxford: Blackwell, 1978), 217.
49 Brewing Coffee under Puritanism 101When the Parliamentarians executed Charles I they also temporarily halted the development of the courtly culture in England.102 With the court gone, the former courtiers either followed the remainder of the royal family into exile or retired to their country estates where they bought time till the Restoration.103While the court was around, it determined and dictated the taste by encouraging seemly behavior and ridiculing the unbecoming. Taste has always been a social weapon, especially in the high-powered game of courtly intrigue.104 The courtly taste has determined that coffee was to be used primarily for medical purposes. Now under the new regime the big transformation of coffee from a courtly curiosity to the revolutionary refreshment could took place. During the eleven years of the Parliamentary government and the rule of the Lord Protector, the ties that bound coffee to the court were severed. 101 For the sake of simplicity I use the word Puritan to denote all those who opposed Charles in the civil war and were sympathetic to the Parliamentary cause. 102 Norbert Elias developed his analytical concept of courtly culture mostly on the model of the French court under Louis XIV. Some aspects of his analysis could be applied to England. Elias readily admitted, in England the king and court did not constitute a power center overshadowing all others. In spite of this admission, Elias also pointed out that early modern England possessed the basic elements of courtly culture, such as competitive prestige buildings (by the aristocracy and the rich bourgeois landowners, the gentry), status-driven consumption, and the usage of etiquette and ceremony to exclude and include. See Norbert Elias, The Court Society (New York: Pantheon Books, 1983), 67-69.103 On the exiled Cavaliers, their work on the Restoration, and their prominent position in the Restored monarchy see Geoffrey Smith, The Cavaliers in Exile (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2003), 197-213 and Keith Feiling, A History of the Tory Party: 1640-1714 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1924).104 Bourdieu, Judgment of Taste, 110.
50 The execution of the king and the disbanding of the court led also to the transformation of the taste, especially among the upper classes. As the shorthaired, modestly dressed Roundheads won the war against the longhaired conspicuously dressed Cavaliers almost everything related to the taste changed, from the style of the dress to the way in which they prayed and celebrated holidays.105 Coffee still remained the item of distinction available only to the top echelons of the society, but it soon moved from the narrow surrounding of the aristocratic courtiers to the houses of wealthy merchants. Daniel Edwards, who employed the Ottoman coffee man, Pasqua Rose, as his household servant, was one of such men. Every morning, Pasqua made coffee for Mr. Edwards and his friends. Edwards got used to coffee during his extended stays in the Ottoman Empire, much as many other merchants of the Levant Company. The drink became so popular that Mr. Edwards friends urged him to establish a coffee house.106 With the opening of coffee houses coffee ceased to be a medical curiosity of the court. Levant Company merchants had traded with the Ottoman Empire since 1583 when the company was founded. Why had not they introduced coffee and coffee houses to England earlier? The first coffee house opened in England during the Commonwealth for several reasons. Crackdown on traditional forms of entertainment, especially those associated with the popery such as processions, religious feasts, and carnivals, required the establishment of the alternate forms of socializing and 105 David Kuchta, The Three-Piece Suit and Modern Masculinity: England 1550-1850 (Berkeley and Los Angeles, University of California Press, 2002), 55. 106 John Richardson, The Annals of London (Berkeley and London, University of California Press, 2000), 134.
51 entertaining. Puritan dislike of the excessive intoxication by alcoholic drinks, including the always-popular beer, is often exaggerated, but it might have played a role. The increased taxation of alehouses, caused by the high prices of grain and the increased tax burden required to finance the civil war also contributed to the emergence of the new drink and the venue in which in can be consumed. The most important reason, in my opinion, is purely the change of attitude and taste. The interest in Islam and in all the things coming from the strongest and most influential Islamic state, the Ottoman Empire, increased during the period when various groups of Roundheads controlled the English Parliament and its army. Following the logic of the saying, enemy of my enemy is my friend, the impeccable anti-popish credentials of the Ottoman Empire must have helped the Puritans to digest the hot, black, and unsavory beverage from the Near East.107Even though the first encounter with coffee in England occurred in the polished High Church Anglican oriented royal court, coffee gained in popularity and descended into the streets of London and other English towns, at the same time the first translation of the Quran into English appeared. Was that a coincidence? I think not. The anonymous tract obviously not sympathetic to the parliamentary cause reiterated the common perception just after the failure of the Protectorate, 107 The usage of the anti-Catholic rhetoric to build popular support for the Parliamentary cause has long been an established topic among the revisionist historians of the English Civil War. See: Robin Clifton, Fear of Popery in Conrad Russell ed., The Origins of the English Civil War (New York: Harper and Row, 1973); John Kenyon, The Popish Plot (London: Heinemann, 1972); John Miller, Popery and Politics in England 1660-1688 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1973).
52 When coffee once was vended here, the Alcoran (Quran) shortly did appear, for our reformers were such widgeons, new liquors brought in new religions.108Edward Pococke Pococke represents one of the people involved with the courtly phase of coffees popularity in England, when coffee was primarily a luxury item popular in the courtly circle, mostly as a medical remedy and not as a beverage. During that period coffees role at the court was comparable to that of other luxury foreign items such as ancient manuscripts and antiquities. Archbishop Laud avidly collected ancient manuscripts, and Pococke managed, during his tenure as chaplain in Aleppo, to acquire several important Oriental manuscripts. He then attracted notice of Laud who commissioned him several times for the purchase of ancient Greek coins and manuscripts.109 Pococke was a part of the circle of people around the archbishop who as the chancellor of the Oxford University helped Pococke receive his post, and both men generally preferred to cooperate with Christian subjects of the Ottoman Sultan. During his missions to acquire manuscripts Pococke cooperated with the Greek patriarch in Constantinople, Cyril Loukaris.110 At Oxford, he was closely connected with Nathaniel Kanopios, a Greek who was the first to drink coffee at Oxford. 108 Character of a Coffee-House, (London, 1665).109 Dictonary of National Biography, s. v. Pococke Edward.110 The city on the Bosphorus changed its name to Istanbul only after the Turkish Republic was established in 1924. The Ottoman kept the name. In Turkish it was pronounced Constantiniya.
53 In his attitude toward the Orient Pococke represented the old regime. The proponents of the new regime in general saw the Islamic world in a somewhat better light than the high-church courtiers who attended the Jacobean and Caroline courts. While the people such as Archbishop Laud preferred to deal with Ottoman Christians, the Puritans were not enthralled with the Oriental Christians like Pasqua Rose and Nathaniel Konopios, who reminded them of their High Church opponents. This transformation in the attitudes was a longterm process, but its beginnings could be well seen through the life of Edward Pococke. I have already mentioned Pococke regarding the manuscript trade organized by Sir Thomas Roe, the ambassador, on behalf of archbishop Laud. In this chapter Pococke deserves another look, because not only he lived during the courtly phase of coffee drinking, but continued to show interest in coffee during the Commonwealth. His treatise On the Nature of the Drink Kauhi or Coffee shows how he was able to keep alive the interest in coffee during the uncertain and perilous time of regime change.111Pococke graduated from Oxford in 1626 with a strong interest in oriental studies. Matthias Pasor, the renowned German Arabist stimulated Pocockes interest in Near Eastern languages and culture. Because of his pioneering work in the field of Oriental languages, Pococke is often considered the father of Arabic studies in England.112 In 1630 he was appointed chaplain to the Levant 111 Pococke translated Antaki, Dawud ibn 'Umar, The Nature of the Drink Kauhi, or Coffe, and the Berry of which it is Made, Described by an Arabian Phisitian (Oxford: Henry Hall, 1659); Microfilm. Ann Arbor, Mich. University Microfilms, 1964. (Early English books, 1641-1700; 140:2).112 Dictonary of National Biography, s.v. Pococke, Edward, vol. 15, 8.
54 Company at Aleppo in Syria where he stayed till the early 1634, when he was appointed professor of Arabic at Oxford. During he stay in Aleppo, he acquired a large number of Arabic, Hebrew, Ethiopic, and Armenian manuscripts. As an avid manuscript collector, he caught attention of Archbishop Laud, who in 1637 instructed Pococke to sail back to the Ottoman Empire to collect more manuscripts. This time Pococke resided in Constantinople, acting as a chaplain of the British embassy and came into contact with all the people connected with the manuscript trade already mentioned, including the influential patriarch, Cyril Lucaris. The luck of Edward Pococke seems to have changed when he returned to England in the Spring of 1641, because Archbishop Laud, his patron and protector, had already gone to the Tower. His teaching position at Oxford suddenly became uncertain. On May 1, 1647 a committee appointed for the visitation and reformation of the university of Oxford visited and questioned him, but seems to have favored him. He was appointed to the professorship of Hebrew, suddenly left vacant by the death of John Morris on March 21, 1647. On May 19, 1648, the committee called him again for another round of questioning, but he refused to appear. Consequently, on October 24, 1650, he was dismissed from his canonry and left without means to support himself and his family. In December of 1650 he was deprived of lectureships in both Hebrew and Arabic. His colleagues, including the vice-chancellor, proctors, several heads of houses, and numerous fellows, signed the petition begging the committee that the late vote, as to the Arabic lecture, at least, should be suspended in view of Pocockes
55 great learning and peaceable conduct.113 Pococke was allowed to continue the lectureship, but was left without the canonry, the main source of his salary. One of the Pocockes problems was that his canonry in Childrey in Berkshire was given to Peter French, Oliver Cromwells brother-in-law. Luckily for Pococke, the chair in Arabic was still supported by the generous endowment already made by Archbishop Laud in 1640. Although Pocockes canonry was not returned to him until the Restoration, he continued to work at Oxford. His widely acknowledged learning proved useful under the Parliamentary rule as well. The new regime took great interest in the publication of the accurately collated text of the Bible, so Pococke participated in the project Biblia Sacra Polyglotta published in 1657 by contributing to it from his collection of Arabic biblical manuscripts. Puritans showed a growing interest in the more accurate biblical text. To achieved that they needed a better knowledge of oriental languages, such as Hebrew and Arabic. The attitudes toward Islam and all things Islamic also had changed in England. The first translation of the Quran came out of the printing press in 1649. The same year Pococke published the first book in England printed in Arabic script, his Specimen Historiae Arabum. After the first unpleasant encounter with the committee for the visitation and reformation of the university of Oxford, Pococke was not only left to pursue his interest in Arabic, but also participated in joint projects, such as polyglot Bible, encouraged by the new authorities, and published a translation of a small medical tract on coffee. 113 Dictionary of National Biography, s.v. Pococke, Edwards.
56 The medical treatise The Nature of the Drink Kauhi or Coffee bridged the two eras in the history of coffee. On the one hand, the translation of an Arabic medical tract explained the medicinal benefits of coffee. It mentioned nothing about coffee as a social drink. On the other hand, its publication indicated an increasing interest in coffee. The treatise filled the need for trustworthy and professional information about coffee and aimed at dispelling some wide spread negative preconceptions about coffee. The tract was not polemical, but strictly informative. It described where the coffee grew (Yemen), what the plant looked like, and for what kind of illnesses it could have been used. Its main purpose was to dispel doubts and clarify misinformation. It stands in clear opposition to the many tracts published during the Restoration aimed at bringing coffee into disrepute. The number of polemical writings about coffee bear witness that such negative attitudes were common and widely spread.114In the world of Edward Pococke, coffee was still a medical remedy. He was not the only one holding this belief. The tract A Character of Coffee published in 1661 and reprinted many times later still showed amazement that people would actually drink something that was widely considered a medicine: Coffee is a Dryer, and therefore with successe is drunk by those Gentlemen, who are infected with the French-pox, which is now become the Characteristal difference between the plumed Nobless and the highshoon. Alas, Vertue is a pedantical and vulgar quality. 'Tis extolled for drying up the Crudities of the Stomack, and for expelling Fumes out of the Head.Excellent Berry! which can cleanse the English-man's Stomak of Flegm, and expel Giddinesse out of his Head. Yet it is certain, that for the 114 Coffee was notoriously linked with the dryness of the body and impotence. See The Womens Petition against Coffee (London, 1674) which says: Coffee drying up the radical moisture has so eunucht our husbands that they become as impotent as age and as unfruitful as those deserts whence that unhappy berry is said to be brought.
57 small space of an hour or thereabouts it hath expelled out of an English head and Stomack these infirmities.115A Character of Coffee contained the same information that Pococke provided to the public with his translation of an Arabic medical tract. Its author complained that suddenly under the Commonwealth something possessed the English to start drinking coffee. The only explanation that he can provided was that the Protectorate was just a period in which the English simply lost their minds, six or seven years ago was it first brought into England, when the palates of the English were as fanatical, as their brains.116 Such an attitude calls for an examination of whether or not this change in taste has anything to do with the Puritan rule over the kingdom?Puritans, Islam, and CoffeeIn May of 1649, just several months after the detached kings head was shown to the curious crowd in front of the Whitehall Palace, Alexander Ross finished his translation of the Quran into English.117 The publication of Alcoran (the title is an Anglicized version of the Arabic Al-Quran ) signaled the change of attitude of the English toward Islam and the Ottoman Empire. The change in attitude toward Islam and coffee as a product coming from the preeminently 115 A Character of Coffee and Coffee Houses, London, 1661, 2-3.116 Ibid.117 Alexander Ross, The Alcoran of Mahomet (London, 1649).
58 Islamic Ottoman Empire took a long time.118 Even though the first coffee house in London opened during the Protectorate, this had very little to do with the Puritan favoring the coffee either as an alternative to intoxicating alcohol or as a symbol of anti-Catholic Ottoman Empire.119Pasqua Rose and most of the Ottoman Coffee Men were almost exclusively Christian. This was not surprising at all. Christians were the secondclass citizens in the Ottoman Empire and eagerly sought help from the Christian Nations of Western Europe. The turmoil in the Ottoman Empire, including the Sultans ordering of the violent murder of the Patriarch Lucaris in 1639 also contributed to the tide of immigration. The Cavaliers, for their part, preferred to deal with Ottoman Christians rather than Muslims. They as High Churchmen followed the policy established by King James I which saw Britain as the core around which a non-papist Christian alliance would be formed.120 The Puritans as with most of the population at that time did not accept coffee as a symbol of Islam and the Ottoman Empire. The deep-seated religious animosity toward Islam and all things Islamic united both sides in the civil war. Some of the more radical Puritans, such as John Foxe, Thomas Brightman, Hugh Broughtone, Thomas Draxe, Joseph Mede, and John Napier, had seen the Ottoman Empire 118 In the popular perception of the English the Ottoman Empire was the Islamic Empire. The details of Arabic and Islamic history were simply either unknown and deemed irrelevant. Most of the tracts that mention Islam start with the short mentioning of Muhammad and than quickly move the contemporary threat to Europe and Christianity, the Ottoman Turks. See John Foxe, Acts and Monuments, vol. Iv, p. 21. See also Matar, Islam in Britain, 154-56.119 Schivelbusch suggested that coffee appealed to the Protestants because it fit well with the Protestant Work-Ethic. Schivelbusch, Tastes of Paradise, 35-64. I suggested in the last chapter that coffee under James II became the symbol of anti-popery, but not during the Commonwealth.120 Kenneth Fincham and Peter Lake, The Ecclesiastical Policy of King James I, Journal of British Studies, 24:2 (April 1985), 169-207.
59 as the Little Horn in the Book of Daniel, while reserving the title of the Big Horn for the pope.121 That notwithstanding, considering Islam a lesser evil than the papacy does not erase the fact that Islam still remained the enemy. The extraordinary military triumphs of the Ottoman Empire in the sixteenth and seventeenth century further supported the eschatological view that the successes of Islam represented a sign of the approaching Day of Judgment. When the first coffee houses opened in London they engendered a considerable animosity. Some of that animosity originated on the level of symbolism, namely that the Turkish drink was being consumed in England. Some of the animosity occurred as the expected resistance of a traditional society to new things. For example, in 1657 James Farr, barber and keeper of the Rainbow coffee house by Inner Temple Gate, was arraigned for making and selling a sort of liquor called coffee, as a great nuisance and prejudice of the neighborhood. He was prosecuted for his evil smells and for keeping fire for the most part night and day, whereby his chimney and chamber hath been set on fire, to the great danger and affrightment of his neighbors.122 While the long-standing fear of fire held by Londoners should not be underestimated, the language of the indictment indicated both prejudice against coffee (evil smells) and fear of the new (selling a sort of liquor). The Londoners felt uneasy about the newly opened coffee houses and their fear went beyond the customary caution over the dangers of fire in the city. They feared coffee because it was new, foreign, and Oriental. The 121 Matar, Islam in Britain, 154. 122 John Richardson, The Annals of London (Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 2000), 136.
60 Londoners under the Commonwealth did not welcome coffee and consequently, the beverage was not a puritan alternative to ale, beer, and wine. Of the three symbolic dimensions associated with coffee, the new, the foreign, and the Islamic, the emphasis was mainly on the new and the foreign. The fear of an Islamic drink played a secondary role. Unlike some of the Mediterranean countries where identification of the Turk with the Antichrist was much more widespread, in England the Turk was seen as less of a menace.123 In the context of intensified apocalyptic expectations during the Puritan Revolution, a considerable diversity of opinions existed about how great of a danger the Great Turk represented. Some like Aylmer and Foxe were prepared to add the Great Turk to the Pope as Antichrist.124 Others denied this status to the Turk, because he was not a Christian.125 Richard Montagu, on the other hand, proposed that the Great Turk and not the pope was an Antichrist.126 One of the Ottoman coffee man, a Greek named Christopher Angelos, while studying at Balliol College, Oxford, became convinced that the Great Turk was really the antichrist, but his English audience took his warnings lightly. William Burton who 123 Christopher Hill, Antichrist in Seventeenth-Century England (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1971), 181. The Southern and Eastern Europe was under a much greater treat from the Ottoman Empire and it is understandable that the anxiety over things Turkish would be greater there. This might be the reason why coffee houses in Italy started to appear only in the later part of the seventeenth century, even though Italians have know about coffee from the late sixteenth century. 124 John Aylmer, An Harborowe for Faithfull and trewe Subjects.; John Foxe, Acts and Monuments, vol. Iv, p. 21. See Hill, Antichrist, 181. 125 J. Rainolds, The Discovery of the Manne of Sinne (1614), 14; J Mede, The Apostasy of the Latter Times (2nd ed. 1644), 46-53; Durham, Commentaries Upon the Book of the Revelations, 572. See Hill, Antichrist, 181. 126 Montagu, A New Gagg for An Old Goose (1624), 73-75. Montagu belonged to the HighChurch party. He was not kind to the pope (suggesting that pope while not, was just an antichrist. See Hill, Antichrist, 35.
61 knew Christopher personally wrote about his vision that the Great Turk was the Antichrist saying, I cannot blame the poor Greek for thinking so, considering the horrid tyranny and slavery his countrymen live under, being vassals to the Great Turk I rather wonder that there should be found among us learned men who are abettors of this opinion.127In sum, the Protestants did not react to coffee differently from the Catholics. When in 1581 pope Clement VIII was first offered to taste coffee brought to him by Venetian and Genoese merchants, some priest in Rome expressed a genuine concern that it was an infidel Muslim drink. The pope responded: This Satan's drink is so delicious that it would be a pity to let the infidels have exclusive use of it. We shall cheat Satan by baptizing it." In other words, the initial prejudice and hesitation about coffee were not deep seated and they quickly dissipated. One can easily overemphasize the relationship between religion and coffee during the Commonwealth, since the symbolic connection between coffee and Islam became much more pronounced during the Restoration when the Tories started to accuse the Whigs of being unpatriotic and sympathetic to heretical Mohammedanism. In this way one should read many jokes popular especially in the early days of the Restoration that coffee and commonwealth begin both with one letter, both came in together for a Reformation, to make a free and sober nation.128 In response to such an insinuation, coffee began to 127 J. H. Alsted, The Beloved City (translated by William Burton, 1643), 73, translators marginal note. Cf. Hill, Antichrist, 182. 128 The Character of a Coffee House (London 1665), 6.
62 appeal to the Whigs because of its association with the Ottoman Empire, a state with impeccable record of anti-popery. The Roundheads, however, did not eagerly embrace all things Islamic, such as coffee. Restrained and ascetic Sufis of the Ottoman Empire first embraced coffee and made it popular because the beverage made it possible to stay awake during long hours of Sufi meditation. Puritans were not Protestant Sufis, and their ascetic tendencies should not lead one to believe that English Puritans loved coffee for the same reason. No evidence indicated that the Puritans ever used coffee to help them stay awake during the long hours of prayer, bible study, and meditation. In spite of the claims to the contrary, no connection existed between the Protestant ethics of the Puritans and the similar social, moral, and religious attitudes of the ascetic Sufis in the Near East.129However, a connection did exist between the Roundhead victory in the Civil War and the opening of the first coffee houses in London. One of the connecting lines crossed over into the foreign policy. Unlike the diplomacy of his Stuart predecessors, Oliver Cromwells foreign policy clearly sought a European Calvinist alliance under the English leadership. It also presupposed and encouraged domestically popular aggressive anti-Catholicism, especially accentuated by the so-called Western Design against Spanish colonies in the West Indies. During the Anglo-Spanish war (1655-1660), England not only defeated Spanish armies in the Netherlands, but also gained the island of Jamaica, an island that was going to play a very important role in the history of 129 Contrary to the claims of Schivelbusch, Tastes of Paradise, 35-64.
63 coffee in the subsequent centuries.130 None of the MPs sitting in the Rump and the Barebones Parliament could have guessed that Jamaica was destined to become one of the main supplier of coffee to the British Isles, but their plans and actions, such as Western Design and the First Anglo-Dutch War (1652-1654), contributed to the transformation of coffee from the drink of courtly curiosity to the favorite beverage of the Whig revolutionaries in the Restoration period.131The change of cultural attitudes toward coffee occurred slowly, but there was no doubt that the process started under the Commonwealth. Coffee became popular during the Protectorate for many reasons. Some of those reasons fall in the realm of economy; others indicate cultural changes. All of them had to do with the abruptly interrupted development of the courtly culture in England.Taxing the Alehouses 130 In 1728, Sir Nicholas Lawes, the then Governor of Jamaica, imported coffee into Jamaica from the French Martinique. The country was ideal for this cultivation and nine years after its introduction to this Caribbean island in English possession 83,000 lbs. of coffee was exported. Elizabeth Boody Schumpeter, English Overseas Trade Statistics 1697-1808 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1960), 27. 131 The Dutch were paramount in the inclusion of the coffee trade in the Atlantic economy. They were able to secure a living plant from Yemen in 1690, thus ending the Ottoman monopoly. In 1706 the Dutch Sovereigns donated plants to all the great courts of that time. Louis XIV unimpressed by this exotic novelty, gave the plant to the royal botanist who was able to grow it successfully in Paris botanical garden. A young marine officer, Gabriel Mathieu de Cleu, who was familiar with the climate in the Dutch colonies, concluded that coffee could easily be planted in France's American colonies. One night, he stole precious plants that were jealously guarded in the botanical garden and put them aboard a cargo ship heading for Martinique. The Crossing was particularly trying. These precious plants, while escaping the pillage of pirates, were completely soaked in seawater during a storm and them suffered from a shortage of water. De Cleu had to share his daily ration order to bring his precious cargo to port. In spite of all these drawbacks, the plants were particularly strong and in a short time were plentiful in the Indies. They were even found in the French and Dutch colonies of the south where the sale of stems of coffee beans could bring the death penalty. K. N. Chaudhuri, Trade and Civilization in the Indian Ocean: An Economic History from the Rise of Islam to 1750 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1985), 245.
64 Peter Clark suggested that the rising prices of beer and ale, resulted from the price of grain which was in short supply and expensive during the Civil War. That made it possible for coffee to assert itself as a cheaper alternative.132Clarks thesis certainly has merits especially in explaining the opening of the first coffee houses in London in 1652 when the price of grain still stood very high. For the period from 1647 to 1649, just before the first coffee houses opened in London, the price of grain reached its highest level for the years between 1640 and 1750.133 During the two years ensuing the kings execution in January of 1649 the price stood on average at over 160% of the ordinary for the period 1640-1750.134 This section examines the economic forces that made possible the appearance of coffee houses. The competition in the hostelry trade was brutal. In the city of London as well as in nearby towns of Westminster and Southwark the hostelry trade included ale-selling pubs (alehouses), wine selling taverns, and many inns that offered lodging as well as food and beverage. The dividing line between alehouses, taverns, and inns was very often blurred. Taverns commonly sold ale in addition to wine and both alehouses and taverns provided customers with food even though the authorities tried to keep eating and drinking separate.135 Brutal competition represented only one side of the coin. Early modern cities also 132 Peter Clark, The English Alehouse: A Social History 1200-1830 (London: Longman, 1983), 13.133 H. A. Monckton,A History of English Ale and Beer (London, Sydney, Toronto: The Bodley Head, 1966), 110-18.134 J. Thirsk ed., The Agrarian History of England and Wales, vol. V. ii, 1640-1750, (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1985), 847.135 In 1585 the Westminster court of burgesses stipulated, no person or persons that now keepeth or that hereafter shall keep any cooks shop shall also keep a common alehouse. See Gervase Rosser, Medieval Westminster 1200-1540 (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1989), 128.
65 provided the hostelry traders with an ever-expending unsaturated market. No city ordinance was able to stop the growth of alehouses and taverns. In 1585 the burgesses tried to limit the number of common alehouses in, for example, St Margarets parish to sixty, but apparently without much success.136 Legislation to control the growth had been established by a statute of Edward VI, which had set up the licensing sessions and required recognizance backed by two sureties.137The playwright Thomas Dekker claimed in 1632 that whole streets of the capital had become but a continued alehouse.138 The city grew rapidly and it required the hostelry industry. It continued to grow before, during, and after the Civil War. A tally made on the basis of Pepys diaries, indicating the situation in May of 1663, shows the existence of over 1000 alehouse and over 400 wine-serving taverns in the City of London. Immediately after the Restoration there were already over eighty coffee houses.139 It seems that by controlling the alehouses, both royalist and puritan authorities created an opening for a new sort of hostelry, the coffee house. It is well known that King Charles I, strapped for cash during the period of personal rule, sought alternate ways of raising money, especially levying taxes by royal prerogative. In 1635 the Privy Council discussed the question of a beer duty. 140 The proposed duty was 6d on every barrel of beer which would yield an 136 J. C. Jeaffreson, ed., Middlesex County Records, vol. I (London, 1886), II. See also Rosser, Medieval Westminster, 122. 137 Fletcher, Reform in the Provinces, 232. 138 Kevin Sharpe, Personal Rule, 483 n. 609.139 Robert Latham and William. Matthews eds., The Diaries of Samuel Pepys, 11 vols. (Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1970-83) 10:70.140 Monckton, Ale and Beer, 114.
66 estimated 0,000 a year. Brewers and maltsters accepted the proposal as a compromise solution because the Council also intended to force the private brewers into an incorporated brewer trade. When Charles called the Parliament in 1639 the duty was abolished. The duty was extremely unpopular as it is indicated by the fact that the amount of money the government was able to collect during the two year while the duty was enforces fell far short from the over-optimistic estimates of the Privy Council. For the two-year period 1637-39 only ,000 was collected of the revised projected estimate of 12,000.141Shortly after the beginning of the Civil War in 1642, the Parliament voted even higher duties on beer than during the personal rule of the king. In 1643 the Parliament voted the beer duty amounting to 6d a barrel on regular brew and even a higher amount on the stronger brew. Civil War imposed great financial strains on the finance of the both sides. In 1645 it became obvious that the beer duty had to be raised again and the Parliament voted a five percent value added tax imposed upon hops. The royalist side imposed similar measures in the territory under the kings control. The king issued a warrant from Oxford in 1645 stating that the royalists would also levy the same duties. These duties were unpopular and hard to collect. Proper officials had to visit both the brewery and the place of sale and take accounts of worts brewed and beer received and sold. The Commonwealth imposed even greater control on the brewing industry, especially once the tax system was reorganized and the revenues from the three island kingdoms were united into a single treasury in 1656. At the end of each 141 Monckton, Ale and Beer, 110-118.
67 week the brewer was required to attend his local revenue office and to declare the quantity of beer and ale made during the period and to pay the duties under penalty of double the amount. During this time the annual revenue from beer duties amounted to some ,000, or approximately ten times the amount projected by the Privy Council in 1635. That Oliver Cromwells mother was a brewer in Huntingdon did not prevent the Lord Protector from imposing his heavy hand on the brewing industry.142In addition to continuously increasing beer duties, brewers and maltsters faced another difficulty caused by the war. During the years of Civil War and Interregnum, the high prices of grain hit hard the main suppliers of alehouses, the brewers of beer. These two factors, namely, the increased cost of operating alehouses due to the amplified regulations and the increased price of grains used to produce ale and beer, combined to force many alehouse owners into a difficult economic position. Coffee suddenly acquired an opening in the competitive market of the hostelry trade. As an imported item its initial cost was probably extremely high. However, once the initial purchase of the coffee beans is made, no other significant expenses ensued, because the only thing the coffee maker had to do was to boil the roasted beans in hot water. The earliest surviving recipe for brewing coffee indicates that the beverage was extremely watered down.143 142 Monckton, Ale and Beer, 110-118.143 The earliest surviving recipe says take a gallon of faire water and boyle it until halfe be wasted, and then take of that water one pint, and make it boile, and then put in one spoonful of the powder of coffee and let it boyle on quarter of an hour, stiring of it two or three times, for fear of running over, and drink it as hot as you can. Archdale Palmer, Recipe Book 1659-72 (Leicestershire: Wymondham, 1985) op. cit. Cf. Liza Picard, Restoration London (New York: Avon Books, 2000), 158.
68 Finally, the new kind of hostelry was essentially unregulated and consequently not so heavily burdened by licensing fees. The licensing of coffee houses was introduced in 1663, some ten years after the first coffee houses opened in 1652.144 Coffee makers used the window of opportunity between 1652 and 1663 to start and increase the trade under favorable circumstance. The crisis of grain shortage was the highest during the Civil Wars and had its effect on the beer production. Once the dust of the Civil War has settled, a new foreign crisis could have affected the emergence of coffee houses in Commonwealth London. During the First Anglo-Dutch war (1652-1654), the English trading companies, especially the Levant and East India Companies, found themselves in a very difficult crunch.145 The Dutch navy pursued them in all trading areas, significantly reducing their ability to trade, especially in the Mediterranean, where the Dutch dominated.146 Additionally, the Rump and the Barebones Parliaments pressed them hard to convert their trading ship to the military use. With their profits declining because of the Anglo-Dutch war, it might not be unreasonable to suggest that some of them, such as Mr. Edwards, the merchant of the Levant Company, might have turned to coffee houses as an alternative source of revenue. 144 By 1663, when licensing was introduced, there were eighty-two coffee houses in the City, and by 1739, according to Maitland, there were 551 in the whole of London. See Stephen Inwood, A History of London (New York: Carroll & Graf Publishers, 1998), 677.145 Steven Pincus, Protestantism and Patriotism: Ideologies and the Making of English Foreign Policy 1650-1668 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996), 98-99.146 Until the opening of the direct coffee trade route to Yemen by the East India Company, England still imported most of its coffee indirectly from the Ottoman Empire and through the Turkey Company. The shift in trade patterns began to occur around 1681 when the Turkey Company launched a formal allegation to the Privy Council against the East India Company. See the pamphlet: Allegations of the Turkey Company against the East India Company (London, 17 of August 1681)
69 The Lack of NewsAs far as politics was concerned Puritan London was a very eventful place to live in, but social life, entertainment, public celebrations, and social gatherings certainly suffered some setbacks, in particular when they are compared to the jolly life in the Restoration London. While the civil war did not provide many opportunities for leisure, the new government curtailed many of the traditional reasons for public celebration because they were linked with the old religion and the courtly extravagance.147 Restrictions were placed also on the publication of newspapers, so that under the Protectorate only two weeklies were allowed to be published,Publick Intelligencer and Mercurius Politicus.Both papers were primarily occupied with the foreign affairs and rarely reported on internal issues, further creating a lack of information that needed to be filled. Puritans, who won the majority in the Londons Common Council in October of 1641, attempted many times to impose their vision of law and order on the city that was still largely medieval and generally considered uncontrollable. King Charles left the city on January 10, 1642 and with him left the courtiers and many Londons aldermen who in contrast to the Common Council mostly sided with the king. The impeachment of the royalist leaning Lord Mayor, Sir Richard Gurney, and the election of the Puritan one set up the new order in the city. 147 Sharpe, Personal Rule, 503-7.
70 The crackdown on leisure occurred gradually but consistently. First, the ordinance issued in 1642 closed down Londons theaters for the reason that public sports do not well agree with public calamities, nor public stage plays with the seasons of humiliation.148 The new ordinance with the same objective had to be issued in 1647, apparently because the first one was not entirely observed. Lack of entertainment in the Commonwealth London must have contributed to the opening of the first coffee houses. It is wrong to see the London Roundheads as puritan prudes who objected to any sort of entertainment. The new government, including the members of the Long Parliament, who in 1642 also attempted to close Londons theaters, did not hate theater per se, but objected to an institution that was, since the Elizabethan period, closely associated with the court. In closing the theaters, the Roundheads sought not to ban fun, but to uproot the courtly culture.149As the Puritan regime consolidated its power, the censorship of the grew even more severe culminating in the 1665 decision by Oliver Cromwell to suppress the licensed press (two official weeklies at the time) and allow only the publication of a single official newspaper called the Publick Intelligencer. The need for alternative sources of information contributed greatly to the popularity of newly emerging coffee houses. In addition to being the places where one can drink coffee, tea, and hot chocolate, coffee houses were also places for socialization, exchange of information, and reading rooms. The need to have a 148 John Richardson, The Annals of London (Berkeley and London, University of California Press, 2000), 131.149 Thomas N. Corns, Literature and History in Barry Coward ed., A Companion to Stuart Britain(Oxford: Blackwell Publishing, 2003), 167.
71 place where uncensored information can be obtained, mostly by the word of mouth, contributed much more to the emergence and popularity of coffee houses than the crisis in the price of grain or the crackdown on other forms of entertainment such as theaters.150The connection between the government censorship of the news under the Protectorate and the emergence of coffee houses around the Royal Exchange in the city existed in time and perhaps causation. The merchants of London were the first customers of newly opened coffee houses and they needed reliable information not readily available in the Publick Intelligencer. Coffee became an integral part of the merchants daily routine. Just around the corner from the Royal Exchange in St Michaels Alley, Pasqua Rose opened his first coffee shop in London in 1652. Surrounding alleys soon housed new coffee houses. It is estimated that by 1663 there were already 83 coffee houses in London.151 The exchange hummed with activities, both regulated and unregulated, and coffee became a part of the activities surrounding the Exchange. The main business of the exchange was conducted in the courtyard and around the covered walks that surrounded it. Above the central courtyard, there were small shops milliners, armourers, apothecaries, booksellers, goldsmiths, and many others. At the entrance of the exchange at the Cornhill gate women sold fruit and were often persecuted for this activity.152 In the 150 C. John Sommerville, The News Revolution in England: Cultural Dynamics of Daily Information (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1996), 125-27.151 This is a rough estimate on the basis of Pepys diaries. See also Pepys London exhibition at the Museum of London web site at www.museumoflondon.org.uk 152 Ben Weinreb and Christopher Hibbert eds., The London Encyclopedia (London, Macmillan, 1983), s.v. Royal Exchange.
72 surrounding alleys coffee houses, taverns, and inns, stood ready to host the merchants, their partners, and their clients. The proximity of the Royal Exchange to the first coffee house indicates who were the first patrons of the new establishment. Samuel Pepys diaries further confirm this connection between coffee houses and the London commercial activities. Writing immediately after the Restoration Pepys mentions numerous coffee houses not only in the vicinity of the Exchange, but also all around the City. The diaries of Samuel Pepys contain over hundred references to coffee houses before the Great Fire. A typical entry described him making the round from the Guild Hall to Westminster Hall and ends with a relaxing evening in a coffee house, usually accompanied by a friend. For example: To the Wardrobe and there with my Lord went into his new barge to try her Back to the Wardrobe with my Lord and then with Mr. Moore to the Temple. And then to Greatrex (goldsmith) who took me to Arundell-house and there showed me some fine flowers in his garden and all the fine statues in the gallery And then to a blind dark cellar, where we had two bottle of good ale I took a boat at Arundell-stayers To the office, where Sir R. Slingsby was, and he and I went into his and my lodgings to take a view of them To the office again Then the Comptroller and I to the Coffee-house and there sat a great while, talking of many things So home and to bed.153Many contemporary sources supply a clear indication that the thirst for news was one of the main reasons why various classes of people flocked to coffee houses. Contemporary accounts described customers asking about the news right away as they would enter the establishment, What news have you, master?, or more elaborately, Your servant Sir, what news from Tripoli? Do the 153 Robert Latham and William. Matthews eds., The Diaries of Samuel Pepys, 11 vols. (Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1970-83), 2:110-11. Even though Pepys was writing immediately after Restoration, one could assume that the daily routine of a typical upper class Londoner would not have changed over night because of the change of regime.
73 weeks pamphlets in the works agree?154 Another account presented a invitation to a coffee house describing the company to be met there, You that delight in wit and mirth, and long to hear such news, as comes from all parts of the earth, Dutch, Danes, and Tirks, and Jews, Ile send yee to a rendezvous, where it is smoaking new; Go hear it at a coffee-house, it cannot but be true.155Coffee then first emerged as a popular drink among the merchants of London. Coffee houses provided a venue for the exchange of information that became a precious commodity under the Protectorate. While coffee was still considered a foreign curiosity, its symbolism as a drink of the Islamic Ottoman Empire played a very small part, if any, in the process. Economic factors, such as the rise in the price of grain, the necessary ingredient for beer and ale, might not have caused the emergence of the alternative hostelry venue, but it certainly helped the nascent coffee houses that the competition was in a crisis. Coffee was known in England since the 1620s or 1630s, but that knowledge was restricted to the well-informed circles around the court. Suddenly, under the Protectorate it burst into the streets of London. What happen in 1650s was not really the coming of coffee to England, because coffee had already arrived there several decades earlier. Rather, the character of coffee changed when it ceased to be a courtly curiosity. 154 Character of a Coffee-House (London, 1665).Cf. Sommerville, News Revolution, 77. 155 News from the Coffee House (first printed London 1667), reprinted and revised to reflect the new alliage between England and France against the Dutch in 1672. See Ellis, Penny Universities, 264.
74 The Revolutionary RefreshmentJust after the Restoration, the new royalist majority in the House of Commons voted subsidies to King Charles, including a granting for life of an excise duty on coffee and other outlandish drinks.156 Such an act and language used by the MPs, namely calling coffee an outlandish drink, clearly indicates that in 1660 coffee was still considered a beverage out of the ordinary. This changed soon. From being an exotic medical remedy, coffee was about to become a symbol. Coffee, because of its connections with the almost immaculately anti-popish Ottoman Empire, became during the Restoration and especially during the Exclusion Crisis one of the most important symbols of English identity. It grew into a symbol of the Whigs struggle against the popery of the Stuarts and against sometimes real, sometimes imagined threat of royal absolutism. Coffee was still long way from becoming just a household beverage, because people frequented the coffee houses of the Restoration England not primarily to drink coffee, but to socialize with the like-minded individuals. While the symbolism of coffee and coffee houses was a multifaceted phenomenon depending on such varied factors as political rhetoric, nascent Orientalism, nationalistic xenophobia, and the fashion of the day, the taste for coffee developed gradually. Coffee remained still mostly a public symbol, not a private beverage. The diary of Samuel Pepys written in the 1660s, revealed no 156 Henry C. Shelley, Inns and Taverns of Old London (London: I. Pittman, 1909), 155-56.
75 trace of coffee becoming a part of the dinner ritual. By the end of the Stuart reign, it had become such a standard part of the diet, that it became unimaginable to end a dinner without a cup of coffee. However, Congreves The Double Dealer of 1694 described a company of dinner guests as retiring to their coffee according to their ancient custom, after dinner.157 Congreve did not know that this ancient custom was actually no older than four decades. After 1720 coffees popularity steeply and steadily declined. Coffees public role reached its peak in the latter half of the seventeenth century and the early days of the eighteenth century, never again to reach those levels in England. One has to wonder whether or not the English between 1650s and 1720s loved coffee because they enjoyed the drink or because of the symbolism associated with it?Exclusionary PracticesAs any other broadly popular symbol that changed its function in the society, it required that those who used it perform two operations upon the public memory remembering and forgetting of the past. The Whigs, the most vocal advocates of the coffee drinking as symbolic acts of resistance to the popish monarchy, remembered and honored the Ottoman anti-popish origins of coffee. They also chose to forget the role that the early Stuarts played in bringing coffee to the British Isles. Late Stuarts, for their part, also contributed to symbolic shifts in the Restoration society. King Charles II, having returned from the exile, 157 William Congreve, The Double Dealer (1694), 1.1; cf. Mark Girouard, Life in the English Country House (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1978), 204-5.
76 presented himself as an all-inclusive, conciliatory figure, drawing on symbolism of Jesus who forgave his persecutors. In the early days of his reign Charles court opened its gates to all but the most unrepentant dissenters.158 After having realized, especially during the Exclusion Crisis, that the fractures in the English society were beyond repair, Charles used court as a potent and symbolic weapon, allowing access to the inner chambers of the government only to loyal Tories. Charles, having opted to be a leader of just one party, restricted the access to the court to his enemies, who in turn had to look for another public venue. 159 They found it in the coffee houses of the realm. Coffee in the latter half of the seventeenth century became one of the symbols uniting and forging cohesion among a great number of Englishmen and women. At the same time it divided them along the party lines. While many historians have argued repeatedly that the national unity achieved during the Glorious Revolution was largely forged in the coffee houses of England, I argue that coffee not only brought people together in an emerging public sphere, but also became a symbol contributing significantly to the new national consensus which after the Glorious Revolution defined England as a nation of liberty and anti-Catholicism.160The question of pre-modern nationalism is a contentious issue among historians of early modern Europe. A good number of scholars rejected the 158 Brian Weisner, Charles II and the Politics of Access (Rochester, NY: Boydell Press, 2003), 3.159 Ibid., 24.160 Steven Pincus Coffee Politicians Does Create: Coffeehouses and Restoration Political Culture in Journal of Modern History, 67:4 (December, 1995), 809. Pincus argues that coffee houses during the Restoration created the bourgeois public sphere social space for public criticism of the state.
77 possibility of existence of nationalist feelings among the wider population of a pre-industrial society.161 If this were the case, it would be hard to argue that coffee became one of the early symbols on English national unity. More recently, however, some scholars have begun looking at the early modern foundations for nation building in Europe. Anthony Marx and Perez Zagorin convincingly suggested that brutal and fanatical cultural and religious clashes of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries represent a hidden skeleton in the closet upon which the unity of many European nations were created, France and England in particular. Anthony Marx says that we forget that our own domestic liberalism and democracy were forged on the basis on exclusion and illeberalism having in mind how large scale solidarities were forged in England and France on the basis of exclusion and out right persecution of anyone or anything that was perceived as either popish or Huguenot conspiracy.162 Those popular feelings, such as anti-popery in England, needed symbols to express them and I think that coffee served that purpose. While the Marxist historians claim that there could be no nations and consequently no widely appealing nationalistic symbols in pre-modern societies, many revisionist historians of the seventeenth century refute the notion that public was guided by well-organized ideologies. Without ideologies the case for political symbolism of coffee is undermined. The Revisionists also claim that the 161 Most importantly: Eric Hobsbawn, Nations and Nationalism since 1780 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1983), who defined nationalism not as a collective sentiment, but a political movement aiming to forge previously non-existent collective sentiment of cohesion.162 Anthony Marx, Faith in Nation: Exclusionary Origins of Nationalism (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003), 200-202. See also Perez Zagorin, How the Idea of Religious Toleration Came to the West (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2003).
78 English were largely interested in their shires and neighborhoods and knew very little about Europe and the wider world.163 If the Revisionists arguments were accurate, such an isolationist attitude would make it very difficult for an essentially foreign symbol, such as coffee, to have a wide appeal. Fortunately, Steve Pincus recently argued against the revisionist ideas that all things foreign, raging among such disparate things from Ottoman coffee to foreign policy, were largely irrelevant for the majority of the English. First of all, Pincus argues, English were passionate about foreign policy and that they always connected domestic and foreign affairs, often on the symbolic level.164Second, coffee houses were widely popular, not just in London but also throughout the British Isles. The figures summarized by Pincus testify to the considerable popularity of coffee drinking during the Restoration period.165 The evidence presented ranges from rather anecdotal comments made in 1670s that all neighborhood swarm to the coffeehouses like bees, and buzz like them too to the fact that during the Exclusion Crisis estimated 1,740 worth of coffee was sold per year.166 This amount of coffee would be enough to enable 15,500 people, of the total population of 7 million, to drink one cup of coffee every day of the year. Because many entered coffee houses who drank nothing, or drank tea, 163 J. R. Jones, Britain and the World 1649-1815 (Atlantic Highlands, NJ: Humanities Press, 1980), 12.164 Steven Pincus, From Butterboxes to Wooden Shoes: The Shift in English Popular Sentiment from Anti-Dutch to Anti-French in the 1670s, The Historical Journal, Vol. 38, No. 2. (Jun., 1995), 335.165 Pincus, Coffee, 812-17.166 John Houghton, A Collection of Letters for the Improvement of Husbandry and Trade (London, 1683). 3:130-31. See also Pincus, Coffee, 812.
79 chocolate, sherbets, or cider instead, the number of people who actually visited coffee houses was even larger. Pincus, one of the first historians to document the spread of coffee houses outside London, gathered information from numerous local history studies. He indicated that, by the times of the Glorious Revolution, coffee houses had opened in every significant provincial town on the Isles. The first coffee house in Edinburgh opened in 1673. Dublin had its coffee house already by 1664. Coffee houses were recorded in Bristol in the mid-1670s. Exeter had a number of coffee houses opened by the end of the seventeenth century. The other towns that had coffee houses open and active before the Glorious Revolution were: Exeter, Tunbridge Wells, Nottingham, Preston, Plymouth, Dorchester, Harwich and Yarmouth.167Pincus further argues that coffee houses not only had spread all over the country, but also that number of people who frequented the coffee houses numbered in excess of 30.000 a day. Furthermore, coffee houses excluded no one because of the gender, class, or political orientation. Restoration Britons flocked to the coffee houses, according to Pincus, to gather the latest news and political gossip, criticize or celebrate the actions of the government. In short, Pincus concluded, the coffee house flourished in Restoration Britain precisely because it provided the architecture for the emergence of the public sphere.168 167 Pincus, Coffee, 815. 168 Pincus defines the public space following J. Habermas classic thesis that public sphere is a social space for the public criticism of the state and that such a space arose first in Great Britain at the turn of the eighteenth century. Pincus, Coffee, 822.
80 The public sphere that emerged with the help of coffee houses, however, was not as homogenous as Pincus presents it to be. Rather the emerging political parties, Whigs and Tories, used coffee houses as a tool for exclusion and division. There were coffee houses where the Tories met and discussed political issues, such as Wills coffee house in Covent Garden frequented by the celebrated Restoration poet John Dryden.169 There were coffee houses where the patrons were not really interested in politics. From the standpoint of cultural and symbolic anthropology, both Whigs and Tories used the taste for coffee as a political weapon, successfully reshaping the political balance of power by cleverly associating the restored monarchy with intolerance and popish narrowmindedness. While organizing their political struggle against the possibility of Catholic succession, the Whigs used the coffee houses to re-write history, especially during the Exclusion Crisis and the Popish Plot incident. Charles II, who in 1660 was widely perceived as a person who saved England from repression, by 1675 was prompted to ban all coffee houses only to retract the ban immediately after it was issued. Since the king was entitled to the excise on coffee granted to him by the Cavalier Parliament, the decision of Charles II to deprive himself of this source of revenue indicated clearly that the treat from the coffee houses was quite real. The reservoir of good will toward the young Stuart king clearly present at the Restoration was now exhausted.170 169 Pepys, Diary, February 3, 1664, 37.170 The popularity of the restored Stuart monarchy is well established. Sir Charles Firth even argued that popular unrest in the City in late 1659 and early 1660 played a crucial role in bringing about the Restoration. See Sir Charles Firth, London during the Civil War, History 11 (1926-27), 25-36. Cf. Tim Harris, London Crowds in the Reign of Charles II (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1987), 2.
81 At the restoration the populace perceived Charles II, figuratively speaking, as having taken Christmas back from the Grinch, bringing joy back to the nation. By 1675 the Whigs managed to present him as another Grinch who deprived the English of joy, and good company they experienced in the coffee houses. The restoration regime associated itself with having rescued England from a decade of repression by restoring fruitfulness, bounty, and sensual pleasure. Whigs, with the help of coffee, managed to provoke the regime to reveal itself as petty, narrow-minded, even killjoy a regime that proscribing the very thing that it claimed to have restored to England after the drudgery of Puritanism fruitfulness, bounty, and sensual pleasure.171 The transformation of coffee in Restoration England was not just about using taste as a social weapon, but also about how one political party effectively stole the issue from another political party. With the help of coffee, the Whigs managed to turn Charles II into a Puritan. More importantly, the court was no longer the sole arbiter of taste in London, but two rival centers appeared where opinions were shaped and tastes were educated. Two such places, although there were many others, served as centers capable of forming and transforming opinions, the one for the Tories, the other for the Whigs. These creation of two centers shaped the tastes of the society, as was clearly indicated in the contemporary literature. For example, John Dryden in his 1667 The Indian Emperor divides the London society in the following way, Sons by what ever title known, whether of court, of coffee-house, 171 Rachel Weil, Sometimes a Scepter Is Only a Scepter: Pornography and Politics in Restoration England, in Lynn Hunt, ed., The Invention of Pornography: Obscenity and the Origins of Modernity 1500-1800 (New York: Zone Books, 1993), 137.
82 or Town indicating that in a city like London there were three centers of fashion, the court, the city, and the coffee houses. While immediately after the Restoration, the coffee houses and the court stood not necessarily in conflict, they became competitors during the exclusion crisis of 1673. The symbolism of coffee also reflected the Tory-Whig conflict over the Catholic succession, most commonly associated with the exclusion issue and the Popish Plot frenzy. A foreign symbol raised such passions among the habitually locally oriented English only in two other exceptional times in the history of the British Isles, during the Crusades and the Henrician Reformation. On the surface the polemics between Whigs and Tories about coffee was about fashion and taste. On a deeper level, it was a struggle for power. Returning Cavaliers had all the advantages in this struggle. Many of them just returned from European courts full of international experience, sophisticated, and ready to become the arbiters of good taste in England. Impressed by their courtly skilled acquired on the Continent, Samuel Pepys wrote in 1661, There was none fit to be courtiers, but such as have been abroad and know fashion.172 Cavaliers had all of the advantages in the struggle to define the taste of Restoration England. Yet, twenty years later, they lost the political fight, producing dire consequences for the Stuart dynasty, the Jacobean faction, and eventually for the Tory party. Stuart xenophobic attacks on coffee boomeranged in their face. Pincus concluded that the resentment toward coffee houses and the larger portion of the pamphleteering literature against coffee houses originated from a 172 Quoted in Geoffrey Smith, The Cavaliers in Exile (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2003), 210.
83 small group of Anglican loyalists and high church divines gathered around the court. 173 This statement Pincus bases on several key primary sources, namely the petition of ale-women against coffee-men, the reply of the coffee-men, and sermons of an influential divine who frequented the court of Charles II.174 In addition to being a target of Tory propaganda, symbolism of coffee as a drink of seditious Whigs, was broader that just the narrow party propaganda. Tory propaganda stuck a cord not just with committed partisans, but also with a much larger segment of the population. In other words, coffee engendered the beginning of the nationalist discourse in England and this discourses included certain tropes (discursive practices), such as personification of England as a chaste maiden and coffee as an Oriental whore, that undoubtedly point toward the nascent Orientalism. By definition Orientalism represents the detectable application of European nationalism and imperialism directed toward the East.175One has to carefully make a distinction between political rhetoric and reality in order to detect Orientalism in practice.Rhetoric of Resentment Public sentiment against coffee widened during the London fire of 1666. After the fire, the first knee-jerk reaction of the authorities included 173 Pincus, Coffee Houses and Restoration, 834.174 Richard Allestree, A Sermon Preached before the King at Whitehall (London, 1667), Womens Petition against Coffee (London, 1674), The Mens Answer to the Womens Petition against Coffee (London 1674), The Ale-Wives Complaint against the Coffee-Houses (London 1675).175 Edward Said, Culture and Imperialism (New York; Knopf, 1993), 25.
84 apprehending of the foreigners. As the newly founded London Gazette reported on September 10, 1666: Divers, Strangers, Dutch and French were, during the fire, apprehended under suspicion that they contributed mischievously to it. In this new climate it was not surprising that we no longer hear about foreigners, such as Pasqua Rose, running their own coffee houses. The fire caused a backlash. A poem preserved the memory of Pasqua Rose while at the same time making fun of him and his broken English: A coachman was the first here coffee made And even since the rest drive on the trade Me no good Engalsh! And sure enough He plaid the Quack to salve his Stygian stuff Ver boon for de stomach, de cough de ptisick And I believe him, for it looks like Physick Coffee a crust is charkt into a coal The smell and tast of the Mock China bowl176Pasqua Roses coffee house along with the building that housed it perished in the fire, and we no longer hear about him. As coffee houses entered the turbulent world of English succession crisis, we hear less and less about the Ottoman coffee men. The courtly phase of coffee definitely ended after the Fire. A certain Constantine the Greek, also called Constantine Jennings or George Constantine, who opened the Grecian Coffee House, suffered a similar fate. No clear evidence reveals when Constantine opened his coffee house, although it might have been as early as 1652.177 He advertised it in the Intelligencer of January 23, 1664-5 with the following words: Turkey coffee berry, chocolate, sherbet, and tea, as good and cheap announcing at the same 176 Ellis, Penny Universities, 266.177 Lillywhite, London Coffee Houses, 173.
85 time his readiness to give gratuitous instructions in the art of preparing the said liquors.178 We hear nothing about Constantine after the Fire, which apparently burnt the establishment. The Grecian Coffee House actually opened up again in the Essex building near the Temple, most probably in 1702 when it became a favorite gathering place for the members of the Royal Society, including Isaac Newton. I could not find direct evidence that Grecian coffee house was the victim of xenophobia. However, the very lack of evidence about this coffee house in conjunction with the early date of its founding may indicate the lack of real interest in preserving those memories. The so-called Womens Petition against Coffee issued in 1674 is the key document for understanding the conflict over coffee houses in Restoration London. It is the first document to clearly use Orientalistic tropes to define coffee and to stereotype the Orient as its place of origin. After the Licensing Act of 1663 failed to curb the activities going on in coffee houses, the government became increasingly uneasy with these favorite places of social gathering for Londoners, especially after a good number of them opened in the vicinity of the Royal Exchange where a number of wealthy and influential individuals congregated.179The main grievance of women was that drinking coffee made their husbands sexually impotent. Women complained that their men have changed because of coffee. Before coffee came the country was a paradise for women, because the men were justly esteemed to be the ablest performers in 178 Lillywhite, London Coffee Houses, 172, 243. 179 Royal Exchange was open first in 1570 and re-opened after the fire of London in 1669. See "Royal Exchange" Encyclopdia Britannicahttp://search.eb.com/eb/article?eu=96228 Accessed Sep. 12, 2002.
86 Christendom. Now coffee had changed the men completely, and women could not tolerate the change. The charge, of course implies that those foreigners who deal with coffee, as well as those misguided Englishmen who follow their example, were less than fully masculine. For can any women of sense or spirit endure with patience, that when privileged by legal ceremonies, she approaches the nuptial bed, expecting a man that with sprightly embraces, should answer the vigor of her flames, she on the contrary should only meet a bedful of bones, and hug a meager useless corpse, rendered as sapless as a kixe, and drier that a pumice-stone, by the perpetual fumes of tobacco, and bewitching effects of this most pernicious coffee, where by nature is enfeebled the offspring of our mighty ancestors dwindled into a succession of apes and pigmies. The petition was addressed to the keepers of liberty of Venus, namely men in general, but in the final paragraph it asks the government to prohibit coffee drinking to all persons under the ages of thirty (threescore), and pleaded that they return to drinking ale, which was beneficial for male sexual vigor. While coffee dried mens cod-piece, ale brought vigor to it and should be called cockale. This kind of sexually and racially discriminatory language is a well-known trope of Orientalism, according to which the Orientals are effeminate and spineless.180Xenophobic and Orientalist elements of this text are fairly easy to detect. England is conceived as feminine, a common nationalistic discursive practice, where a woman personifies the country, be that Britannia, the French Marianne, 180 Orientalism is not just admiration of the things Oriental, but a combination of fascination and disgust that always places the Westerner in a superior position. See Mrinalina Sinha, Colonial Masculinity: The Manly Englishman and the Effeminate Bengali in the Late Nineteenth Century(Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1995).
87 or the American Lady Liberty.181 Coffee, on the other hand is also conceived as feminine, but she is an Oriental woman, a sexual predator and insatiable temptress, who lures naive and chaste Englishmen, into her poisonous embrace. Coffee represents the danger of inter-racial marriage. All these elements of Orientalism are in an embryonic form as yet, but one can easily see how the tropes applied to coffee later continued their life in the colonial settings of the British Empire, for example, in India, where fragile and shy English ladies often lost the affection of the husbands because of the sexually predatory and available Indian women.182During the Restoration the perception increased that chaotic forces lay in waiting outside of England and threatened to enter and undermine the traditional society. The Whigs faced the accusation that it was extremely unpatriotic to drink coffee. They should apostatize from the good old primitive way of ale drinking, to run a whoreing after such variety of foreign liquors, to trifle away their time.183The ale-women also expressed xenophobia in their description of the topics discussed in coffee houses. The subject that men discussed were what color of the Red Sea is, whether the Great Turk be a Lutheran or a Calvinist, and 181 In the womens petition there is no image of rape as one of the most prolific icons of nationalist propaganda in the later centuries. A. Parker, M. Russo, D. Sommer, and P. Yaeger eds., Introduction to Nationalism and Sexualities (London: Routledge, 1992), 6/182 Thomas Metcalf, Ideologies of the Raj ((Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1994), 92112. For a more general introduction on how imperialism relates to sexuality see, Ronald Hyam, Empire and Sexuality (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1990).183 There are elements here that would indicate the high church origins of the tract, such as comparisons of the talking taking place in coffee houses with the Quaker meetings. Coffee men talk about politics stiffly as a Quaker. In general, because of the sexually very explicit language one would be forced to say that the petition has a moralizing tone to it. Negative perceptions of the dissenters were quite widespread in the Restoration society and were not limited to High Church Anglicans and the Royal Court.
88 whos Cains father in law. The men should not obsesses with these foreign issues, implied the ale-women. Furthermore, when hurling insults, English pamphleteers rarely made the distinction between a secret conspirator, the foreigner, the papist or Jesuit, the corrupt government minister, the freethinking libertine. All these social types represented the forces of disorder and were perceived as being connected in their intention to do mischief to the English traditional society. This blurring of social types into one great symbol of disorder is well illustrated in John Oldhams third Satyr Upon the Jesuits (1679). Tho he be Atheist, Heathen, Turk, or Jew Blaspheamer, Sacriligious, Perjured too: Tho Pander, Bawd, Pimp, Pathick, Buggerer, What ere Old Sodoms Nest of Lechers were: Tho Tyrant, Traitor, Poisner, Parracide, Magician, Monster, all thats bad beside.184To this kind of xenophobia the Whigs answered by praising not only coffee, but also the region of its origin. In 1674 a broadside In Defense of Coffee was published, indicated the change of attitude toward symbolic elements of coffee drinking and its association with Islamic Arabia. Playing on the old Roman name of Arabia Felix for the region south of Palestine, the Whigs connect the epithet Felix with coffee. Arabian coffee, a rich cordial To purse and person beneficial Which of many virtues doth partake Its countrys called Felix for its sake From the rich chambers of the rising sun Where arts and all good fashions first began Where earth with choicest rarities is blest And dying phoenix built its wondrous nest 184 Quotted from Cameron McFarlane, The Sodomite in Fiction and Satire 1660-1750 (New York: Columbia University Press, 1997), 31.
89 Coffee arrives, that great and wholesome liquor That heals the stomach and makes the genius quicker185Whig response to the Tory charges of the lack of patriotism emphasized the conventional Whig virtues of learning, and sobriety. It promotes classical Whig humanism, where the contrast is not between the good English and the cunning Oriental, but between the civilized and uncivilized, refinement and vulgarity.186The Whig defense of coffee never went further than the benign lines of the 1674 broadside In Defense of Coffee. While they continued to socialize in the coffee houses, their publications and broadsides carefully recognized that there were only a few constants in the mind of the London crowd, namely, a strong attachment to the independence of the City Government, a deep-seated hostility toward Catholicism, and an antipathy towards foreigners and all things foreign.187 Their strategy was to hope that the deep-seated hostility toward Catholicism would prevail over the antipathy towards foreigners. They made the right political choice, but the price of that choice was that the role of the Ottoman coffee men was forgotten. The final outcome of these Tory-inspired tracts against coffee was that the king made up his mind about the danger presented to his rule by the coffee 185 Ellis, Penny Universities, 268.186 One should point out that the discourse of universal humanity, obtained only when one adopts Whiggish style liberalism, is also a trope of the Orientalist discourse. The Whiggish inclusive humanism requires the existence of the sub-men, hopelessly closed within the confines of narrow nationalism and tribal exclusivism. See Roland Barthes, The Great Family of Men in Mythologies (London: Grafton, 1973), 138.187 Tim Harris, London Crowds in the Reign of Charles II (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1987), 28-9.
90 houses. In order to curb the dangers, the king issued a ban of coffee houses. Right before Christmas in 1675 King Charles II made the following proclamation: By the King: Whereas it is most apparent, that the Multitude of CoffeeHouses of late years set up and kept within this Kingdom, the Dominion of Wales, and the Town of Berwick upon Tweed, and the great resort of idle and disaffected persons to them, have produced very evil and dangerous effects; as well for that many Tradesmen and others, do therein mis-spend much of their time, which might and probably would otherwise be imployed in and about their Lawful Callings and Affairs; but also, for that in such Houses, and by occasion of the meetings of such persons therein, diverse False, Malitious and Scandalous Reports are devised and spread abroad, to the Defamation of His Majesties Government, and to the Disturbance of the Peace and Quiet of the Realm; His Majesty hath thought it fit and necessary, That the said Coffee-houses be (for the future) Put down and Suppressed, and doth (with the Advice of His Privy Council) by this His Royal Proclamation, Strictly Charge and Command all manner of persons, That they or any of them do not presume from and after the Tenth Day of January next ensuing, to keep any Publick Coffee-house, or to Utter or sell by retail, in his, her or their house or houses (to be spent or consumed within the same) any Coffee, Chocolet, Sherbett or Tea, as they will answer the contrary at their utmost perils.188The king especially worried about defamations, rumors, and persistent accusations of secret and sinister inclinations toward popery combined with the fear of tyrannical and arbitrary government. These two, the opposition to the inflexible and arbitrary government and the almost irrational fear of popery became one the same in the public imagination.189 Charles II apparently realized that this was the same explosive mix of popular sentiments that led his father to the executioners block. 188 A Proclamation for the Suppression of the Coffee Houses (London: Printed by the Assigns of John Bill, and Christopher Barker, Printers to the Kings most Excellent Majesty, 1675). Microfilm.189 For example see the Article of Impeachment Against the Early of Danby 1678 in Browning, English Historical Documents, 198-9, which explicitly accuse the earl for trying to introduce tyrannical way of government and for being popishly affected.
91 The ban of coffee and its quick retraction embarrassed the king personally. He saw no good solutions to the problem, banning the coffee houses did not work. Letting them become centers of rumor was dangerous. Ever since the Declaration of Breda, Charles II proclaimed that the Restoration was based on toleration and letting the bygones be bygones. The restored court did not dominate the cultural tastes as before. Before the Civil War, the court with its conspicuous consumption dictated the taste. Now other centers competed with the court and determined the fashion.190 Coffee houses of London, with their clientele coming mostly from the class of wealthy mercantile elite, began to play an important part in deciding what was trendy. The court of Charles II, famous for it luxury, glamour, and even debauchery, had to present itself as unassuming as the new style of three-piece suit indicated. For example in 1666, the king declared his resolution of setting a fashion for clothes, which he will never alter. It will be a vest, I know not well how, but it is to teach the nobility thrift, and will do good.191 As in Womens Petition against Coffee, the court also criticized coffee for causing dryness of the body, effeminacy, and impotence. This was again a complete turnaround in who argues what. Whereas before the Restoration, the opposition perceived the court as corrupt, tyrannical, and effeminate, now the Whigs gathering in coffee houses were attacked as being corrupt and effeminate. 190 The public often perceived Charles II and his court as effeminate, even though the court invested considerable effort to convince the public otherwise. Kuchta, The Three-Piece Suit, 53. 191 Pepys, The Diary, 7:315. See also Kuchta, The Three-Piece Suit, 1.
92 Even though it seems that by the time of the attempted ban of coffee houses coffee had become exclusively a Whig drink, in reality one sees that coffee houses of London still hosted quite mixed crowds of all political persuasions. Rhetoric, especially political rhetoric, is always more or less divorced from reality. While in politically motivated tracts it was more patriotic to be honestly sotted in a tavern that to be soberly plotting in a coffee house, the crowds that attended coffee houses were politically mixed.192 Who went to what coffee house was more determined by its perceived standing and fashion, than by its actual political orientation.Symbolic Geography of Coffee HousesDuring the Restoration the symbolic geography of coffee houses was determined by a contrast between the newer and more fashionable coffee houses of the West End, and the older coffee houses of the City. In the coffee houses of the West End, including the famous Wills in the Covent Garden which Dryden and his friend frequented, one was more likely to find Tory-leaning customers. While the Tories might have led the propaganda campaigning against coffee houses, that did not prevent them from frequenting those establishments.193 In the coffee houses of the City, one was much more likely to hear seditious talk against the current ruling dynasty. Sometimes, these coffee 192 David Allen, Political Clubs in Restoration London, The Historical Journal, vol.19, no. 3 (September 1976), 570.193 Pincus, Coffee, 834.
93 house gossips could grow into a serious political scandal, such as in the case of the Popish Plot, in which the Rainbow coffee house on the Fleet Street played an important role. The first coffee houses in London opened in the City, especially around the Royal Exchange, indicating that the merchants frequented them in large numbers. Pincus and Sommerville have already suggested that the merchants of London had the greatest hunger for news during the Interregnum when censorship placed severe restrictions on obtaining information. During the Restoration, as the number of coffee houses grew, a pattern emerged in the geographical distribution of coffee houses. While technically speaking everyone could attend any coffee house, drink coffee, and chat with the patrons for a penny, the customers tended to cluster according to their political and other preferences. The old coffee houses, opened during the period between 16521666 were concentrated in the City. Most of them burnt in the fire, ending the period of coffee houses when they mostly served as alternate venues for gathering news and gossip. With the rebuilding of London after the fire of 1666, new areas of the capital to the west of the City, Pall Mall, Hyde Park, St. Jamess Park. Covent Garden, Leicester Square, King Square (later Soho), represented a different kind of urban environment. The old City was identified with the hardheaded, dull merchants, their insubordinate apprentices and employees.
94 Writers identified the West End with wit and gentility, fashion, empty-headed rowdies, conmen, and whores.194In the fashionable West End, coffee underwent a symbolic transformation from a foreign drink into a fashionable English habit. Suddenly, Oriental items and institutions became the latest London fashion trend. Many new, upscale, and au courant coffee houses opened in the West End to replace the older ragged facilities in the City. New coffee houses were soon followed by Turkish baths which served not only hygienic and recreational purposes, but were perceived as whore houses.195 The first Turkish bath, called the Royal Bagnio, opened in Newgate Street in 1679, showing that Ottoman habits had now become quite acceptable to the Londoners. The Turkish baths followed the same pattern of diffusion as coffee houses. At first, they were located in the City (Newgate Street) because the City merchants opened them. The City merchants, in particular the merchants of the Turkey Company, familiar with the institution from their trips to the Ottoman Empire, wanted to have the same facilities at home for sweating, rubbing, shaving, hot-bathing, and cupping, after the Turkish model.196 Even though some Tories frequented coffee houses, a good number was not so fond of them. Ministers at the court often complained about the immoralities of the coffee house. Richard Allestree, chaplain to Charles II, 194 These comic types of the West End and the City were often caricatured in contemporary writings, such as the saying hes as jealous of her as a Cheapside husband of a Covent Garden wife. John Spurr, England in the 1670s:This Masquerading Age (Oxford: Blackwell, 2000), 161.195 Moll King, a role model for Daniel Defoes Moll Flanders, was not only the famous madam in the 18 th century London, but also an owner of a coffee house at Covent Garden and a Turkish bath in the vicinity. Dan Cruickshank, The Wages of Sin http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/programmes/zone/georgiansex3.shtml 196 Lillywhite, London Coffee Houses, 95-97.
95 delivered in the presence of the king some very harsh words against coffee houses. 197 Clerical opposition notwithstanding, eventually several distinctly Tory coffee houses sprung up. It seems that the Tories really did not listen carefully to their sermons. Wills coffee house in Covent Garden was a steadily Tory-leaning coffee house in London. William Urwin opened it immediately after the Restoration. Samuel Pepys attended the establishment from 1663 to 1668. Later in the 1680s it became famous due to the patronage of John Dryden, a celebrated poet, one of the most successful dramatists of the Restoration London, and also a committed Tory.198The Rainbow coffee house became famous during the Popish Plot orchestrated by Titus Oates in 1679 when the anxiety over the Catholic succession reached fevered pitch. The whole episode indicated that people of different political persuasions freely mixed in the coffee houses of London, but it also shows that such a mixture possessed more and more dangers and that it might be better to move to the principle of to each its own coffee house. One of the victims of Titus Oates was Sir Philip Lloyd whom Oates declared had "in a sort of bravery presented himself in the Rainbow coffee-house, and declared he did not believe any kind of plot against the King's person, notwithstanding what any had said to the contrary." This was sufficient to arouse the enmity of Oates, who had the knight hauled before the council and closely examined. Sir Philip explained that he had only said he knew of no other than a fantastic plot, but, as a contemporary letter puts it, "Oates had got ready four shrewd coffee-drinkers, 197 Richard Allestree, A Sermon Preached before the King at Whitehall (London, 1667).198 Lillywhite, London Coffee Houses, 655-56.
96 then present, who swore the matter point blank. So the perjurer won again, and Sir Philip was suspended (convicted) during the king's pleasure as the outcome of his Rainbow coffee-house speech.199In Restoration London, the Tory literati gathered in Wills coffee house at Covent Garden, but contrary to the pamphleteers claims, no single preeminent Whig coffee house may be identified. The Whig intellectual headquarters were located not in a coffee house, but in the Kings Head Tavern, in Chancery Lane near the Temple. There the notorious Green Ribbon Club met. Some Whigleaning coffee houses existed, such as Bruins, the Amsterdam, or Richardss, but the reality was that the difference between coffee-drinking Whigs and alequaffing Tories was more of a construction of the pamphleteers than an accurate reflection of the situation in London. In spite of all the spectacle and display of the Exclusion Crisis politics, a lot of cross-party mixing took place in the taverns, alehouses, and coffee houses.200Overall, the symbolic geography of coffee houses indicates that there was some segregation along the political lines, but also great mixing of people in all of coffee houses of the Restoration London. While people of all political persuasions rubbed shoulders in the coffee houses, occasionally the tempers would flair. In the case of the Popish Plot, a debate started in the coffee house ended up in the court of law. In terms of fashion, the highly subjective idea of a vogue, an elusive social perception, prestige, moved from the City to the newly built West End, especially the Covent Garden. In words of Pierre Bourdieu, the 199 Shelley, Inns and Taverns, 155-56.200 David Allen, Political Clubs in Restoration London, The Historical Journal, 19:3 (1976), 570.
97 cultural capital moved slowly from the East End to the West End.201 Yet, the coffee houses of the City still continued to serve the business-oriented clientele. For example, Lloyds coffee house where the famous insurance company had its humble beginnings demonstrated that the future of coffee houses in the City was secure not only for the remainder of the seventeenth, but also well into the eighteenth century.202 Having examined how the Londoners perceived their coffee houses, and their symbolic geography, this study will now consider the representation of the Ottoman Empire in contemporary writings taking Paul Rycauts popular history of the Ottoman Empire as an example of Orientalism.Paul Rycaut and OrientalismPaul Rycauts writings on the Ottoman Empire, coming from one of the most knowledgeable royalist-leaning experts on all things oriental, contributed considerably to the better understanding of the Orient during the Restoration. Rycault wrote four books on the Ottoman Empire. In 1667 he published the first edition of The Present State of the Ottoman Empire, a book that had gone though eleven editions by 1704, a clear indication of its popularity.203 Rycaut published books about the Ottoman Empire throughout his career. In 1669 came 201 Bourdieu, Judgment of Taste, 110. 202 The coffee house that Edward Lloyd opened in 1687 near the Thames on Tower Street was a favorite haunt of men from the ships that moored at London's docks. The house was "spacious, well built and inhabited by able tradesmen" according to a contemporary publication. It grew so popular that in 1691 Lloyd moved it to much larger and more luxurious quarters on Lombard Street. Peter L. Bernstein, Against the Gods: The Remarkable Story of Risk (London: John Wiley & Sons, 1998), 57.203 Sonia P. Anderson, An English Consul in Turkey: Paul Rycaut at Smyrna 1667-1678 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1989), 294.
98 out the first edition of a book about the Jewish Messianic pretender called Sabatai Sevi in Smyrna, the city where he served as a consul. In 1679 he shifted his interest to Greeks and Armenians publishing the first edition of The Present State of the Greek and Armenian Churches. Finally in 1680 came out The History of the Turkish Empire (1623), one of the most influential books for the subsequent history of both the perception of the Ottoman Empire in England and for the development of Islamic studies throughout Europe. Rycaut, of Huguenot extraction, belonged to a family of wealthy immigrant merchants.204 After having lost his family fortune to the fines imposed by the Parliament in retaliation for his fathers support to the royalist cause, Rycaut gained considerable favor after the restoration of the Stuarts. He served as a secretary to the earl of Winchelsea, who was appointed the royal ambassador to the Ottoman Empire. He rose quickly in the ranks of the embassy and served as consul in the Aegean city of Smyrna from 1667-1678. Rycaut had a first hand knowledge of all things Ottoman. Scientific ethnography, of which Rycauts writings provide an early specimen, represented a necessary condition for the emergence of the Orientalist discourse.205 Orientalism is most succinctly described as inscribing of the colonial power onto the body and space of the Orient.206 In order to achieve such a position of superiority, the writer necessarily adopts the language of the 204 Dictionary of National Biography, s.v. Rycaut or Ricaut, Sir Paul.205 This does not mean that the colonizing situation is indispensable to ethnology, but ethnology can assume its proper dimensions only within the historical sovereignty. Michel Foucault, The Order of Things: An Archaeology of Human Sciences (New York: Vintage, 1972), 377.206 Peter Childs and Patrick Williams, Post-Colonial Theory (London and New York: Prentice Hall, 1997), 10.
99 objective analysis. Popular prejudice toward foreigners, the symbolic association of coffee with Islam, and the consequent linkage of beer with patriotism and coffee with treason was not enough to make an Orientalist discourse. Orientalism is a dispassionate, seemingly objective, i.e. scientific, discourse that discriminates against the Orientals. Paul Rycaut, a long-time diplomat in the Ottoman Empire, provided the English society with such a discourse.207Most importantly for the development of the Orientalist discourse, Paul Rycaut began to look at the Ottoman Empire as on object of study, therefore, no longer a serious threat to Europe. Ottomans ceased to be a cause of irrational, medieval fear of the other the ultimate enemy. Nor were they any longer perceived as a real military threat to England, as in the days when Ottoman pirate ships actually frequented the Thames Estuary at the height of Barbary Pirates in the sixteenth and early seventeenth century. This domestication of the wild Ottomans included the construction of the Oriental as a negative of the Western, either too belligerent or too effeminate, but never endowed with practical reason as the Westerner, thereby putting the Westerner in a position of permanent discursive superiority. According to several authors, Rycaut, while writing about the Ottoman Empire, at the same time, had England and her political troubles in mind.208 In his writings the Ottoman Empire, a foreign symbol, was domesticated for internal 207 Linda T. Darling, Ottoman Politics through British Eyes: Payl Rycauts Present State of the Ottoman Empire, Journal of World History, volume 5, number 1 (1994), 71-99.208 See Christopher Hill, Political Discourse in Early Seventeenth-Century England in A Nation of Change and Novelty (London and New York: Routledge, 1990), 42-44 where Hill suggested that political criticism was often written in the form of allegory or history of the foreign lands. Also see Linda T. Darling, Ottoman Politics through British Eyes: Paul Rycauts Present State of the Ottoman Empire, Journal of World History, vol 5:1 (1994), 91.
100 political purposes. Rycaut depicted the Ottoman rule as the negative ideal, an extreme form of royal absolutism that England should not emulate. As Linda Darling pointed out, he especially emphasized the absence of a nobility holding private property and the slave status of the Ottomans high officials, and contrasted that system with Englands efforts to establish values of commonwealth and liberty within a monarchical system. Rycaut selected the absoluteness of the sultans edicts, his arbitrary bestowal of lands and goods, the violence and cruelty of the system, and the sultans status above the law, as exactly those traits that the English sovereign should not possess.209 In the future, this kind of rhetorical strategy would develop into a clearly established Orientalist discourse, often summarized as the idea of inherent Oriental Despotism of the Easterners. Edward Gibbon would bring this Orientalist strategy to perfection using the example of the Byzantine Empire, while James Mill used the same notion of Orientals as racially unqualified for representative democracy.210King James II and the Last CrusadeNumerous polemical tracts mentioned above associated coffee with Islam and Islam, at that time, exclusively with the Ottoman Empire. The common perception contained in those pamphlets did not present an attractive picture of 209 Darling, Ottoman Politics through British Eyes, 92.210 Peter Childs and Patrick Williams, Post-Colonial Theory (London and New York: Prentice Hall, 1997), 191.
101 that religion. In the propaganda war over coffee, Tories gained some points by associating beer with Englishness and coffee with Islamic effeminacy. King James II almost single-handedly managed to turn that around. Because of the power of the anti-Catholic sentiment, ironically, nobody did more to improve the image both of coffee and of Islam than the last English Catholic monarch. Traditionally, since the times of Henry VIII, all the English monarchs presented themselves as Fidei Defensor, the defender of faith. Although the term was vaguely defined as the defender of Christian faith, in most cases it implied also the Protestant faith as it was established by the Elizabethan ecclesiastical settlement.211 Because of his personal religious convictions, James was anxious to suppress the image of the pope as Antichrist so common in the English popular imagination and thereby re-define the traditional English monarchical role of Fidei Defensor to mean no longer the championing of the Protestant religions, but launching a crusade against the infidel Muslims. He desired to suppress the anti-Catholic sentiment, by replacing it with something else. The kings choice of a scapegoat fell on the Ottoman Turks who in early 1680s undertook their second and final push toward Vienna. King James II jumped at an opportunity to present the urgency for a new crusade against the new Antichrist the Great Turk. Under King James there occurred an intensification of existing emotions against coffee and by association against all things Ottoman. The rhyming author 211 Daniel Fischlin, Political Allegory, Absolutist Ideology, and the Rainbow Portrait of Queen Elizabeth I, Renaissance Quarterly, 50:1 (Spring 1997), 175.
102 of "A Cup of Coffee, or Coffee in its Colours," published in 1663, voiced his indignation thus: "For men and Christians to turn Turks and think To excuse the crime, because 'tis in their drink! Pure English apes! ye might, for aught I know, Would it but mode learn to eat spiders too. Should any of your grandsires' ghosts appear In your wax-candle circles, and but hear The name of coffee so much called upon, Then see it drank like scalding Phlegethon; Would they not startle, think ye, all agreed 'Twas conjuration both in word and deed?" By way of climax this opponent of the new drink appealed to the shades of Ben Jonson and other libation-loving poets and recalled how they, as source of inspiration, "drank pure nectar as the Gods drink too."212King James propagandists made the good use of the old medieval stereotype of vile, insatiable, and aggressive Turk. Mostly as a result of Duke of Yorks effort numerous English, and later Irish and Scottish, volunteers were present at the lifting of the Siege of Vienna in August and September of 1683. For example, Francis Taaffe (later third earl of Carlingford) served as an officer in the Imperial Habsburg army and during the service wrote a series of letters home to his brother who had them published.213 These letters prompted a number of military officers, courtiers, and gentlemen volunteers to make their way to the 212 Shelley, Inns and Taverns, 1909), 78.213 The memoirs of Francis Taafe, Earl of Carlingford, (Vienna 1856) and Herman Murtagh, Two Irish Officers and the Campaign to Relieve Vienna, 1683, Irish Sword, 15 (1982-83), 76-89..
103 imperial camp for the siege of Budapest in 1686. All these efforts had a clear support of King James II.214While the Duke of York encouraged his sympathizers to volunteer in the imperial Army either for the purposes of having sympathetic officers with considerable battlefield experience or out of purely idealistic crusading zeal (or even a combination of both) the dukes friends and protges, such as Abraham Woodhead, tried to dispel the deep seated English anti-Catholicism and replace that traditional theme of pamphleteers with the image of the Great Turk as the new Anti-Christ. Abraham Woodhead, kings favorite Roman-Catholic apologist, took upon himself the task of creating the new enemy of the English people writing a series of treatises denouncing Mohammed and Islam.215At this juncture, one can see that the English schizophrenic attitude toward Islam began to form.216 On the one hand, the English saw the Ottoman Empire (being the contemporary most important symbol of Islam in the world) as an example of despotism a polity that represented the exact opposite of the limited monarchy. On the other hand, propagandist like Woodhead failed to convince the English that the Great Turks was a more dangerous than the Pope. The Ottoman despotism, while not dear to the English, often could play a valuable ally in the struggle against Roman-Catholic absolutism. At this exact 214 Roger Manning, English, Irish, and Scottish Officers in European Armies: 1585-1702(forthcoming), from email correspondence with Manning. See also Roger Manning, Swordsmen: The Martial Ethos of the Three Kingdoms (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003).215 Anne Barbeau Gardiner, Islam as Antichrist in the Writings of Abraham Woodhead, Spokesman for Restoration Catholics, in Restoration, (Fall 1991), 89-98.216 Schizophrenic because the English were at the same time attracted to and disgusted with Islam. See Matar, Islam in Britain, 184.
104 point in history, the English discovered the power of nationalistic discourse which could position them in the position of rhetorical superiority to both the Catholic absolutism on the continent and despotism in the East. This change of attitude toward Islam and the Ottoman Empire had positive consequences for coffee drinking. This time around, the Tories became suspect for their liking of the French claret.217 Coffee became a patriotic drink a symbol of English open and inclusive commonwealth and serene limited monarchy and it would remain so throughout the Augustan period.218King James II failed to convince the English that the Great Turk and many coffee drinkers presented a real threat to the realm. In many ways James was the last English Crusader. It is fashionable today to look at the Crusades in long dure as a slow evolutionary historical process, and not just as a cluster of military campaigns in Palestine that began in 1098 and ended in 1291.219Symbolically, at least, King James II might be viewed as the last Crusader from the British Isles. When the last Catholic King left London, it did not mean that the English had suddenly became secular, but that something had changed in the tapestry of English national identity. The sense of belonging to Christendom, a huge international brotherhood, loosely united into a imagined community lost all of its political currency and simply no longer motivated people to take political 217 The Tories were insupportable people because they are for brining in French claret, and will not sup-port. See J. Swift, Journal to Stella, I, 236. Cf. David Allen, Political Clubs in Restoration London, The Historical Journal, vol.19, no. 3 (September 1976), 570.218 J. Pelzer and L. Pelzer, "Coffee Houses of Augustan London," History Today, (October 1982), 40-47.219 Jonathan Riley-Smith sees the crusades as a cultural given, a state of mind, and extended his coverage of the movement all the way till the Napoleons abolishment of the Knights of Malta in 1798. See Jonathan Riley-Smith, The Crusades (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1987), 255-57.
105 actions.220 The failure to link coffee with the Grand Turk and with the danger of Islam reaching into the heart of Europe at the gates of Vienna, meant that the coffee drinkers in England were no longer suspected for their lack of patriotism. When the king had left for France, the very notion of English identity changed, and coffee contributed to that process. England now came first, before God, king, or religion. Being an English king was incompatible with being Roman Catholic. Coffee in the process became the English drink and was no longer seen as the Turkish gruel. It even ceased to be a symbol of political fight over the Catholic succession. It simply became a drink, consumed less and less in coffee houses and more and more in aristocratic mansions after dinner. 220 Benedict Anderson, Imagined Communities (London and New York: Verso, 1983), 12-13.
106 The AftermathAfter the Glorious Revolution, coffee continued to be popular in England to the middle of the eighteenth century. This period, beyond the scope of my inquiry, corresponded to the full bloom of the English Atlantic Empire under the predominately Whig governments and coincided with the growth of London into the most important commercial and financial center of Europe. When coffee plant was introduced to the English-held island of Jamaica in 1728 coffee became a colonial product, no longer an import from the Ottoman Empire.221 European imperial powers gradually appropriated coffee. The Dutch first attempted to grow coffee outside of Southern Arabia, establishing the first coffee plantations in Java in 1699. The French and the English soon followed and the plantations opened throughout the West Indies, the French in Guiana and Martinique, the English in Jamaica. England become an exporter of coffee, with almost a half of the total coffee imports being re-exported to European consumers.222 With the growth of coffee plantations in the Caribbean and throughout the equatorial America, the character of coffee changed. With the help of the colonial empire in the Americas, the English, alongside with other great European colonial powers, 221 After its introduction, the Blue Mountain Jamaican coffee became the chief source of supply for the British market. E. E. Rich and C. H. Wilson eds., The Cambridge Economic History of Europe, volume 4 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1967), 297.222 While in the year 1700 less then 1/10 of English coffee imports were re-exported to the continent in 1722-24 more then half of total imports were re-exported. Within these twenty years the total amount of English coffee imports more then quadrupled, jumping from 470,000.00 lbs in 1700 to 2,032,000.00 lbs. See: Customs 3. Public Record Office in S. D. Smith, Accounting for Taste: British Coffee Consumption in Historical Perspective in Journal of Interdisciplinary History, 27:2 (1996), 185.
107 managed to transfer the economic and cultural ownership of coffee, from the Ottoman Empire to the Western Europe. Irronically, as coffee became one of the staples of the English colonial empire in the Caribbean, the population on the British Isles consumed less and less coffee. Even though this is considered the golden period of coffee houses, the seeds of their decline had already been planted in the 1680s. English coffee houses become more and more social clubs and less and less places where coffee was consumed. 223 With every passing day of the eighteenth century, Londoners drank more tea and less coffee. London never developed an institution comparable to European caf a coffee bar geared toward the lower and middle classes. Pubs, where beer and ale were served, catered to that segment of the society, and coffee houses failed to unseat them from their total dominance. Furthermore, with the opening of coffee plantations in the Caribbean during the early years of the eighteenth century, the connection with the Ottoman Empire was lost. In that process, coffee lost its prestige, the exclusive upper class appeal that it had before, and became a widely available drink. Coffee ceased to be a luxury good and became a staple of life, useful as a drink to dispel the morning dizziness, but unattractive as a social drink. As Londons coffee houses were being transformed into upper class clubs, their attendants lost interest in the drink. This part of the coffee story properly belongs to the Augustan England and stands beyond the limits of this study. 223 Peter Clark, British Clubs and Societies 1580-1800: The Origins of an Associational World(Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000).
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From courtly curiosity to revolutionary refreshment
h [electronic resource] :
b Turkish coffee and English politics in the Seventeenth Century /
by Alexander Mirkovic.
[Tampa, Fla.] :
University of South Florida,
Thesis (M.A.)--University of South Florida, 2005.
Includes bibliographical references.
Text (Electronic thesis) in PDF format.
System requirements: World Wide Web browser and PDF reader.
Mode of access: World Wide Web.
Title from PDF of title page.
Document formatted into pages; contains 120 pages.
ABSTRACT: Why was coffee so fashionable yet so divisive a political symbol during the latter half of the seventeenth century? Historians have offered several answers, including the suggestion that the nascent Orientalism generated its popularity. Undeniably seventeenth century England imported exotic commodities, including coffee and tea, and began to appropriate them for the English culture. Did that also imply maintaining the cultural superiority over the natives? I argue that coffee was symbolically transformed during the political and revolutionary turmoil of the seventeenth century. Coffee was first introduced in the early part of the century to the Stuart court where it was an item of sophisticated curiosity. After the Restoration, the City of London and its many newly opened coffee houses created the alternative to the courtly culture of the Stuarts transforming coffee into a political symbol, indeed a symbol of distinction in taste.
Adviser: David Carr.
t USF Electronic Theses and Dissertations.