(1). CARRACK, n.p. An island in the upper part of the Persian Gulf, which has been more than once in British occupation. Properly Kharak. It is so written in Jaubert’s Edrisi (i. 364, 372). But Dr. Badger gives the modern Arabic as el-Kharij, which would represent old P. Kharig.

c. 830.—“Kharek…cette isle qui a un farsakh en long et en large, produit du blé, des palmiers, et des vignes.”—Ibn Khurdadba, in J. As. ser. vi. tom. v. 283.

c. 1563.—“Partendosi da Basora si passa 200 miglia di Golfo co’l mare a banda destra sino che si giunge nell’ isola di Carichi.…”—C. Federici, in Ramusio, iii. 386v.

1727.—“The Islands of Carrick ly, about West North West, 12 Leagues from Bowchier.”—A. Hamilton, i. 90.

1758.—“The Baron…immediately sailed for the little island of Karec, where he safely landed; having attentively surveyed the spot he at that time laid the plan, which he afterwards executed with so much success.”—Ives, 212.

(2). CARRACK, s. A kind of vessel of burden from the Middle Ages down to the end of the 17th century. The character of the earlier carrack cannot be precisely defined. But the larger cargo-ships of the Portuguese in the trade of the 16th century were generally so styled, and these were sometimes of enormous tonnage, with 3 or 4 decks. Charnock (Marine Architecture, ii. p. 9) has a plate of a Genoese carrack of 1542. He also quotes the description of a Portuguese carrack taken by Sir John Barrough in 1592. It was of 1,600 tons burden, whereof 900 merchandize ; carried 32 brass pieces and between 600 and 700 passengers (?) ; was built with 7 decks. The word (L. Lat.) carraca is regarded by Skeat as properly carrica, from carricare, It. caricare, ‘to lade, to charge.’ This is possible ; but it would be well to examine if it be not from the Ar. harakah, a word which the dictionaries explain as ‘fire-ship’ ; though this is certainly not always the meaning. Dozy is inclined to derive carraca (which is old in Sp. he says) from karakir, the pl. of kurkur or kurkura (see CARACOA). And kurkura itself he thinks may have come from carricare, which already occurs in St. Jerome. So that Mr. Skeat’s origin is possibly correct. [The N.E.D. refers to carraca, of which the origin is said to be uncertain.] Ibn Batuta uses the word twice at least for a state barge or something of that kind (see Cathay p. 499, and Ibn Bat. ii. 116 ; iv. 289) The like use occurs several times in Makrizi (e.g. I. i. 143 ; I. ii. 66 ; and II. i. 24). Quatremère at the place first quoted observes that the harakah was not a fire ship in our sense, but a vessel with a high deck from which fire could be thrown ; but that it could also be used as a transport vessel, and was so used on sea and land.

1338.—“…after that we embarked at Venice on board a certain carrack, and sailed down the Adriatic Sea.”—Friar Pasqual, in Cathay, &c., 231.

1383.—“Eodem tempore venit in magnâ tempestate ad Sandevici portum navis quam dicunt carika (mirae) magnitudinis, plena divitiis, quae facile inopiam totius terrae relevare potuisset, si incolarum invidia permisisset.”—T. Walsingham, Hist. Anglic., by H. T. Riley, 1864, ii. 83–84.

1403.—“The prayer being concluded, and the storm still going on, a light like a candle appeared in the cage at the mast-head of the carraca, and another light on the spar that they call bowsprit (bauprés) which is fixed in the forecastle ; and another light like a candle in una vara de espinelo (?) over the poop, and these lights were seen by as many as were in the carrack, and were called up to see them, and they lasted awhile and then disappeared, and all this while the storm did not cease, and by-and-by all went to sleep except the steersman and certain sailors of the watch.”—Clavijo, § xiii. Comp. Markham, p. 13.

1548.—“De Thesauro nostro munitionum artillariorum, Tentorum, Pavilionum, pro Equis navibus caracatis, Galeis et aliis navibus quibuscumque.…”—Act of Edw. VI. in Rymer, xv. 175.

1552.—“Ils avaient 4 barques, grandes comme des karraka.…”—Sidi’ Ali, p. 67.

1566–68.—“…about the middle of the month of Ramazan, in the year 974, the inhabitants of Funan and Fandreeah [i.e. Ponany and Pandarani, q.v.], having sailed out of the former of these ports in a fleet of 12 grabs, captured a caracca belonging to the Franks, which had arrived from Bengal, and which was laden with rice and sugar…in the year 976 another party…in a fleet of 17 grabs…made capture off Shaleeat (see CHALIA) of a large caracca, which had sailed from Cochin, having on board nearly 1,000 Franks.…”—Tohfut-ul-Mujahideen, p. 159.

1596.—“It comes as farre short as…a cocke-boate of a Carrick.”—T. Nash, Have with you to Saffron Walden, repr. by J. P. Collier, p. 72.

1613.—“They are made like carracks, only strength and storage.”—Beaum. & Flet., The Coxcomb, i. 3.

1615.—“After we had given her chase for about 5 hours, her colours and bulk

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