Timeline

1685

Joseph Pitts from Exeter becomes the first Englishman to visit Mecca

Cover of Pitts' book

Born in Exeter in 1663, Joseph Pitts was captured by pirates and sold as a slave in Algiers.

His third master took him to Mecca on the Hajj. After his return to Exeter in 1695, Pitts live peacefully in Exeter, publishing his book in 1704.

Paul Auchterlonie of Exeter university has produced the definitive edition of the book - read about the launch on the university website.   

In 1920, Cicely Radford wrote a biography of Pitts for The Devonshire Association. 

Ghee Bowman has written a summary account of Pitts and his life.