Rycaut, Or Ricaut
RYCAUT, or RICAUT, Sin PAUL (d. 1700), traveller and diplomatist, was the tenth son of Sir Peter Ricaut, Royalist who on account of his support of King Charles had to pay a composition of £1500. The son was admitted a scholar of Trinity College, Cambridge, in 1647, and took his B.A. degree in 1650. After travelling in Europe and in various parts of Asia and Africa, he in 1661 accompanied as secretary the earl of Winchelsea, ambassador extraordinary to Turkey. During a residence there of eight years he wrote The Present State of the Ottoman Empire, in three hooks ; containing the Maxims of the Turkish Politie, their Religion and Military Discipline (1670; 4th ed., 1686; Fr. transl. by Briot, 1670; and another with notes by Bespier, 1677). In 1663 he published at Constantinople The Capitulation, Articles of Peace, &c., concluded between the King of England and the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire. Subsequently he was for eleven years consul at Smyrna, and at the command of Charles IL wrote The Present State of the Greek and Armenian Churches, Anno Christi 1678, which on his return to England he presented to the king and published in 1679. In 1685 Lord Clarendon, lord lieutenant of Ireland, made him principal secretary for the provinces of Leinster and Connaught. He at the same time received from James II. the honour of knighthood, was made a member of the privy council of Ireland, and named judge of the high court of admiralty, which office he retained till 1688. From 1690 to 1700 he was employed by King William as English resident at the Hanse towns, and shortly after his return to England, worn out with age and infirmities, he died on the 16th December 1700.
Rycaut was a fellow of the Royal Society, and wrote an article on Sable Mice which was published in their Transactions. In addition to the works already mentioned he was the author of A Continuation of Knolles' History of the Turks from 1613 to 1677 (1680), and from 1679 to 1699 (1700) ; A Translation of Platina's Lives of the Popes, with a Continuation from 1471 to the Present Time (1685) ; The Critick, from the Spanish of Gracian (1686) ; and the Royal Commentaries of Peru, from the Spanish of Carcilasso (1688).