The London Gazette, Numb. 46, Thursday, April 19th to Monday, April 23rd, 1666.
Contemporary newspaper account of the arrival to Constantinople of “The Jewish Prophet Sabadai.” Datelined “Genoa, March 6t,” this journalistic account of Shabthai Tzvi’s arrival to Constantinople commences on solid ground before taking a flight of fancy: “It is written from Constantinople, That upon the arrival of the Jewish Prophet Sabadai, the Grand Signior [i.e. the Sultan] consulted with his Mufti, and one of his Judges, what was to be done with him, who resolved that he was to be dealt with as a Traytor to the Ottoman Empire…The false Prophet was immediately delivered to the Guard, who set him upon an ugly horde, and carried him to the Seven Towers…From the Seven Towers, he was in a little while delivered to the Executioner…” This amounts to wishful thinking on the part of this English reporter. The truth is that Shabthai lived a “gilded cage” existence in the Tower of Gallipoli, known by his ardent followers as Migdal Oz (Tower of Strength). Later he resided in Adrianople (Edirne), the Sultan’s second capital, and later in Dulcigno (then Albania) for another ten years, having converted to Islam. Far from this newspaper account, Shabthai Tzvi in fact died of natural causes, aged fifty, in 1676.