PP/GC/CA/221 Letter from Sir S.Canning to Henry John Temple, third Viscount Palmerston, concerning the delay in presenting his memorandum on reform to the Sultan, intrigues by the Russians and the continued presence of David Urquhart in Constantinople, 20 August 1850
Letter from Sir Stratford Canning, [British ambassador extraordinary and plenipotentiary at Constantinople], Therapia, [Turkey], to Henry John Temple, third Viscount Palmerston: the Sultan's sadness at the death of his sister, Fethi Ahmet's late consort, has caused further delay in Canning's presenting his memorandum on reform. He hopes to deliver this memorandum "of forty Turkish pages" when he has an audience with the Sultan on the pretext of delivering a letter from the Queen. Reschid Pasha has looked at the memorandum and recommends a few amendments, but nothing of substance. "I regret that notwithstanding certain appearances of improvement no solid reform is in course of establishment and there is so much to regret and to criticize in the various departments of the administration that I am apprehensive of Reschid's falling through the holes of his own making if he does not contrive to get into a better course between this and Christmas". He will not send the report until he has the Sultan's reaction to it and knows whether any orders have been given to ministers for changes. The Russians are plotting to bring the Rayas and the ?Sarims into power again, but they have not yet succeeded. David Urquhart is still in Constantinople, "holding forth in a red Turkish cap and with his own peculiar vanities to such of the Turkish ministers as choose to receive his visits." Cannign does not believe Urquhart capable of making a serious impression on the ministers, although he believes Urquhart's "harangues" are generally in favour of the Koran. "The Sultan gave him a kind of audience in his travels, but it is not likely that he will receive him here in any irregular manner." 20 Aug 1850 The letter is marked: "Private".
Two papers
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Sir Stratford Canning, later first Viscount Stratford de Redcliffe, British ambassador extraordinary and plenipotentiary at Constantinople
Turkey; Ottoman empire; Sublime Porte
Adile, deceased: sister of Abdul Mejid, alias Abd al-Majid, Ottoman Sultan
Damat Ahmed Fethi Pasha, brother-in-law of the Ottoman Sultan
Tanzimat; Turkish reform movement; westernisation; trade; economy
Reschid Mustapha Pasha, alias Reshid Mustafa Pasha, Grand Vizier
Victoria, Queen of England
David Urquhart, Member of Parliament for Stafford, diplomat and traveller, formerly assistant to Sir Stratford Canning
Roum or Rayas: Greek population in Turkey; similarities between the Greek and Russian orthodox churches led to Russia taking an interest in their welfare within the Ottoman empire
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