PP/GC/CA/279 Copy of a letter from Henry John Temple, third Viscount Palmerston, to Sir S.Canning, concerning Turkish disapproval of the conversion of Greeks in Syria from the Greek Orthodox to the protestant faith, 29 October 1849: contemporary copy
Copy, in the hand of a secretary, of a letter from Henry John Temple, third Viscount Palmerston, Broadlands, Hampshire, to Sir Stratford Canning, British ambassador extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary at Constantinople:<P> [Transcript]<P> "Some differences and discussions have arisen in Syria on the subject of the conversion of congregations from the Greek Church to the protestant religion, and the Turkish authorities have set their faces against such conversions. It would be well, however, for the Turkish government to consider whether it is not for their interest to encourage such conversions rather than to endeavour to prevent them. The Greek and the Catholic Church are merely other names for Russian and French influence and Russian and French influence are dissolving agents for the Turkish empire. Protestantism is [f.1v] merely emancipation from Russian and French influence; and if all the Greek Rayas in Turkey and all the Maronites in Syria could become protestants such a change would be much in favour of the political authority of the Sultan. The great difference which distinguishes the protestant religion from the Greek and Catholic as bearing upon political obedience is that the Greek and Catholic hierarchy are ready instruments for foreign influence, which the protestant clergy are far less likely or fit to be so used.<P> 29 October 1849: contemporary copy <P> The word "Copy" at the beginning of the letter and "signed" at the end have been struck out in pencil, possibly to prepare the letter for publication in Evelyn Ashley THE LIFE AND CORRESPONDENCE OF LORD PALMERSTON, (London 1879)
One paper, later "21" in red pencil
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Sir Stratford Canning, later first Viscount Stratford de Redcliffe, British ambassador extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary at Constantinople
Ottoman empire, Sublime Porte
Syria, Egypt, Greece, Lebanon
Religion, emancipation, conversion, religious liberty, freedom
Roum, alias Rayahs or Rayas :Greek and non Muslim population in the Ottoman empire
Maronites: sect of Syrian Christians, attached to the Catholic church
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