PP/GC/PO/224 Letter from Lord Ponsonby to Henry John Temple, third Viscount Palmerston, concerning a letter from the MORNING CHRONICLE correspondent, Mr Sandison, 5 November 1835
Letter from John Ponsonby, second Baron Ponsonby, later first Viscount Ponsonby, British ambassador extraordinary and plenipotentiary at Constantinople, [Constantinople], to Henry John Temple, third Viscount Palmerston: he encloses a letter he has received from Mr Sandison, most of its contents are true and that which is not will be obvious to Palmerston. 5 Nov 1835 This letter is marked: "Private". It arrived on 5 December 1835. Enclosed is a letter from D.Sandison, Constantinople correspondent of the MORNING CHRONICLE, Therapia, Turkey, to John Ponsonby, second Baron Ponsonby, later first Viscount Ponsonby, British ambassador extraordinary and plenipotentiary at Constantinople: [Transcript] "Having been in town for a few days from whence I returned late this eventing. I beg to mention to your lordship some of the news and speculations afloat there, although uncertain whether the particulars may not be already known to your lordship. The Circassians, according to Doctor Mulligan have received news within these few days that their countrymen have gained some important advantage in an encounter with the Russians. He [f.1v] could not give dates nor any exact locality further than that it took place in Kuban and the Circassians mountain as the principal trophy of their victory the capture of eight pieces of cannon. An English vessel has arrived from Alexandria which sailed from there eleven days back. I heard of it too late in the afternoon to find out whether there was anything but commercial news, and Mr Nabar informed me he has no letters nor has of late heard anything particular from that quarter but disbelieves the previous accounts through Smirna and direct from Alexandria of the disarming of the Druses. Mr Churchill, who gets regular ? advices from Alexandria was not in town. Namik Pasha, I understand says the Sultan was highly displeased or rather disgusted at the visit lately paid him by M. Butenieff to congratulate him on having removing his establishment to the [f.2r] [Start of passage marked in pencil on the manuscript] [Along the length of this page is written by ? Lord Ponsonby the comment 'this is quite true this additional fact that Monsieur Butenieff took the opportunity to renew his advice not to attack Mehemet Ali.'] European side of the Bospherous. Monsieur Butenieff presented himself in the midst of a kourban or sacrifice usual among the Turks on such occasion [end of passage marked in pencil on the manuscript] which is considered a private and family ceremony, and the Sultan evinced in an unequivocal manner to his Russian visitor his displeasure at the intrusion, and his appreciation of this affected solicitude regarding his domestic concerns. It appears the reception given to Monsieur Butenieff was a mortifying rebuff such as he had never before experienced and Mr Longworth, who got the details from Namik Pasha, informs me the Sultan spoke unreservedly his sentiments such as I have stated, on the occurrence. His friend Namik Pasha also takes credit for having delivered a few days ago his maiden speech in the council on the subject of a connection with England which he zealously supported and says his address was extremely well received. [f.2v] The destination of the Turkish squadron sailing in the beginning of last week under the command of the Captain Pasha continues to be a subject of speculation. Some of the leading men of the Turks, pretend it is for the coast of Albania and will not admit that the real object is Tunis, which seems the most feasible from the troops taken on board to the number of 2500 as well as various other circumstances. This is strengthened by the fact if correct as stated, of the arrival of a * Russian * Tunisian frigate at ? Zenedos with a corvette sent to request the assistance of the Porte in favour of the reigning Bey of Tunis against an insurrection of his people in which half the inhabitants of the city of have joined. The other surmises in regard to the Captain Pasha's intended cruise are that he may touch at Samos to establish order there (though this can only if correct be a subordinate object) and further proceed to the coast of Syria [f.3r] to try how far the coast is clear in that quarter for ulterior enterprises, and what Mehemet Ali could do with his fleet under the bad spirit which prevails among the crews and having his ships lately brought into port unfit. The Turkish frigates returned from Tripoli are fast refitting, the utmost activity prevails at the arsenal and the seven ships of the line [the previous four words are underlined in pencil on the manuscript] off ? Bishiktash are kept there all equipped instead of being ordered into the arsenal as usual at this season. All this goes to confirm the statement I have heard as coming from [start of passage marked with pencil in the margin of the manuscript] one of the Turkish ministers that the Porte is fully disposed to measure its strength with Mehemet Ali, and wants only the consent of its allies to begin [end of passage marked in pencil on the margin of the manuscript] but I will not venture to say anything more to your lordship than merely repeat what I have heard on the subject. As to the actual regular force of the Porte, it's following is the imputation I have formed [f.3v] in concert with some gentlemen in town. Regulars under Reschid Mehemet: 20,000 Inclusive of troops at Konia: 12,000 to 15,000 2 regiments lately sent from here: 5,000 Asiatic army [total]: 40,000. In Albania troops sent from here: 15,000 Drawn from Salonika and Adrianople: 20,000 At Constantinople: 10,000 At the Dardanelles about: 3,000 Stationary police at Adrianople, Salonica, Smyrna and other towns: 5,000 [Total] 78,000 Allowing for casualties from sinkings etc. this is considered as giving an efficient force of ? brave men, besides the militia in Asia Minor, and their number in the European provinces with which I am not sufficiently acquainted. I understand from a person who was in Mr Brant's service and who arrived [f.4r] a few days after him from Erzerum, that he found on his route levies of Armenians had been sent from that quarter and the neighbourhood of ? Crison and Angora to Constantinople to be disciplined and embarked here for military service. It may not I hope be improper to mention to your lordship news which have got afloat in town - that the 'Pluto' will be the bearer of the answer to our ultimatum on the part of Lord Durham, and that the British fleet is at Corfu on its way to ? Lemodos in anticipation of the event. The Russian's steamer from Odessa brought the news of the Greek house of ? Ruth or Ralli, which has an establishment in London having made a purchase of tallow at Odessa to the amount of thirty pounds per ? M which has attracted attention from the unusual magnitude of the speculation, but whether founded on more than ordinary commercial grounds is unknown. [f.4v] A singular circumstance has transpired of which no doubt if there is any weight to be attached to it your lordship must have already heard. It is a statement made by Achmed Pasha that Mr Urquhart is not coming out and I am afraid that he said so some days back to an English gentleman without any further explanation or comment. I then heard in another quarter as a sort of corollary that on Mr Urquhart's nomination. Monsieur Pozzo di Borgo had written to the Russian legation here to request the Sultan to signify to His Majesty's Court an objection to the appointment and thus Achmet's Pasha's observation is accounted for. No one who has heard of the circumstance thinks the pique shewn by the Russians on the occasion whether carried to this extent or not will have the slightest effect. The Sultan, I hear, has made another reform in the finances by ordering the saraffs or bankers [f.5r] chiefly Armenians to account to the Porte for the suppliers interest charged by them to the pachas and other farmers, of the revenue beyond that to which they are entitled in their real advances as made good. This it is calculated will bring in a gain to the treasury of 2,600,000 piastres or 269 [pounds sterling] and the clients of the saraffs will continue to pay the interest as formerly in the entire amount with which they are chargeable, the same as if disbursed by the saraffs when the investiture is conferred. All the English workmen at the arsenal I hear have struck, and are determined on going home in consequence of differences respecting their own emoluments, and the more serious discussions with Mr Maudslay respecting copper rolling machinery. Namik Pacha, I understand, states the case strongly in favour of his government, to shew that it's demands are well founded and reasonable, but as Mr Black represents them quite otherwise, it is to be apprehended that unless [f.5v] some amicable settlement takes place, the Turks will find the greatest difficultly in getting English workmen to conduct any of their new machinery. They have, I hear, just paid his salary of 400 [pounds sterling] to a Mr Beattie, lately engaged by them as principal engineer at the arsenal which would indicate some plan or view of carrying on the works under his directions, perhaps under the notion that this can be done, though their own people." 4 Nov 1835
Four papers, punched for disinfection
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Ottoman Empire, Sublime Porte, Turkey: navy, fleet, army, military, defence, arms, troops, reform, trade, finance, merchants, economy, taxes
D. Sandison, Constantinople correspondent of the MORNING CHRONICLE
Caucasus or Caucasia or Ciscaucasia or Circassia
Kuban, Circassian oblast or province
Dr Julius Michael Millingan, correspondent for THE TIMES at Constantinople
Alexandria: Egypt
Mr Nabar
Smyrna or Smirna or Izmir: Turkey
Syria, Lebanon; Druze or Druse
William Churchill, British journalist in Constantinople
Namik Pasha or Namic Pasha, Turkish major general, head of the Turkish navy, a former envoy to England to ask for aid against Mehemet Ali
Muhmud II, Sultan
Apollinariy Petrovich Buteniev, alias Boutenieff or Butenev, Russian ambassador at Constantinople
Mr Longworth, British journalist at Constantinople
Tahir Mehmed Pasha, Kapudan Pasha or Grand Admiral
Tunis: Tunisia, government
Albania: uprising, revolt, revolution, headed by Tafil Bassi
Muhammad Ali Pasha, alias Mehemet Ali, Viceroy or ruler of Egypt
Tripoli, Libya
James Brant, British vice consul at Trebizond
Erzerum: Turkey
Albania: Albanians, taxes, conscription
Angora or Ankara: Turkey
John George Lambton, first Earl of Durham, British ambassador extraordinary and plenipotentiary at St Petersburg
Odessa: Russia
Russia: trade, export
Ahmed Fevzi Pasha, alias Achmed Pasha, former Turkish special envoy to St Petersburg
David Urquhart, later secretary of the British embassy at Constantinople, known in Turkey as Daoud Bey
Charles Andre, Comte Pozzo di Borgo, Russian ambassador at London
Diplomatic appointments: Turkey
Saraff or Sarraff: Turkish money changers or financiers or bankers, often non-Moslems, such as Armenians or Jews
Mr Maudslay, ? engineer
Mr Black
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