PP/GC/PO/276 Letter from Lord Ponsonby to Henry John Temple, third Viscount Palmerston, concerning payments to secret employees of the embassy at Constantinople, 1 January 1837
Letter from John Ponsonby, second Baron Ponsonby, later first Viscount Ponsonby, [British ambassador extraordinary and plenipotentiary to Turkey], Constantinople, to Henry John Temple, third Viscount Palmerston: several reasons induced him to employ Mr Bhazi instead of the Italian, Micheli, since the end of September 1836. He encloses Micheli's receipt, and one from Bhazi up to the end of November. Palmerston was drawn on for one thousand pounds, of which seven hundred were paid to Mr Hudson and two hundred to Dr MacGuffog, as advised. The remaining one hundred pounds has been used to pay Micheli and Bhazi at ten pounds per month. Ponsonby is therefore twenty pounds in advance, there being twelve months in a year, and Bhazi had to be paid that day for the previous December. Ponsonby has lost out on the exchange rate, which was about ninety seven piastres when he got the money on Palmerston's bills, but the payments were made at the rate of one hundred piastres to the pound sterling. It is not worth making an account of the loss. Ponsonby will include the twenty pounds he has paid to Bhazi in the next draft he makes on Palmerston. He has had to employ these people whilst he himself had certain private matters to manage, but hopes to dispense with Bhazi [in February]. Bhazi is a protected subject and an honest person, who is very learned in Turkish and has very extensive information. He had a good relationship with the previous Seraskier, Husrev Pasha, and with the current Minister of the Interior, Pertev Pasha. Bhazi has translated papers for Ponsonby which needed to be sent secretly, although they did not contain information which would have done harm if revealed, and so Ponsonby was not very anxious about the secrecy of his agents. He will speak another time about someone else whose services have been very useful. 1 Jan 1837 The date written at the top of the letter, 1 January 1836, has been corrected to 1837. The letter is marked: "Private" and has been docketed as "Secret". Enclosed are: Note, in French, from Mr Micheli, Constantinople, acknowledging receipt from John Ponsonby, second Baron Ponsonby, of nine thousand piastres for his employment, at the rate of one thousand piastres a month, for the period January to September 1836. 1 Oct 1836 Note, in French, from G.Bhasis, Therapia, acknowledging receipt from John Ponsonby, second Ponsonby, of a money order for ten pounds sterling. 4 Dec 1836
Three papers, tied with blue ribbon, punched for disinfection
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G.Bhazi, or Bhasis, secret employee of the British embassy at Constantinople $$P Mr Micheli, secret employee of the British embassy at Constantinople
?James Hudson, known as 'Hurry Hudson', assistant secretary to William IV, later minister to Turin
Dr Samuel MacGuffog, physician at the British embassy at Constantinople
Husrev Mehmed Pasha, alias Chossrew Muhammad Pasha, Seraskier or Turkish Minister of War
Pertev Mehmed Seid Pasha, alias Muhammad Said Pertew, Kiahaya Bey or Turkish Minister of the Interior
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