PP/GC/PO/305 Letter from Lord Ponsonby to Henry John Temple, third Viscount Palmerston, concerning the use of British army officers in Turkey, 9 September 1837
Letter from John Ponsonby, second Baron Ponsonby, later first Viscount Ponsonby, [ambassador extraordinary and plenipotentiary at Constantinople], to Henry John Temple, third Viscount Palmerston: he delayed the courier twenty four hours in order to include Colonel Considine's answer in the despatch. Ponsonby is not well and very tired, and asks to be forgiven for not writing that day. He reminds Palmerston of what he said about rewarding Vogorides and Doctor MacGuffog. They are immensely useful and practically irreplacable. Vogorides has the confidence of Prince Menish and is highly regarded by the Sultan. "He is heart and soul with us because his opinions and his future views for himself and country combine to make him so. I have a right to confide in him after so many years experience of his truth and his zeal." The doctor is of course known to Palmerston. Captain du Plat demonstrates his worth every day. He would be very useful if Ponsonby had the authority to send him to gather facts wherever necessary. Perhaps he could be attached to the embassy in his military capacity. The French have military men attached to their embassy. Pertev Pasha often expresses his desire to have General Chrzanowski in Turkey, but he may not be prepared to support him against Russia "unless you do something to give him the right to say the General is under the protection of England". Ponsonby believes the Sultan is heartily sorry he asked for foreign officers. The plan for making use of foreign officers will never succeed in Turkey. They will be indirectly opposed by every Turk who has anything to do with military affairs. It was necessary for Marshal Beresford in Portugal to "have a stick" and to use it unsparingly, and without such strength it will be difficult to succeed [in Turkey]. In Persia, the whole thing seems to have failed. A nominal success has been obtained in Turkey and in Persia, but Ponsonby fears the success will not be as great in Turkey as in Persia. There are the continual Russian intrigues to combat, and her money. Ponsonby does not understand what he should do to comply with Colonel Considine's letter in reply to his. Clearly Considine has no more distinct ideas on the subject than Ponsonby. Considine will not be an instructor, and the Turks will not give him rank or command. He believes he will be useless as a military counsellor. "He talks [?of] other officers and non commissioned officers about to come here and to be under his command. What are they to do ?" "I am wholly unable to see my way or to devise any means for removing difficulties." In a former letter he had mentioned that General Chrzanowski could be useful. He does not believe any other plan could be successful, but he will do his best to execute orders from Palmerston. 9 Sep 1837
Two papers, punched for disinfection
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Lieutenant Colonel James Considine of the Fifty Third Regiment of Foot
Stefanaki Vogorides, Prince of Samos, known in Turkey as Istefanaki Bey
Dr Samuel MacGuffog, physician at the British embassy at Constantinople
Prince Menish
Captain Gustavus Charles du Plat of the Royal Engineers
Pertev Mehmed seid Pasha, alias Muhammad Said Pertew, Kiahaya Bey or Turkish Minister of the Interior
General Adalbert Chrzanowski, or Skranowsky, Polish officer formerly in English employ in Turkey
Mahmud II, Ottoman Sultan
General William Carr Beresford, first Viscount Beresford
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