Title:
PP/GC/PO/341 Letter from Lord Ponsonby to Henry John Temple, third Viscount Palmerston, concerning General Chrzanowski's place in the Turkish army, 30 July 1838
Date:
30/07/1838
Content:
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 has had long negotiations with the Porte about the appointment of General Chrzanowski. The Sultan had given him the real command of the army in Asia, but was frightened out of this by Husrev Pasha. Chrzanowski is now to go to Diyarbekir as a traveller, and the Sultan will send private and secret orders to Hafiz Pasha to treat Chrzanowski with deference, to show him everything connected with military matters and to listen to his arguments. The Sultan has agreed to pay the expenses for his journey and for the two Polish officers accompanying him, who will also receive monthly pay from Hafiz Pasha, according to the General's recommendation, which is much less than the Prussian officers receive. Ponsonby promises to send the General's account of what has taken place by the next messenger, which should be around 8 August if Palmerston's despatches arrive on time. Short of getting Chrzanowski the virtual command of the army, getting him to the "great point" of military action is the next best thing. He might be able to show Hafiz how to defeat Ibrahim if he attacks, and if the Sultan's fears of Russia begin to weaken, and he wavers from his current policy, the General will be in a position to be contacted easily when wanted. It is because he is a Pole that the Sultan was so frightened, but he probably would have refused to carry out any promises regarding an English officer too. "The truth is, the Sultan will not act with us undisguisedly till we have given him more than words." The General has given very good advice in some papers Ponsonby asked him to draw up for the Porte. Reschid Pasha seems to admire his ability. The General is still in the same position in regard to Palmerston as he was when he arrived. He will continue to be paid by the [Foreign] Office until the end of his trial year. It is important that he remains independent of the Porte as to pay, and that he is considered as belonging to the British government, which gives him respect and power which he could not otherwise enjoy. Ponsonby has asked him to send an accurate account of the army in Asia, so Palmerston will know the force of resistance to Ibrahim Pasha. It is already too late in the season for Russia to attempt an attack anywhere by land, and she certainly will not try one by sea unless circumstances improve. Turkey should be secure from all attack in this quarter, and only the Sultan could bring Russian troops in at present. Palmerston will have until the spring to take the necessary measures, and an English squadron will always be enough to protect Constantinople. Ponsonby does not have time to explain everything that has taken place concerning the General, and how it produced a deeply felt, though never voiced, quarrel between Reschid Pasha and Husrev. The Sultan actually ordered that Husrev should not be admitted into the council any more, but he was placated by Reschid who thought the old man needed to be managed. Reschid found himself opposed and thwarted by so many people that he decided to get out of his current place and obtain the embassy to England. He asked Ponsonby to get the Sultan to give it to him, which Ponsonby succeeded in doing. Mustapha Kiani Bey announced in the Sultan's name that as Ponsonby had recommended Reschid Pasha's appointment to be ambassador at London, the Sultan had agreed to it. Ponsonby's intention was to preserve Reschid Pasha and to have a better chance of keeping him in office than if he had refused to help. For the time being, he is high in the Sultan's favour, and it is not certain that he will leave Constantinople. If he does, he will leave Nouri Pasha as his successor, who is Reschid's man and is more understanding of the British point of view than Ponsonby expected. Ponsonby is more satisfied with Nouri as Foreign Minister than he would have been with others who might have been chosen. Ponsonby has just heard of a reconciliation between Reschid and Husrev, which may influence whether or not Reschid leaves for London. Husrev has had a severe blow, and his power over the Sultan has been greatly reduced, so he is by no means as formidable as he was, and not so much of a hindrance to Reschid and others. "Husrev in fact is at last old. He has lost much of his dexterity. He can still lie as impudently as ever and favor and flatter, but the Sultan thinks he has lost his capacity and is not sure that he is not Russian, which at this moment is a bad thing to be." Every difficulty could be overcome if the English fleet were to come to Constantinople, or preferably, just a few ships. Ponsonby is sending the 'Tartar' with the despatches from Persia to meet the messenger, whom Ponsonby has ordered to go back to Vienna and then to come to Semlin to take the monthly despatches. The consul general had despatches from the [East] India Company which are as important as those from McNeill, so it was necessary to send the messenger. 30 Jul 1838 The letter is marked: "Private" and it is noted that it was received on 24 August 1838.
Extent:
Four papers, punched for disinfection, tied with a blue ribbon
License:
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Subject:
General Adalbert Chrzanowski, alias Skranowsky, Polish officer in English employ in Turkey
Mahmud II, Ottoman Sultan
Husrev Mehmed Pasha, alias Chossrew Muhammad Pasha, former Seraskier or Turkish Minister of War
Diyarbekir, or Diyarbakir, Turkey
Hafiz Pasha, commander of the Turkish Asiatic army
Ibrahim Pasha, son of Muhammad Ali Pasha, alias Mehemet Ali, Viceroy or ruler of Egypt
Reschid Mustapha Pasha, alias Reshid Mustafa Bey, Reis Effendi or Turkish Minister for Foreign Affairs
Mustapha Kiani Bey, alias Mustapha Kaeni Bey, member of the Ottoman Great Council
Muhammad Nouri Effendi, alias Mehmed Nuri Pasha, Turkish Under Secretary for Foreign Affairs
Zemun, or Semlin, or Zimony, Ottoman Empire, later Yugoslavia
John McNeill, later Sir John McNeill, British envoy extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary at Teheran
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