PP/GC/PO/530 Letter from Lord Ponsonby to Henry John Temple, third Viscount Palmerston, regarding the alarming state of the Sultan’s health; the measures taken for the removal of Negib Pasha and concerning his conduct towards Colonel Churchill and Mehemet Ali’s preparations for war, 21 June 1841
Letter from John Ponsonby, first Viscount Ponsonby, [British ambassador extraordinary and plenipotentiary at Constantinople], to Henry John Temple, third Viscount Palmerston: the health of the Sultan is in an alarming state. His young brother, about 14 years of age, will succeed without difficulty but there may be great embarrassment as to the formation of a ministry. Riza Pasha is taking measures to secure power for himself. Ponsonby wishes for some disposable force nearby to show the British can act if it should be necessary. He will send his next letter by post and when he discusses the health of “the invalid” he actually refers to the Sultan. Ponsonby has taken very strong measures to cause Negib Pasha to be removed from his Government; his conduct towards Colonel Churchill will be the subject of Ponsonby’s demand for his removal. It is claimed Mehemet Ali has made some demands. There has not been time for Ponsonby to receive any communications from the Porte. He has got the Firman for the Antiquities and he will send them to Smyrna Ponsonby continues to work organising the army. He asks Palmerston not to send out any British officers for service except Du Plat who is already expected. He has often mentioned that the jealousy and fear of the Turks would be insurmountable obstacles in the way of those who fancy they can make a Turkish army in the way a Portugese army was made. He works to bring about Palmerston’s aim: to have the Turks in a situation to protect themselves. 21 Jun 1841 The letter is marked “Private and confidential”.
Four papers
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Muhammad Ali Pasha, alias Mehemet Ali, Viceroy or ruler of Egypt
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