Located in North London, the Colindale library is
part of the British Library and holds an extensive and global collection
of archival newspapers some in hard copies and others copied to microfilm.
The following document summarises my finding after a day spent at
the library viewing the various newspapers from Istanbul and Smyrna.
The languages range from English, French, Greek, Russian, Ladino (Spanish
Jewish) etc. though not all the newspapers are available on demand.
One of these to be ordered 2 days in advance from their out-storage
is the ‘Smyrna Mail’, a newspaper I hadn’t come across in previous
investigations, and I have particularly concentrated on.
The ‘Smyrna Mail’ is kept in a single bound volume covering the period
Tuesday 23 September 1862 to 21 May 1864, published once a week.
The first date is clearly the first edition as it is V1, no1, and
though not indicated the last date probably represented the last edition.
The period covered is a time of intense British investment in the
Railways, whose effect probably dramatically raised the potential
British readership and precipitated the development of one of the
first English language papers of the Levant.
Compared to modern newspapers articles tend to be of local interest,
while trade notices and adverts tend to cover most of the paper. However
on a historical basis these adverts and trade notices help indicate
the economic activity of the city at the time, the part played by
Levantines in various sectors, as well as services offered to an increasingly
prosperous Levantine community. Newspapers listed, reviewed in no particular order.
1- Smyrna Mail: (FMSC 248)
Adverts from v1 no1 (often repeated in later editions)
* Notice that ‘Ottoman Railway Point Station warehouses now ready
for merchants…W.F. Fergusson, S.J. Cooke Secretary
* For Liverpool calling at Malta and Gibraltar, the powerful steamer
Olymphus, F. Honisher – agent
For London direct – The new and powerful screw steamer Windermere,
apply to E.J. Davee – Honisher’s passage – Marina.
1- F. Honisher is almost certainly A. Frederick Honisher 1798-1864,
buried in the Buca cemetery, and his name clearly outlived him as
the 1905 Goad map records his name on some warehouses.
2- E.J. Davee is probably Ezra Johnson D., whose wife is buried in
Buca cemetery as Elizabeth Davee and whose headstone records the name
of her husband.
Picnic at Ephesus
On Wednesday a picnic was given at Ephesus by Mr Fergusson and Mr
Clarke in celebration of the opening. A special train conveyed the
guests to Aya Solook, where abundant refreshments were provided by
Mr Thomas Silvey, steward of the English club, Frank St…The following
were those present Mr Whittall Chairman of the Smyrna committee and
Mr James Whittall, Miss Whittall…Ottoman Railway Company…Mr John Dalessio,
C.E. Browning C.E., Mr Stephen Joly H.B.M. Acting V.C. & Cancellier
1- It appears the son and daughter of J.S. John D’Alessio are
buried in Buca and he himself may be one of the ‘invisibles’, Anthony
John, who died in 1864.
2- Stephen Joly is buried in the Bornova Anglican cemetery, died 1886.
* British and Smyrna Club Coffee house, Marina
* M. Svoboda’s photographic gallery – Frank Street
* Excursion to Boudjah Paradise Station, Homer’s cave, the Park and
Shrine of St Elias by Railway and Omnibus.
* English club, 158 Frank St. (Strangers admitted by Members).
* Smyrna Literary and Scientific Institution, News Room, Library,
Lectures, Chess room etc. 19 Frank St.
* Circle Levantine – News Room – Cramer’s passage
* Turkey Carpets, Mr James Gout, Lower Frank St.
* Crimean officers cemetery outside the Turk town
* English hospital, hospital street
* English pharmacy, Frank St., opposite the English consulate
Physicians in attendance Dr Wood
* Post offices, (5 nations, no English at the time)
* Telegraph offices (13 nations, English – Frank Street)
* Boudjah and Great Paradise – The omnibuses of Francis Villedieu
leave Boudjah every morning at 6½ and 7 am, and Smyrna from
the Armenian church every afternoon at 5½ and 6. Fare One Beshlick.
* Smyrna Beer, German brewery, near the Smyrna and Aidin railway station.
Price 2½ piastres per bottle.
1- There is an air of London gentleman’s clubs of the societies
listed above and though clearly some had an intellectual agenda, membership
probably also had a snob value attached to it.
2- Of the various excursions offered to the public, many locations
are today difficult or impossible to trace as they are usually referred
to in their old names and some such as ‘Homer’s cave’ and ‘Shrine
of St. Elias’ were probably ancient Greek sites of pilgrimage all
destroyed by the calamitous events of 1922. I know from local Greek
sources that both the tomb of St Polycarp on Mount Pagus and the tower
of ‘Aya Photini’ in Alsancak were dynamited by troops in that period.
3- The British post office was located near the old British Consulate,
but as can be seen here was established sometime after 1862.
4- The German brewery is probably the same as mentioned in the Internet
site for the Buca émigré Alex Issigonis, ‘his father
was a naturalised British subject of Greek descent who had married
the daughter of a wealthy Bavarian brewer with a branch brewery in
The opening of the English club took place yesterday, Monday. It is
in Frank Street next door to Mr Paterson’s and was formally the house
of the late Mr John Maltass.
Note: Probably the same John Maltass
buried in Buca cemetery, died 1842. The Paterson house belonged almost
certainly to John Borthwick Paterson, died 1889. He would have been
44 at the time and this was probably his ‘bachelor’ home as opposed
to his family house in Bornova.
The anatomical exhibition, opposite the Impartial newspaper office
is now closed.
Note: From the De Jongh family records,
we know that this probably English language paper established by John
de Jongh in 1840 outlived its founder who died in 1854, as is confirmed
here (1862). 7-Oct-1862
Aidin or Tralles, by Frederick Turrell of the English College Bournabat.
Note: One of the longer atypical
articles dealing in detail of the neighbouring region in terms of
history, scenery, and activities. Mr Turrell (1827-1894) is buried
in Bornova, and the above informs us of his profession and a minimum
date for the establishment to the ‘English College’.
On Thursday the Imperial Cotton Commission met in the council room
of Konak, Mr Hyde Clarke, Vice President of the chair, with Mr Whittall,
Mr Paterson, Mr La Fontaine, Mr Peter Gout, Divan Effendi and Mr Rees.
Note: The Imperial Cotton Commission
may have been a loose organisation to avoid price cutting between
rival and wealthy Levantine traders. The Clarke family clearly were
in an influential position at the time, and from testimonies we know
were one of the few families to stay on in Izmir post 1922, still
highly involved in the life of the city from horse racing to football,
and trading in figs till the 1990s.
Messr P.F. Roboly and Co.’s freight list for U.K.
Bones 35 per ton
Barley 5 per ton.
Cotton120 per ton weight per steamer, etc.
Note: From Rose-Marie Caporal’s testimony
we know that the Roboly family first came from France for the ORC
railways but it seems other members of the family were involved in
freight transport. The bones advertised in transport costs may have
been used for fertiliser purposes. The differing costs may have to
do with the bulkiness of the materials concerned.
Ephesus, six photographic views, by A.
Note:A rare case of a ‘Polish (?) Levantine’,
a member of whose family seems to be buried in Buca (only son of Albert
Svoboda). The announcement shows that in the early days of photography,
photos were viewed in an artistic light and were traded as such.
Academy of Anatolia for Archaeology and Geology. Gentlemen desirous
of taking part in this society are requested to apply to the Honorary
Secretary at the Literary Institution.
Hyde Clarke, President
Charlton Whittall, grandson, Hon. Sec.
Note: The above society is probably
a good indicator of the intellectual awareness of the Levantines,
who seemed to afford the time for their pursuits as is seen in the
wide travels shown in the photo albums of Hugh Whittall (~1976), David
Forbes (~late 1940s) etc, the botanical work of Edward Whittall (1851-1917),
the zoological work of James Whittall (1838-1910) and the numismatic
collection of James Whittall (1819-1883).
Smyrna Jockey club.
Notice is hereby given that the meetings of the above club will continue
to be held until further notice at the Literary and Scientific Institution
no 19, Frank Street, every Monday afternoon at 4 o’clock pm.
Note: This club is probably the precursor
of the ‘Türkiye Jokey Klubü’ based in Şirinyer (Paradise),
that still continues to operate.
G. Watkins, clothier begs to inform the public that he has just received
from London an excellent assortment of winter goods of superior quality…
Smyrna Races. Stewards…E. Purser.
Mr Richard Abbott, H.B.M. Vice Consul at Gallipoli.
We are glad to see that the Ottoman Gas shares are better.
1- A contemporary Abbott, E.F. in 1867 established a corundum
2- This date places a minimum date for the running of the Ottoman
The want of a public school for the education of the European children
in the Levant, particularly of the large populations established in
Smyrna, Constantinople, Alexandria and other towns has long been felt,
likewise of an institution for the study of oriental languages.
The first object proposed of the founder of the Smyrna college is
to give a thorough education…
It is estimated that the sum of £T 3000 would be sufficient
to build the college; a considerable part of this sum has already
been raised by the submissions.
All communications addressed to Fred Turrell
Miss Whittall £150, J.B. Paterson £350, T.B. Rees £100,
Stephen Maltass £100, F. Turrell £300, J. Gout £50,
Mr Forbes £50, E. Purser £20, J. Filipuci £25, B.
Filipuci £12 etc.
2- La Réforme – French paper of Smyrna - only 5-Nov-1878 edition
available and through pre-order (not viewed)
3- Le Levant - French paper of Smyrna (owner Mehmet Sırrı, editor in chief Michel Camberes)
- not in stock at this library, but from dates of those provided by contributors,
established 1918, published till at least May 1937.
4- Impartial - French and possibly also English 1840? - 1905+? (editor
early days Anthony Edwards, later Simon Rue?).
1- Levant Herald and its derivatives: Istanbul based English newspapers
published with interruptions and frequently changing names under the
banner of ‘the late Levant Herald est. 1856’. All these are viewable
in microfilm only.
The Levant Times & Shipping Gazette:
Istanbul 16-Nov to 31-Dec 1868, English and French text divided by
a central column.
The Levant Times and Shipping Gazette is intended to be essentially
a newspaper. In addition to records of all local occurrences of interest
to the British and other colonies of the Levant, and the most important
news from every part of the world, it will devote itself specially
to matters connected with trade and shipping, and will aim at becoming
a reliable means of information and guidance to Western Europe in
regard to the industrial resources of the East.
Robert & John Abbott have run an extensive business at Salonica
for many years under the style ‘Abbott Brothers’, a family quarrel
occasioned a breach between them some time ago.
Note: The Abbotts feature also in
the Smyrna mercantile community and also in corundum mining. They
seem to have quickly become the principal merchants of the then Ottoman
backwater of Salonica, owning large vineyards, complete with villages
within. The obviously complex trial involved dividing these assets
between these brothers who also disagreed on the proportions of the
THE MEMORIAL CHURCH (CHRIST CHURCH), PERA, CONSTANTINOPLE
A local committee has been formed to concert measures for completing
the interior of this edifice, which was consecrated on Thursday Oct
22, by the Hon. and Right Rev. the Bishop of Gibraltar.
A portion only of the fittings of the Church has been provided and
there still remain the Pulpit, the Reredos, the Organ, the Bells,
the apparatus for Warming and Lighting, and other minor deficiencies
The estimate for these projects is about £1,000 of which, thanks
to the liberality of the Bishop of Gibraltar and a few friends, the
sum of £200 necessary for the Pulpit (of which one half was
contributed by his Lordship), has been subscribed.
Towards the cost of the Organ also, estimated at £250, eighty
pounds have been promised. A further sum of little more than one hundred
pounds is in hand, for general expenses; but in order to provide the
£170 for the Lighting and Warming apparatus, the £130
for the Bells and about £50 for other accessories, it is necessary
to appeal to the public.
The Committee feel confident that this appeal will not be made in
vain, and that not only the British communities in the Levant will
cheerfully aid in completing this memorial of those who fell in the
Crimean campaign, but that in England also many will be found ready
to aid in the work.
They beg therefore to announce that subscribers will be received as
At Constantinople, by the Imperial Ottoman Bank; Messrs C.S. Hanson
and Co,; and Mr.G. Laurie. At Smyrna, Beyrout, and Alexandria, at
the Imperial Ottoman bank. In London, at the offices of the Society
for the Propagation of the Gospel, 5 Park place, St. James’s street;
and at the Imperial Ottoman Bank, 4 Bank buildings, Lothbury.
Subscribers who desire to apply their contribution to any special
object, are requested to intimate that desire at the time of subscribing.
Committee:- The Rev. C.G.Curtis; E. Gilbert-son, G. Laurie; R. Sarell,
M.D.; F.W. Smythe.
Note: The above announcement represents
the late stages of the building of the Christ church, detailed in
issue 25 (first of 2002) of the cultural magazine ‘Cornucopia’ is
the article ‘The Crimean church, Istanbul – Geoffrey Tyack’, detailing
the considerable difficulties and human drama that went on before,
during and after the construction of Christ church. I know little
of the personalities involved in the committee, safe for the Sarell
family whose history is now well established through contributions.
Reuters telegram company limited
Notice is hereby given that the Constantinople branch of the above
company is now open at no:11 Rue Tom-tom opposite the Austrian embassy.
The regular telegraphic service commenced on the 1st day of January
...M. Dalessio, the railway [Smyrna-Aidin] company’s solicitor...
Note: Members of this family
are buried in Buca cemetery.
A cricket match between Eleven of Constantinople cricket club and
Eleven of Ariadne is arranged to take place on Thursday at the Ok-Meydan,
The following is a copy of an Address which has been forwarded to
the Prince of Wales through Halil Pasha by the English foremen employed
in the Imperial factories at Tophaneh:-
To his Royal Highness the Prince of Wales:
We the undersigned Englishmen, the majority of whom were formerly
employed in the Royal Arsenal Woolwich, and now in the Imperial factories,
Tophaneh, desire most humbly to express to your Royal Highness our
loyal and devoted attachment...
George Walters Smithing and forging,
Alexander McConnachie Turning and Fitting,
Joseph Reilly Carriage
John Douglas Shot and shell,
Matthew Bailey Cartridge machinery,
James Frost Fuze making,
Frederick Clark Cartridge making.
The Constantinople cricket club v. HMS “Ariadne”
Thursday was the day fixed for this interesting match, and no more
convinient spot could have been found than the one chosen by the Committee.
Easily accessible to equestrians from Pera and Pancaldi, no less so
to pedestrians from Galata by following the course of Arsenal wall,
and to visitors by water who patronized caïques and the above-bridge
steamers, it is no wonder that a very large concourse of spectators
of both sexes assembled early on the ground, not only in the expectation
of seeing a good match but in the hope of again beholding their R.H.H.
the Prince and Princess of Wales.
The love of the navy is bred in the bone of every Englishman, and
there is always an increased attendance at our local cricket-matches
whenever blue-jackets put in an appearance. Their great activity,
rollicking gait, and love of fun, not to be subdued by wind or weather....
List of agents for the Levant Times and Shipping gazette
...Gallipoli Mr. M. Pasquali
Dardanelles Mr. E. Grech
Smyrna Mr Michel Decipris - Librarie Internationale 11 Rue Franque
Printed and published at the office of the paper Ipsick Khan, Perchembé-Bazar,
Responsible editor, J. Laffan Hanly - Residence: Maison Camondo, Rue
2- Eastern Express: daily edition 1882-1886
Showing similar content and style to the above paper where bilingualism
is mirrored in the advertisements.
The above listing is not intended to be inclusive but merely give
an impression of Levantine newspaper coverage of the time.