Henry James Hanson Collection (GB165-0135)– Archive library, Middle East Centre, St Anthony’s College, Oxford
Hanson, Henry James (1838-1935)
Born 27 July 1838 in the Pera district of Constantinople, son of Charles Simpson Hanson (1803-74), a Levant merchant and his wife Charlotte (d. 5 May 1869), only daughter of Hon. Robert Smith, Speaker of the House of Assembly, Tobago. Educated in England. Married, 9 April 1863, Edith, daughter of Henry Oldham. Lived in Constantinople until 1887. Emigrated to Canada and then settled in England in 1895 where he died in 1935.
Scope and content:
Microfilm printout (some pages faint) of a MS autobiography in 3 volumes (approx 685 pages in total) by H.J. Hanson giving details of his ancestry, his father’s life in Constantinople and his own memories, including some of the Crimean War. The volumes are enriched with newspaper cuttings, family and scene photos, a few watercolours and a family tree with the coat of arms and a pedigree stretching back to the 13th century.
Immediate source of acquisition:
Received from Professor Christopher Henry Oldham Scaife (grandson of H.J. Hanson), July 1975 [born 1900, professor of English at the American University of Beirut in the 1960s, correspondence ends 1985, dies 1988].
Volume I deals with memories of his father Charles Simpson Hanson who went to Constantinople as a merchant, member of the Levant Co., c.1825, and with his own life at school in England, and then Constantinople until his marriage in 1863.
Volume II deals with his life in Constantinople up to c.1887, and then in Canada to c.1897.
Volume III deals with life in England from then on.
The watercolour drawings which appear in black and white in microfilm, have been recorded in colour transparencies in a separate box. The original in the possession of C.H.O. Scaife, grandson of H.J. Hanson of Palerinina 52028, Terranugra-Bracciolini, (Anezzo), Italy.
A very happy Christmas and bright new year to you my dear children.
As my grandfather John Hanson in 1839, on the 80th return of his birthday, wrote a letter to his children and left them a record of his family history, so I, having by God’s great mercy been spared to see the 85th anniversary of my birthday and the 60th anniversary of our wedding day, I would like to dedicate to you my dear children now spared to see us, this Record, commencing with my grandfather’s family pedigree extracts from his record.
It has been a work of love to wake up these old memories in order to show upon the circumstances of my father’s life and of the happy home he and my dear mother gave to us their children.
I have indeed been blessed with the examples before me of my worthy grandfather and of my dear parents and my heart is full of thankfulness for the numberless blessings which I have enjoyed. If I am spared I hope in a second volume to prepare & leave to you for yourselves, your children & your children’s children a record of our long & happy married life.
Extracts from diary of John Oliver Hanson, my grandfather.
My great-grandfather William Hanson of Osmanthorpe, son of Christopher Hanson of Arthington in the parish of Addle, born this year & died at Osmanthorpe 1765 aged 95.
Osmanthorpe near Leeds in Yorkshire, the property and residence of the Hanson family for some generations. Otherwise Osmunthorpe from a family of the name of Osmund, at one time its proprietor is more anciently Oswinthorp, the Royal village from Oswin and King of the East Angles about 1240.
The 3rd from Edwin who founded a mansion there which was pulled down in the reign of Charles Ist & Osmandthorp built on its site, in one of the windows of which was a piece of painted glass preserved when the old Hall was demolished, representing a King with a very antique crown & sword with an Escochean of three crowns being the arms of the Kingdom of the East Angles…
Hanson of Osmanthorpe Co. York – Lineage
This family is descended from the Rastickes of Rasticke in the parish of Halifax, Co. York, whose pedigree is given from the year 1250 in Watson’s History of Halifax.
John, son of Henry de Rasticke who married Allice, daughter and heiress of Henry de Woodhouse by Beatrice daughter and heiress of Thomas de Toothill first assumed in 1330 the surname Hanson. His lineal descent, Arthur Hanson married in 1600 Sarah daughter and heiress of Thomas Bothomley Esq. and had 4 sons & 2 daughters. From the third son Joseph descended Christopher Hanson of Arthington in the parish of Addle Co. York who married in 1668 & had William and four other sons and one daughter.
William Hanson, born in September 1670 purchased Osmandthorpe. He married twice. 1st 8th June 1692 Grace Whip of Addle by whom he had John and five daughters & 2nd Mary [?] by whom he had one son, Benjamin.
John Hanson of Osmanthorpe born in 1693 married 1st Mary Bucktrout by whom he had William and four other sons and four daughters. He died 2 June 1775.
William Hanson of Osmanthorpe born 22 June 1718 married 1st April 1755 Allee daughter of Thos. Keene Esq. of Bristol and has issue: He died 11 Dec. 1791.
Allee Hanson b. 4 Nov. 1756, d. an infant.
William Hanson b. 8 Dec. 1757, d. 11 Feb 1762.
John Hanson b. 23 Apr. 1759, d. 22 Nov 1839, buried at Chigwell.
Thomas Hanson b. 19 Sept. 1760, d. 27 Sept. 1760
Allee Hanson b. 25 Oct. 1761, d. 9 Nov. 1761
William Henry Hanson b. 9 Jan 1764, d. 23 June 1764
John Hanson sold the estate of Osmanthorpe & Killinbeck and bought the Manor of Great Bromley Hall Essex, married 29 Jan. 1784 Mary Isabella daughter of Thomas Oliver Esq. of Low Leyton Essex. Issue:
Mary Isabella b. 10 July 1785, d. 4 Nov. 1857, m. 1807 Capt. Richard Bogue R.d. who fell at Leipzic 18 Oct 1813.
Charlotte b. 13 Mch. 1787, d. 22 Sept. 1849.
William b. 7 Sept. 1788, d. 13 Sept. 1813 killed at Villa Franca in Spain.
Elizabeth b. 26 Jan 1790, d. 1863, m. 1808 Sir James Brabazon Urmston, of Woodlands, co. Essex. [President of the British East India Company in China during 1817-26]
John Oliver b. 19 May 1791, d. 1861, m. 1819 Rebecca, youngest daughter of William Scott, Esq. of London.
Henry b. 1 Nov. 1792, d. 1809, drowned in China.
George Hanson b. 19 April 1794, d. 24 Dec. 1872, m. 1828 1st Caroline Eleanor, daughter of Wm. Walford Esq. of High Beech, Essex. She died in 1834. m. 2nd Charlotte Douglas, daughter of Charles Round Esq. of Birch Hall, M.P. for Essex.
Edward b. 4 May 1797, d. 11 May 1835, m. 1822 Lydia Maria, daughter of John Blunt Esq. of Woodford, Essex.
A son b. 15 June 1798, d. June 1798.
James Frederick b. 6 July 1799, d. 5 Aug. 1866, m. at Boughia, Smyrna 26 Jan. 1841 Eliza Zoè, daughter of Nathaniel W. Werry Esq. H.M. Consul at Damascus.
Anne b. 19 Aug. 1800, d. 1885, m. 1829 Henry Bonham Bax, Captain H.E.I.C.J.
Oliver b. 13 April 1802, d. 1823
Harriet b. 13 April 1802, d. 1867, m. John W. Bridges Esq.
Charles Simpson b. 19 Sept. 1803, d. 15 Apr. 1874, m. 1829 Charlotte only child of Hon. Robt. Smith M.D. Speaker of the House of Assembly, Tobago.
Maria Louisa b. 12 Oct 1805, d. 1877, m. Thomas, eldest son of Edward Chapman Esq. of Whitby.
Chilren of Charles Simpson & Charlotte Hanson
Louisa Grace, Born in Pera 29 March 1831, Baptized at Therapia 2 July 1831, d. 10 Jan 1910, m. 1853 R.W. Cumberbatch
Charles Constantine, Born in Pera 16 Oct 1832, Baptized at Therapia 11 July 1833, d. 12 July 1907, m. 1857 Fanny Catherine d. of Charles Ede
Helen Jane, Born in Therapia 12 June 1834, Baptized at Therapia 21 June 1835, d. 1864, m. 1862 G.H. Clifton Esq.
Constance Fanny, Born in Therapia 20 June 1836, Baptized at Therapia 9 Oct 1836, d. 29 Dec. 1888, m. 1857 Capt. F.H. Butler Fellows RNCB
Henry James, Born in Therapia 27 June 1838, Baptized at Therapia 1 April 1839, m. 1863 Edith Anna d. of Henry Oldham Esq.
Adeline Eliza, Born in Pera 30 Dec 1839, Baptized at Pera 19 April 1840, d. 29 Jan 1921, m. Henry Rumball Esq.
Arthur Walker, Born in Therapia 24 Jan 1843, Baptized at Therapia 2 July 1843, d. 10 Feb. 1884, m. Alice Margaret, d. of T. Ogilvy Esq.
William Wellesley, Born in Pera 21 Nov 1845, Baptized at Therapia 1 Aug 1846, d. 7 May 1905, m. 1870 Mary Grace, d. of Henry Oldham Esq.
Alfred Ernest, Born in Therapia 24 July 1850, Baptized at Therapia 29 Dec 1850, d. 23 April 1851
The above appendum to the family list will be of interest. My father had his house at Therapia from 1831 for many years, he and my mother and the family spending the summers there & going to their new house in Pera for the winters. The long intervals between the births & baptisms were I think due chiefly to difficulties arising from various causes inseparable from the times – plague, absence of Chaplain, illness etc.
My youngest brother was born and baptized after my mother’s return from England, so it would seem that more time must have elapsed than I reckoned from 42 in the giving up the house at Therapia & in the settlement at Candilli.
Robert W. Cumberbatch was in the British Consulate under his brother A. Carlton Cumberbatch, Consul General Constantinople then Vice Consul, Consul of Berdiansk, finally Consul at Smyrna.
Charles C. Hanson after leaving the office studied at St. Aidan’s College, Birkenhead, was ordained Dec. 21 1862 at Fulham Palace by the Bishop of Winchester curate at [?] & Albury. Ministered at the British Colony at Hasskeiy [Hasköy, by the Golden Horn, Constantinople, the site of Ottoman barracks and shipyards where many foreigners were enlisted for engineering skills] and then Chaplain at Smyrna.
George H. Clifton, solicitor at Constantinople.
F.H. Butler Fellows R.N. commanded the naval brigade in the Abyssinian war & in the capture of Magdala, promoted captain & C.B. April 13 1868, d. 25 March 1923.
Henry Rumball, registrar, Supreme Consular Court Constantinople, nephew to Sir Edmund Hornby, Judge of S.C. Court.
Extract from Diary or Record of John Oliver Hanson, my grandfather
1823 June 2. Charles again left us having W. Hoppe [?] for companion, travelled through France & Italy to Leghorn where he embarked for Smyrna to visit his brother Edward, and then to Constantinople.
1827 June 27. In consequence of Accounts of the very dangerous illness of my dear son Charles at Constantinople, my son George immediately set off to visit and attend him home if sufficiently recovered to undergo the fatigues of voyage. Happily assisted by the skilful treatment of Dr. Mc Carthy after having been in the most dangerous & hopeless state for some weeks, his valuable life was reserved and he was enabled to commence his voyage homewards, gradually recovering strength on his passage to Smyrna, the Greek Islands to Ancona in Italy & arrived with his brother safely in England Dec 9th.
July. My son James also left England and embarked at Marseilles in a Russian vessel for Constantinople where he had the satisfaction of seeing his brother before their departure where he remained to assist in the charge of Charles’ concerns during his absence.
1829. My son Charles left England for Constantinople in which he made a rapid & most extraordinary dispatch, his journey for Constantinople on return to London being accomplished in 31 days, 10 days of which he detained in quarantine at Semlin in Servia, his actual travelling therefore was only 21 days, but this rapidity is easily accounted for, the object of his journey having been to secure a house and make every preparation for the Bride he was about to take out as the future partner of his residence there. He landed in England the 1st of August and the 1st of September was married at the Parish Church of Woodford to Charlotte, only daughter of the late Robt. Smith Esq. of the Island of Tobago, the 1st of October left England going by land through France to Marseilles & arrived in safety after a fine passage to Constantinople, 30th Nov.
Narrative of a Voyage from Hamburg to London, Nov-Dec 1822 by Charles S. Hanson
This journal was copied from a manuscript belonging to Mr. Bridges in Jan 1852, by A.C. Brown for her dear young friend... During a tempestuous passage of five weeks terminating in shipwreck on the Gunfleet sand of Harwich in the memorable gale of Dec. 5th 1822, by Charles S. Hanson, passenger on board the “Vigilant”, merchant brig.
Nov. 1st 1822. Having been a year in Hamburg & fulfilled the object of my residence by attaining a knowledge of the German language I prepared to obey my father’s summons to return to England and having taken my passage on board the brig “Vigilant” Captn. Paine. I left Hamburg on Friday evening Nov 1st accompanied by two friends, who were to sail the same vessel...
Charles S. Hanson was intended for business in Russia & went to Hamburg where he was to reside for sometime under the auspices of a friend, Mr. Malburgh, to learn German...
Reminiscences and Events and other matters of interest during the early years of my father’s life at Constantinople gathered chiefly from him and my mother.
He went out in 1823 to Monsieur Barbauld a French Merchant there to whom the Hanson brothers John Oliver H. & George H. of London consigned various articles of merchandise. After the death of Monsieur Barbauld in 1825 he continued the business & some 5 years later added to him name Charles S. Hanson of Co. He was admitted as member of the British Levant Trading Co. under age. During 1825-8 Sir Stratford Canning was the British Ambassador. In 1826 Sultan Mahmoud II having organised a new force after the pattern of European armies, displayed the flag of the Prophet and after some sanguinary fighting drove back the Janissaries into their barracks, which he burnt, 8,000 perishing in the flames. Not fewer than 15,000 were executed & 20,000 banished. June 17 1826 the Janissaries force was finally dissolved, its place was taken by Nizami / Modern regular soldiers.
My father often referred to the day when he was going over the bridge from Galata to Stamboul on business, he was politely told that official business was suspended that day at the Government Departments as they had some business of their own to attend to & that he had better go back to Galata and come another day. In fact that very time the Janissaries had been summoned to the Seraskirat / War Office / Esklanade where they were surrounded by the New Nizam troops, all with the fez introduced by Sultan Mahmoud II. At the same time this was going on at Stamboul where the Janissaries were shot down, the Government troops had surrounded some large barracks situated between Pera and Therapia occupied by thousands of Janissaries and their families. Artillery was used, the barracks set on fire and all perished.
During this excitement and alarm in Pera in the uncertainty whether the Government troops would get the best of it or not, there were constant messages sent round the merchants & others from the Embassy to report the … progress of the fighting after this great blow the Janissaries for years, whenever & wherever found throughout the Empire, were put to death. When I returned to Constantinople from school in England in 1854, William Carlton Cumberbatch, the Consul General had a Kavash who had been a Janissary. He used to accompany W. Cumberbatch out shooting, carrying his bag. He was a most faithful and capital fellow, good also at marking down woodcocks and other game as I can testify. Janissary tombstones had their heads broken off.
The Turkish and Egyptian navies were annihilated by the combined British, French, Russian fleet in the bay of Navarino in Greece. There was great anger and excitement in Constantinople and it was debated in the Divan / Supreme Council, whether the Greeks of the city should be put to death.
Bombardment of St. Jean d’Acre, seaport on the coast of Syria. Stormed by Ibrahim Pasha in 1832, it continued in his / son of Mehemed Ali Pasha, Viceroy of Egypt, possession till it was bombarded and taken in 1840 by a combined British, Austrian & Turkish fleet, commanded by Admiral Sir Baldwin Walker who was made a KCB in 1841. The following story of Mehemet Ali Pasha was told us in after years by Dr Zohrab [?] a valued friend of my father & mother & their family physician.
One day a yuzbashi / chief over 100 soldiers / or other subordinate Turkish officer came into the office of Armenian Bankers of Constantinople and asked for a loan of 50 Turkish Liras though, as he said, they knew nothing of him, and I think he came from Salonica or that part of the country. As in those days it was risky for a Christian to refuse such a request, the money was lent, the Bankers never expecting to see it again. Years afterwards they received a message from the Pasha who had made himself master of Egypt. Never suspecting that he was the man to whom they had lent the money which they hardly remembered. However one of the Bankers went to Egypt, was ushered into Mehmed Ali’s presence. He recalled the loan the firm had made to him and explained how he had succeeded in getting his present position. He handsomely rewarded the Banker and appointed the firm his Bankers at Constantinople. Hence the firm and family have since been distinguished as Missir-Lee [Mısırlı - Turkish for Egyptian] of Egypt in addition to the family name of Boghos Bey Missirlee. Dr Zohrab added that it was always considered by the Egyptian ruler as a right good omen to transact their important financial dealings through this firm.
Dr Paul Zohrab when boy, son of Armenian parents was adopted by a Scotch lady, Mrs Gordon and her husband who visited Constantinople were much interested in him. They educated him in Scotland and he studied medicine under Sir Benjamin Brodis and we were told considered him a most promising pupil. He enjoyed a high reputation and during the Crimean War attended successfully many of the officers who came down to Constantinople suffering from French fever, typhus etc. He returned in 1838 from Scotland.
Miss Brown’s diary at Constantinople for the years 1839-1842 gives the following amuzing stories.
1839 Nov. 22
Mrs Hanson related an anecdote yesterday of a celebrated juggler ‘Bosco’ who has come out to exhibit his art to the Turks. In walking down to Galata he accosted a Turkish woman selling eggs, asking her if they were good, she said ‘yes’. So he bought one which he immediately broke and in which to her great amazement he found a gold ducat. ‘Well done mistress’ he said, sell me another which he broke in the same manner and lo and behold appeared another ducat. ‘Come this is such good luck that I think I’ll have some more’ exclaimed the man, but the fair Turk absolutely refused to part with another from her basket, the contents of which she deliberately broke one by one in the vain hope of finding more ducats. In arriving at Galata he went to Mr Black’s counting house to deliver a letter of introduction which he had brought to him. Mr Black motioned him to sit down at some distance and taking a seat himself, they entered into conversation in the course of which he observed taking out a silver snuff box and pencil case from his pocket. ‘Mr Black perhaps you will be able to find out to whom they belong, I picked them up in my way’. Mr Black stared in with some explanation of surprise, identified them as his own and abstracted from his pocket with the few minutes they had been engaged in discourse, although he declared the man had never in his consciousness been near him.
1840 Feb 1 Dr Zohrab’s amusing anecdote - Dr Zohrab is also the Sultan’s physician
He was attending a Turks some two years ago for whom he prepared powders, telling him to take one paper twice a day after rising and before going to bed. On going to visit him next morning he found him busy chewing something between his teeth with all his might. Upon enquiring after his state of health and how the medicine agreed with him, he answered ‘Why Dr, as to the powders you see I can manage to take them very well but really getting down the paper afterwards is very hard work’. He had literally taken Dr Zohrab at his word and after emptying the contents of the paper down his throat he had finished by swallowing the envelope. The stupidity and absurdity of the thing did not appear so great when both the young doctors at table said that the Turks have a great opinion of verses from the Koran written on paper which they get from the Imams and take as remedies for various kinds of sickness. Dr Zohrab also prescribed a large poultice for an external application to the stomach and some pills and a draught to be taken inwardly. He found his patient finishing the last spoonful of the poultice preparatory to taking the other medicine, grumbling very much of the enormous quantity and the suffocating sensation of fullness it occasioned.
March 9. Dr Zohrab recalled to Mr Hanson a recollection of an attempt to commit suicide
A few years ago a ship came here addressed to Mr Hanson whose captain in consequence of having lost his wife was subject to extreme depression of spirits. The change of scene at Constantinople was not at all favourable to his recovery and in a fit of despair he attempted to terminate his existence by taking opium. The quantity not being sufficient to kill him he determined to try again, purchased another immense dose which he swallowed. Mr Hanson was sent for and Dr Zohrab who immediately attempted to administer something to prevent the opium taking effect. No entreaties however or remonstrance could prevail with the infatuated man to swallow the contents of the cup. He constantly repeated that he was weary of life and had taken the poison on purpose to die; why should he do anything to prevent the very effect he most wished. Mr Hanson sat by his side on the bed arguing with him in vain for some time, putting the draught to his lips when a sudden thought struck him and he changed the whole tenour of the argument with almost instantaneous success. ‘Well my dear fellow’ said Mr Hanson, ‘if you wish to kill yourself do it by all means, but do it in a gentlemanly way. The opium you have taken is not enough to destroy life immediately, but will cause you lingering torment, whereas if you take this medicine and get well again, you can blow your brains out with a pistol and end your suffering in a moment which will be a much more speedy pleasant way of dying.’ The man stared at him with a wild but earnest look of attention, caught immediately at the idea and swallowed the dose. He was prevented giving way to drowsiness for a certain time and soon quite recovered, nor did he ever to Mr Hanson’s knowledge repeat the shocking attempt to terminate his own existence.
‘The Zohrab family is of Syrian origin. At the end of the last century, 18th, Hodja Hanna Zohrab, father of the late Dr, was 1st dragoman to the Dutch legation in Constantinople. Dr Zohrab in 1865 entered the service of the Khedive Ismail Pasha as family physician, got the title of Bey and gift of a farm at Broussa to which on departure of Ismail Pasha from Egypt he retired about 2 months ago. He returned to Constantinople and took up his abode at Therapia where he died in 1883. He leaves no wealth but that of the good name who has followed him through life...’ Levant Herald.
1842 May 28, Therapia
A Turkish deserter from Scutari took shelter here and slept at the Kiosk. He got his discharges through Admiral Walker. He never mentioned the fact of his presence, and the Pasha never alluding to his being missing. Either the Binbashi, chief of 1000 men, has kept it close or the Higher Authorities think it unnecessary to tell Sir Baldwin Walker. He had instructed his dragoman if the Pasha told him that the man had escaped to step two paces back at least ‘for I had a good lesson from the Capitan Pasha how to express astonishment at what I already perfectly knew that I thought it was a good opportunity to give it them back again.’ Some time back the Porte having sent him a sword inferior to those which they presented to other officers of his rank for their services at Acre, Admiral Walker sent it back with an indignant letter to the Council. The Capitan Pasha was the person who read it aloud to the rest, yet the next day when the Admiral made a visit of compliment to tell him of what steps he had taken, he chose to appear as if he had been left in utter ignorance of all that had passed.
11 June - Elephant shooting
Captain Williams, afterwards Sir Fenwick Williams of Kars, had been elephant shooting in Ceylon, when one of his principal co-adjustors was killed. Mr. Hanson’s visitor related a very serious accident that happened to his friend who had already shot over 900 and wanting to boast of having killed 1,000! He was out with a party of his servants when an elephant detached from the rest of the herd, in which situation, they are more than usually furious, came running towards him. The Coolies ran up the trees like monkees and left Capt Rogers standing alone, depending on his safety on the success of his aim, which was taken behind the creature’s ear, one of the most vulnerable parts. He fired from too great a distance and failed in wounding it mortally, so that his shot only added to its fury and exposed him to greater danger, but he had still a 2nd barrel in reserve and on this he now depended for his life, therefore levelling the piece with all the coolness he could collect at another vital part of the creature’s head, he fired again. There was some fault in the cap and his gun did not go off. A moment more and the animal rushed directly in him, seized him in his trunk and threw him over a declivity at some yards distance. One of his armes with legs and ribs were broken and he became totally insensible. The narrative of what further happened to him was supplied by the servants who looked on him from the asylum in the trees. The elephant having flung him down the hill paused a moment and then began to consider about following him to complete his destruction but the ground was soft and slippery from heavy rains and covered with thick bushes liable to entagle its feet. It attempted to go straight towards him but slipping, changed its purpose and walked leisurely round. As soon as it got with a yard or two, it stretched out its foot for the purpose of crushing his head, their invariable mode, but it chanced to miss by about an inch and sunk instead into the soft ground. It then advanced its trunk, ripped up his trousers to the very top, waved a detached piece of them over his head and departed apparently satisfied and triumphant. His servants took up the unfortunate victim, shattered almost to pieces and conveyed him home, where he was so well attended by able surgeons that some months afterwards, when the other gentleman who related the story left Ceylon, he was not only likely to do well but progressing rapidly towards convalescence.
1839 Nov 7
Mrs Hanson and I talked about the love of children, which Mrs Hanson has to a great degree, indeed is the most devoted mother I ever saw. She said that without children she should be perfectly untouched, look forward to a life of most joyless and melancholy prospect.
1841 April 27 - In Sweet Waters of Europe, Stream of the Barbyses
Close view of the young Sultan Abdul Medjid, he stared persistently at us and in doing so slipped as he got into his Caique and would have fallen but for his attendants help. A Greek physician, one of his father Mahmoud’s medical attendants told us some time ago that owing to his plain person’s funny constitution, Sultan M. did not at all relish the idea of leaving him his successor and would have certainly have put him out of the way had he lived long enough or suffered less acutely in his last illness. So much did he wish his younger son, a fair handsome youth, to inherit the Empire, he often asked the Greek physician whether he thought Abdul Medjid would live and whether he had not a poor constitution and a delicate chest, not in an anxious tone, but as if he wished his fears and anticipations to be confirmed. The physician said he was quite positive he would have poisoned him in his last illness, if he had had his head to use the physician’s own expression.
1841 July 23 - John Oliver Hanson came, left for Smyrna ..[?]..
Aug 1 - Case of Plague in Therapia.
Oct 6 - Earthquake, 3 shocks, 2.30 am, all alarmed, walls cracked.
Oct 15 - Mrs Hanson strung her harp.
1842 Feb 13 - Mr Hanson had to walk up from Pera as his horse was not sent.
June 8 - This morning little Henry met with an accident that might have been most serious and even fatal in its results. He fell from one of the windows of the Kiosk, but his fall was broken by the branches of a vine growing up it and the injury received amounted only to 2 or 3 severe bruises and a slight dislocation of a collar bone. The surgeon of the French Brig came to examine the child and ascertain the extent of the injury. No English physician near.
1842 June 9 - The French physician pronounced little Henry out of all danger. Mrs Hanson, whose feelings in such matters are exquisitely keen and tender, was so affected by the thought of what might have happened to him from such a fall that he wept like a child for a considerable time before he went to bed.
June 10 - French physician’s homopatics - Certainly the effect of his medicine upon little Henry was wonderful.
Nov 1 - Joseph Brown, her brother wrote accepting ‘Mr Hanson’s and Admiral Walker’s offer to become a co-partnership farmer.’
1836 - Miss Brown left England by the Rhine and Danube with her young charger. Eliza and Lucy Sarell, afterwards Madame Theodore Baltazzi and Mrs Ongley with their cousin Mr H.S. Ongley and arrived at Therapia, with the Sarells in October. Lord Ponsonby being English Ambassador at the time. Apparently Miss Brown came out to the Sarells Oct. 1835.
My father’s illness at Belgrade
My mother told us that in their early married life at Constantinople, they were staying at Belgrade, in the forest inland from Buyukdere, where my father enjoyed a good deal of shooting, when he was taken ill. Dr Zohrab was sent for from Pera. But knowing the unavoidable delay and remembering from her experience of such feverish attacks how important it was to master the fever as soon as possible, she put on leeches, my memory seems to say 40. At any rate it was goodly number. Wehn Dr Zohrab came, he told her that she had done quite rightly and humanly speaking had saved his life.
The Plague - When in 1839 my father was going to England he rode to Belgrade to avoid quarantine which in those days must have been a terrible ordeal. Avoiding touch was supposed to be the sole thing she heard that in ..[?].. some article had been brought from a Jew pedlar and passed up outside by a cord resulting in a case of plague, the first in Candilli. I remember as a boy having to stand for some little time as a punishment for some misdemeanour in the high stand-up cupboard in which my father used to be disinfected on his daily return to Therapia from Galata, changing the clothes that he had been wearing. Money was passed through water, touching other people when going about was avoided and sundry other precautions were taken. Years after Plague had become a thing of the past owing chiefly to strict quarantine, cholera appeared and there have been bad visitations.
Farm at Rodosto on the Sea of Marmora was purchased by Admiral Sir Baldwin Walker, Captain Williams, lent also to the Turkish Government and my father but when Capt. Williams was appointed to the Turco-Russian Boundary Commission in 1845, this farm was sold and the other two partners purchased Touzla Farm near Ghemlik in Bithynia, (Touz = Salt), from the salt pits at Touzla Point. These were Government property and were always supposed to be a cause of unhealthiness especially in the summer when the salt water was evaporating. The farm occupied a plain almost surrounded on the land side by hills with 2 or 3 miles of coast, 3,000 acres in extent.
I remember hearing that when in his younger days my father went about the country lying near the coasts of the Sea of Marmora for shooting pheasants, woodcock, ducks and large game, he got attacks of intermittent fever and for years after he had given up his longer expeditions and apparently got rid of it. He could not eat cucumber or row down the Bosphorus past the Sweet Waters of Asia, where there was a swamp and the air laden with the marshy smell, without getting a return of the fever. It took years before he was so to speak immune and could enjoy his cucumber salad etc.
As a sportsman my father was anxious to have no disabilities for his life policy, so when Atlas Life Insurance asked him what facilities he needed he mentioned that he had need to go to his farm also to Smyrna where his brother lived and for shooting they made a very satisfactory arrangements, leaving him free to go to these and other places he named and within 10 miles of the coast.
In years later a friend having omitted to provide for these contingencies, could not accept his invitation to spend the night at Candilli, being in Asia.
In his early days the mail used to arrive at Constantinople once a fortnight, leaving ..[?].. letters despatched in this interval, leaving sportsmen free to make good use of their other’s time.
When my father built or repaired his house at Therapia, he found that the workmen made so many holidays on numerous Saint’s days that the work progressed very slowly, but finding out that the Greek priest depended upon the offering, the felt bound to make on the obligatory service on those days, he made an arrangement by which the priest got a generous equivalent and pre contra, absolved the workmen from the obligation, and so aided the work on hand.
Therapia - When we lived at Therapia on the quay, when I was a boy we constantly saw Turks, sellers of various commodities, who stopped on the road side spread their carpet, knelt down and say their prayers.
The Persian trade via Trebizond, Erzeroum etc.
In my father’s time and in my younger days this trade from Constantinople and the West went by this the shortest and quickest route. The improvement and safety of the roads was always talked of and from time to time attended to ‘a la Turque’. Even when the Russians having conquered the Circassians made a railway from Poti to Tiflis, merchants and travellers preferred the Trebizond route as it was always thought of political strategy and commercial importance that the Turkish Government should give its utmost attention to it, but fate and inertia were against them. Eventually the Russians perfected their railway system and secured Batoum, the only good port excluding Sinope on the South coast of the Black Sea, and Kars the fortress which really commanded Erzeroum and neighbourhood. The through trade was of course lost. I remember an amusing anecdote regarding the trade to Trebizond when before 1847, the P &O steamers, Austrian Lloyds and other independent lines or steamers competed for the traffic of goods and passengers. There was always a large number of Armenian and Turkish hammals [porters] and Oda Bashis / care takers coming from and going to Van and other places en route. The regular lines endeavoured to choke off the others by cutting down fares, at one time deck passengers were carried gratis and one company at last out-did the others by giving even deck passengers his full of pilaf [rice] each day.
Therapia - I remember when a boy of 7 or 8, being in my father’s dressing room when he looked out, it was winter, and saw 3 pelicans swimming down the Bosphorus. He lost no time in ordering his caik [rowing-boat] and taking his gun rowed after them. He succeeded in shooting one and another was shot by a villager. This last had 150 fish in its pouch.
I was always accustomed to go into my mother’s bedroom in the morning and say a verse of the Psalm which I learnt day by day. Before going to England, I read the Greek New Testament daily to Miss Brown, in Modern Greek pronunciation. Then at school at gradually dropped this and acquired our English way of pronouncing it. Returning to Constantinople, I soon lost this and returned to my first love, for I was always told that having had a Greek nurse, I really spoke Greek before English.
I remember the delightful excursions we used to have on birthdays especially in our large Caik to various places from Therapia on both sides of the Bosphorus to the Black Sea.
My father had stables for horses and cows beyond the gardens and terraces and a Greek groom by the name of Sotiri who used to fill an old grand piano case with horse chestnuts for the cows. They seemed to relish and thrive on them.
An old retainer, Demetri Sakelario, had some leech ponds at Beicos where he reared and kept them for the market. In those days leeches were freely prescribed and used. When the Hon. H.C. Wellesly’s / Lord Cowley / son William went to school in England he gave my father his pony and harness for me but I have no recollection how long I enjoyed the gift. My father in his shooting excursions got some wild boar now and then. He gave me the tusks of boar that he had shot, which afterwards I gave to Cecil. Divine Service during the summer must, I think, have been held in the Embassy at Therapia, the Chaplain officiating and probably in the same orangery where in later years we attended now and then, being rowed up from Candilli.
It was at this period that I used to wavea flag, towel or anything I could tie on to a pole to salute Captain Williams on his way to Trebizond. The General, then Sir Fenwick Williams of Kars referred to this, when in 1862 I called upon him at Montreal, where he was commander in Chief in Canada.
It was a wonderful sight to see the number of sailing vessels passing through the Bosphorus when a spell of Southerly wind had changed the usual currents enabling them to get to the Black Sea. I remember hearing that one day some one was charged by my father to count the number that passed Therapia. The number proved to be 800.
Major General Sir H. Rawlinson Bart G.C.B
“The famous archaologist, the original decipher of the dead cuniform language and the last director of the East India Co., Political Agent 1844, Consul General at Bagdad 1851, K.C.B. & Dr of E. India Co. 1856, Minister in Persia 1858/9.”
Extracts from Adventures in the Near East 1918-22 by Col. A. Rawlinson
“At once on leaving the camp at Kirmanshah, we could see the famous Rock of Bisidun ... a sheer 400 ft above the plain ... This rock was the lodestone which retained my father in those parts for 12 long years and on its surface is the famous cuniform inscription which had remained unread and undecipherable for 2,500 years, till he determined he would persevere until he achieved the success which was his at last, when after twelve years continuous study, he gave the long lost language back to the world with alphabet, grammar, dictionary complete and so laid bare to history the records of ‘Darius, the King of Kings’.”
“Note... At a spot some hundred miles north of Behistan he discovered two inscriptions in the unknown writing, obviously proclamations by the great king of those ancient times - he observed that each was headed by 2 seperate groups of signs. These were in the first inscription.
As he was well aware the name of a king was invariably followed in ancient times by the name of his father, he inferred the first inscription was a king represented by a group whose father’s name was represented by group ‘b’ and that the second ‘..?..’ was a king whose name represented by group ‘c’ whose father was the father of inscription ‘a’. From his profound knowledge of history of the ancient Persians, he presumed the 3 kings in question were probably Darius, the son of Hystaspes, and Xerxes the son of Darius... he was able thus to fix the meaning of values of certain characters. From this small beginning, with the infinite toil and astonishing ingenuity after 12 years of study, he eventually succeeded in resolving every detail of the long lost language and supplied the key which unlocked the door closed for over 2,000 years, and placed at the disposal of the modern world, the written records of the great empires of the Ancient East.”
My father took the whole family to England in S.S. Tagus P&O
My brother Charles had been given a home for some years at Uncle John O. Hanson’s, Dorset Square. We landed in Southampton and rented a house in Sussex Place. My father owing to business preoccupations arising from the Irish Famine affecting the shipment of grain from the Danube and the disposal of the same on which later he did not approve of his managers Mr Jacob’s views in trusting to secure higher prices in England, instead of realizing a moderate profit at Constantinople, returned after 6 months stay at home.
On arrival in England I went to King Edward VI Grammar School Guildford with my brother Charles. My aunt Lady ...inston, having recommended it, whose son Edward had been a parlour boarder there with Dr Belin. It was not then a satisfactory school and on my mother, the family including C.C.H., leaving England in the autumn of 1848. I was sent to the Clapham Grammar School / Rev. C. Pritchard Wrangler Cambridge where I remained until midsummer 1854. My uncle George Hanson kindly giving me a home all the time in Woburn Square and then at Hornchurch, Essex.
Soon after my father returned to Constantinople, he was asked by Sultan Abdul Medjid to sell his house at Therapia as he wished to present it to the British Government and H.J.M. offered to facilitate his securing another property that would suit him. My father agreed to fall in with H.J.M’s desire and offer and the house, garden as well as the adjoining Austrian Lloyds’ factory were presented to the British Government. On the other side of the latter was the British Embassy. Eventually a new Embassy was built on the site of the factory, the Attaché’s staff were housed in the former embassy and our house was pulled down and only a gardener’s house was left. All the gardens were thrown into one. On my mother’s returning, she realized the advantages of the position and the glorious views from the house and garden at Candilli, looking up the Bosphorus and from the olive tree looking down to Constantinople and the Marmora. Notwithstanding the steep hill and the dilapidated state of the old house, scorpions and centipedes falling from the ceiling in my mother’s room.
An old Armenian family had built the splendid large house and the garden was terraced and supplied with large cisterns. It had been the custom of wealthy Armenians and Greeks to have their properties rather out of sight and not attracting attention by show of paint and on the shores of the Bosphorus which exposed them to danger. My father used to refer to a special 3 oared caik, which was known as portending danger for some reason or other both to Christians and Turks.
Candilli My father purchased a large wooden house adjoining Dahlian [Fishing Station?] Scala from which there were steps forming a steep ascent to the high road. This landing place was thus called as in former days (i.e. some years after the Crimean War) there was a fisherman’s Dahlian viz look out hut on high posts, with posts for nets and large flat bottomed boats nearby. My father bought the property chiefly for the large boathouse and bathing arrangements which he needed.
My first recollections of the tennants of the house after 1834, were that it was let to the British officers and draughtsmen who were drawing out maps of the Turco-Russian Boundary Commission, Lieut Glascott Benjamin Handley and ?. Edward Ede and Nathaniel Ede and their French friend Mr Borel were there in 1857. Then Mr and Mrs Edward Ede rented it and finally my father let my sister Adeline and Harry Rumball, her husband live there until the house was burnt and nearly everything in it.
Rev. C. Pritchard D.D., F.R.S. in later years Lavilian [?] Professor of Astronomy and fellow of New College Oxford - In 1886, he gave me a copy of his “Annals of our School Life” addressed to the “Old Boys” of the Clapham Grammar School. Motto “Speak unto the children of Israel that they go forward” Exodus.
I find in my extract book the following:
Note on title page of “The Battle of Belief” by Nevison Loraine Longmans 1891.
“This much I may say that, after a life, already not a short one, spent in the study of Science and Philosophical Divinity and living with equal intimacy with men of sense and thoughtful divines, I have learnt nothing which can reasonably disturb an impartial mind either in its acceptance of the Divine inspiration of the Sacred Scriptures, not as literal or punctual, but as genuine and substantial. I am equally assured that the general development of human knowledge is friendly to these considerations. Prof Pritchard”
Dictionary of National Biography 1903
“In 1833, Mr Pritchard M.A. turned his attention to educational reform on which the Clapham Grammar School was founded to give him an opportunity in 1834. 1834-1862 had a small observatory at Clapham, where he did some useful astronomical work. At Oxford 1870, a new observatory in the Parks, where his chief work was accomplished, especially in stellar photometry, erected through his initiative - invented the wedge photometer to obviate discordance in estimates of the brightness of various stars. 1888”
Mr Pritchard’s 1st wife was a Miss Newton, her family were old friends of Miss Brown and I fancy this influenced my being sent to this school.
The following are noted from Memoirs of Rev. William Goodell D.D. by E.D.G. Prime D.D. showing some of the incidents of life in Constantinople in the years noted.
1831 Aug 2 Great fire in Pera his house was burnt, he lost everything, he wrote “of all that part properly I understand Pera, only 8 houses are said to remain, of all the palaces only the Austrian and Swedish were saved. Of all the Churches only one Greek and one Latin, with the new English chapel then in building, escaped the general conflagration.” He found a temporary home at Buyukdere.
Oct 5 Constantinople and the vicinity were visited with one of the most remarkable hail storms of which we have any authentic record, the hail falling in masses of ice. “At 7 o’clock this morning occured the most dreadful hail storm that I ever witnessed ... as it approached our attention was arrested by the very singular appearance of the Bosphorus. It seemed as if some person was at intervals throwing brickbats or having stones into it from the roofs of houses. Observing, however the same appearance at a distance from the shore, I concluded for a moment it must be large fish jumping out of the water. But immediately the storm rushed on with awful fury; the stones fell, indeed, thick as hail, almost every frame of glass that was exposed was broken; the tilings of the houses were cut to pieces and water come down in streams into our chambers, while the whole suface of the Bosphorus was splashed up into the air in a manner it is impossible to describe... We ourselves measured two of the hailstones, that were 5½ inches in circumference and one of our neighbours, an apothecary, measured one which Dr Walsh took a drawing, that was 14 inches in circumference.”
1833 At that period and for many years later, no one was allowed to ride in passing the palace of the Sultan. All must dismount and walk and this too whether the palace was occupied or not. Even in passing the palace on the Bosphorus in a boat, parties were rigidly required to lower their umbrellas, no matter how furiously the sun or rain might be beating upon them... Green was claimed as sacred to the descendants of Mohammed and a Frank lady would at any time be liable to be stoned if she were seen in the street wearing a green veil, or any other article of dress of this colour.
1840 There is at present some stir among the Jews of the capital. Their chief rabbis had led them to expect that according to their book, the Messiah must absolutely appear some time during the present year. A learned rabbi, who assisted Mr Scauffler in his translation of the Scriptures, occassionally visits me and almost the first, sometimes the very first question I always ask him as he enters the door is “Has He come?” “Not yet”, has always been his reply till his last visit a few days ago when laying his hand on his heart, he said in a low and solemn tone “If you ask me, I say He has come; and if you show me a safe place, I will bring you 10,000 Jews tomorrow, who will make the same confession.”
1841 Nov. Mr Goodell completed the translation of the Old Testament into Armeno-Turkish having finished the New T. before coming to Constantinople. This translation has been and will long continue to be the lamp of life to the millions of the Armenian Nation.
1847 He was called to act as a sort of chaplain to the English Embassy from time to time during a great part of his residence at Constantinople (Rev. Dr Bennett the chaplain died 26 April 1847). He enjoyed the intimate friendship and confidence of Lord Stratford de Redcliffe, who left in 1858.
1865 June 8 An address accompanied by the gift of a timepiece from British and American residents was presented to Mr Goodell, aged 94. Charles Hanson in the Chair signed amongst others by C.S.H., H.J.H., Mr Rumball, E.J. Ede etc.
Appreciation of the Rev Cyrus Hamlin D.D., long his associate in the Mission and now the President of Robert College Constantinople.
“The French Ambassador’s is a very fine old house, once belonging to Prince Ypsilanti. Its vast white stone hall and fountain, with windows almost darkened with shady plants and flowers, look deliciously cool and pleasant to passers-by.”
British Hospital at Therapia, 1855
“It was once a summer palace and has been given by the Sultan for the use of the sick and wounded English... From the formal part of the garden you soon wander into a wildly beautiful shrubbery which reaches up to the hill of Therapia. This is really a lovely spot and what is rare in this country, the deep shade preserves the ferns and wild flowers in freshest beauty. We walked with delight through a fine avenue of trees... One of these fine avenues extends half way up the hills, another crossing it and forming a charming forest picture... We came suddely to a little valley enclosed with a low mud wall. Round it were arranged in rows, about a hundred graves, each of which contains the bodies of many men, who have died of wounds in the hospital, or been brought down from the Crimea. They are all nameless these long rows of clay; but in the centre of the valley, erected on three white stone steps, stands a plain white cross on which is inscribed, “I am the Resurrection and the Life”; beneath this “To the memory of those buried here, who fell in the Crimea; erected by their countrywomen of Therapia”. Alone at the upper end of this sad place; stands a solitary grey stone, with the inscription “Captain Lyons, Her Majesty’s ship, Miranda”. “--- from Lady Hornby’s Constantinople / My sister Helen / Mr Clifton / was buried in this small cemetery, 1864. The officers of the “Antilope” kept up a fine lawn tennis ground for some years. Finally the old Palace grounds were given to the German Government for its Embassy.”
Ruined Turkish Cemetery below the Genoese Castle Anatolu
“Some ancient graves of the Janissaries stood there, with huge, unmutilated turbaned stones, Sultan Mahmoud’s vengeance had not found them out in this sequestered place.”
Dr Goodell in taking the service at the British Embassy for 45, could not bring himself, I heard, to use the petition in the Litany “for victory over all her enemies”, but per contra the good old man felt on mourning when Queen Adelaide died.
H.J. Hanson School life 1847-1854
1847 to 1848 midsummer, King Edward VI Grammar School, Guildford with my brother Charles. Dr. Belin Headmaster.
1848 My mother and family left for Constantinople...
In 1848/9 a serious epidemic of cholera visited England and was bad in the slummy parts of Clapham...
1851 The Great Exhibition at Crystal Palace. My uncle George took me there and amongst its wonderful sights & sounds I was shown in the Turkish Court a splendid block of walnut, wood sent I think through the firm Mesr. C. Ede of Constantinople.
My uncle George was a director of the London & Westminster Bank in its earliest years... He, my uncle John & the latter’s eldest son John constituted the firm of Hanson brothers Co. founded by my grandfather for I remember when the firm closed, the account with their bankers [?] Percival & Co., the latter expressed their regret to close an account which had been in their books 100 years!
My uncle John was a director of the Bank of England & my uncle J. Chapman was for years chairman of the Royal Lifeboat Institution.
On and after my arrival from England 17th Sept. 1854 Robert Cumberbatch & my sister Louisa lived in the low adjoining house which my father purchased I fancy at the same time as the Big House, the terraced garden being thrown into the gardens of the latter. A high wall had been built on the other side of the Big house as a protection from fire and then later my father purchased the two adjoining houses, no 11 & no 13 the latter of which he rebuilt.
My father had a house in the Grande Rue de Pera from which we had a splendid view over Topkhane, the harbour, Scutari. Though both houses were kept furnished, we always required a large Mahone (or lifters) for the bedding, including the piano which was taken backwards & forwards...
Edward Ede and I got up the “Constantinople Cricket Club” of which at first he was Secretary and I Treasurer. Major E.C.A. Gordon R.E. , then lent by the British Government to the Turkish Government as Inspector of Hospitals and living at Kadikeuy. Nominally occupying this official post, he rendered assistance in other ways notably at the Ministry of Public Works, Railways etc.
The first cricket ground was at Balta Limani, between Roumeli Hissar and Emirghan and was owned by the same Nouri Pasha, son in law of Sultan Abdul Medjid, who afterwards met with such a disastrous end. As the Bosphorus steamers did not fit in with our hours of play, we hired a roomy 3 oared island caique, starting from the Scala [iskele - pier] at the foot of Pershembe (Thursday) Bazaar, in which street my father’s office was situated, and calling at different Scalas especially on returning. In the printed notice sent out was noted as “Falibar’s” [?] (a watchmaker’s in Galata time) we used the word “Wharves” with the result that we were told that “wharf” was an exception to the rule and that we should have used “Wharfs”.
Later on several clubs were formed. The Candilli Cricket Club, Byzantine C.C., Hasskeuy & Kadikeuy; matches were played on the different grounds and in the Sultan’s Valley, Beicos, where sailors from the Antilope or other Stationaires generally prepared the ground. The matches played were often “Officials” v “Non-Officials”, Asia v Europe, Embassy & Therapia & The World or v C.C.C. etc. When the officiers of the Mediterrenean Fleet came up with the Admiral on his annual official visit to the Sultan, the match was a more representative one. I used to get up early to Balta Liman Valley, turn up the keeper of the Café there and instruct him about preparing the ground’s pitch. He kept our tent, water and being soon after the Crimean War, several officers who remained on sometime and others came down from Therapia to play and to look on.
This did not continue long for we arranged to play in the inner valley of the Sweet Waters of Asia. The difficulty at first was the fact that horses used to be tethered out for 3 or 4 weeks in the spring with groom’s tents alongside. This spoilt the pitch and ground and delayed our playing. We got over this by buying the requisite extent of the grass or by agreeing to its being cut in good time for green feed. After some years Candilli was strong enough to form its own club, Candilli C.C. and the Inner Ghuyksou [Göksu] was an ideal place for our enjoyable practices and matches.
When Edward Ede and Nathaniel Ede were living at the Old Yali, the latter took part as a violinist in a weekly musical string quartet at Rev. W.G. Schauffler’s D.D., American Missionary living at Bebek and I often accompanied him. On the first occassion the evening was wintry, boisterous and stormy. It was no slight matter to get a boatman to face it, and Dr. Schauffler and his party as it turned out, never expected him to turn up, but Nat Ede not wishing his absence should ever be put down to weather, wind or tide insisted on going and so we managed to get a caikji [boatman] to take us over. After the music we came down to the Scala, found the caik with snow over everything and a dog taking refuge in it; we got our Caikji from the café and got across alright, though it was a wild night. Dr Schauffler was a German by birth and a thorough musician, he played the flute and made up a quintet now and then. He also began learning to play the violoncello when he may have been near 70.
When at the Yali, the Edes and my brother Charles laid down some oysters near by, for some time with no result. Eventually and oyster bed was found at the other side of the bay, beyond the mosque at Yenikeuy, evidently owing to the current.
Prince Ilhami Pasha
They were very friendly with Ilhami Pasha, a wealthy Egyptian who married one of Sultan Abdul Medjid’s daughters. His Yali was close to Yenikeuy Scala, as it was, and there was a grand dwelling there and many of the English and European ladies went to the festivities. As it was either incumbent or politic [?] for the Pasha to return from his steam excursions by sunset he had built by Scott Russell a fast fine steam yatch on which he delighted to get away for trips in the Marmora and often asked the Edes then C.C.H. to accompany him. He used to speak out freely to them.
He gave Edward Ede a beautiful skiff [small light boat], 2 pairs of skulls, built by Searle, which I bought afterwards from him. To Nat Ede he gave a long racing boat, 4 oared, in which with N.E. as cox we three and a friend used to have great spins in the evening to Buyukdere etc. As Edward Ede’s Turkish legal business was at a low ebb, he was urged by his sister Fanny to apply to the Pasha for employement in managing his large estates in Egypt. He was loath to do so. When he did the Prince told him that if only he had known it a day sooner he would gladly have given him charge of the same. As it was he had settled with someone else, a Mr Haselden, I think who came to Constantinople to negotiate this business, joined later by Mr Henry Oppenheim. The Pasha died rather suddenly soon afterwards.
As to the Wedding festivities - there were other Princesses, daughters of Sultan Abdul Medjid, married off at the same time and the fêtes that lasted a week were marvellous. Rafts for fireworks at many points on the Bosphorus. Hundreds of tents outside Pera with thousands of lanterns inside and outside, where thousands were fêted and feasted ad libitum.
Diplomatic Corps, Bankers, Merchants, the poor Turks and Christians; the bill for these and the dresses, presents to was a big one. Indeed it ended in a loan to clear off the indebtedness, including the enormous enrichment of those entrusted with the expenditure. These extra rejoicings took place as in the case of Sultan Abdul Medjid’s eldest daughter whose marriage took place during the Crimean war, very little fuss was made. The consequence was that the lady in question was very angry, the more so that she had been bidden to marry one not of her choice and not at all to her liking.
Here hangs a tale somewhere in the later fifties, my father gave a large picnic to the Prince’s Islands and I was deputed to go up in one of his steam tugs, take on board the contingents from Buyukdere, Therapia, R. Hissar, Candilli, Ortakeuy, Tophane [?] and finally Kadikeuy, about 60 or 70 in all including members of the Embassy and Consulate. In fact the élite of the British and American colonies. We had a lovely day, a grand picnic ashore, refreshments and supper on board. We landed our ..[?].. at the various places and I chaperoned the rest of the party beyond Candilli. It was dark, we had got permission as usual for the steamer to ply later. When opposite Emirghan as we steamed up the Bosphorus, the Captain of the “Helen ..[?]..”, on the bridge, we heard a crash and looking over the side saw a 3 oared caik float past with some men in her. Our boat was lowered, picked up one ..[?].. and one was pulled on board. This was what happened. The Captain had seen the caik some little distance ahead coming down the Bosphorus with the ..[?].. wide of the tug. Suddenly the man in the bow put out one of their long oars and turned the bow across the steamer’s bows, then again changed the direction of the boat sufficiently to miss our bows but crashed into the paddle box. The boat it was said would have floated for a time but Noury Pasha, whose caik it proved to be, fearing the worst, called upon his chief body guard to save him, threw himself into the water. The caik sank. The Pasha and 3 or 4 out of the 7 were drowned. Those in our boat heard murmurings etc. from the shore boats when they knew whose caik had been run down and we were glad to get on quickly to Buyukdere. On our return the Captain was nervous, last any attempt should be made to stop us. I disembarked at Candilli. I was in a great state of mind when in the early morning I told my father of this terrible ending to the Prince. As usual he took it very calmly whilst realizing its seriousness. On going to town he was asked to attend and give full particulars of the Captain, his state after the picnic, whether sober or otherwise.
For a short time we were in fear that some trouble would arise, especially in regard to the Captain, but as the Embassy and Consular officials could testify to his condition and character and moreover it was acknowledged the Pasha, being out of office and out of Kieff [?] for family reasons, was coming back from one of his carousing bouts he and some of his men no doubt the worse for drinking, it died a natural death. He was the unfortunate husband of Sultan Abdul Medjid’s eldest daughter. He lived in a wooden Yali next but some distance off a fine stone Kiosk with a large garden and lake in which the Princess lived.
Winter of 1857/8
Was the most severe I have ever experienced in Constantinople. I went to Smyrna just after Christmas for a few days holiday and visit to my Uncle James’s. I went to Boujah and had a days shooting with Sidney Maltass, rigged out with my Uncle’s velveteen shooting coat and which was torn to shreds by the wait-a-bit thorns encountered so that I had to be decently fitted up again to return to Smyrna. I left by an old French steamer hoping to get home by New Year’s day, but a gale came on which the steamer could not face, so the captain took refuge in Phokia (a small bay near the entrance to the Gulf of Smyrna on the Eastern side), there we spent New Year’s day, had specially good menus and wine to celebrate the day and as the gale had abated left on the 2nd. We gave our testimony for what it was worth that we did not consider the steamer was fit to battle with such a gale as we had encountered. We arrived at Constantinople on the 3rd and found snow had fallen heavily. Snow storm succeeded snow storm for 3 months.
The Golden Horn above the second bridge was frozen over and of course higher up, arabas [carts] crossed on the ice for three days, such an unheard occurence that my father walked there to see it with his own eyes. My brother Charles Edward and Nat Ede and I decided to spend the holiday, Greek New Year, in a boat so we started up the Horn but when we got above the second bridge we found the Men-of-War were surrounded with ice, thich enough to impede our progress. We turned back therefore and made for Haidar Pasha and Kadikeuy and shot some ducks.
The snow fall was so heavy that at the Taksim in the wide road between the Barracks and the Artillery exercising ground no attempt was made to clear it away, a lane was cut for foot passengers and later on for wheeled traffic, with walls of snow 6ft high on either side. Wolves outside the town committed depredations, and milkmen and others coming in were in some cases frozen.
Lady Hornby at that time lived in the house Hill top at Candilli in which we lived from 1867 onwards and in her interesting book she refers to wolves coming into the village and describes some episodes of the time.
In the old days at Candilli most of us used to fish at the times when the shoals of Skumbri / Mackarel, Lufari, Palamuthes arrived. It was quite a sight from the olive tree terrace to see 2 or 3,000 boats in a mass all waiting for the fish to arrive and take the bait and then to hear the incessant noise of the hauling up of flapping of the fish being thrown into boats. No real bait was used. Only a hook and a leaden quicksilvered small fish. At times one saw hundreds of people throwing lines from the shore at every possible vantage ground and hauling in big Palamuthes.
Kustinji Railway & Harbour Co.
My father having been from the first Banker at Constantinople for this company, he and friends were invited to the opening of the railway from Tchernavoda on the Danube to Kustendjeh where a port was being constructed and great breakwaters thrown out. My father gave me the opportunity of the trip and also took Nathaniel Ede. We were entertained right royally for 2 or 3 days in a fine new hotel the furnishings of which had been done by Maple. We were treated to the excursion by steamer and called and went ashore at Varna on our way up. Mr Samuel Baker afterwards Sir Samuel who had been in Ceylon had superintended the construction of the railway. When he retired from the managership, he went to Ismidt for the winter for some good shooting and then he went of to Africa for larger game.
Chambers Encyclopaedia: “Eventually with his wife a Hungarian lady, he undertook a journey for the exploration at his own cost for the discovery of the Nile sources, joined at Gondokove by Speke & Grant, in 1864 they beheld the vast inland sea to which he gave the name of Albert Nyunza.”
During the Crimean War my father sold or disposed of his house in Pera and purchased a fine stone house in Rue Venedik running from the Grand Rue to the Small Burying Ground. It must have been 1855. We spent the winters there for 2 or 3 years, when one spring a month or so before our usual migration to Candilli, a broker called on my father and asked if he would sell his house in Pera; my father said he had bought it to live in and that he had no wish to dispose of it. The broker, no doubt, assured my father that the party he was acting for would give a good price but my father dismissed him and the notion altogether. Soon afterwards Mr Etienne Mavrogordato, an old friend who lived at Therapia that married a Miss Sarell, came in, as he often did, to do business in bill brokering and have a chat. When my father told him of the foregoing, he strove to convince my father that, as he was in business to make money, there was no incongruity or ‘manque de convenance’ in making money by selling his house. My father was not convinced but when, to his surprise, the man called again, he wound up the talk by saying “Well if you will pay £15,000 I will think about it” thinking that would be the last of it. To his astonishment the broker turned up again and on my father realizing he meant business, he finally accepted £14,000, which, plus £1,000 gained in the rate of exchange for bills in the short interval between his receiving and disposing of the bills, made up the £15,000. Then came a curious sort of happenings. There was great secrecy about the person for whom the house was purchased. She was said to be the mother of the Sultan’s favourite wife that went to the Palace daily and then again a Russian Princess. As my father was pressed to give up the house as soon as possible, a tug and lighter were supplied to facilitate the move. Giovanni, my father’s valet being deputed to see to it all. We learnt from him that there was great secrecy and mystery as to the person who was hardly visible, muffled up as to her movements. The parties were quite ready to purchase some of the large furniture and fittings which my father wished to dispose of and so ended the tale so far as we were concerned.
Sometime afterwards, possibly a year or two, for it was kept close, he learnt what had happened. The Banker who had purchased the house was Mr Cundure, a rich Greek reputed to be one of the sharpest men in Galata then. A lady purporting to be as indicated as above, called upon him Letters of Credit and asked him to take charge of sundry boxes which she said contained gold, silver and securities.One or two were checked and the contents were as indicated. Then Mr C. evidently thought it was safe to secure the house which was wanted to induce jewellers to send valuable articles for inspection and to hoodwink them and other shop keepers. Eventually the bubble burst and it was said that a gang of coiners, jewel thieves from Mexico or some Central American State were at the bottom of it. Mr. C. resold the house at a loss of a few thousand pounds and it was said that he never recovered from the blow and died within a short time.
My father had given £8,000, spent £1,000 in furnishings, but he was delighted, as my mother and most of us were to give up having a house in Pera, hence forward we lived all the year round at Candilli.
Jan 28 1859
Trip to Malta kindly suggested by my father to provide an escort for my cousin Emma Bridges - from Malta to Smyrna
She was staying with Tom Fellows when he was flag lieutenant to the Admiral and was going to my Uncle James and then to Candilli on a long visit. I left in one of the Burns & Mac Ivers steamers which loaded part of her cargo at Smyrna, thus giving me 3 or 4 days at my Uncle’s and the rest at Alexandria, occupying the same or even longer time which I made good use of. Having fortunately met Rev W. Tiley [?] who had been at Constantinople for the [?] at Ortakeuy with Canon Curtis for a time, we saw what we could. The obelisk d’Heliopolis and lying on the ground the obelisk given to England, now Cleopatra’s needle on the Embankment, we went to Cairo. Got donkeys and crossed the Nile with them in one of the native craft and rode to the great pyramid of Cleops. We were pulled straight up the high massive slabs, by 2 Arabs in front and 2 behind giving us a lift, at the top, which was level. We got a splendid view of the surrounding country, the Nile and the belt of cultivated land as well as the desert which seem to press so close upon the former. I accepted, I may say we, an Arab’s offer to go down, run across the desert space and run up the second pyramid with 5 minutes for [?]... Of course he did it allright, he took the steps, one foot on each step, full speed apparently both in the descent and the remainder of his race. We surrendered ourselves to the charge of the Arabs who took us through low passages, some wet channels to the Kings and Queen’s chambers. We went also to see the Great Sphinx at Gizeh nearby. As we passed along Arab boys kept on calling out “Bakshish” and others again bringing us supposed “Antiquas”, evidently put in the sand for some time but hailing from Manchester etc. Taking the train to Suez, we came to a standstill in the desert and we got out and sauntered about until the requisite steam had been produced. I picked up some agates, one of which has been partly polished, now in our small museum. In the evening the train stopped again and on enquiry found that the English engineers of our train and the ones from Suez had stopped for their meal.
I find on reference to my Diary of Trips that my sister Adeline went with me to my Uncle James’s and that I returned from Malta by S.S. Thessalia / Poppayannis, Capt Flinn, a Weoleyan who with his god steward gave I believe a wonderfully good time to all on board, he told me no bad language wa heard.
1839 - Trip to Berdiansk to escort Louisa and her party to meet Robert Cumberbatch at Kertch [town situated on the eastern end of the Crimean peninsula, controlling the entrance to the Sea of Azov], another kind thought of my father for my pleasure as well as for them.
Sept 2 - We left by Russian steamer, Svensa, Bertie and her baby Konnie and I met Robert soon after our arrival. Numbers of Circassians leaving or being driven out of their country awaiting steamer to Constantinople. 3rd left and 6th arrived at Berdiansk, a stormy night and owing to the extreme shallowness of the Sea of Azof, a most choppy sea which I believe upset most of those on board. I left on the 17th after having had some wonderful shooting with Robert on the steppes, like Canadian prairie, we drove to the fields where in the stubble we used to start up corey after corey of partridges which naturally excited me and I let fly often too soon when the corey started up. So many used to fall when we fired that I ventured to pick up one or two of the several which fell. Then at midday when the partridges took refuge from the heat in the narrow fringes of ..[?].. we stationed ourselves on either side of ...
Trip to Smyrna with the Commission of the Smyrna and Aidin Railway
When the Railway was made nearly to Ephesus and the Sala Eddin Pass, through which it was intended to have a tunnel 2 miles through the mountain range to the Meander Valley, it was found that it would be more practicable to ascend the range from Ephesus / Ayasoluk and make a short tunnel near the summit. The Turkish Government nominated Mr Charles Ritter an eminent French engineer in Public Works Department, Col. E.C.A. Gordon to inspect and decide when the same. Col. Rechad Bey, a Frenchman who had adopted Mussulman ways, and I expect Mussulman faith too, in duty at Smyrna, was to assist Mr. E. Purser, General manager and his assistant and nephew Geognian [?] and Mr Hyde Clarke, agent of the contractor and I formed party representing C.S. Hanson Bankers to the Co. by courtesy I expect for, I do not think that I was then agent at Constantinople which post I filled for several years later.
My uncle lent me a cork mattress, mosquito net and sleeping bag with aperture for my head. These stood me in good stead when we slept in places where I could use them. We went by rail to near Ephesus and then rode to the intended tunnel where operations had I think already begun, it was very hot 100° in the shade. At Ayasoluk - the few stops were deserted owing to fever in the summer, Gordon and I slept in a deserted room. We got an idea of the extensive ruins, then rode up the valley stopping at Baindir, Tire, Odemish and then from a small place Baliambo rode up the hilly range through lovely trees, shrubs, orchards etc. and down on the other side to Nazlee in the Meander valley.
At Tire, the Mudur [official] met our cavalcade and after a few minutes conversation to our surprise, Col. Rechad Bey gave him 2 or 3 sharp cuts with his whip over his shoulders. It appeared that by directing us to the Khan, the Col. considered the he dishonoured the Viziral [prime ministerial] order to all Authorities to pay the Commission the utmost attention. The Mudur humbly then escorted us to the Government Konak [house] and we were per force well entertained.
At Nazlee, a British firm had a large liquorice factory and their boxes went off on horses or camels, stamped as from Spain, evidently to meet the preference of the market. We rode to Aidin in great heat and found it necessary to faces and hands with yoghurt on arrival. From Aidin Mr Purser, Geoghean and I branched off as he wanted to see and estimate the traffic value to the Railway of some iron mines on the top of the range on the south side of the Meander valley. Our one night there was very rough, owing to the smoke and creeping creatures of various sorts. G. could not stand it, so turned out and got the soft side of the wood pile. I was astonished that I did not succumb and through the night got on better than G. who had been in India and was old timer re surveying etc. We returned to Smyrna over the summit beyond Ephesus where the Railway was to be constructed and got back to Constantinople allright.
My father told us of a tall fine man who called on him at Galata years ago who had then come from Russia; he claimed to be a rightful heir to the British throne as a Plantagenat. He got excited and with a heavy whip or stick which he had struck himself a blow on his chest. On my father’s expostulating that he would hurt himself, he laughing at the idea, opened his coat and showed his coat of mail which he said he always wore.
Someone came to the office and asked if my father would undertake to secure a Circassian maiden for Barnum’s Show in New York. They would not object to her mother accompanying her! The applicant was told that it was quite out of his province.
1856 After peace was signed the Russians were very slow in evacuating “Serpents’ Island”, off one of the mouths of the Danube, so Admiral Sir E. Lyons remained on his flagship the “Royal Albert” off Buyukdere until this was a ‘fait accompli’. Tom Fellows was a lieutenant on board and Walter Bridges a midshipman. Whilst at Constantinople Tom, Robert Cumberbatch and I rode to a fine marsh (Harem Bourgaz) for snipes, some 3 hours ride to the Marmora side of Constantinople. We got good sport, Robert C. naturally got his 30 or 40, Tom less and I managed to bag 12. ...
I cannot help referring to critical time after the close of the Crimean War, when, owing chiefly to a heavy loss of a cattle contract and to a large lock up in the claim on the French Commissirat for supplies by Mr Falanga already referred to. My father before his sale of his Pera house, quite unexpectantly and quietly referred to what was weighing on his mind and his fears as to what might happen. He said, ‘Henry, I am afraid we have been thinking too much about money making and must think more of higher things or something to this effect’. As my dear mother often said, his heart was tender and true and when in trouble turned at once to God, and sought strength from Him...
Cricket in the Sultan’s valley
In the early days of cricket, 1857 to 1862, my father joined in a game and in batting received a slight blow on his forehead. This gave rise to kind enquiries from Turkish friends on board the Bosphorus steamer, who could not understand his taking such risks and asked him why he could not let his servant run after the balls.
One of the dirtiest jobs at the office was to count the base metallic, which fortunately was usually done by an Armenian, whose job was to make up the groups of gold, silver etc. and count the metallic which was sent up from the Interior. It consisted of pieces of 5 Piastres (Beshliks), 6 P. (Altiliks) and pieces of 1 P. (40 Paras) and ½ P. (20 Paras) of still baser metal. The latter came in bags of 1000 Piastres which one counted 5 at a time.
In the late Fifties, the Sultan spent 2 or 3 days with his sister, the Sultana whose palace occupied the first part of the Sirra or Terrace in Candilli. His rooms commanded the best views up and down the Bosphorus and across to Bebek, Arnavoutkeuy and the European side. It was said that he declared that he never slept so well in any of his palaces and Kiosks. Then either at his own wish or suggested by his sister or other person, the idea of making Candilli point and hill an Imperial Residence was put forward which we were told, if carried out would necessitate all the houses along the Sirra [row] and their gardens, all houses to the Candilli and Yenikeuy Scalas being pulled down and the whole place made into Imperial Gardens, outbuildings etc. Mr David Glavany was approached and as an old man he did not respond readily to the idea. We were expecting my father to be interviewed next and we all I think tried to persuade him that if the Sultan came down handsomely, it would suit him, my mother and us all for a fine convinient property could easily be found elsewhere, without the hill and nearer the water. However it all came to nothing.
Trip to America [& Canada] August 16th to Nov 1st
Trip to Marseilles Nov. 1862
I was asked to meet Mr. Charles Ede on his arrival at Marseilles from Constantinople, he had a dangerous illness often bursting a blood vessel and there was some anxiety as to the risk of sea sickness...
Charles Ede had succeeded his father in the old firm C. Ede of Co. in Galata & then established himself & his firm in London, Gt. George St., Mansion House.
April 29 1856 - Ortakieuy. The little Protestant Church here was opened last Sunday. It is a very simple & pretty Gothic building all of wood. The altar was wreathed with wild flowers and a very impressive service was read by the Chaplain of the Queen. The Bells sounded so sweetly, ringing for the 1st Protestant service on the shores of the Bosphorus.
On my return to Constantinople I found that I had a great deal to do in the office as Mr Charles Jacob, my father’s manager left and at the end of the year the book-keeping, balance sheets etc. entailed a great deal of work in addition to the management and correspondence which I had in business hours. I used to bring my books, journals, cash book, bankers circular and notes up to Candilli & your dear mother used to help me most efficiently in the evenings. Looking back I realize what risks I ran with these precious books as they came up in sack or bag on the Bosphorus steamers and were transferred from the same to the Candilli Scala [pier] - they really ought not to have left the office. I put in good work in the week but generally got a holiday on Saturday. My father and Arthur with him taking Friday on which day the former could not do any business in Stamboul.
At this period David Ogilvy was living in the house over-looking the cemetery where the Donalds lived later on and he often came to play the flute with your mother at the piano. Helen & George Clifton lived in no 17, the low house adjoining no 15. Mr. & Mrs. Edward Ede were in the Yali, the former Wooden House. Mrs. Oldham and Fanny came out in March 1864 with Nurse Simmons who had been your nurse, to Uncle Harry & your mother. On the 21st May Cecil was born when Dr Johrab attended her. He was baptized on July 4th by the Rev. C.B. Gribble Embassy Chaplain in the small Ortakieu Church.
In July we all went up to Petala’s hotel at Therapia & having taken over horses there we were looking forward to some long rides & drives to Belgrade Domouz dere Lands on the Black Sea & also boat excursions in the upper Bosphorus when very soon we were summoned back to Candilli by the painful news of Helen’s sudden death on the 19th July though when we left she seemed on the way to a quick recovery after the birth of her son. She was buried in the small English Cemetery near the Greek Church in Therapia. Her loss was a great blow to my dear father & mother. Mrs. Oldham made numerous sketches from the house & of several places where we went for excursions, picnics etc. We enjoyed their stay for 5 or 6 months and Fanny had rides on Prince or if Ede was riding him, we then hired a stead of sorts, probably what we called a Cabbage horse, accustomed as he was...
1866 June Edie [?] returned with Cecil & Fanny Hanson
August. We went to Smyrna after Uncle James’ death as I had to attend to his business affairs as I had to attend to his business affairs & necessary formalities. We both felt the heat so much greater than at Constantinople.
Oct 28 Hilda was born & baptised at the Big House Dec. 9th.
Nurse Summons with Ernest arrived from England
Nov 14 Edie [?] was taken ill & attended by D. Leropydy [?] though an anxious time. It was indeed a sore trial and anxiety to realize that a Doctor could not be had from Pera under 3 or 4 hours when moments were so precious. At night the messanger went to town by caique & the Dr. would drive to Arnavutkeuy.
Dec. Alice arrived with her sister La. Ogilvy & this month the latter was married to Mr. C. Van Lennep of Smyrna. She had lived with her brother David for some time and was a dear friend to us all & especially to Edie.
1867 Jan. My father gave a picnic at Bourgooloo. We Arthur & Alice Ogilvy rode & I remember our having a large spread on one of the terraces, then we strolled about, some to the top to enjoy the glorious view of the City, Marmora Islands, Gulf of Ismidt, Coast of Bithynia & Mt. Olympus.
Soon after going to No 13, I bought a fine horse “Young Redcliffe”, he had plenty of spirit and good paces. It was a great pleasure to ride him though not so suited to my purposes, shooting & as a steady horse “Grey beard” I got later on. The former unfortunately died from lock jaw having hurt his neck in a stable in Pera one winter & then caught cold when crossing to Scutari in a mahone.
1865. Son of Admiral Sir Edmund Lyons & afterwards the first Lord Lyons was appointed to the Embassy at Constantinople in succession to Sir Henry Bulmer. Mr. Malet and Mr. Sheffield Secretaries came with him from Washington where he had felt the strain from his trying work during the Civil War. We enjoyed some pleasant dinners & evenings at the Embassy meeting there our friends Dr. & Mrs. Washburn. Lord Lyons was appointed to Paris in 1867.
1866 April 3. E.A.H. Blackbrook “Dear memories of Cecil not 2”. Dear Papa, I send you my best love and a hard kiss & Mamma & baby are quite well, your loving little son Cecil.” he said almost all the words himself, excited over Candilli pictures, those that dear Mamma took...
1870 Great Fire on Whitsun Day
Your mother and I had been to the Memorial Church & were being rowed up to Candilli when we heard the guns fired from Yanghin / Fire Kiosk Battery above Candilli. We watched the fire from our windows until late in the evening. In the early morning my mother woke up to say that the fire had burnt all night. The British Embassy was burnt, Dr Sarell’s house close to it, etc.
In regard to the former, a massive stone building standing clear in its extensive grounds, we learnt afterwards that though there was a pump intended specially for flooding the roof at such times & pumps elsewhere, so little was real danger apprehended that the sailors from the Stationaire at Tophanah did not arrive till the molten lead from the roof was coming down, making it impossible to do more than save the ground floor rooms archives. All else was burnt. Dr Sarell & his family had sad experiences. He was at home at lunch when the alarm was given. He went up to the roof & seeing that it was some distance off left to see a patient at Kadikeuy. There, though he heard & saw that the fire was still raging he decided that he could safely go on by the regular afternoon steamer to Prinkipo to see other patients. Soon after arrival there he heard of the spread of the fire & tried to return but he could not get a boat. In the morning when he arrived in town he found that his house had been burnt & for some time he could not learn where his wife & family had taken refuge. It turned out that Mrs Sarell had with the help of servants and friends done what she could. As much as the furniture & valuables as possible were removed for safety to the garden of the British Embassy just opposite only to be burnt when the latter & its surroundings were enveloped. The wind carried the burning embers everywhere. Some of Miss Elliot’s charred music was picked up at St. Stefano. Being Sunday & a great Feast day, so many had gone to the country for the day. The Armenians especially had a great fête in the Sultan’s Valley to celebrate the anniversary of the granting of their Civil Constitution. Extraordinary scenes were enacted & reported.
Mr Edward Ede was engaged on some large Indian Property case before the Courts & the Claimants, family & domestics numbering some 11 or more were all burnt in their house. In several cases stone houses with iron shutters, cellars & cisterns were unfortunately thought safe shelters. The fire came on with such a rush that people got blocked & caught in some impasse in the narrow streets, thieves were found who, in the confusion had tried to get at safes, jewels etc. and were burnt.
There was an official of the Consulate, Mr M_ who had been in Japan & China who had made a noted collection of photographs etc. who went to the Sultan’s Valley fête & came home as did hundreds of others, to find his small house burnt & everything gone. He found afterwards that some friends had gone in to save what they could for him. Specially they got safely away two valuable Japanese vases worth some £500 each. Later on some influential people succeeded in selling them to the Palace.
A rich Armenian who lived at the corner where Yeni Tcharsi Street / where Canon Curtis lived / came into the Grande Rue made every effort & paid large sums for pumps, water etc. to save his house and with it Pera proper. If the house had gone, all Pera proper would have gone. The Smyths who lived in the street going from Missieries Hotel to Tophanah were prepared if that house went, to embark their furniture on some small ship. The fire consumed over 8000 house, destroyed over 1000 lives, estimted loss.
1868 Our friend Dr. Washburn left Constantinople with no intention of returning.
1869 He returned as Professor of Philosophy at the American College, Bebek.
1870 Dr Hamlin commenced the building of Robert College.
Arthur and Alice to Ternau Bey’s house next to Hilltop overlooking the cemetery.
Dec. Your mother left for England via Trieste with Cecil, Ernest, Hilda & Mrs Ryan. Hugh remaining with me at my mother’s, if I remember right this was owing to our maid Caterina’s getting an attack of virulent small pox.
1871 Dr Washburn moved into Hamlin Hall
1872 Dr Washburn director of the College
1871 Basil born July 1.
Extract from Professor Alexander van Milligen’s book on Constantinople
Several years ago delay in the payment of salaries caused great suffering among the humbler employees of the Government and the methods of address having failed, the aggrieved parties betook themselves to the weapon of female force. Accordingly a large body of women, mostly the wives of the poor men, but including professional female agitators invaded the offices of the Ministry of Finance. They filled every corridor, swarmed upon every doorway, blocked every door they could find and made the building resound with lamentations & clamour for pay. The Minister managed to escape by a back entrance but the women would not budge. It was vain to call the police or soldiers to intervene. The indecorum of a puplic application of force in dealing with the women would have created a great scandal & so the authorities bowed before the might of weakness & made the best terms they could induce the visitors to accept.
Dear friends of past years
Miss Eliza / La / Ogilvy, who came out to live with her brother David Ogilvy in the house next to the hill top overlooking the Cemetery. She was a general favourite & was a special friend of your mother’s during the short time she was at Candilli. Her brother David married a daughter of W.C. van Lennep of Malkajik near Smyrna and Miss La Ogilvy married later the latter who was a widower.
Her sister Ella married a son of his by his first wife, hence some extraordinary family relationshiphs resulted!
I referred to the visit to Candilli of the Misses Ward of Moda. The younger Miss Margaret Ward, a special friend of your mother’s, several of whose sketches we have, died in 1878 Cons. & was buried at Scutari at her own wish with face towards the West! where she had always seen the sun setting in its glory in the horizon beyond the Sea of Marmora.
The Candilli Children
Some of whom were born elsewhere but who came into the catagory sooner or later. The oldest group were Connie, Henry and Arthur Cumberbatch who were born before 1863. Then were born:
In 1863 Eric [?] Clifton and Edith Cumberbatch
1864 Cecil and Charley Clifton
1865 Ernest & Herbert Rumball
1866 Hilda & Gertie Cumberbatch
1867 Walter Rumball
1868 Hugh & Ethel
1869 Winifred Rumball
1870 Beatrice [Adeline Beatrice Rumball]
1871 Basil, Clarence, Clare
1873 Dorothy, Cyril Cumberbatch, Kathleen
1874 L. [?]
1878 Gladys Dorina Clifton
We took up our residence at no 13. George Clifton and your Aunt Helen were in my father’s low house no 17 were Eric and Charley were born. Your aunt died quite suddenly after C’s birth. George Clifton afterwards married Ellen, daughter of Robert Cumberbatch by his first wife who died in England before he came out to Constantinople. After we left no 13, the Cliftons were for a time there and finally went to the Yali after your Uncle Willie and your Aunt Mary gave it up. They occupied it when it was first built and Kathleen, Clarence and Jack were born there.
Your Uncle Arthur and Aunt Alice lived for a time in the Big House where Ethel was born and then rented the fine house and garden called Moukhtar’s [district headman’s] on the road leading down the hill towards Yanikeuy. Clare & Dorothy were born there and Harry [should be Henry] Rumball died in. They had lived previously in the former wooden yali which was burnt down when they were in it with nearly all their furniture. Your Aunt Adeline & children went to England for some years. Miss Ranken came to us and took charge of Cecil, Ernest, Hilda’s education. She was a great comfort and a true friend to us all especially to your mother. Miss Ranken left us in 1895 when we went to England.
Extension of Record to cover our stay in Canada
1892 January - Our happy home life at Candilli Assa was sadly broken up by the loss of our dear talented son - beloved by all and the morning spirit in our smoking room, where his brothers and friends used to have sing songs & all sorts of interesting talks & games. Ernest too had left for Alberta, so a new place had come as we began the year.
Arthur Scaife came on & off from his visits in Insurance Work at New York, Winnipeg etc. In March Hilda went to New York & returned with Arthur in May...
1892 - In had two trips to Melita to see your Aunt Adeline & arrange re. Rumball Trust matters. One trip in the winter was at the time when the Railway had been carried on to Oxbow on its way West & mushroom places were hurriedly run up & as hurriedly lost their inhabitants, business when the next stage was completed. I had engaged Colborne at Melita to work for us at Candilli. When we got to Oxbow lake we made for some lights & got inside a house but had to wait till we were told that they could put us up. Meanwhile we got some supper & then were told we could find room in a loft kind of room where there were already some 20 or more men lying on some light matresses on the floor. I pointed one to Colborne & I laid down on another. In the morning I made enquiries as to sleighing up to Connington, about 40 m. Following directions I knocked at a shack arousing 3 men in one bed, one of whom later on got on his sleigh ready & drove us home. Colborne turned out a great acquisition & finally married Mrs Catteral’s sister. The two made things very comfortable for us all. The Melita party paid us two or more visits this year. Your Aunt Adeline & Herbert on a sleigh and Winnie Beatrice & Alfred on wheels.
p. 144 - Various friends and Homes occupied in our Married Life
1863 April 9 Married
May 15 Arrived at Candilli
1887 Sept 6 Your mother left Constantinople
1888 Aug 6 I left
Sept 15 Arrived in Cannington
1895 June 23 Left
Aug 15 To Palace Mansions
1897 Aug 31 Left
Sept 1 To Marlow
1905 Aug 8 Left
Aug 8 To Rede Place
1908 July 16 Left
July 16 To Hungershall Park no 3
1921 Feb 12 Left
April 6 to Mt. Edgcumbe Cottage
p. 145 Leaving Canada for the Old Country
p. 146 Names of Friends and Visitors
I hardly ventured to think that I could extend my record to a 3rd volume after bringing Vol 2 to an end when we established ourselves in England, but having been encouraged by my children to continue my retrospect & by your mother to make special reference to the Great War which has so marked the latter history of our time I am going to wake up old memories & perhaps I can do so more readily as I have kept a short diary of our doings, trips, visits of friends etc. since arrival from Canada.
Palace Mansions, Kensington - August 15th 1895 to September 1 1897
We settled comfortably in our small flat, one of the uppermost, however there was a lift and we had the advantage of better ventilation & view. Gladys of course was with us and Basil came from Eastbourne in the holiday time.
We soon heard of Berthe de la Condamine’s death from Cholera in India.
The Lyons were in rooms in Phillimone Terrace so we had pleasant outings and meetings with them to various places & objects of interest.
St. Cuthbert’s Plilbeach Gardens
We attended this Church regularly and October 13 was my first Sunday in the Choir & I have always felt thankful for the privilege of having been some 15 months or more in the Choir taking part as a Bass in the beautiful and inspiring music which was sung...
July 12 1907 [probably taken from the Constantinople paper Levant Herald]
Death of Mr Charles C. Hanson, aged 74
One of the oldest English residents of Constantinople passed away yesterday morning in the person of Mr. C.C. Hanson, eldest son of the late Mr. C.S. Hanson the well known Banker who arrived in Turkey at the beginning of last century…
Mr. C.C.H. has for many years been leading a very retired life. He took orders when quite a young man but shortly after he left the Church telling his friends that he did not consider himself qualified for the calling of a Minister of the Church. He was fond of open air life & made several voyages to B.C. in Canada where he went in for farming. For some years he managed a big farm at Glenilek. Mr. C.H. was twice married. His first wife was Miss Ede, sister of the late Mr. Edward Ede a lawyer of this city. Some years after her death he married Miss Mary Maltass of Moda. The deceased was known for his generosity of heart & the poor have lost a real friend in him.
Jan 10 1910
Death of Mrs Louisa Grace, widow of the late Robert William Cumberbatch H.B.M’s Consul Smyrna, aged 78.
As we go to press the sad news of the death which occurred yesterday at Candilli of Mrs. Cumberbatch, daughter of the late Charles Hanson, the eminent financier of this city and widow of the late R.W. Cumberbatch British Consul at Smyrna. Mrs Cumberbatch was deeply … by all who had the privilege of her acquaintance and her death will be mourned by a large circle of friends in both the English & Foreign Colonies. We regret that we are precluded by want of time from dealing with the life of the deceased lady who was a true friend of the poor whose welfare she always had at heart.
H.J. Hanson, Edith A. Hanson, Mary G. Hanson, Edith Olham.
H.J. Hanson, Edith A. Hanson, Hilda, Basil, Gladys, Joan, Maurice, Alithia, Rolle[?]
1913, April 9 - Our Golden Wedding
Hanson - Oldham. On the 9th April 1913 at St. Mark’s District Church Old Street Road, by the Rev. John R. Oldham assisted by the Rev. Charles C. Hanson, Henry J. Hanson Esq. of Constantinople to Edith Anna Oldham, second daughter of Henry Oldham Esq. M.D. of 26 Finsbury Square.
The day was ushered in sometime in the morning by Basil, acting as Master of the Ceremonies, asking us to the morning room where, on behalf of our dear relations and friends he read the following.
We the undersigned wish to present you with tokens of affectionate rememberance on the auspicious occasion of your Golden Wedding, recalling happy days in England, Constantinople and Canada, 9 April 1913.
Diamond wedding anniversary
Hill Top, Candilli
facing the garden, day nursery window on the left. 3 high windows opening on to the front staircase.
Group from right to left:
Illia Montenegrin gardener (killed in war against the Turks), Petro Croat manservant, Calypso Pericles’ wife, Pericles cook, Caterina housemaid, Labourer Montenegrin, Illia’s nephew or son, your Mother, your Aunt Fanny Hanson, Lieutenant Maitland Dougall R.N.
MUSICIAN PASSES - Mr B.F. Hanson (24 March 1933, newspaper cuttings)
Mr. Basil Francis Hanson, professionally known as Basil Marlo, one of the most accomplished musicians in the district of Plaisaunce Cottage, Dormans Park, Sussex, passed away on Friday, aged 61 years. He was the son of Mr. and Mrs. H.J. Hanson, of Mount Edgecumbe Cottage, Tunbridge Wells, and was well known as a tutor and as a popular member for about six years of the Tunbridge Wells Rotary Club.
He was born in Istanbul, and educated at St. Christopher’s College, Eastbourne, and Clifton College. He took a keen interest in cricket and tennis and most outdoor sports, and commenced life as a schoolmaster, only to realise that his real vocation was singing. He accordingly went to Milan, and was trained by Blasco (maestro voice production). He made his debut in Italian operas, commencing his career very successfully. He gave many recitals, and singing became his speciality. After his return to England he appeared no more in opera, but had studios at the Aeolian Hall and Broadwood’s, Cavendish Square, training pupils in voice production, and proving a most delightful master. Many have benefitted by his special methods in which were embodied a system of beautiful elocution. His genius for bringing out his pupil’s voice was remarkable, and it is said that if one had a voice, he would find it, but if not, he would say so!
In East Grinstead he was known as a talented amateur actor, and he was instrumental in forming the Dormans Park Dramatic Company, which for ten years has been giving regular performances on behalf of charity.
For approximately two years he was organist at St. Mary’s, East Grinstead, and by his training the quality of the choir’s singing has been brought to a very high standard.
The death occured following a bad fall six weeks ago, when he bruised his ribs, and complications set in. He leaves a wife, and he had resided at Dormans Park for fifteen years, coming from London...
The principal mourners were Mrs. Hanson (widow), Mrs. Scaife (sister), Mrs. Townsend and Miss Cheronett [?] (cousins), Mrs. Smythe and Miss Robson (nieces), Mr. Robson (brother-in-law), Miss Isabel Scaife (great-niece), Dr. and Mrs. Holman (brother-in-law and sister-in-law), Miss Wallis (sister-in-law), Mrs. Lionel Turner and Miss Joan Holman (nieces), Mr. and Mrs. Lionel Chater (cousins), Mrs. Ellwood (aunt), and Major and Mrs. Hood (cousins)...
Much sympathy has been expressed with Mrs. Hanson, the widow in her sad bereavement and also his aged parents who next week celebrate the seventieth anniversary of their wedding.
HANSON - On March 24, 1933, at Pleasaunce Cottage Dormans Park, Basil Francis Hanson, beloved husband of Maud Ruth Hanson, son of Mr. and Mrs. Hanson, of Mt. Edgcumbe Cottage, Tunbridge Wells, aged 61. Funeral at St. John’s, Dormunsland, tomorrow (Tuesday) at 3.30, Memorial service at St. Mary’s, East Grinstead 3.30.
Mr and Mrs H.J. Hanson’s Proud Record [clipping from the English newspaper the Courier, 1933].
Seventy years of happiness together by the blue waters of the Bosphorus, on Canada’s prairies, and amid the typical English scenes of Marlow and Tunbridge Wells will be quietly celebrated tomorrow…
Mr. Hanson (94) provides a direct link with the far off Crimean War and Florence Nightingale, for as a boy of 16 he visited the scene of Balaclava and nearly lost his life from a Russian shot. His mother worked at the hospital in Scutari which Florence Nightingale made famous the world over.
His father founded the Bank of Charles Simpson Hanson in Constantinople, for years the centre of British banking and merchant interests in the East. After being educated in this country Mr. Hanson entered the bank under his father, and returned to London to marry at St. Mark’s Old Street, on April 9, 1863. Miss Edith Anna Oldham, daughter of Henry Oldham, and eminent doctor, who at the age of 25 was a lecturer at Guy’s.
As his father had done before, Mr. Hanson took his young bride out to Constantinople, and there they lived for 25 years. They brought up their family at Candilli, on the Bosphorus, where five families of Hansons dwelt in almost patriarchal state, and where Mr. Hanson captained the Candilli cricket club. On their walls now hang many paintings of the Bosphorus which vividly recall those halcyon days. Life was not always tranquil, however for once the family had to be sent to Corfu when danger threatened the European population, and Bulgarian refugees streamed past their doors, fleeing from the Cossacks.
Mrs. Hanson was an accomplished musician, and while at Candilli she did much to establish and train the choir at the Crimean Memorial Church. Both she and Mr. Hanson have always been identified with Church life and development, which has been their keenest interest throughout their 70 years of married life.
Then, 45 years ago, they went out to Canada, where their sons built a house at Canington Manor, Assiniboa, and Mr. Hanson farmed for seven years. As their home has always been, their house there was the centre of a delightful family and social life.
On returning to England, Mr. And Mrs. Hanson lived successively in London, Marlow and Dorman’s Park before they came to Tunbridge Wells 25 years ago. For half that time they lived in Hungershall Park, naming their house Candilli after their Bosphorus home, and during those years they were great workers on behalf of St. Paul’s Church, Rusthall…
Mr. and Mrs. Hanson had five sons and two daughters, of whom only one son, now in Vancouver and a daughter, Mrs Scaife, survive. A cloud has been cast over the happiness of tomorrow’s celebrations by the recent death of their son, Mr. Basil Hanson.
Note: Postcard views (late 19th century) below are not from the Hanson archives, but used to give an impression of the locations described above.
View of Candilli, from the European shore near the village of Arnavutkeuy, around the turn of the century - further views of this neighbourhood
‘The sweet waters of Asia’, situated by the ancient Ottoman fortress of Anadolu hissar, a pleasure spot of the past
return to the Hanson family tree and other material.