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Russo-TURKISH WAR.Origin and progress of the dispute respecting the

Guardianship of the Holy Places in Palestine-French and Russian interference-Difficult position of the Turkish Government-Settlement of the Quarrel by a Firman of the Sultan - Arrival of Prince Menschikoff at ConstantinopleHis demands, and refusal by the Porte to accede to themthe Russian Embassy quits Constantinople-Firman of the Sultan in favour of the Greek Church-Statement of the views of the Turkish Government in a despatch from Reshid Pasha to Count NesselrodeMemorandum of the Emperor of Russia in 1844– Secret and Confidential Correspondence embracing the views of the Emperor relative to the Turkish Empire in the present yearCircular Note of Count Nesselrode--Conduct of the Ottoman Porte towards its Christian Subjects The Russian forces cross the Pruth and оссиру

the Danubian Principalities - Protest of the Turkish Government.


HEN, in the beginning of out a cloud, and the hitherto unthe

year 1848, the Bourbon broken peace, which has prevailed dynasty was overthrown in France since 1815, between the Great by a revolution, and this was fol. Powers of Europe, had as fair a lowed by insurrectionary move- prospect of continuance as at any ments throughout the Continent, period in the history of the world. it seemed almost inevitable that But the harmony was not destined the passions then at strife would to last; and the disruption took involve the different countries of place in a quarter where it was Europe in a general war. The least expected. Russia has indanger, however, passed away; and volved herself in a quarrel with France, in which democratic fury the Western Powers, in her athad been most violent, and which tempt to coerce Turkey into a had been the chief cause of alarm compliance with demands which and disquiet, did not arm a single would have been fatal to the indesoldier against the public peace. pendence of that Empire, and an The internal struggles between obscure quarrel between Greek Governments and their subjects and Latin monks in Palestine, everywhere terminated in the vic- about shrines and relics and holy tory of the former, and the various places, has led to the commencenations of the Continent seemed ment of a war of awful magnitude, to have subsided into a state of which seems likely to involve all profound tranquillity under the Europe in a blaze. iron rule of despotic power. The We will endeavour briefly to horizon at the commencement of trace the origin of the dispute, the present year was almost with and the course of events which

have terminated in so lamentable East," and the Emperor of Russia a result.

as “the Sovereign of the greater The members of the Greek number of the followers of the and Latin churches have long Greek church.” As a preliminary been at variance respecting the step, it was thought advisable that guardianship of the Holy Places each of the two countries should

Originally, by vir: send an Envoy into Palestine, for tue of a treaty between Fran. the purpose of obtaining accurate cis I. and the then Sultan, in information on the points in disthe sixteenth century, the Holy pute; and M. Marcellus was dePlaces, and the monks who took spatched by the French, and M. care of them, were placed under Daschkoff by the Russian Governthe protection of the crown of ment. The result of their inquiries France. But the Greeks gra- gave every hope of a speedy and dually obtained firmans or grants satisfactory arrangement, when the from the Porte, and disputed the outbreak of the Greek revolution right of the Latin monks to in 1821 put a stop to the negotiathe guardianship of the shrines. tions, and the subsequent troubles Many quarrels took place on the in the East prevented them from subject, until, in 1757, a serious col- being resumed.* lision arose between the members

* M. Marcellus drew up a statement of the rival churches in Palestine.

of the “possessions and prerogatives of The matter was referred to the the Latin Church in Palestine." Amongst Divan at Constantinople, and the

the former he enumerates : result was that a hatti-scheriff, or Imperial ordinance, was promul.

“1. The Church of the Holy Sepulchre. gated, which declared that the

2. The Monastery of Deirul-Amoud, or Latins should be expelled from the Holy Saviour, its appurtenances and the Church of the Tomb of the dependencies. 3. The Sepulchre of our

Lord Jesus Christ, which is in the centre Virgin and the Church of Bethle

of the church of the same name. 4. The hem, and that the Holy Sepulchre great and the small cupola, with the lead and other sanctuaries therein which covers them. 5. The arches and named should be placed under the

columns which are round them, as far as guardianship of the Greek monks. the iron gates placed to mark the line at In 1808 the Holy Sepulchre was

which the part of the church belonging to

the Greeks commences. 6. The galleries partially destroyed by tire, and the

and dwellings of the Latin Monks which Greeks obtained a frman from the are over the aforesaid arches or columns. Porte authorising them to rebuild 7. The great arch which is surmounted the edifice. On the strength of

with the cupola, which is over the abovementioned iron gates.

8. The chamber this they claimed additional rights which is at the end of the wall of the aboveand prerogatives, and these led to mentioned great arch. 9. The chandeliers fresh" dissensions with the Latins, placed by His Majesty the King of France which at last caused such scandal

under this same great arch. 10. The that in 1819 the Russian and

stone called after St. Mary Magdalen, and

the entire space which extends from the French Governments interfered, st-p of the Vestry of the Frank Monks to as representing respectively the the steps of the gate of the Cistern, and Greek and Latin churches. The from beneath the columns to the steps of King of France claimed to act on

the Catholic chapel. 11. The upper part

of the seven arcades called the Arches of the occasion as “the hereditary St. Mary. 12. The lower portion of those protector of the Catholics in the arches. 13. The small altar which is


In 1850, Lord Stratford de such question from political consiRedcliffe, so well known as Sir derations; and a struggle of geneStratford Canning, our Minister at ral influence, especially if Russia, Constantinople, foresaw that diffi as may be expected, should intercult complications might arise out fere in behalf of the Greek church, of what seemed a trivial dispute. will probably grow out of the im. In the month of May, that year, pending discussion.” In the same he wrote to Viscount Palmerston, despatch he added.--" The immeand said, "General Aupick has diate point of difference is the assured me that the matter in dis- right of possession to certain porpute is a mere question of property, tions of the Church of the Holy and of express treaty stipulation. Sepulchre at Jerusalem. The But it is difficult to separate any Greeks are accused of having beneath the said arches. 14. The entire the lower part of the cavern of the great space from the stone of St. Mary Magdalen Church of Bethlehem.

7. To prevent to the large gate which is beside the door other nations from lighting lamps there of the Greek Chapel, and from the wall to celebrate their offices, and to exercise of the said chapel to the wall of the their religious worship there. 8. To Church of the Holy Sepulchre. 15. The oppose the visits of other nations to the lower part of the grotto of the finding of Holy Places possessed by them, the Frank the Holy Cross. 16. The half of Mount Monks. 9. The actions at law brought Calviry, called the Place of Crucifixion. against the Frank Monks shall not be 17. The four arches of Mount Calvary, in submitted to the authorities of the country, the lateral part of the Church of the Holy but relerred to the Sublime Porte at ConSepulchre. 18. Its two altars. 19. The stantinople. 10. The Maugrebins are formarble resting chair. 20. The stone of bidden to offer any violence to the Frank unction. 21. The entire space which ex Monks at Aining'arim, under any pretext. tends from the steps of Mount Calvary to 11. The Turkish Customs officers are forthe lower part of the arcade in possession bidden to search the baggage of the of the Armenians, and from the wall of monks or Catholic pilgrims which had been the Greek chapel to the steps of the door searched in the Levant where they landed. of the Temple of the Holy Sepulchre. 12. It is likewise forbidden to take or 22. The chapel called the Exterior Calvary, delay the clothes of the monks or the placed on the top of the temple, to which ornaments of the Latin Churches. 13. the ascent is by a stone staircase.”

To compel the Frank Monks to receive In addition to these, he mentions 31 base coin. 14. To take money from them. other Holy Places as belonging to the 15. It is forbidden to demand the smallest Latin Church, and he thus describes its fee from the Frank Monks for the privi. "prerogatives :"

lege of burying their dead. 16. To ill“1. The Fathers of the Holy Land, treat the monks who bring the usual Latin Monks, alone possess the keys of tribute from Europe, in case they arrive the gates of the convents or sanctuaries too late. 17. To disturb, in any manner, above-mentioned, and particularly the three the monks and pilgrims of the Holy Land, keys of the altar of the manger at Beth in the course of their visitations or pillehem. 2. They have a right to guard grimages.

18. To disturb them at any those places, to repair, maintain, decorate, time in the exercise of their religious worand light lamps there. 3. To celebrate ship, as long as that worship out of doors the Holy Mass there, and to exercise the is not contrary to the Mussulman laws. rites and ceremonies of their worship. 4. 19. The Turkish authorities are forbidden To take the lead over all other nations to pay more than one visit each year to in their visitation of the pilgrimages of the Holy Sepulchre. 20. To compel the the Holy Places. 5. They have a right Frank Monks to purchase damaged wheat. to visit the half of Mount Calvary which 21. The Latin Fathers possess an exclusive does not belong to them, to celebrate mass right to send members of their communities on the aforesaid half, and to light lamps or couriers to Constantinople, on business, there. 6. The Frank Monks have an ex- without opposition." clusive right to exercise their worship in

usurped property which belongs of communities the right of repairing right to the Roman Catholics, and the cupola of the church of the of having purposely allowed the Holy Sepulchre, and that all things chapels, and particularly the monu should be replaced in it in the ments of Godefroi de Bouillon same state in which they were beand of Guy de Lusignan, to go fore the fire which took place in into decay.'

Lord Stratford was that church in 1808. then directed by the English Go The Ottoman Porte proposed vernment to watch the progress of that a mixed Commission should the dispute, but take no part adjudicate upon these claims, after in it.

considering the treaty and various The basis on which the French firmans which had been granted on Envoy, General Adpick, at this the subject; but considerable delay period rested the claims of the took place, and in 1851 General Latin monks, was a treaty or capi- Aupick was succeeded by M. de tula on, granted to France in Lavalette as French Minister at 1740 by the Porte, the 33rd ar the Porte, who warmly took up the ticle of which was as follows: question of the Holy Places. In “ The Latin monks residing at the meantime Russia began to present, as heretofore, within and manifest an interest in the dispute, without Jerusalem, and in the and, shortly afterwards, M. de Church of the Holy Sepulchre Titoff

, the Envoy of that Power at called Edmamé, shall continue to Constantinople, expressed to the possess the places of pilgrimage Sultan the conviction of the Emwhich they now possess, in the peror that no change would be alsame manner as they have here- lowed to take place as to the tofore possessed them, and they possession of the sanctuaries. M. shall not be molested by demands de Lavalette then offered to withfor contributions. And if they draw the claim of the Latins to should be engaged in any lawsuit the exclusive possession, and to which cannot be decided on the admit the principle of joint occuspot, it shall be referred to our pation of the places in dispute. Sublime Porte." And the Holy M de Titoff, however, on the part Places which he claimed on behalf of the Emperor of Russia, deof the Latins, as guaranteed to them manded the joint possession of by this article, were-1. The Great some other sanctuaries, which at Church of Bethlehem. 2. The the time were occupied exclusively Sanctuary of the Nativity, with by the Latins; and this prevented the right of placing a new star an arrangement, and still further there (that which formerly orna embarrassed the Turkish Governmented the sanctuary baving been ment in its attempt to reconcile lost), and changing the tapestry of the unseemly difference between the grotto; to act there, in fact, as the two Christian Powers. It apexclusive

possessors. 3. The pears that, at the time of the Tomb of the Virgin. 4. The treaty of 1740, there were nine Stone of Anointing. 5. The Seven sanctuaries within, and eight withArches of the Virgin, in the Church out, Jerusalem, which were excluof the Holy Sepulchre. And 6. sively occupied by the Latins; but the French Government further of these the Holy Sepulchre and claimed for the Frank religious the court surrounding it under the

great cupola, the Stone of Anoint note to M. de Lavalette, in which ing or Unction, and the Grotto of it promised to concede to the the Manger at Bethlehem, had Latins the right of officiating at become the common property of

the shrine of the Virgin near the Latins and Greeks; or, at all Jerusalem, together with' keys to events, the latter, as well as other the Church of the Nativity at Christian sects, had since 1740 Bethlehem. The firman of March participated in the enjoyment of declared that the Latins had no them There were two sanctuaries right to claim exclusive possession which, in 1740, were common to of either of the cupolas of the all Christian nations, so far as re

Church of the Holy Sepulchre, or garded the right of performing of Golgotha, or of the arches of the religious ceremonies there, viz., Holy Virgin, or of the Great Mount Calvary and the Church of Church of Bethlehem, or of the the Tomb of the Virgin; and there Holy Manger. “In former times," were nine sanctuaries from which the document proceeded, “a key the Latins were and had been al of the two gates of the Great ways excluded.

Church of Bethlehem and of the In the meantime the mixed Com- Holy Manger was given to each of mission had been appointed, and the Greek, Latin, and Armenian was proceeding with the case, when, nations, a measure which was also in November, 1851, the Sultan coufirmed by the firman delivered proposed to transfer the investiga

to the Greek nation in the year tion of the dispute from the Coin of the Hegira 1170, and that armission to a Special Council of rangement shall still continue." State, composed of Members of the With regard to the Tomb of the Ulemah (a Moslem Law Incorpora- Virgin, the firman declared that tion) and some of the principal Mi the claim of the Latins to exclunisters. The cause of this change sive possession of it was unfounded was said to be a suggestion from and inadmissible, and that the the Russian Government that the present decision of the Sultan conCommission showed too great a firmed and consolidated the rights tendency to favour the views of which had been granted to the France. The proposal was ob Greek subjects of his empire by jected to by M. de Lavalette, on

his ancestors. the ground that the examination

This firman, of course, gave of alĩ the documents brought for- dissatisfaction to the Latins, but ward on behalf of the Latins had the French Government expressed been for some time finished, and their readiness to acquiesce in the that, as no evidence had been ad- decision, provided there was a deduced on the other side which op- claration, on the part of the Ottoposed their right, the case was ripe man Porte, that there was no infor the decision of the Commis- tention of receding from the sioners. The Council, however, stipulations made in favour of was nominated, and the result of France by previous treaties. There the tedious inquiry by it and the does not seem to he

any real previous Commission, was the inconsistency between the note issuing of a firman by the Sultan of the 9th of February and the in March, 1852. But previously firman of March, for the right to this, on the 9th of February to the possession of a key to the that year, the Porte addressed a Church of Bethlehem, which was

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