Islam in History: Ideas, People, and Events in the Middle East

By Bernard Lewis | Go to book overview

6
Slade on
Turkey

Sir Adolphus Slade1 (1802–1877) was an officer of the Royal Navy, in which he reached the rank of Vice Admiral, and also served for a while in the Turkish Navy, in which he was promoted Admiral. He was the fifth son of Sir John Slade, a General in the British Army who had served under the Duke of Wellington in the Peninsular Wars. In 1815 he was one of twenty-six boys admitted to the Naval College in Portsmouth. His record was brilliant—he finished the course in two instead of the usual three years and won the gold medal. He began his service as midshipman on the South American station where he served until 1820. In 1824 he was present at the naval demonstration against Algiers and in October 1827 served at the Battle of Navarino, after which, on 27 November of the same year, he was promoted Lieutenant.

The outbreak of another Russo-Turkish war in 1828 aroused his interest. Gaining permission from the Admiralty to travel, he left England in January 1829 and, proceeding via France, Italy, and Greece, reached Istanbul in July. He attracted the attention of the Kapudan Pasha, Pabuççu-oğlu Ahmed Pasha, who invited him to sail with him in the Black Sea. This was the beginning of a long association with Turkey and more particularly with the Turkish Navy. In 1830 he sailed again in the Black Sea, this time as a guest on the British ship HMS Blonde. In 1831–32 he spent some eighteen months travelling, mostly in European Turkey and around the Bosporus. During this period he seems to have learned Turkish. In 1832 he published his first book, Records of Travel in Turkey, Greece, etc. and of a Cruize in the Black Sea with the Capitan Pasha in the Years 1829, 1830, and 1831, in two volumes.2

In 1834 he was appointed additional Lieutenant on HMS Caledonia,

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