Late in the summer of 1593, Edward Barton, English ambassador to the Ottoman Empire, took a little boat trip out from the embassy building at Fındıklı to the shores of ancient Byzantium, under the walls of the Topkapı Sarayı. There he held a paper petition to his head in a gesture of subjection to sultan Murad III, hoping for redress in a dispute with his great political rival, Ferhad Paşa. Several weeks later, following a humbling forced apology from Ferhad, and the arrival of the English ship bearing Edward's gifts and official credentials for presentation to the Ottoman authorities, he had pride of place in a ceremonial audience with the sultan to hand over an ubudiyet-name - letter of subjection to sultanic authority - on behalf of himself and his nation. But then, Edward had for a long time been a man with three masters: his queen, his company, and - through his remarkable integration into Ottoman high politics - the sultan himself.
Speaker: Joel Butler (Wadham College, Oxford)
Diplomacy in Early Modern Period 1400-1800
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