Michael Talbot – Presents and Petitions: The Daily Practices of British Diplomacy with the Ottoman Empire in the Eighteenth Century


Using previously unexamined financial and petitionary records from the British and Ottoman archives, this paper will seek to propose an alternative viewpoint for examining the history of diplomatic practice in the Ottoman Empire. It will discuss the two main features of daily diplomatic practices, the first being an analysis of gift giving between the British embassy and the Ottoman government, and the second an assessment of the content of the British ambassadors’ takrirs to the Ottoman administration. In all, this paper will explore the material and rhetorical conventions to which the British ambassadors were obliged conform in order to protect British commercial interests in the Ottoman realms.