A Mamluk Bey in London: Muhammad Bey El- Elfi (October-December 1803)


GAZI AKADEMIK BAKIS-GAZI ACADEMIC VIEW, vol.9, no.17, pp.41-69, 2015 (Journal Indexed in ESCI) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 9 Issue: 17
  • Publication Date: 2015
  • Page Numbers: pp.41-69


This study aims to explain that after the Napoleonic invasion of Egypt, the decadence of Mamluk Beys the traditional actors in the Egyptian domestic politics, and one of them, Muhammad Bey el-Elfi's solution seeking in London. Elfi was the last great Mamluk Bey in Egypt. After the invasion of Egypt, his relations with Sublime Porte and England and also other Mamluk factions have not been clarified completely. In addition Elfi's power was based on his household and economic dignity. For this reason Elfi Bey can be considerd as one of the representatives of the ` ancien regime' of Ottoman Egypt. In that case, struggles between Mamluk factions and Egypt become an international issue in the eyes of Britain and France. Elfi Bey, seeking an answer the question of How to survive the Mamluks?, asked for help from Britain. It is very obvious that England supported the Sublime Port against Bonaparte and also mediated between the Sublime Porte and the Mamluks. Even this was the reason for his travel to London. So it will be described his activities in the October- December 1803 in London on behalf of Memluks. The National Archives documents (in Britain), The Ottoman archive and news about Elfi Bey and his activities in London in Brtish press elucidated this issue.