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Edward Barton (English diplomat)

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Edward Barton (English diplomat)

Sir Edward Barton (1533?-1598) was Ambassador to the Ottoman Empire, appointed by Queen Elizabeth I of England.

Barton went to Constantinople in 1578, in the pay of the Levant Company, as secretary to the founder of the English embassy in the city, William Harborne and in 1588 succeeded Harborne as ambassador. By this time he was fluent in Turkish and well respected in the court.[1]

This was a time of war between England and Spain, and Barton was charged with trying to obtain the support of the Ottomans in this struggle,[2][3] while of course working to defend English commercial interests by for example trying to persuade the Porte to prevent Florence from trading in cloth in Ottoman territory.

In 1596 Barton accompanied Sultan Mehmet III in his campaign against Hungary and was present at the siege of Eger.

During his time in the city there were difficulties with his neighbours, who were offended by the raucous behaviour of guests at Barton's parties.

Barton died and was buried on the island of Heybeliada, off the coast of Istanbul, where he had gone to (unsuccessfully) escape the plague raging through the city in 1598. His grave was later removed to the British Haydarpaşa Cemetery in the district of Üsküdar.

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