From the Belfast News Letter of June 1 1739 (June 12 in the modern calendar):
Constantinople, March 12.
ON the 10th, the grand vizier was sent for to the Seraglio, where he was deprived of the seals, and confined till this morning, when he was put on board a galley which is departed with him for Rhodes, where he is to remain a prisoner in the castle.
He has been according to his custom stripped of everything, and before his departure received a scanty provision of cloaths and ready money; the is an usual small allowance for persons of his rank in these unhappy circumstances.
The seal was sent the evening of the late vizier’s deposition by the Sultan’s Salictar to Euliah Mehmet Basha, who has for some time been governour of Widdin, and commanded the last campaign at the siege of Orsova, and in one or two of the actions in the field.
The Caimacan of this city is to be continued in the same employment this year, he having found means to disperse the rebels in Asia, and is expected here in three or four days.
[This report, and the one below, are important updates on a dramatic but confusing saga about a vicious Ottoman leader, because they come from Constantinople itself, which as the dateline show, was so far away, and on the far side of a war zone,that it took long for the news to travel.
A February News Letter reported how the Grand Vizir, or Vizier, which is the Ottoman prime minister, had spontaneously beheaded a popular military leader for failing to explain satisfactorily why he was making poor progress in the war against Russia. This shocking execution was said to have caused public dismay.
The May 18 newspaper, based on an April 22 letter from Belgrade, reported that the Grand Vizir had himself been executed, strangled – although it is not clear if he was ever killed.
Then, a May report from ‘the frontiers of Turkey’, via Germany, said that the Grand Vizir, Yegen Mehmet Pasha (or Mehemed-Jaghia-Bashaw) had been replaced by İvaz Mehmed Pasha (Ayvas Mehemed Bashar), Seraskier (commander) of Widdin.
These details of his downfall appear in dispatches from a more informed location — the Ottoman capital — albeit sent at an earlier date than the reports from Belgrade and Germany]
Letter from a foreign Minister at Constantinople, dated March 25.
The 22d instant the grand signor declared, that he thought fit to depose Mehemed-Jaghia-Bashaw from this post of grand vizir, in order to give it to Ayvas Mehemed Bashar, Seraskier of Widdin.
The Selictar-Aga set out the next day in order to carry the seals of the empire to the new grand vizir, who has the character of an affable, prudent man; he is an experienced officer, and served with applause in the campaign of 1727.
His promotion caused great joy among the janizaries, who were disgusted at the haughty violent behaviour of his predecessor.
The latter has been banish’d to Stanchio or Lango, an island in the Archipelago, near the coast of Natolia.
[A janissary was part of the Sultan’s guard]
Forasmuch as William Davison, carrier, who heretofore carried this Paper to Antrim, &c. incline to drop carrying the same: This is to give notice, that a discreet person, who for the future will undertake the carriage thereof twice a week to Antrim, will meet with good encourment from the Printer hereof, who will use all the means in his power to procure such person encouragement from others.
SCOTLAND. EDINBURGH, May 21.
Proceedings of the Venerable Assembly.
Upon the vote passing for proceeding against the seceder ...
Overture anent the seceding Brethren in Substance.
The Gen. assembly find the libel relevant to infer deposition, and find the same materially proven by the Act, &c. given in by the seceders; wherein they, as a separate, independent and constitute judicatory, had condemned the church to which they had vowed obedience, &c. Also find that in their Act they have taken upon ‘em to speak in most injurious, insolent and disrespectful terms concerning the highest civil authority; therefore find they justly merit the highest censures, &c. But in respect that in this assembly, before calling the defenders several members had expressed their inclinations not to proceed to a final sentence, but to forbear the same for another year, to give further time to return to their duty and render them still more inexcusable if they persist, and tho’ from their behaviour at the bar, there is little hopes of reclaiming them, this assembly thinks fit to refer inflicting the just censure to the next assembly, earnestly recommending to inflict the censure of deposition upon such of them as shall not betwixt the next assembly and retract their Act and Declinature; and in respect they have not appeared this day, the commission is ordered to cite them to next assembly, to which the libel and process is remitted; but assoilzieing Mr. James Thomson of Burnisland (who had seceded since last assembly) but he to be cited de novo, &c. And for preventing such schismatical practices, ordains all presbyteries strictly to observe the 6th act of assembly 1708, titled, Act for Suppressing Schisms and Disorders in the Church, &c. ordains all presbyteries to whom any minister shall presume to give any secession, to notify the same forthwith to the moderator of the commission, that they may forthwith proceeded against; and if any presbytery fail to do so, appoints the synods of their bounds to act agreeably to this; and in case such synods shall fail, ordains the commission to take the matter under cognizance, &c. appointing a short state of proceedings of church-judicatures, in relation to the seceders, to be printed, and copies to be transmitted to presbyteries, &c.
Saturday. The seceding brethren were called, but no compearance: heard the overture anent them read again, and after some small alterations, adopted it into an act of the church.
The foundation of a church for the seceding brethren, which is to be built and endowed by subscription, was laid last week, at Linton in the fourth.