Abdul Hamid I

Abdul Hamid I
عبد الحميد الاول
Caliph of Islam
Amir al-Mu'minin
Sultan of the Ottoman Empire
Kayser-i Rûm
Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques
27th Ottoman Sultan (Emperor)
Reign 24 December 1773 – 7 April 1789
Predecessor Mustafa III
Successor Selim III
Born 20 March 1725[1]
Istanbul, Ottoman Empire
Died 7 April 1789(1789-04-07) (aged 64)[1]
Istanbul, Ottoman Empire
Burial Fatih, Istanbul
Consorts Ayşe Kadın
Ruhşah Kadın
Sineperver Sultan
Binnaz Kadın
Mehtabe Kadın
Mutebere Kadın
Hümaşah Kadın
Şebsafa Kadın
Nakşidil Sultan
Issue see below
Full name
Abdul Hamid bin Ahmed
Dynasty Ottoman
Father Ahmed III
Mother Şermi Kadın
Religion Sunni Islam

Abdülhamid I, Abdul Hamid I or Abd Al-Hamid I (Ottoman Turkish: عبد الحميد اول, `Abdü’l-Ḥamīd-i evvel; Turkish: Birinci Abdülhamit; 20 March 1725 – 7 April 1789)[1] was the 27th Sultan of the Ottoman Empire, reigning over the Ottoman Empire from 1773 to 1789.

Early life

He was born in Constantinople, a younger son of Sultan Ahmed III (reigned 17031730) and his consort Şermi Kadın.[2] Ahmed III abdicated in favor of his nephew Mahmud I, who was succeeded by his brother Osman III, and Osman[2] by Ahmed's elder son Mustafa III. As a potential heir to the throne, Abdul Hamid was imprisoned in comfort by his cousins and older brother, as was customary. This lasted until 1767. During this period, he received his early education from his mother Rabia Şermi, who taught him history and calligraphy.[2]

When his brother Mustafa III died, Abdul Hamid succeeded him on 21 January 1774.


Abdul Hamid's long imprisonment had left him indifferent to state affairs and malleable to the designs of his advisors. Yet he was also very religious and a pacifist by nature. At his accession the financial straits of the treasury were such that the usual donative could not be given to the Janissary Corps. The new Sultan told the Janissaries "There are no longer gratuities in our treasury, as all of our soldier sons should learn."

Despite his pacific inclinations, the Ottoman Empire was forced to renew the ongoing war with Russia almost immediately. This led to complete Turkish defeat at Kozludzha and the humiliating Treaty of Küçük Kaynarca, signed on 21 July 1774. The Ottomans ceded territory to Russia, and also the right to intervene on behalf of the Orthodox Christians in the Empire.

Abdul Hamid now sought to reform the Empire's armed forces. He enumerated the Janissary corps and tried to renovate it, and also the navy. He established a new artillery corps. He was also credited with the creation of the Imperial Naval Engineering School.[1]

Abdul Hamid tried to strengthen Ottoman rule over Syria, Egypt, and Iraq.[1] However, slight successes against rebellions in Syria and the Morea could not compensate for the loss of the Crimean Peninsula, which had become nominally independent in 1774, but was in practice now controlled by Russia.

Russia repeatedly exploited its position as protector of Eastern Christians to interfere in the Ottoman Empire, and explicitly. Finally the Ottomans declared war against Russia in 1787. Austria soon joined Russia. Turkey held its own in the conflict, at first, but on 6 December 1788, Ochakov fell to Russia (all of its inhabitants being massacred). It is said that this sad defeat broke Abdul Hamid's spirit, as he died four months later.

In spite of his failures, Abdul Hamid was regarded as the most gracious Ottoman Sultan. He personally directed the fire brigade during the Constantinople fire of 1782. He was admired by the people for his religious devotion, and was even called a Veli ("saint"). He also outlined a reform policy, supervised the government closely, and worked with statesmen.

In 1789, Tipu Sultan, ruler of the Sultanate of Mysore sent an embassy to Abdul Hamid, urgently requesting assistance against the British East India Company, and proposed an offensive and defensive alliance. Abdul Hamid informed the Mysori ambassadors that the Ottomans were still entangled and exhausted from the ongoing war with Russia and Austria.


Abdul Hamid died on 7 April 1789, at the age of sixty-four, in Constantinople. He was buried in Bahcekapi, a tomb he had built for himself.

He bred Arabian horses with great passion. One breed of Küheylan Arabians was named "Küheylan Abdülhamid" after him.



Abdul Hamid had nine wives:

  • Ayşe Kadın[3][4] (died 1775, buried in New Mosque, Istanbul), the principal consort;
  • Ruhşah Kadın alias El-Hace Hatice[3][4] (died 1808, buried in Abdul Hamid I Mausoleum, Istanbul), the principal consort;[5][6]
  • Sineperver Sultan alias Ayşe (died 11 December 1828, buried in Eyüp Sultan Mosque),[5] the second consort;[7][8]
  • Binnaz Kadın[9] (died June 1823, buried in Abdul Hamid I Mausoleum, Istanbul), the third consort;[10]
  • Mehtabe Kadın (married 13 August 1774), the fourth consort;[5][11]
  • Mutebere Kadın (married 20 October 1774; died 16 May 1837,[3] buried in Abdul Hamid I Mausoleum, Istanbul),[12] the fifth consort;[13]
  • Hümaşah Kadın[3][4] (married 1775, died 1778, buried in New Mosque, Istanbul), the sixth consort;
  • Şebsafa Kadın alias Fatma[3][4] (married 1781, died 1805, buried in Zeyrek Mosque, Eminönü, Istanbul), the sixth consort;[5]
  • Nakşidil Sultan[5] (married 1782, died 17 August 1817, buried in Nakşidil Sultan Mausoleum, Fatih Mosque, Istanbul, the seventh consort.[14] (A mythical legend claims her to have been Aimée du Buc de Rivéry, a distant cousin-in-law of Napoleon's wife, Empress Josephine.)[15]

His sons were:

  • Mustafa IV (reigned 1807–08) – with Sineperver;[5]
  • Mahmud II (reigned 1808–39) – with Nakşidil;[5]
  • Şehzade Sultan Abdullah (1 January 1776 – 1 January 1776);
  • Şehzade Sultan Mehmed (22 August 1776 – 20 February 1781) – with Hümaşah;[5]
  • Şehzade Sultan Ahmed (8 December 1776 – 18 December 1778) – with Sineperver;[5]
  • Şehzade Sultan Abdurrahman (8 September 1777 – 8 September 1777);
  • Şehzade Sultan Süleyman (13 March 1779 – 19 January 1786) - with Mutebere;[16]
  • Şehzade Sultan Abdülaziz (19 August 1779 – 19 August 1779);
  • Şehzade Sultan Mehmed Nusret (20 September 1782 – 23 October 1785) – with Şebsafa;[17]
  • Şehzade Sultan Seyfullah Murad (22 October 1783 – 21 January 1786) - with Nakşidil;[18]

His daughters were:

  • Hatice Sultan (12 January 1776 – 8 November 1776);
  • Ayşe Sultan (30 July 1777 – 9 September 1777);
  • Esma Sultan (17 July 1778 – 4 June 1848) – with Sineperver,[19] married 29 May 1792, Damat Küçük Hüseyin Pasha (died 8 January 1803), foster-brother of Sultan Selim III;[5]
  • Rabia Sultan (20 March 1780 – 28 June 1780);
  • Aynişah Sultan (9 July 1780 – 28 July 1780);
  • Melikşah Sultan (28 January 1781 – 24 December 1781);
  • Rabia Sultan (10 August 1781 – 3 October 1782);
  • Fatma Sultan (12 December 1782 – 11 January 1786) - with Sineperver;[18]
  • Alemşah Sultan (11 October 1784 – 10 March 1786) - with Şebsafa;[18]
  • Saliha Sultan (27 November 1786 – 10 April 1788) - with Nakşidil;[18]
  • Emine Sultan (4 February 1788 – 9 March 1791) – with Şebsafa;[18]
  • Hibetullah Sultan (16 March 1789 – 1 8 September 1841) – with Şebsafa, married 3 February 1804, Damat Alaeddin Pasha (died at Scutari, January 1813), son of Damat Seyid Ahmed Pasha.[5]
Adopted daughter

Abdul Hamid had adopted a daughter when he was a prince:

  • Ayşe Dürrüşehvar Hanım (died 11 May 1831), married Damat Ahmed Nazif Bey (killed 21 May 1789), son of Hacı Selim Agha.


  1. 1 2 3 4 5 Hoiberg, Dale H., ed. (2010). "Abdulhamid I". Encyclopædia Britannica. I: A-ak Bayes (15th ed.). Chicago, IL: Encyclopædia Britannica Inc. p. 22. ISBN 978-1-59339-837-8.
  2. 1 2 3 Derman Sabancı (2002). "27. Osmanlı padişahı Sultan I. Abdülhamid'in eserleri" (PDF). Islamic Manuscripts.
  3. 1 2 3 4 5 Kocaaslan, Murat. I. Abdülhamid’in İstanbul’daki İmar Faaliyetleri. pp. 124–5.
  4. 1 2 3 4 Cunbur, Müjgan. I. Abdülhamid Vakfiyesi Ve Hamidiye Kütüphanesi.
  5. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 Uluçay, Mustafa Çağatay (2011). Padişahların kadınları ve kızları. Ötüken, Ankara. pp. 105–9.
  6. Tabakoğlu, Ahmet (1998). İstanbul su külliyâtı: İstanbul şer'iyye sicilleri : Mâ-i Lezı̂z defterleri 2 (1791-1794). İstanbul Araştırmaları Merkezi. p. 147.
  7. Raif, Mehmet; Kut, Günay; Aynur, Hatice (1996). Mirʼât-ı İstanbul. felik Gülersoy Vakfı. p. 99.
  8. Ayvansarai, Hafız Hüseyin; Çabuk, Vâhid (1985). Mecmuâ- i tevârih. İstanbul Üniversitesi Edebiyat Fakültesi. p. 261.
  9. Haskan, Mehmet Nermi (2001). Yüzyıllar boyunca Üsküdar - Volume 2. Üsküdar Belediyesi. p. 758. ISBN 978-9-759-76060-1.
  10. Ziya, Mehmet (2004). Istanbul ve Boğaziçi: Bizans ve Osmanlı medeniyetlerinin Ölümsüz Mirası, Volume 1. BIKA.
  11. Kal'a, Ahmet; Tabakoğlu, Ahmet (2000). İstanbul su külliyâtı. 16 : İstanbul şer'iyye sicilleri mâ-i lezîz defterleri. (1813 - 1817). İstanbul Araştırmaları Merkezi. p. 97.
  12. Sarıcaoğlu, Fikret (2001). Kendi kaleminden bir Padişahın portresi Sultan I. Abdülhamid (1774-1789). Tatav, Tarih ve Tabiat Vakfı. p. 8. ISBN 978-9-756-59601-2.
  13. Tabakoğlu, Ahmet (1998). İstanbul su külliyâtı: İstanbul şer'iyye sicilleri : Mâ-i Lezı̂z defterleri 1 (1786-1791), Volume 3. İstanbul Araştırmaları Merkezi. p. 229.
  14. Tabakoğlu, Ahmet (1998). İstanbul su külliyâtı: İstanbul şer'iyye sicilleri : Mâ-i Lezı̂z defterleri 1 (1786-1791), Volume 3. İstanbul Araştırmaları Merkezi. p. 153.
  15. Christine Isom-Verhaaren Royal French Women in the Ottoman Sultans' Harem: The Political Uses of Fabricated Accounts from the Sixteenth to the Twenty-first Century, Journal of World History, vol. 17, No. 2, 2006.
  17. Barışta, Örcün (2000). Osmanlı İmparatorluğu dönemi İstanbul'undan kuşevleri. Kültür Bakanlığı. p. 223. ISBN 978-9-751-72535-6.
  18. 1 2 3 4 5 Sarıcaoğlu, Fikret (2001). Kendi kaleminden bir Padişahın portresi Sultan I. Abdülhamid (1774-1789). Tatav, Tarih ve Tabiat Vakfı. pp. 17–18. ISBN 978-9-756-59601-2.
  19. Kal'a, Ahmet; Tabakoğlu, Ahmet (2002). Vakıf su defterleri. İstanbul Araştırmaları Merkezi. p. 182.

Media related to Abdul Hamid I at Wikimedia Commons

Abdul Hamid I
Born: 20 March 1725 Died: 7 April 1789[aged 64]
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Mustafa III
Sultan of the Ottoman Empire
21 Jan 1774 – 7 Apr 1789
Succeeded by
Selim III
Sunni Islam titles
Preceded by
Mustafa III
Caliph of Islam
21 Jan 1774 – 7 Apr 1789
Succeeded by
Selim III
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