Request a high resolution copy

Diary entry by Gertrude Bell

Reference code
Bell, Gertrude Margaret Lowthian
Creation Date
Extent and medium
1 entry, paper
Iraq ยป Mosul

36.3489278, 43.157736

Wed Ap 28. [28 April 1909] Off at 6.15, heard the booming of the
cannon from behind the hill that hid Mosul [Mawsil, Al] from us after
about an hour's ride. At 8.35 some soldiers gave us the news that
Reshad was Sultan. Presently in the general detension [sic] the
Zaptieh said "All the days of Abd ul Kadir we never got our pay."
Lovely peaceful world; I cd scarcely believe the cannon could mean
ill. Got to Mosul at 10 and looked vainly for the consulate till I met Mr
Drubba who gave me his cavass. Mr Wilkie Young (H.E.) put me up.
There are also with him Captain Dixon from Van and Mr Wigram of the
Archbp's Nestorian mission also from Van. Mr Young has received
no official intimation from the embassy of the change of sultans. They
went off however to congratulate the Vali and came back reporting
that all the streets were empty - everyone sitting indoors. Dr Griffiths
came to see me, still looking ill. He said as soon as the Sultan
overturned the ministry the Vali here got a telegram from [space left
blank] at Salonica [Thessaloniki (Saloniki)] saying he was to obey no
orders from C'ple [Istanbul (Constantinople)] and the troops were
marching on the capital. Then from day to day came news of their
doings. They entrained the troops - took them right up to C'ple, the
Sultan doing nothing to interrupt the line. Pera was bombarded - even
the embassy telegraphed this to Mr Young. The change of sultans
was known in Mosul last night. No doubt all the big Aghas here, of
very old family, hated the Constitution. After lunch looked at maps with
Captain Dixon and went to tea with the Griffiths. They leave on
Monday. Mr Young and Capt Dixon came too. The hospital a
charming old house with 3 courts and seradib on columns and
dungeons - Dr Griffith told me about the Nakib here and about a great
family of Aghas who were Xians originally from Diarbekr [Diyarbakir
(Amida)]. One of these Arab families ruled the town and still owns
most of the land. The Arab movement is gaining ground. There is a
bitter anti Turk feeling among the old Arab families here. So home
and at a late hour dinner. Mr Wigram told me about the Nestorians.
They are the original church which has existed since about AD 80 and
is supposed to have been founded by Addai who is supposed to be
Thaddaeus but as he was alive in 104 AD he can't be. They were
however outside the Byz. empire and they were forgotten at the
Council of Nicaea. Their creed contains a very clumsy version,
inserted later, of the important clause of Nicaea. The Sassanians
treated them very well till the Roman empire turned Xian. After that
they were treated as suspects in alliance with the other Xians. They
were nicknamed Nestorians but probably the doctrine of Nestorius is
quite other from that with which he is credited. A couple of 100 years
ago part of the community was won over to Rome for the sake of
protection and these are the Chaldaeans. The Nestorians under Mar
Shimun are hated by the Chaldaeans.

IIIF Manifest