Bonds and Bridgeheads: The Geopolitical and Financial Context of the British Acquisition of Cyprus, 1875–1878

  • Diana Markides


The European crisis created in April 1877 by the Russian advance towards Constantinople underlined the precarious future of the Ottoman Empire. Acquiring some territorial compensation in the Eastern Mediterranean to offset Russian gains became a matter of urgency for Britain, as Russian influence flooded through the Balkans and the Caucasus. The subsequent secret treaty, which legalised the British occupation of Cyprus, was a defensive alliance with respect to protecting the Asiatic provinces of Turkey from Russian encroachment.


Primary Sources

  1. National Archives, Kew (NA) Google Scholar
  2. Foreign Office Papers (FO)Google Scholar
  3. Colonial Office Papers (CO)Google Scholar
  4. Hatfield House Library (HH) Google Scholar
  5. Papers of the 4th Marquess of Salisbury (HHM/4M)Google Scholar
  6. British Library (BL) Google Scholar
  7. Iddesleigh Papers (Add.Ms.50019/3844)Google Scholar
  8. Published Official Sources Google Scholar
  9. Parliamentary PapersGoogle Scholar

Secondary Sources

  1. Anderson, O. 1964. Great Britain and the Beginnings of the Ottoman Public Debt. The Historical Journal VIII (1): 47–63.Google Scholar
  2. Cain, P.J., and A.G. Hopkins. 1993. British Imperialism: Innovation and Expansion 1688–1914. London: Longman.Google Scholar
  3. Cecil, G. 1921. Life of Robert, Marquis of Salisbury, vol. II. London: Hodder and Stroughton.Google Scholar
  4. Clay, C. 2000. Gold for the Sultan: Western Bankers and Ottoman Finance, 1856–1881. London: I.B. Tauris.Google Scholar
  5. Darwin, J. 1997. Imperialism and the Victorians: The Dynamics of Territorial Expansion. English Historical Review 112 (447): 614–642.Google Scholar
  6. Headlam Morley, J. 1920. Studies in Diplomatic History, 193–291. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  7. Hill, George. 1952. A History of Cyprus, vol. IV, The Ottoman Province, The British Colony 1571–1948. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  8. Holland, R.F., and D. Markides. 2006. The British and The Hellenes: Struggles for Mastery in the Eastern Mediterranean 1850–1960. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  9. Hunter, F.R. 1999. Egypt Under the Khedives, 1805–1879: From Household Government to Modern Bureaucracy 1805–1879. Cairo: American University in Cairo Press.Google Scholar
  10. Kovic, P. 2010. Disraeli and, the Eastern Question, 454. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  11. Kynaston, D. 2016. Till Time’s Last Sand: A History of the Bank of England 1694–2013. London: Bloomsbury.Google Scholar
  12. Lee, D.E. 1934. Great Britain and the Cyprus Convention Policy. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  13. Markides, D. 2016. Bailed in: Strategy, Finance and the Acquisition of Cyprus, 1878. In The Greeks and the British in the Levant, 1800–1960s: Between Empires and Nations, ed. A. Yiangou, G. Kazamias, and R.F. Holland. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  14. Marquis of Zetland (ed.). 1921. The Letters of Disraeli to Lady Bradford and Lady Chesterfield, vol. I, 1876–1881. London: Ernest Benn Limited.Google Scholar
  15. Parsons, J.W. 1977. France and the Egyptian Question 1875–1894. Unpublished PhD thesis, University of Cambridge, Cambridge.Google Scholar
  16. Roberts, Andrew. 1999. Salisbury: Victorian Titan. London: Phoenix. Google Scholar
  17. Robinson, R., and J. Gallagher. 1961. Africa and the Victorians: The Official Mind of Imperialism. London: Macmillan Press.Google Scholar
  18. Steel, D. 1999. Lord Salisbury. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  19. Strathern, Paul. 2008. Napoleon in Egypt: The Greatest Glory. London: Jonathan Cape.Google Scholar
  20. Varnava, A. 2005. Punch and the British Occupation of Cyprus. Byzantine and Modern Greek Studies 29 (2): 167–186.Google Scholar
  21. ———. 2009. British Imperialism in Cyprus, 1878–1915: The Inconsequential Possession. Manchester: Manchester University Press.Google Scholar
  22. Waterfield, G. 1963. Layard of Nineveh, 356. London: John Murray.Google Scholar
  23. Zarifi, G. n.d. Οι Αναμανησεις Μου¨ Ενας Κοσμος που εφυγε: Κωνσταντινοπολη 1800–1920 [My Memories, A World That Has Gone: Constantinople 1800–1920], 236.Google Scholar

Online Sources

  1. Lorans Tanatar Baruh and Alexander Apostolides, ‘The First Bank in Cyprus: The Imperial Ottoman Bank’, New Research.
  2. Sir Robert Hamilton Lang (Biographical details), The British Museum. Sir Robert Hamilton Lang (Biographical details), 201.

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Diana Markides
    • 1
  1. 1.NicosiaCyprus

Personalised recommendations