Sorry again – it’s hard to get it right. The sixth word in the Ottoman text (Arabic script) is
(without an alif).
Sorry — I miskeyed one of the words in the incipit; it should read:
Besmele-i Fātiḥa-ı ḫilqat ḫātime-i risāle-i ḫatmiyyet / şeref-efzā-yı ḫıl‘at-i nübüvvet zīver-ārā-yı devā-yı / risālet …
بسملهٔ فاتهٔ خلقت خاتمهٔ رسالهٔ خاتمیت شرف افزای خلعت نبوت زیورارای دوای رسالت
No title given for the work as whole.
Polychrome illuminated ‘unwān surrounding
caption for the first sample letter in the compendium.
First caption (in red ink):
Ḫırqa-ı şerīfe tezkeresi
خرقهٔ شریفه تذکره سی
Besmele-i Fātiḥa-ı ḫilqat hātime-i risāle-i ḫatmiyyet / şeref-efzā-yı ḫıl‘at-i nübüvvet zīver-ārā-yı devā-yı / risālet …
بسملهٔ فاتهٔ خلقت خاتمهٔ رسالهٔ نبوت شرف افزای خلعت نبوت زیورارای دوای رسالت
The work has no title, but in many MS catalogs the supplied title for such compendia is
Münşe’āt [Models of Correspondence].
This appears to be a collection of models of correspondence, written in Ottoman Turkish, with samples of various categories of letters that show the proper forms of address and formulation of such a letter demanded by protocol according to the occasion and the status of the writer and the recipient. The first four letters in this codex (pp. 2-3; p. 3; pp. 3-4; pp. 4-5) are model letters captioned “Hırka-ı Şerīf Tezkiresi” (Letter [of invitation to visit] the Mantle of the Prophet Muhammad). The fifth letter (p. 5-6) is captioned “Mevlid-i Şerīf da’vetini mutazammın tezkire” (Letter containing an invitation to [attend] a ceremonial recitation of the Mevlid [ode in praise of the birth of the Prophet Muhammad, composed by Süleyman Çelebi]. The first five letters do not appear to include any dates or names of individuals.
With regard to the meaning of “Hırka-i Şerif tezkiresi” — in her book, Osmanlıda Seyyidler ve Şerifler [Descendants of the Prophet in the Ottoman Empire] (Istanbul, 2006), p. 86, Rüya Kılıç describes the ceremonial visits by high state officials to view the Hırka-i Şerif during Ramazan and their participation in Mevlid recitations. Every year, on the 15th day of Ramadan, one day prior to the annual ceremonial visit to the Hırka-i Şerif (the Mantle of the Prophet Muhammad, a relic ), the chamberlain (kethüda) of the Nakibü’l-eşraf (head of the descendants of the Prophet Muhammad) would send the viziers a letter (tezkire) formally inviting them to take part in the visit. The Mantle of the Prophet is kept in the Mosque of the Holy Mantle (Hırka-i Şerif Camii) in Istanbul’s Fatih district and is displayed only during Ramadan. Also during Ramadan, the Nakibü’l-eşraf presided over ceremonial recitations of the Mevlid in the Sultan Ahmed Mosque, to which high state officials would also be invited.
According to the caption, the sixth letter in this compendium (pp. 6-9) is a letter addressed to Hurşid Paşa, the beylerbeyi (governor-general) of Rumelia, by the Grand Vizier Yusuf Ziya Paşa.
Yusuf Ziya Paşa was grand vizier twice (1798-1808, 1809-1811). There was also a Hurşid Ahmed Paşa who served as the governor-general of Rumelia during the same period (1807-1813), who is the likely recipient. The provides a terminus post quem for this collection of letters, even if it doesn’t necessarily tell us when it was compiled.
The seventh sample (pp. 9-11) is a letter appointing the recipient to the ceremonial post of sweeper (ferrāş) of the tomb of the Prophet in Medina.
The eighth sample (pp. 11-12) is a letter of reprimand addressed to an unnamed transgressor.
That’s as far as I got today. I did take a quick look at the rest of the volume, It includes more than one work. The first part, with 29 lines to the page (some pages interrupted by headers have fewer lines) all in the same naskh script and in the same hand, the text inside a gold frame, continues through p. 243. Along the way, there are many letters attributed to named individuals. With a bit of research I’m sure many of them could be identified.
At the end of this part of the volume there is no proper colophon, but there seems to be a long disquisition by the compiler, in which he speaks of the purposes for which he has written this work and mentions, among other matters, a second volume dealing with “Frankish” diplomatic correspondence and thanks (p. 242) a former logothete of the Patrikhane (Orthodox Patriarchate) named Alexander Nirvilos(?) for his help.
Pages 244, 246, 247 and 248 are blank.
On p. 245 of the volume a different hand (looking rushed and a bit sloppy, something between naskh and divani) has added what appears to be a love letter, including a short verse addressing the beloved in the second person singular.
From p. 249 to the end of the volume (p. 285) we see what also look like copies of official letters, but in a different hand from section one (also naskh, but with a bit more style and verve to it), 17 lines to the full page, without any ruling or frame for the text.
That’s all I have time for now. It’s an interesting volume and deserves further study — could be someone’s thesis some day (not mine).