Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 49.djvu/240

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Rose
Rose
234

expulsion of Mehemet Ali's Egyptian army from Syria, and the restoration of the sultan's rule over that country and Egypt. One of the earliest duties which Rose had to perform was to deliver a letter sent by Sir Stratford Canning from Constantinople, signed by all the powers except France, to Ibrahim Pasha, ordering him to retire at once from Syria. Rose came upon the rear of Ibrahim Pasha's army near Rachel's Well. He delivered his letter, and Ibrahim Pasha directed him to inform the British ambassador that he was then actually retiring on Egypt. Rose was next attached, as deputy adjutant-general, to the staff of Omar Pasha, who landed at Jaffa with a large division of Turkish troops from the British fleet. Rose distinguished himself in a skirmish with the Egyptian cavalry at El-Mesden or El-Medjdel on 15 Jan. 1841, when he was twice wounded. He was mentioned in despatches, and received from the sultan the order of Nishan Iftihar in diamonds and a sabre of honour. Shortly afterwards Rose succeeded, on the deaths of Brigadier-general Michell and Colonel Bridgeman, to the command of the British detachments in Syria, with the local rank of colonel. On 20 Aug. 1841 he was gazetted consul-general for Syria, with full diplomatic powers.

Rose's duties were mainly to smooth animosities, to arrest the horrors of civil war, to prevent the feuds between the Maronites and Druses from coming to a head, to induce the Turkish authorities to respect the oaths of Christians in Turkish courts of law, and to administer justice honestly and impartially. In September 1841 he prevented an outbreak between the Maronites and the Druses near Deir-el-Khama, the capital of the Lebanon. In the following month another outbreak occurred at Deir-el-Khama, where a large number of Druses attacked the town. After obstinate fighting, much bloodshed, and the destruction of property valued at 70,000l., Rose's personal influence on the spot was again successful in terminating the conflict.

On 23 Feb. 1842 Rose was made a C.B., and Lord Aberdeen, the minister for foreign affairs, stated in the House of Lords that the British agent in Syria, although England claimed no official protection of any sect in Syria, had certainly afforded, under the influence of the rights of humanity and of the promises made by England, a protection which had effectually saved from destruction several hundred Christians. On 13 July 1842 Rose received permission to accept and wear the gold war medal conferred upon him by the sultan for his services in the Syrian campaign. He also received a letter from Major-general von Neumann, adjutant-general to the king of Prussia, conferring upon him the order of St. John, and conveying his majesty's pleasure on hearing that ‘an early acquaintance’ had so gallantly distinguished himself.

On 12 May 1845, on an urgent appeal from the American missionaries at Abaye in Mount Lebanon, Rose hastened thither, accompanied only by two kavasses. He found the castle in flames and the Druses with drawn swords waiting outside to despatch the Christians as they were driven out by the fire. Rose made such forcible appeals to the Druses that he succeeded in inducing them to allow the Christians to go to Beyrout under his escort. As the Druses were up all along the route, the march was one of difficulty. On the road many burning villages were passed, at one of which there was a church of great sanctity. The roof of the church was on fire, and the people were anxious to save the picture of the patron saint. Rose caused himself to be let down from a window, secured the picture, and had just time to get back when the roof fell in. He and his two kavasses gave up their horses to the women to ride. In spite of the heat in the narrow defiles in the month of June, and of the threatening attitude of the Druses, Rose brought the Christians, with the exception of two of the Christian emir's servants, who died on the way, in safety to Beyrout.

Rose left Syria on leave in November 1848, on which occasion he received tributes to his services from Captain Wallis, from Consul Moore, and from British subjects at Beyrout. In recognition of his conduct Lord Palmerston brought him into the regular diplomatic service by appointing him on 2 Jan. 1851 secretary of embassy at Constantinople. He was promoted brevet-colonel on 11 Nov. the same year. On 23 June 1852 Sir Stratford Canning went on leave of absence, and Rose became chargé d'affaires. In this capacity he had to deal with a crisis of the ‘holy places’ question. Russia was seeking to obtain from the sultan a secret treaty vesting in her the actual protectorate of all the subjects of the Porte of the Greek Antiochian persuasion; and Prince Menchikoff, the Russian ambassador, on 19 April 1853 demanded that this secret treaty should be signed by sunset or he would demand his passports. Rose was immediately summoned by the Turkish minister and informed that the Porte desired to see the British fleet in Turkish waters. He pointed out that as chargé d'affaires he