The government of Naser al-Din Shah of 18/06/1866


Naser al-Din Shah Qajar (1831-1896), King of Persia
Naser al-Din Shah Qajar (1831-1896)

On 18 June 1866, Tinco Lycklama witnesses an important event in Persian politics: the formation of a new government. Coincidence?

Over a year earlier, in April 1865, the ruler of Persia Naser al-Din Shah had dismissed his cabinet of ministers and ran the empire with just a handful of close collaborators. In that same month, Tinco left Paris and embarked on his memorable voyage.

Despite the fact that Persia was top of his mind, it took Tinco a year before setting foot in the country. Actually, he leisurely spent the winter in Tbilisi (Georgia), and had no obvious urge to move on. However, early April 1866, he suddenly packed his bags and had to reach Tehran as quickly as he could.

So today, on 18/06/1866, the Shah appoints a new government. Some of its members are his long-time trusted advisors. Others are new and will play a major role in the years to come. The government under Naser al-Din Shah is generally considered conservative and quite autocratic. However, significant change is occurring. The country is keen on importing innovations from Europe, such as modern transportation and communications. Early industrialization of certain sectors of the economy starts to take shape. The new government incarnates these changes.

Over 1866-67, Tinco spends over six months in and around Tehran. He got very close to the tight political and diplomatic community. Though he talks only briefly about it, he develops a close relationship with one key member of the Shah’s new cabinet – Ali Quli Mirza. Besides being his great-uncle, this many is arguably also the Shah’s most trusted advisor – as minister of commerce, and assuming many other responsibilities. One should wonder why such a powerful politician and Qajar family member would spend his time on an ‘insignificant’ Dutch tourist – and even maintain correspondence after Tinco’s return to Europe.

Tinco Lycklama doesn’t specify any other particular encounter with members of the Shah’s cabinet. However, it is inconceivable that it did not occur. In fact, one anecdote illustrates this opinion. In September 1866, the Shah’s aide-de-camp conveys the Shah’s curiosity that Tinco had not yet asked for an audience with the Shah himself – despite having become a real presence on Tehran’s political and diplomatic scene. That meeting took place – but interestingly it was sort of requested by the Shah himself.

The list below provides us with the names and titles of the government’s ministers. We highlight their ‘modern’ names, followed by the spelling as given by Tinco Lycklama. We also provide some relevant links to online profiles for these people (some names require further clarification and we will update as we progress).


The cabinet appointed by Naser al-Din Shah on 18/06/1866…

  • Aziz Khan Mokri (1792-1871)Aziz Khan Mokri (1792-1871), Sardar-e Koll, Minister of War
    • Aziz Khan, Serdar-Koll, (Ministre de la Guerre)
    • See Iranica Online…, Wikipedia..
    • NOTE: he was replaced before November 1866 by Méhemmed Khan, Sepeh Sala Azem


  • Mirza Yousof, Mostowfi al-Mamalek, Finance Minister
    • Mostofi-ol-Memalek, (Ministre des Finances, Grand-Maître de la garde-robe, Directeur du timbre et des écuries royales), Mirza Youssouf
    • Genealogy on Geni…

  • Dost ‘Ali Khan, Muayyar ul-Mamaluk, Lord Treasurer
    • Moayir-ol-Memalek, (Contrôleur-général des Finances, Directeur de la Monnaie), Doust-Ali-Khan.
    • Genealogy on Geni…

  • Anoushirvan Khan Qajar Qovanlou (xxxx-1868)Anoushirvan Khan Qajar Qovanlu (xxxx-1868), Eyn ol-Molk, Etezad od-Doleh, Khan Salar
    • Etezod-ed-Doulet, (Grand-Maître d’hôtel, chef de la tribu des Kadjars), Eyin-ol-Molk.
    • See Qajarpedia…


  • Emam Qoli Mirza (1814-1875, governor of KermanshahAli Quli Mirza (1822-1880), I’tizad us-Sultana, Minister of Commerce
    • Etezad-es-Saltanet, (Ministre du Commerce et de l’Instruction publique, des manufactures, de l’imprimerie et des télégraphes), prince Ali-Kouli-Mirza.


  • Mirza Sa’id Khan Ansari (1816-1884), Motamen olMolkForeign Minister
    • Mirza Saïd Khan, Ministre des affaires étrangères, Directeur des chemins de fer et chargé des affaires relatives aux sujets professant un autre culte que l’Islamisme, Mirza-Said-Khan
    • See Wikipedia (German)…

  • Haji Muhammad Nasir Khan-e Qajar Devehlu, Zahir ud-Daula
    • Zéhir-ed-Doulet, (Ministre de la Maison-Royale, Introducteur des ambassadeurs, Surintendant du Harem, des travaux publics et des postes, Référendaire des affaires relatives aux princes et au clergé musulman), Méhemmed-Khan.
    • Genealogy on Geni…


  • Mirza Hosein Khan (1828-1881), Moshir od-Dowleh
    • Debir-ol-Molk, (Secrétaire-Général du Chah, Administrateur des domaines royaux, Directeur des postes et chemins de fer de la province d’Aderbeidjân), Mirza-Hosséin-Khan.
    • See Wikipedia…

  • Haji Muhammad Quli Khan-e Qajar Devehlu (died 1871), Asaf ud-Daula, Minister of Justice
    • Sepehdar, (Ministre de la Justice), Hadji-Méhemmed-Kouli-Khan.
    • Genealogy on Geni…

  • Haj Ali Khan Moghaddam Maraghei (1807-1867), E’temad os-Saltaneh, Minister of Pensions and Pious Endowments


  • Pasha Khan, Amin ol Molk
    • Emin-ol-Molk, (Garde des sceaux et Conseiller intime), Pacha-Khan.
    • Genealogy on Geni…

  • Emim-Khelvet., (Surintendant du service du palais), Mirza-Hashem-Khan.

  • Grand-Maître des cérémonies, Mohammed-Nassir-Khan.


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