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.


Foreign Legations in Persia in 1866-67

Inventory of the personnel of the foreign legations in Persia in 1866-1867. This page will be updated regularly. The sources used are mentioned at the bottom. Personalities mentioned by Tinco Lycklama in his travel diaries are marked with .

(The abbreviation “E.e. et M. Pl.” is French practice and stands for “Envoyé extraordinaire et Ministre plénipotentiaire”. Some names have been enriched with information stemming from our research. This inventory is non-exhaustive. Corrections and suggestions are welcome)

The personalities


  • Tehran
    • Jacques-Adolphe Cousseau, comte de Massignac (1815-1879), E. e. et M. Pl. (appointed 05/10/1864, accredited 30/11/1865) 
      • Replaced in March 1867 by Ernest de Bonnières de Wierre (1825-1909) (see Geni…)
    • Louis Julien Emilien, comte de Rochechouart (1831-1879), secretary (3rd class) (see Geni…)
    • André Théodore Pichon (1805-1891), attaché (see Geni…)
    • Jean-Baptiste Nicolas (xxxx-1875), 1st drogman
    • Amedée Querry (1825-1900), chancelier 
    • Emile Charles Bernay (1841- ), commis de chancellerie 
    • In 1867…
      • Le Roy, attaché
  • Consulates
    • In Tabriz: Ernest Crampon, acting consul
      • Replaced by Amedée Querry in 1869
    • In Resht: Jean-Baptiste Nicolas, honorary consul


  • Tehran
    • Charles Alison (1810-1872), E.e. and M. Pl. (appointed 07/04/1860) 
    • Ronald Ferguson Thomson (1830-1888), secretary (see Geni…) (E.e. and M. Pl. 1879-1887)
    • William John Dickson (1826-1900), Oriental secretary  (see Wikipedia…)
    • August Henry Mounsey (1834-1882), 2nd secretary  (see Wikipedia…)
    • C.W. Lawrence, 2nd secretary
    • J.R.L. Dickson, doctor (Dr. Joseph Dickson – physician to the legation 1848-1887?)
    • Andrew Glen, interpretor and vice-consul
  • Consultates
    • In Tabriz: Keith Edward Abbott (1814-1873), consul general (see Wikipedia…)
    • In Resht: William George Abbott, consul general (see Geni…)


  • Tehran
    • Nicolas de Giers (1820-1895), E.e. et M. Pl. (appointed 01/08/1863)
    • Ivan Alekseevich Zinoviev (1835–1917), 1st secretary 
    • Serchputowski, 2nd secretary
    • Vasily Sevryugin, 1st drogman
    • Basile Amiroff, 2nd drogman
  • Consulates
    • In Astrabad: Goussew, consul
    • In Gilan: Nicolai Pavlov (Pauloff), consul
    • In Tabriz: Valérien Bézobrazow, consul general


  • Tehran
  • Consulates
    • In Kirmanshah: Méhémmed Bey, consul
    • In Tabriz: Ahmed Ilmi Effendi, consul


  • Vacancies at the consular agencies of Resht, Bandat Bushir, Tabriz and Tehran



  • Almanach de Gotha: annuaire généalogique, diplomatique et statistique pour l’année 1867, published November 1866 by Justus Perthes, Gotha. (see link…)
  • Almanach de Gotha: annuaire généalogique, diplomatique et statistique pour l’année 1868, published November 1867 by Justus Perthes, Gotha. (see link…)
  • Amédée Querry : drogman en Perse au milieu du XIXe siècle, by Florence Hellot-Bellier, Paris, 2009