The Earl and his butler in Constantinople by Nigel and Caroline Webb      In 1729, George Hay, 8th Earl of Kinnoull, a Scottish aristocrat whose behaviour in political, financial and personal matters had caused some disquiet in England, was appointed ambassador to Constantinople, where he remained until 1737. Leaving his wife and family at their Yorkshire home, Brodsworth, he departed for Turkey with a large retinue, including a certain Mr Samuel Medley, aged 62, as his ever-loyal butler who kept a diary there from 1733 to 1736.      From official documents and private family letters, the authors have built up a brief but vivid biography of Lord Kinnoull in the years leading up to his arrival in Turkey - his advantageous marriage to the Lord High Treasurer’s daughter; his imprisonment on suspicion of Jacobite sympathies; his involvement in the South Sea Bubble; his fall from grace and his financial embarrassment; his unexpected and improbable appointment as ambassador. From his despatches and from the revealing and colourful pages of Medley’s diary, the authors have pieced together a lively account of the extraordinary progress of Lord Kinnoull’s embassy and the misjudgements and intrigues leading to his recall. Illustrations include contemporary oil paintings by Jean- Baptiste Vanmour of the Ottoman court and the reception of ambassadors.      The full text of the diary, and also of Medley’s quotations from his reading matter, which are of special importance to those with an interest in the English literature of the Augustan age and its readership, has been made available to researchers on this website both as a photographic reproduction and as a full transcription with notes.  To see these, click the centre blue link above.      The first edition, published by Legini Press is sold out but a second edition is available from I B Tauris ( with ISBN numbers as follows: ISBN -10 1845117824 and ISBN -13 9781845117825. Home Samuel Medley’s Diary  Contact us