Abdülhamid I, Abdul Hamid I or Abd Al-Hamid I (Ottoman Turkish: عبد الحميد اول, `Abdü’l-Ḥamīd-i evvel; Turkish: Birinci Abdülhamit; 20 March 1725 – 7 April 1789) was the 27th Sultan of the Ottoman Empire. He was the son of sultan Ahmed III (1703–30) and succeeded his brother Mustafa III (1757–74) on 21 January 1774. He was born in Constantinople. His mother was Râbi'a Sharmi Sultana.
Abdülhamid was imprisoned for most of the first forty-two years of his life by his cousins Mahmud I and Osman III and his older brother Mustafa III, as was custom. He received his early education from his mother Râbi'a Sharmi Sultana, from whom he studied history and learned calligraphy.
His imprisonment made him aloof in regard to state affairs and malleable to the designs of his advisors. Yet he was also very religious and a pacifist by nature. At his accession the financial straits of the treasury were such that the usual donative could not be given to the janissaries. War was, however, forced on him and less than a year after his accession the complete defeat of the Turks at Battle of Kozludzha led to the humiliating Treaty of Küçük Kaynarca on 21 July 1774.
In spite of his failures, Abdülhamid was regarded as the most gracious Sultan of the Ottomans. He administered the fire brigade during the fire in 1782. Among the Muslims of Constantinople, he won the admiration of his people as he was so religious that he was called a "Veli" (saint). He also traced a reform policy, followed the governmental administrations closely and worked with statesmen. When Abdülhamid came to the throne the army asked for gratuities and the sultan claimed that: "There are, no longer, gratuities in our treasury, all of our soldier sons should learn". He also began the restoration of the military system. He is credited with better education standards. He tried to renovate the Janissary corps and the naval forces. He established a new artillery troop. He made a census in the Janissary corps. He was also credited with the creation of the Imperial Naval Engineering School.
He worked on strengthening the Ottoman rule over Syria, Egypt, and Iraq; however slight successes against rebellious outbreaks in Syria and the Morea could not compensate for the loss of the Crimea which Russia greatly coveted. War was once more declared against Russia in 1787 and in the following year the Russians were joined by Austria. The Swedes and Prussians joined the conflict on the side of the Ottomans, but provided no assistance. While the Ottomans held their own in the conflict they ultimately lost with Ochakov falling in 1788 to the Russians (all of its inhabitants being massacred.) In the year 1789, Tipu Sultan ruler of the Sultanate of Mysore sent an embassy to the Ottoman capital of Constantinople, to Sultan Abdul Hamid I requesting urgent assistance against the British East India Company and had proposed an offensive and defensive consortium; Sultan Abdul Hamid I, informed the ambassadors of the Sultanate of Mysore that the Ottoman Empire was still recuperating from the Austro-Ottoman War and the Russo-Turkish Wars.
Abdülhamid died four months later at the age of sixty-four in Constantinople. He was buried in Bahcekapi, a tomb he had built for himself. He bred Arabian horses with great passion. After his name was called a Kuhaylan Substrain: " Küheylan Abdülhamid".
His wives were: Valide Sultan Ayse Seniyeperver, Valide Sultan Naksh-i-Dil Haseki Sultan (there have been speculations that she was a cousin of Napoleon's wife Josephine; see Aimée du Buc de Rivéry), Hatice Ruh-şah, Hüma Şah, Ayşe, Bin-naz, Dil-pezir, Mehtabe, Misl-i Na-yab, Mu'teber, Fatma Sheb-Safa, Nevres and Mihriban. His concubines were: Nükhet-seza Hanimefendi: First concubine; Ayşe Hanımefendi: Second concubine.
His sons were: Mustafa IV (1807–08) (his son by Ayşe Seniyeperver), Mahmud II (1808–39) (his son by Naksh-i-Dil Haseki), Murad, Nusret, Mehmed, Ahmed, and Süleyman.
His daughters were: Esma, Emine, Rabia, Saliha, Alimşah, Duruşehvar, Fatma, Melikşah, Hibetullâh and Zekiye Sultans.
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