THE FIRST BRITISH CONSULATE IN BATUMI DURING OTTOMAN RULE: REASONS FOR ESTABLISHMENT, PURPOSE AND STRATEGY (1840-1852)
From the 30s of the 19th century, the interest in Batumi began to grow, which was connected, on the one hand, with the results of the Russian-Ottoman war of 1828-1829 (Ottomans lost the eastern coast of the Black Sea), and on the other hand, with the influence of Russia in Anatolia. This was followed by the opening of Great Britain's diplomatic representtation first in Trebizond (in 1831) and then in Batumi (in 1840).
The opening of consulates at that time served to weaken the influence of Russia on Iran and the Ottomans and to pursue British interests. At the same time, the British government wanted to get quick and correct information about all the events that were happening in Georgia and the North Caucasus, as well as to facilitate British trade.
20-year-old Frederic Guarracino was selected as the first vice-consul of Batumi, who was appointed to the position in November 1839, although he began to perform his duties in April 1840.
By the instructions received from the diplomatic agency, F. Guarracino had to collect all kinds of information (geographical, statistical, political, trade...), study interesting places from a commercial point of view, gain the favor of the locals, establish good relations with the ruling elite...
Frederic Guarracino served as the British Vice-Consul in Batumi for 6 years. From June 1846 until the abolition of the diplomatic mission (December 1852), William Richard Holmes was appointed vice-consul. The reason for closing the consulate was probably that, at that stage, Britain apparently did not see the development prospects of Batumi: constant unrest, adverse climatic conditions, and limited scale of trade became the basis for making such a decision.
Keywords: Batumi, Britain, Consulate, Guarracino, Holmes