Esma Sultan (daughter of Abdul Hamid I)
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|Born||17 July 1778|
Istanbul, Ottoman Empire
|Died||4 June 1848 (aged 69)|
Istanbul, Ottoman Empire
|Burial||Tomb of Mahmud II, Çemberlitaş, Fatih, Istanbul|
|Spouse||Küçük Hüseyin Pasha|
|Father||Abdul Hamid I|
Esma Sultan (17 July 1778 – 4 June 1848) was an Ottoman princess, daughter of Sultan Abdul Hamid I, sister of Sultan Mustafa IV and Sultan Mahmud II. She was the adoptive mother of Valide Sultans "Queen Mothers" Bezmiâlem Sultan and Rahime Perestu Sultan.
She was born in 1778 to Abdul Hamid I during his reign. Her mother was Sineperver, the 4th wife of the sultan. Her brother Mustafa was born in 1779 and Mahmud in 1785. Since Prince Mustafa was only 10 years old when Abdul Hamid I died in 1789, her first cousin Selim ascended the throne as Selim III.
Esma Sultan was married in 1792 at the age of only 14 to Captain Pasha Küçük Hüseyin Pasha, a close friend of her cousin sultan Selim III. Thanks to the high position of her husband, she had important influence over Ottoman society. She owned a palace in Divanyolu, kiosks in Çamlıca, Maçka and Eyüp and a waterfront mansion in Kuruçeşme at Bosporus. Her husband died in 1803 when she was 25 years old. She never married again.
In 1807, the Janissaries revolted once more, dethroned, imprisoned, and later murdered Selim III. They placed his cousin Mustafa, brother of Esma Sultan, on the throne as Mustafa IV (1807–1808). Mustafa IV reigned briefly in an era of Janissary riots. He was deposed in 1808 by the rebels, and his half-brother (and Esma's brother) Mahmud, whose execution he had unsuccessfully ordered, came to the throne as Mahmud II. Mahmud II then ordered the murder of Mustafa and remained so the last male member of the house of Osman I.
Esma Sultan exercised great influence over her brother Mahmud during his reign of 31 years. Sultan Mahmud II died on June 29, 1839 at her palace in Çamlıca. Princess Esma was interested in British culture; she was said to have furnished her palace with Western furniture, putting all of the traditional Ottoman furniture in a storage room. After her death, all of her English furniture was put away in the same storage room and the old oriental ones taken out once again.
- Philip Mansel, Constantinople: City of the World's Desire (London, 1995), pp. 257–258.