Papers of Anton Tien

Scope and Content

These papers consist of a letter from Rev Anton Tien, in Constantinople, to Edwin Norris to send him a copy of a letter sent by Sheikh Ahmed of Mecca to some of his principal co-religionists to be distributed to all "Musselmans", as Tien thought the letter would be of interest to Norris. The copy of Sheikh Ahmed's letter is in Arabic with an English translation.

Administrative / Biographical History

Anton Tien was born in Beirut, Syria, in 1834. He studied theology in Rome for several years but then converted to Anglicanism. He came to England with letters of introduction to William Gladstone who advised him to go to theological college. Therefore he entered St Augustine's College, Canterbury. During the Crimean War he was Oriental Secretary on Lord Baglan's staff. In 1860 he travelled to Constantinople as a priest where his knowledge of Middle Eastern languages enabled him to tutor both at missions schools and privately.

Tien acted as interpreter between a visiting Omani dignitary and representatives of Queen Victoria in 1886 and, in 1896, he was appointed Professor of Turkish at King's College, London, a position he held until 1913. He was a member of the Royal Asiatic Society. He died in 1920 in Sussex.

Access Information

Open. Please contact the archivist. Details can be found here. The archive is open on Tuesdays and Fridays 10-5, and Thursdays 2-5. Access is to any researcher without appointment but it will help if an appointment is made via phone or email. Please bring photo ID.

Acquisition Information

The material was acquired from Anton Tien.

Archivist's Note

This material was catalogued by Nancy Charley, RAS Archivist, in 2022.

Conditions Governing Use

Digital photography (without flash) for research purposes may be permitted upon completion of a copyright declaration form, and with respect to current UK copyright law.

Custodial History

The letter was written by Anton Tien and sent to Edwin Norris, Secretary of the Royal Asiatic Society.


Geographical Names