Memorandum from the Earl of AberdeenF.O. 78/501 (No. 1) Foreign Office, May 3, 1842

I think it necessary on your return to Syria to resume your duties as Her Majesty’s Consul at Jerusalem, to furnish you with some Instructions for your guidance with reference to certain matters which may come before you.

The principal of these is the appointment which has recently been made of Bishop Alexander to reside at Jerusalem as a Bishop of the United Church of England and Ireland, with authority to exercise spiritual jurisdiction in Syria, Chaldaea, Egypt, and Abyssinia, over the Ministers of British Congregations of the United Church of England and Ireland, and over such other Protestant Congregations as might be desirous of placing themselves under his Authority. With reference to this appointment I would wish you to bear in mind that Her Majesty’s Government have asked of the Porte for Bishop Alexander, and those by whom he is accompanied, no other degree of protection than that which all other British Subjects, of whatever profession or denomination they may be, are entitled to enjoy in the Dominions of the Sultan; and that Bishop Alexander has been strictly enjoined by his Ecclesiastical Superior in this Country, not to interfere with the religious concerns either of the Mohamedan, or of the Christian Subjects of the Porte; and not to attempt to make Proselytes to the Church of England from either of those classes.

Under the limitations thus stated, Her Majesty’s Government desire that you should extend your official protection to Bishop Alexander, to the utmost of your ability; but you will carefully abstain from identifying yourself in any degree with his mission, and from assisting to promote any scheme of interference with the Jewish Subjects of the Porte, in which Bishop Alexander may possibly engage. You will clearly understand that Her Majesty’s Government will not sanction, either in you or in any other servant of the Crown, any attempts, directly or indirectly, to interfere with the religious tenets of any class of the Sultan’s Subjects. In accordance with this principle, you will most carefully abstain from affording to persons who may associate themselves to Bishop Alexander’s congregation any protection, as British Dependents, to which, – under other circumstances, they could not properly lay claim. It is the express desire of Her Majesty’s Government that the number of persons who receive British Protection shall be strictly limited to those who by birth are entitled to it, and also to those whom the capitulations to Turkey, construed in the strictest sense, permit to be withdrawn from the immediate controul of the Turkish Law.