Sir Paul Rycaut(1628-1700), Diplomat and writer
Sitter associated with 8 portraits
The leading authority of his day on the Ottoman Empire. He travelled to Constantinople in 1660 as Private Secretary to the British Ambassador. His first major work, The Present State of the Ottoman Empire (1666), an analysis of Ottoman government and society, was a bestseller in several languages and still published over a hundred years later. Rycaut was British Consul at Smyrna, the most important centre of English trade in the eastern Mediterranean, from 1667 until 1678. In 1669, he published an anonymous account of the movement led by the Jewish pseudo-messiah Sabbatai Zevi, which had erupted at Smyrna in 1665. The work was another bestseller and Rycaut later republished it under his own name.