Sunday 21 March 2010

Two incidents from the short reign of Constantin Hangerli

R.W Seton-Watson, A History of the Roumanians (1934)

So exorbitant was this demand as virtually to amount to all the herds of Wallachia. The collectors were ordered to levy the increased tax within the brief space of ten days, and employed very severe measures, not stopping short of torture. When at last despairing protests were made before the palace - in itself a most unusual event - the prince [Hangerli] appeared at a window and called out angrily, 'Pay the taxes and you won't be killed'.

An emissary was sent from the Porte to Bucarest, accompanied by a tall negro executioner. Forcing his way into the palace and into the very presence of the hospodar, he produced a firman of the sultan and ordered the negro to strangle the wretched Hangerli then and there, before the eyes of his terrified guards (1 March 1799).When some of the boiars rushed in, they found the prince's head had been hacked off, and the room was deluged with blood.

Meanwhile in Hampshire Jane Austen was completing Northanger Abbey, George Washington was dying at Mount Vernon, Napoleon's troops were slaughtering Albanian prisoners of war at Jaffa.

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