Latest Queries

Queries from Bulletin 39

39-1: Does anyone know of Middlemass Bey?

Russell McGuirk ( asks if anyone has information about the Egyptologist/artist/Head of the Egyptian Coastguard, Middlemass Bey (Arthur Charles Middlemass, 1850–1906. Russell is especially interested in finding a photograph of him. He is researching the history of the Egyptian Coastguard Administration (1876–1916), and a photograph of Middlemass is conspicuously missing from the material he has collected.

Can anyone help? Please reply to Russell McQuirk and to the Bulletin Editor.

39-2: Who was Mr Slowman?

Anyone who has read Giovanni Belzoni’s Narrative of the Operation and Recent Discoveries … in Egypt and Nubia (John Murray, 1820) will have wondered about the Rev. Mr Slowman, whom he met while travelling in and near the Fayoum. Here he is, from page 364 of the 1830 edition:

Early on the morning of the 18th I was awoken by the Moorish Hadge, who told me, with an air of surprise, that a strange person was coming towards us. … I saw a European, who turned out to be Mr Slowman [this could be Belzoni’s version of ‘Sloman’], a gentleman sixty-two years of age, who for a walk had alighted from his canjiar [boat], and in spite of his age followed the tracks of celebrated travellers … This old reverend divine had the courage to go through all the lands of Syria, which travellers fancy wonderful difficult. He never had an interpreter, nor did he know a single word of Arabic. He encountered and overcame every difficulty. He suffered much but never complained, except of the ill treatment he received from other travellers, … nor did he care whether any one ever knew any thing about his journey.

He was then on his way to the second cataract; and some time afterwards I had the pleasure of seeing him, safe and well on his return from that place.

We have asked before, but without success, so we try again: has any reader tracked down who Mr Slowman was? If so, please let the Editor know..