ʿEZZ-AL-DAWLA, ʿABD-AL-ṢAMAD MĪRZĀ (b. Rabīʿ I 1260/March-April 1844, d. 30 Mehr 1308 Š./21 October 1929; Figure 1), half-brother of Nāṣer-al-Dīn Shah and governor of Qazvīn; Borūjerd and Baḵtīārī; Hamadān; Zanjān; and Malāyer, Tūyserkān and Nehāvand. His mother, Oḡol Beyga Ḵānom, was a Sālūr Turkman taken prisoner by ʿAbbās Mīrzā (q.v.) after he captured Saraḵs in 1248/ 1832. He was named ʿAbd-al-Ṣamad by Moḥammad Shah’s grand vizier, Ḥājj Mīrzā Āqāsī (q.v.), after the latter’s mentor Ḥājj Mollā ʿAbd-al-Ṣamad Hamadānī. He was four years old when Nāṣer-al-Dīn Shah ascended the throne. Although he was not considered a potential threat to the throne, he was sent away as governor of provinces that were not believed to be too important or which could not generate large revenues for their governors (ʿAyn-al-Salṭana, p. 336; ʿEzz-al-Dawla, pp. 64-69). Both S. G. W. Benjamin (p. 182), the first American ambassador to Persia, and Ḥosayn Maḥbūbī Ardakānī (Eʿtemād-al-Salṭana, Maʾāṯer wa’l-āṯār, comm., p. 481) have described his rule as tyrannical, a charge denied by his descendants (ʿEzz-al-Dawla, p. 144).
In 1289/1872, ʿEzz-al-Dawla became the chieftain (īlḵān) of the Qajar tribe (Eʿtemād-al-Salṭana, Montaẓem-e nāṣerī, ed. Reżwānī, p. 1933; idem, Maʾāṯer wa’l-āṯār, p. 41), a prestigious albeit ceremonial position he held for a year. It was partly in this capacity that he was selected to join Nāṣer-al-Dīn Shah’s entourage on his first tour of Europe in 1290/1873 (for an account of this tour, see ʿEzz-al-Dawla, pp. 180-253). ʿEzz-al-Dawla was an educated man with a knowledge of French and English and also an avid reader and book collector (Afżal-al-Molk, p. 189; Moʿayyer-al-Mamālek, p. 19). It is therefore possible that the progressive grand vizier, Mīrzā Ḥosayn Khan Sepahsālār, who initially suggested the trip to the shah, saw in him a potential ally. During his fourth tenure as governor of Hamadān, ʿEzz-al-Dawla had a book compiled on the geography of Hamadān and Nehāvand, which includes his own contribution (Aḏkāʾī, 1375 Š./1996, p. 388; Afšār, pp. 26-27). In Jomādā I 1300/March 1883, ʿEzz-al-Dawla was summoned from Hamadān to attend the coronation of Tsar Alexander III in Moscow (ʿEzz-al-Dawla, pp. 280-355, an account of the tour). He also served as the minister of justice (1302-4/1885-87). He sought refuge at the Russian embassy in Tehran during the last days of Moḥammad-ʿAlī Shah’s reign (Jomādā II 1327/July 1909). According to ʿAbd-Allāh Mostawfī (Šarḥ-e zendagānī II, p. 311), he did so in order to evade paying taxes. A more recent explanation by ʿEzz-al-Dawla’s grandson (ʿEzz-al-Dawla, pp. 105-9), however, describes the defection as motivated by a fear of retaliation from Moḥammad-Walī Khan Tonokābonī, the commander of the revolutionary army that captured Tehran, over some land dispute in Qazvīn.
Bibliography (for cited works not given in detail, see “Short References”):
P. Aḏkāʾī, Ketāb-æenāsī-e Hamadān, Hamadān, 1373 Š./1994, p. 136.
Idem, Tārīḵnegārān-e Īrān, Tehran, 1375 Š./1996.
Ī. Afšār, “Fehrest-e nosḵahā-ye ḵaṭṭī-e Ketāb-ḵāna-ye Wezārat-e dārāʾī,” FIZ 6, 1337 Š./1958, pp. 8-37.
Ḡolām-Ḥosayn Afżal-al-Molk, Afżal al-tawārīkò, ed. M. Etteḥādīya (Neżām Māfī) and S. Saʿdvandīān, Tehran, 1361 Š./1982.
ʿAyna-al-Salṭana, Rūz-nāma-ye ḵāṭerāt-e ʿAyn-al-Salṭana, ed. M. Sālūr and Ī. Afšār, Tehran, 1374 Š./1995.
Bāmdād, Rejāl II, pp. 268-70. S. G. W. Benjamin, Persia and the Persians, Boston, 1886.
G. P. Churchill, Biographical Notices of Persian Statesmen and Notables, Tehran, 1909, p. 37.
Eʿtemād-al- Salṭana, Rūz-nāma-ye ḵāṭerāt, pp. 230, 358.
ʿAbd-al-Ṣamad Mīrzā ʿEzz-al-Dawla, ʿAbd-al-Ṣamad Mīrzā Sālūr ʿEzz-al-Dawla wa do safar-nāma-ye ū be Orūpā dar sālhā-ye 1290 wa 1300, ed. M. Sālūr, Tehran, 1374 Š./1995.
D.-ʿA. Moʿayyer-al-Mamālek, Rejāl-e ʿaṣr-e nāṣerī, Tehran, 1361 Š./1982, pp. 19-22.
Mostawfī, Šarḥ-e zendagānī III, pp. 329-31.
Originally Published: December 15, 1999
Last Updated: January 20, 2012
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Vol. IX, Fasc. 2, pp. 131-132