MALCHI, ESPERANZA (d. 1600), *kiera who served Safiye, favorite consort of Sultan Murad iii (1574–95) and mother of Sultan Mehmed iii (1595–1603).
Both Esperanza and her contemporary Esther *Handali served in a period known as "The Women Sultanate," when the strong ladies of the harem were involved in a variety of internal and external intrigues and became very influential in the Ottoman court. Besides being the main supplier of jewels and other luxury items to the harem, Esperanza was Safiye's most trustworthy contact with the outside world. She influenced important nominations, mediated in diplomatic conflicts, supplied diplomatic intelligence, and communicated with foreign envoys on Safiye's behalf. In a letter in Italian, dated November 16, 1599, addressed to Queen Elizabeth i of England, Malchi described herself as "a Hebrew by law and nation." She mentions a previous gift that was presented to her mistress, the Queen Mother, by the English ambassador, and lists the gifts which are being delivered to Queen Elizabeth through the ambassador who is soon to depart to England. In return she requests the Queen of England to send "distilled waters of every description for the face and odoriferous oils for the hands […] clothes of silk or wool, articles of fancy suited for so high a Queen as my Mistress." The "articles for ladies" should be delivered discreetly through Esperanza's hands only (Kobler, Letters, 393–94).
As a reward for her longtime services, Esperanza and her sons received various profitable concessions, among them the control of customs in Istanbul. Her great wealth and special privileges, as well as her undisguised influence on the Sultan's mother and her interference in state matters gained her many enemies. On April 1, 1600, she was publicly stabbed to death by rebellious soldiers and her eldest son was killed the next day. Esperanza's second son converted to Islam in order to save his life and a third son managed to escape. The family's enormous fortune and estates were confiscated.
F. Kobler, Letters of Jews through the Ages, 2 (1953), 391–92; M. Rozen, A History of the Jewish Community in Istanbul: The Formative Years (1453–1566) (2002), 205–7.
[Ruth Lamdan (2nd ed.)]
"Malchi, Esperanza." Encyclopaedia Judaica. . Encyclopedia.com. (March 23, 2019). https://www.encyclopedia.com/religion/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/malchi-esperanza
"Malchi, Esperanza." Encyclopaedia Judaica. . Retrieved March 23, 2019 from Encyclopedia.com: https://www.encyclopedia.com/religion/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/malchi-esperanza
Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).
Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.
Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:
Modern Language Association
The Chicago Manual of Style
American Psychological Association
- Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
- In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.