Jesse of Kartli

Intro King of Georgia
A.K.A. Ali-Quli Khan and Mustafa Pasha
Was Monarch
From Georgia
Type Royals
Gender male
Birth 1680, Tbilisi, Georgia
Death 1727, Tbilisi, Georgia (aged 47 years)

Jesse (Georgian: იესე, Iese), also known by his Muslim names Ali-Quli Khan and Mustafa Pasha, (1680 or 1681–1727), of the Mukhranian Bagrationi dynasty, was a king of Kartli (Georgia), acting actually as a Safavid Persian and later Ottoman viceroy (wali) from 1714 to 1716 and from 1724 until his death, respectively.


He was a son of Prince Levan by his second wife, Tinatin Avalishvili. Jese accompanied his father during his service in Persia where he was raised at the Safavid court, converted to Islam and took the name of Ali-Quli Khan. He held several high positions along the eastern frontiers of the empire and fought, from 1705 to 1714, under his uncle Gurgin Khan and later brother Kai Khosraw against the Afghan rebels. He was appointed a naib of Kerman (1708–1709), beylerbey of Kerman (1709–1711), and finally a tupchi-bashi (general in charge of artillery) of the Persian armies (1711–1714).

First reign

In March 1714, he was confirmed a wali/king of Kartli in place of his brother Vakhtang VI who had refused to accept Islam. With his ascend to the throne, Ali Quli-Khan allied with another Georgian ruler David II of Kakheti (Imamquli-Khan) to repel the attacks from the marauding Dagestani clans but his own positions was shattered by a noble opposition. He proved to be incompetent and addicted to alcohol. Unable to maintain order in his possessions, he was replaced, in June 1716, by Shah Husayn with a brother Vakhtang, who had finally agreed to renounce Christianity.

Prison and conversions

Ali fled to Telavi, Kakheti, but was surrendered to Vakhtang's son Bakar, regent of Kartli. He was put under arrest at Tbilisi, where he reconverted to Christianity. Released in 1721 by Vakhtang VI, he was granted Mukhrani in possession and appointed mdivanbeg (chief justice) of Kartli. When Constantine II of Kakheti (Mahmad Quli-Khan) moved with a Persian army to remove Vakhtang from the position in 1723, jesse defected to the approaching Ottoman army, became Sunni Muslim and was restored as king of Kartli under the name of Mustapha Pasha. His power, however, was largely nominal and the government was actually run by a Turkish commander. Mustapha remained loyal to the Sublime Porte when the Georgians staged an abortive uprising in 1724. However, the Ottomans abolished the kingdom of Kartli on his death in 1727, imposing their direct administration.


Jesse was married twice, also keeping more than one concubine. He first married, in 1712, Princess Mariam (fl. 1692–1767), daughter of Prince Erasti Qaplanishvili-Orbeliani, whom he forcibly took from her first husband, his relative Prince Kaikhosro Amirejibi. The seasoned ex-queen Mariam, with her grandson Dimitri, followed the wave of emigration of the Georgian nobility to the Russian Empire and arrived in Astrakhan in 1765, but she was ordered to stay in that provincial city on account of her being a Roman Catholic and allegedly not a lawful wife of Jesse until Afanasy Bagration, Jesse's brother and a general in the Russian service, was able to secure for her the right to join her relatives in Moscow. In 1715, Iese married his second wife, Princess Elene-Begum (1687 – 27 April 1750), a daughter of King Erekle I of Kakheti, who eventually retired to a monastery under the name of Elizabeth. Jesse fathered eleven children: Prince Aleksandre (Ishaq Beg) (c. 1705–1773), born of a concubine, governor of Kartli (1743–1744). He was a grandfather of Pyotr Bagration, a Russian general of the Napoleonic Wars. Prince Giorgi (Alaverdi) (1713–1762), born of Mariam. He was married to Princess Tamar Tsitsishvili and had a son, Dimitri (1747–1788). Prince Archil (Abdullah Beg) (1713–1762), born of a concubine, claimant to the kingship of Kartli in the 1740s. Prince David (fl. 1716–1738), born of Elene. Prince Nikoloz, born of Elene. Prince Ioane (died 1717), born of Elene. Princess Khoreshan (died 1754), born of Elene. Princess Anastasia (died 1731), born of Elene. Prince Teimuraz (1720–1788), born of Elene, Catholicos-Patriarch of Georgia as Anton I (1744–1755, 1764–1788). Prince Levan (Husayn Beg) (fl. 1748–1758), born of a concubine. An anonymous daughter, born of a concubine.


D.M. Lang's biography of Ali-Quli Khan in Encyclopaedia Iranica. Mikaberidze, Alexander (2015). Historical Dictionary of Georgia (2 ed.). Rowman & Littlefield. ISBN 978-1442241466.

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