Ebubekir Ratıb Efendi (1750-1799) was the son of a provincial ulema. He was trained in Istanbul by Âmedci (receiver general of the Grand Vizier’s provincial correspondence) Edhem Efendi and served in the financial bureaucracy. He became teacher of calligraphy to prince Selim (III), in which capacity he had assisted the the prince in his correspondence with Lous XVI. After the death of his mentor, he became affiliated with Halil Hamid Paşa and became himself âmedci in 1779. After Selim’s rise to the throne (1789), he was sent as ambassador to Vienna for about six months in 1792, and upon his return he resumed his career to become reisülküttâb in 1795. Next year he was dismissed, exiled, and finally executed in 1799.
Ratıb Efendi’s most famous work is his account of Vienna, the most voluminous of all Ottoman ambassadorial accounts theretofore. Known as Büyük Layıha ("Great Memorandum"), it is one of the two descriptions of his mission. In another text, Ratıb Efendi explaines and comments Louis XVI’s answer to Selim III.