The year in which 'Alī Bey al-Kabīr, Mamlūk ruler of Egypt (1760–72), first came to power as shaykh al-balad, the most important office in Egypt from the middle of the eighteenth century to Bonaparte's expedition, has been a matter of some disagreement. The Western contemporary accounts of Lusignan, Savary, and Volney give 1763, or the Muslim equivalent 1177. Later historians, Marcel, Cattaui, Combe, Heyworth-Dunne, Rossi, Mahmūd al-Sharqāwī, Wiet, and Shaw accept this date—though in another article Shaw changed his earlier date of 1177/1763 to 1171/1758 for the rise of 'Alī Bey al-Kabīr to the office of shaykh al-balad. Ahmad Haydar al-Shihābī and Masson also chose 1758. Other dates for this event have been given: 1757 by Dehérain, 1766 by 'Alī Pasha Mubārak and François Charles-Roux, and finally 1760 by the contemporary chronicler 'Abd al-Rahmān al-Jabartī. Muhammad Ramadān and P. M. Holt accept al-Jabartī's date. The object of this article is to show that al-Jabartī's dating and account of 'Alī Bey al-Kabīr's rise to power are accurate, and in so doing, to explain the sources of confusion in so many of the studies that have treated 'Alī Bey al-Kabīr's early history.