Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Tue Sep 10, 2019 7:17 am

George Bogle (diplomat)
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 9/10/19



Portrait of George Bogle, late teens

George Bogle (26 November 1746 – 3 April 1781)[1][2] was a Scottish adventurer and diplomat, the first to establish diplomatic relations with Tibet and to attempt recognition by the Chinese Qing dynasty. His mission is still used today as a reference point in debates between China and Tibetan independence activists.

Family background

George Bogle was the third son of a wealthy Glasgow merchant, George Bogle of Daldowie, one of the Tobacco Lords and Anne Sinclair, a gentlewoman directly descended from James I and James II of Scotland. His father had extensive connections in the Scottish landed, commercial, and governmental elite, as well as trading contacts across the British Empire.[3]

The Scots gentry to whom he belonged were in turn, in the 18th century, a key feature in the British state. Their political allegiance was often managed through patronage. In particular, Henry Dundas was able to offer the younger sons of gentry opportunities in India. This was to be a significant feature in George's career.

Education and early career

Born in 1746 at the family seat of Daldowie, on the right bank of the River Clyde as the youngest of one of seven surviving children[4] and the youngest of three brothers, his elder brother John Bogle eventually had a plantation in Virginia. His other brother, Robert, after the failure of a business adventure in London (the importing house of "Bogle and Scott"), established a cotton plantation in Grenada. Both these brothers were intimately involved in the slave trade. His four sisters married into their gentry network of traders, lairds and lawyers. His mother died when he was thirteen. The following year he matriculated at Edinburgh University where he studied Logic. He completed his education, when he was 18, at a private academy in Enfield, near London. Following this, he spent six months travelling in France. His brother Robert then took him on as a clerk in his London offices of Bogle and Scott where he spent four years as a cashier.[5]


Using the family network, he secured an appointment as a Writer in the East India Company (EIC). In 1770, at the height of the Bengal Famine, he landed in Calcutta, the centre of British power in India. [6] His extensive letters home, as well as his journal entries, show him to have been a lively, entertaining and perceptive writer. The comments of his colleagues and others show him to have been an agreeable, indeed playful – if sometimes riotous – companion. These qualities no doubt influenced Warren Hastings, the Governor-General of the EIC, when he appointed him his private secretary.[7] His letters show that he was aware of the suspicion of corruption, and had some misgivings about it – Hastings would soon be impeached for corruption – he was determined to make his fortune come what may.

Envoy to Bhutan and Tibet

The Sixth Panchen Lama Receives George Bogle at Tashilhunpo, oil painting by Tilly Kettle, c. 1775

In 1773, Hastings responded to an appeal for help from the Raja of the princely state of Cooch Behar to the north of Bengal, whose territory had been invaded by the Zhidar the Druk Desi of Bhutan the previous year. Hastings agreed to help on the condition that Cooch Behar recognise British sovereignty.[8] The Raja agreed and with the help of British troops they pushed the Bhutanese out of the Duars and into the foothills in 1773.

Zhidar, the Druk Desi, returned to face civil war at home. His opponent Jigme Senge, the regent for the seven-year-old Shabdrung (the Bhutanese equivalent of the Dalai Lama), had supported popular discontent. Zhidar was unpopular for his corvee tax (he sought to rebuild a major dzong in one year, an unreasonable goal), as well as for his overtures to the Manchu Emperors which threatened Bhutanese independence. Zhidar was soon overthrown and forced to flee to Tibet, where he was imprisoned and a new Druk Desi, Kunga Rinchen, installed in his place. Meanwhile, the Sixth Panchen Lama, who had imprisoned Zhidar, interceded on behalf of the Bhutanese with a letter to Hastings, imploring him to cease hostilities in return for friendship. Hastings saw the opportunity to establish relations with both the Tibetans and the Bhutanese and wrote a letter to the Panchen Lama proposing "a general treaty of amity and commerce between Tibet and Bengal."[9]

Hastings then lost no time in appointing Bogle to undertake a diplomatic and fact-finding mission "to chart the unknown territory beyond the northern borders of Bengal", with a view to opening up trade with Tibet and possibly establishing a back-door trade relationship with the Chinese Qing dynasty who tightly controlled foreign trade at Canton (now Guangzhou) under the Canton System.

Hastings instructions to Bogle, given on 18 May 1774, were as follows:

"I desire you will proceed to Lhasa ... The design of your mission is to open a mutual and equal communication of trade between the inhabitants of Bhutan [Tibet] and Bengal ... You will take with you samples, for a trial of such articles of commerce as may be sent from this country ... and you will dilligently inform yourself of the manufactures, productions, goods introduced by the intercourse with other countries which are to be procured in Bhutan ... The following will be also proper objects of your inquiry: the nature of the roads between the borders of Bengal and Lhasa and the neighbouring countries, their government, revenue and manners ... The period of your stay must be left to your discretion.[10]

Bogle's expedition set out the same year and consisted of himself, an army surgeon named Alexander Hamilton, and Purangir Gosain (an agent of the Sixth Panchen Lama, the effective ruler of Tibet), as well as a retinue of servants. Despite warnings from the Chinese government and the Panchen Lama that he was not allowed to enter Tibet, he made use of the recent political instability in Bhutan and tension between the Panchen Lama and the regent for the 7th Dalai Lama to win access to Tibet where he was brought before the Panchen Lama in Shigatse. [6][failed verification] Bogle made a favourable impression on the Sixth Panchen Lama and spent six months overwintering in his palaces learning what he could of Tibetan culture and politics. Bogle was struck by the experience, noting in his journal, 'When I look upon the time I have spent among the Hills it appears like a fairy dream.' It may have been the publication of accounts of his journey which established the myth of Tibet as Shangri-la. Bogle helped the Panchen Lama compose his still famous Geography of India.

Returning to India, Bogle fulfilled the Panchen Lama's request to establish a temple on the banks of the Ganges, not far from the East India Company headquarters, where Buddhist monks could return to their spiritual roots in India.

Although the ultimate goal of establishing a trade route to China was not met, a long-lasting relationship was formed between the British and the Tibetans. The mission to Tibet was viewed as a success, and was commemorated by a 1775 portrait of Bogle being presented (in Tibetan gowns) to the Panchen Lama. This portrait, by Tilly Kettle, a British painter who worked in Calcutta, was reputedly presented by Hastings to King George III and it is now in the Royal Collection.

Overtures to China

The hopes for a breakthrough in China rested on using the Lama as an intermediary with the Qianlong Emperor of the Manchu-led Qing Empire, an astute but aloof ruler who regarded all the world as tributaries. In 1780, Palden Yeshe visited Beijing where he came close to gaining a passport for Bogle. The Qianlong Emperor presented him with a golden urn for use in ceremonial lotteries and the goodwill seemed to suggest that a passport would be issued. However, he was struck down by smallpox and died that same year. (It was not until 1793, that a British envoy ) Lord Macartney was, very sceptically, received by the Qianlong Emperor).


Bogle died, probably of cholera, on 3 April 1781,[11] and was buried in South Park Street Cemetery, Calcutta.[12] He had never married, but left behind a son George, and two daughters, Martha and Mary. According to family lore, the girls' mother was Tibetan. The two girls were sent back to Daldowie House, where they were brought up by Bogle's family and eventually married Scotsmen.[13][14]

Legacy of Bogle’s mission

Bogle's diary and travel notes were found in his Ayrshire family archives and published as "Narratives of the mission of George Bogle to Tibet, and of the journey of Thomas Manning to Lhasa" (1876) by Sir Clements Markham. This edition provided a partial impetus for the Tibetan journeys of Sarat Chandra Das. Das translated and published parts of the Tibetan biography of the Third Panchen Lama, including descriptions of his friendship with Bogle. Some critics have ascribed Bogle and Das as major inspirations for Rudyard Kipling's novel Kim, shown by Kipling's use of the title "Teshoo Lama" (an alternate title of the Panchen Lama used by Bogle and other British sources of the time).[15]

The Bogle mission has echoes today. The Chinese government has used it on official websites to suggest that Britain recognised Chinese sovereignty over Tibet.[16] They portray the meeting of the Panchen Lama as one where he kowtowed in submission to the Qianlong Emperor. The Tibetans suggest it was a meeting between a pupil (the emperor) and a revered master (the Lama).

According to the Asia Times, in 1995 the search for the 11th Panchen Lama culminated with Beijing and the Dalai Lama proclaiming rival child candidates, Gyaincain Norbu and Gedhun Choekyi Nyima respectively, with Chinese officials using the Qianlong Emperor's urn as a symbol of legitimacy and sovereignty.

See also

Mitchell Library Glasgow Special Collections Bogle Papers, 1725–80 [letter-book and correspondence of the firm Bogle & Scott, tobacco merchants]


1. Charles Edward Buckland, Dictionary of Indian Biography
2. Stewart, Gordeon T., Journeys to Empire: Enlightenment, Imperialism, and the British Encounter with Tibet, 1774–1904, Cambridge University Press, 2009, p. 15. ISBN 978-0-521-51502-3
3. Teltscher, Kate. (2006). The High Road to China: George Bogle, the Panchen Lama and the First British Expedition to Tibet, p. 26. Bloomsbury, London, 2006. ISBN 0-374-21700-9
4. Bernstein, Jeremy (2000). Dawning of the Raj: The Life and Trials of Warren Hastings. Ivan R. Dee. p. 5. ISBN 978-1-56663-281-2.
5. Teltscher, Kate. (2006). The High Road to China: George Bogle, the Panchen Lama and the First British Expedition to Tibet, p. 27. Bloomsbury, London, 2006. ISBN 0-374-21700-9
6. Henderson 1886.
7. Harris, Clare (2012). The Museum on the Roof of the World: Art, Politics, and the Representation of Tibet. University of Chicago Press. p. 29. ISBN 978-0-226-31747-2.
8. James Minahan (30 May 2002). Encyclopedia of the Stateless Nations: Ethnic and National Groups Around the World A-Z. ABC-CLIO. p. 1566. ISBN 978-0-313-07696-1.
9. Younghusband 1910, pp. 5–7.
10. Younghusband 1910, p. 9.
11. Stewart, op. cit. p. 145
12. Bernstein, Jeremy Dawning of the Raj The Life and Trials of Warren Hastings Chapter One, Prologue, George Bogle, Ivan R Dee, Lanham MD USA, 2000 ISBN 1-56663-281-1
13. Teltscher, Kate. (2006). The High Road to China: George Bogle, the Panchen Lama and the First British Expedition to Tibet, pp. 234–235; 252–253. Bloomsbury, London, 2006. ISBN 0-374-21700-9
14. Markham, Clements R. Narratives of the mission of George Bogle to Tibet: and of the journey of Thomas Manning to Lhasa, pp. cliv–clv. Trübner and Co., London. Second edition, 1879
15. Teltscher, op. cit., pp 257–260
16. Teltscher, op. cit., pp 265


Henderson, Thomas Finlayson (1886). "Bogle, George" . In Stephen, Leslie (ed.). Dictionary of National Biography. 5. London: Smith, Elder & Co. p. 302.


• Bernstein, Jeremy Dawning of the Raj The Life and Trials of Warren Hastings Chapter One, Ivan R Dee, Lanham MD USA, 2000 ISBN 1-56663-281-1
• Bogle, George, Hamilton, Alexander, and Lamb, Alastair. Bhutan and Tibet : the travels of George Bogle and Alexander Hamilton, 1774–1777. Hertingfordbury : Roxford Books, 2002
• Markham, Clements R. (editor). Narratives of the Mission of George Bogle to Tibet, and of the Journey of Thomas Manning to Lhasa, edited, with notes, and introduction and lives of Mr Bogle and Mr Manning. London 1876. Reprinted: New Delhi, Manjusri Pub. House, 1971.
• Stewart, Gordon T.: Journeys to Empire: Enlightenment, Imperialism and the British Encounter with Tibet, 1774–1904, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge 2009 ISBN 978-0-521-51502-3
• Teltscher, Kate. (2004). "Writing home and crossing cultures: George Bogle in Bengal and Tibet, 1770–1775." In: A New Imperial History: Culture, Identity and Modernity in Britain and the Empire, 1660–1840, edited by Kathleen Wilson, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge 2004. ISBN 0-521-00796-8
• Younghusband, Francis (1910). India and Tibet: a history of the relations which have subsisted between the two countries from the time of Warren Hastings to 1910; with a particular account of the mission to Lhasa of 1904. London: John Murray.

External links ... scher.html in which Kate Teltscher entertainingly analyses Bogle’s letters. Asia Times review of Teltscher’s book. Brief entry about George Bogle's father (George Bogle of Daldowie), in "Curiosities of Glasgow citizenship", an ebook available via the Glasgow Digital Library
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Tue Sep 10, 2019 7:44 am

Samuel Turner (diplomat)
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 9/10/19



Samuel Turner (19 April 1759 – 2 January 1802) FRS was an English Asiatic traveller and a cousin of Warren Hastings, the first Governor of the Presidency of Fort William (Bengal).

Early life

Turner was born in Gloucestershire, England.

India and Tibet

After becoming a cadet with the East India Company (EIC) in 1780, Turner was subsequently promoted to ensign. Promotion followed to lieutenant on 8 August 1781 and to regimental captain on 18 March 1799. In February 1782, news having reached the headquarters of the EIC in Calcutta of the reincarnation of the Panchen Lama, Warren Hastings proposed despatching a mission to Tibet with a message of congratulation designed to strengthen the amicable relations established by George Bogle during his 1774 visit to Tibet. With the assent of the EIC Court of Directors, Turner was appointed chief of the Tibet mission on 9 January 1783 with fellow EIC employee and amateur artist Samuel Davis as "Draftsman and Surveyor".[1] Following the route previously taken by Bogle, Turner arrived in Bhutan in June 1783 and stayed at the summer place of the Druk Desi, the country's ruler until 8 September. He then moved on to arrive at Shigatse in Tibet's Tsang Province on 22 September 1783 where an audience with the infant Panchen Lama followed on 4 December. Turner returned to the Governor-General's camp at Patna in 1784 where he reported that although unable to visit the Tibetan capital at Lhasa, he had received a promise that merchants sent to the country from India would be encouraged.[2] For his efforts in Bhutan and Tibet, Turner received the sum of £500.00 from the EIC.[3]

Turner served with distinction at the first Siege of Seringapatam in 1792 in command of a troop of Governor-General Lord Cornwallis' bodyguard of cavalry and later carried out a mission to the court of Tipu Sultan.[3] He accumulated a large amount of wealth in India and after a spell as a captain in the EIC's 3rd European regiment he returned to Europe where he purchased a country seat in Gloucestershire.

On 15 January 1801 he was elected a fellow of the Royal Society then on 21 December the same year, while walking at night in the neighbourhood of Fetter Lane, London, he was seized with a paralytic stroke, and was taken to the workhouse in Shoe Lane. His name and address in St. James's Place were found; but he was too ill to be moved, and died on 2 January 1802. Buried in St James's Church, Piccadilly, his property in Gloucestershire went to his sisters, one of whom married Joseph White, Regius Professor of Hebrew at the University of Oxford.[4]


Turner was the author of An Account of an Embassy to the Court of the Teshoo Lama in Tibet, containing a Narrative of a Journey through Bootan and part of Tibet, which was published in London in 1800. A French translation published in Paris followed the same year followed by a German translation at Berlin and Hamburg the next year. The book was the first account of a visit to Tibet by a British author as the accounts of Bogle and Manning were not published until 1875.


1. Davis, Samuel; Aris, Michael (1982). Views of Medieval Bhutan: the diary and drawings of Samuel Davis, 1783. Serindia. p. 31.
2. Younghusband 1910, p. 29.
3. Dodsley 1803, p. 493.
4. Dodsley 1803, p. 494.


• Dodsley, Robert (1803). The Annual Register, or a View of the history, politicks and literature of the year... Dodsley.
• Younghusband, Francis (1910). India and Tibet: a history of the relations which have subsisted between the two countries from the time of Warren Hastings to 1910; with a particular account of the mission to Lhasa of 1904. London: John Murray.


• This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Wheeler, Stephen Edward (1899). "Turner, Samuel (1749?-1802)". In Lee, Sidney (ed.). Dictionary of National Biography. 57. London: Smith, Elder & Co. pp. 354–355.
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Tue Sep 10, 2019 8:01 am

Part 1 of 2

Samuel Davis (orientalist)
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 9/10/19



Samuel Davis (1760–1819) was an English soldier turned diplomat who later became a director of the East India Company (EIC). He was the father of John Francis Davis, one time Chief Superintendent of British Trade in China and second governor of Hong Kong.

Early life

Samuel was born in the West Indies the younger son of soldier John Davis, whose appointment as Commissary general there had been signed by King George II in 1759 and countersigned by William Pitt. After his father died, Davis returned to England with his mother (who was of Welsh descent, née Phillips) and his two sisters. He became a cadet of the EIC under the aegis of director Laurence Sulivan in 1788, and sailed for India aboard the Earl of Oxford, which also brought the artist William Hodges to India, arriving in Madras in early 1780.[1][2]


In 1783, Warren Hastings, the Governor of the Presidency of Fort William (Bengal) assigned Davis "Draftsman and Surveyor" on Samuel Turner's forthcoming mission to Bhutan and Tibet.[3][4] Unfortunately, the Tibetans (or more probably the Chinese ambans, the de facto authority in Tibet) viewed his "scientific" profession with suspicion and he was forced to remain in Bhutan until Turner and the others returned.[1] Whilst in Bhutan he turned his attention to recording the buildings and landscape of the country in a series of drawings. These were published some 200 years later as Views of Medieval Bhutan: the diary and drawings of Samuel Davis, 1783.


On his return from Bhutan, in around 1784 he became Assistant to the Collector of Bhagalpur and Registrar of its Adalat Court. In Bhagalpur he met lawyer and orientalist William Jones who had recently founded The Asiatic Society of which Davis subsequently became a member.[3] The two became firm friends based on their shared love of mathematics while along with another member of The Asiatic Society, Reuben Burrow, Davis studied astronomical tables obtained by the French astronomer Guillaume Le Gentil, French Resident at the Faizabad court of Shuja-ud-Daula who in turn had obtained them from Tiruvallur Brahmins on the Coromandel Coast. The tables showed accurate Indian scientific knowledge of astronomy dating back to the third century BCE. As part of his research, Davis also learned Sanskrit and Hindi.[5] For the next ten years, Jones and Davis carried on a running correspondence on the topic of jyotisha or Hindu astronomy.[3] While in Bhagalpur, Davis also met landscape artist Thomas Daniell and his nephew William whom he encouraged to visit the Himalayas. In 1792 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society.[6]

Burdwan and Benares

Engraving of the attack on the Davis residence in Benares, 14 January 1799.

Davis' next appointment was as Collector of Burdwan, a town in the Bengal Presidency. He then spent 1795–1800 in Benares (now Varanasi), this time as Magistrate of the district and city court. Benares was also home to former ruler of Oudh State, Wazir Ali Khan, who had been forcibly deposed by the British in 1797. In 1799, the British authorities decided to remove Ali Khan further from his former realm and as a result rioting broke out. Davis singlehandly defended his family by shepherding them to the roof of his residence and defending the single access point with a pike.[7] The incident was the subject of a book by his son, John F. Davis, entitled Vizier Ali Khan or The Massacre of Benares, A Chapter in British Indian History published in london in 1871.

Later career

During the remainder of his stay in India, Davis held a succession of more senior positions including Superintendent-General of Police and Justice of the Peace at Calcutta, member of the Board of Revenue and Accountant-General of India. He resigned from the civil service in February 1806 and after a stop at St. Helena to engage in his love for painting, arrived back in England in July the same year.

He was elected a director of the EIC in October at the instigation of President of the Board of Control, Henry Dundas and to the latter's disgust, acted independently thereafter until his death in 1819.

"At the time of the renewal of the [company's] Charter in 1814, the Committee of the House of Commons entrusted him [Davis] with the task of drawing up, in their name, the memorable "Fifth Report on the Revenues of Bengal", which remains a monument of his intimate acquaintance with the internal administration of India"[8]

Personal life

While in Burdwan, Davis married Henrietta Boileau, who was from a refugee French noble family[7] who had come to England in the early eighteenth century from Languedoc in the South of France. She was the first cousin of John Boileau, 1st Baronet of Tacolnestone Hall in Norfolk. The couple went on to have four sons and seven daughters. Their eldest son John Francis Davis, became second Governor of Hong Kong followed by Lestock-Francis and Sullivan, both of whom died in India in 1820 and 1821 respectively. Their daughters were as follows:[9]

• Henrietta-Anne, who married Henry Baynes Ward in 1821.
• Anne, who married Lieutenant-Colonel Henry Dundas Campbell in 1827
• Maria–Jane, who married Lieutenant Colonel John Rivett-Carnac, RN in 1826.[10]
• Elizabeth, who married Sir Henry Willock, KLS.
• Frances, who died in 1828.
• Alicia, who married the Reverend John Lockwood, rector of Kingham in 1832.
• Julia, who in 1839 married John Edwardes Lyall, Advocate-General of Bengal, who died in 1845 of cholera.


Davis died on 16 June 1819 at Birdhurst Lodge near Croyden in Surrey, which is believed to have been his country home.[11]


1. Markham 1876, p. lxxi.
2. Davis & Aris 1982, pp. 30–31.
3. Davis & Aris 1982, pp. 31.
4. Heawood, Edward (2012). A History of Geographical Discovery: In the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries. Cambridge University Press. p. 380. ISBN 978-1-107-60049-2.
5. Franklin, Michael J. (2011). 'Orientalist Jones': Sir William Jones, Poet, Lawyer, and Linguist, 1746–1794. OUP Oxford. p. 223. ISBN 978-0-19-953200-1.
6. "Fellow Details". Royal Society. Retrieved 20 January 2017.
7. Davis & Aris 1982, pp. 34.
8. Davis & Aris 1982, p. 36.
9. Burke, Bernard (1860). A Genealogical and Heraldic Dictionary of the Peerage and Baronetage of the British Empire. London: Harrison and Sons. p. 271.
10. "Marriages". Hampshire Chronicle. 20 March 1826. Retrieved 28 August 2015 – via British Newspaper Archive. (Subscription required (help)).
11. Davis & Aris 1982, pp. 38.


• Davis, Samuel; Aris, Michael (1982). Views of Medieval Bhutan: the diary and drawings of Samuel Davis, 1783. Serindia.
• Markham, Clements (1876). Narratives of the Mission of George Bogle to Tibet and of the Journey of Thomas Manning to Lhasa. London: Trübner & Co., Ludgate Hill.


Pictures from "Views of Medieval Bhutan: The Diary and Drawings of Samuel Davis, 1783, by Michael Aris"

"The Palace of Panukka," watercolour by Samuel Davis, 1783. By courtesy of the India Office Library and Records (WD 3271)

The Daniells picnicking at the hot springs of Sitakund with Samuel Davis. Detail of a wash-drawing by Davis, 1790. By courtesy of the Victoria Memorial, Calcutta (R 1544).

Detail of a watercolour by Samuel Davis of the Kotwali Gate at Gaur, 1791. It is presumed to be Thomas Daniell who is shown here sketching. Private Collection.

Engraved dedication and title-plate of Willian Daniell, Views of Bhutan: From the Drawings of Samuel Davis, Esq. (London, 1813). By courtesy of Dr. Maurice Shellim.

"Tasee Punchou [Tashi Phuntso] the ... in office next to the Soubah at Buxadewar ...", 1783, watercolour. Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection. This is one of only two portraits among the Bhutan drawings of Davis. The monk official portrayed was perhaps the same one who welcomed Bogle's mission to Buxaduar in 1774. "The commander (Pasang Katam, vulgo Buxa Subah) being at Bahar, I was visited by his dewan with presents, a white Pelong handkerchief (the general nazir throughout Bhutan), butter, rice, milk, and some coarse tea. We were detained for a day for want of coolies: Bogle, Narratives, ed. Markham, pp. 16-17."

The village of Buxaduar, wrongly titled "Thibit", 1783, watercolour. Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection. Buxaduar, or Pasakha (sceMap) as it is properly known to the Bhutanese, is the first village on the old route north from Bengal, and is populated today by people of mixed descent. In the eighteenth century it was reckoned among the eighteen duars (passes or "gates") extending into what is now Indian territory, over which Bhutan had territorial rights. "The road became uneven; and we reached the foot of the hills at about two o'clock; walk; ascent at first easy; way through a wood; some fine groves of first-rate trees; grows steep; narrow path zigzag up the hill; what a road for troops!; about four miles to climb; many little springs to drink at; from the bottom of the hills to their summit covered with wood; variety of well-grown trees of the largest size; some grand natural amphitheatres, with the noise of waterfalls. We arrived at Buxa-Duar towards evening; situated on a hill, with much higher ones above it, glens under it, and a 3-feet walls of loose stones about it; a fine old banian tree; that's all: Bogle, Narratives, ed. Markham, p. 16." "Mr. Davis had taken a view of Buxadewar [untraced], which was lying on the table: the soobah was instantly struck with it, and recognized all the different parts of his habitation; the beams, the stairs, the people looking out at the windows, and even the packages that lay beneath. He staid with us till the servants came to prepare for dinner: Turner, Embassy, p. 30."

"Murichom to Choka", 1783, watercolour. Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection. "We had now to climb on foot up a very high mountain; the road led along its side, in a serpentine and exceedingly steep direction, the ascent almost all the way being by stone steps, which in some places were sustained only by beams let into the rock, and secured with cramps of iron. It was after much labour, and repeated halting, that we reached the summit. At every pause we beheld a different prospect, each of which, perhaps, might justly be reckoned amongst the grandest and most awful in nature. Cascades of water issuing from the bosoms of lofty mountains, clothed in noble trees, and hiding their heads in the clouds: abrupt precipices, deep dells, and the river dashing its waters with astonishing rapidity, over the huge stones and broken rocks below, composed the sublime and variegated picture: Turner, Embassy, pp. 53-4. "

"View between Murichom and Choka," 1813. Source: William Daniell, Views in Bootan, plate 5. India Office Library and Records, Dept. of Prints and Drawings. The figure seated in the foreground with bow and quiver is wearing a costume rarely seen in Bhutan today called a "pakhi", woven from the fibre of nettles and crossed over the chest. Cane helmets such as he is wearing are now found only in temples dedicated to the guardian divinities, where they were deposited as offerings. This is the only one of Daniell's six Bhutan aquatints for which the original by Davis has not been traced. For the originals of the other five, see Plates 5, 22, 23, 31, 36 below. "This view occurs on the third stage towards Tassisudon [Tashicho Dzong]. The mountains in this part of the road appear as if separated by violence to give a passage to the river Teenchoo. The side up which the road ascends is precipitous, and of an height to render the climbing of it intimidating to those less accustomed to it than the natives. The hoarse murmurs of the Teenchoo are heard, though the river is not always seen as the traveller ascends: William Daniell, Views in Bootan, caption [by Davis ?] to plate 5."  

"Choka Castle in Bootan," 1783, waterclour. Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection. This fort was probably built in the late seventeenth century to guard the trade route south to India and to control the surrounding district, but its foundation finds no mention in the local records. Its ruins were quarried in the mid-1960s when the motor road was being constructed. "The castle of Chuka makes a very respectable appearance. It is a large square building, placed on elevated ground; there is only one entrance into it, by a flight of steps, and through a spacious gateway , with large heavy doors: it is built of stone and the walls are of a prodigious thickness. We were conducted hither, on our entrance, and lodged by the commandant in a large and lofty apartment, in which there were two or three loop holes towards the river, and on the other side, a projecting balcony: the floor was boarded with thick planks that were pretty well joined together. Turner, Embassy, pp. 55-6. Choka castle, the prominent feature in this view, is composed of three separate buildings, which, with a wall on the fourth side, enclose a quadrangle court-yard, and form altogether a post of ample dimensions, and of sufficient strength, for any purpose of defence that is likely to be required in a region so difficult of access, and possessing so few qualities to invite hostile intrusion as this part of Bootan. The Teenchoo is sunk too deep in its rocky chasm to be seen in this view. The strong vegetation afforded by a warm climate and abundant moisture, is here seen on the sides of the mountains in a degree not perceptibly diminished from what was observable on the preceding stages from Bengal: but on the next stage, which leads up the hill on the right hand, in the middle distance of the view, the great acclivity of the road is soon found to produce a change of temperature and a difference in the vegetation: William Daniell, Views in Bootan, excerpt from caption [by Davis ?] to plate 2."

"Murichom", 1783, pencil and wash drawing. Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection. "We arrived at Muri-jong ["Murichom" of the Map] as they were beating the evening tom-tom. It consists of twenty houses, some of them stone; many inscribed banners; and a good deal of arable land and cattle. I planted fifteen potatoes: Bogle, Narratives, ed. Markham, p. 20." "Murichom consists of about twenty houses, in their structure much superior to any I had yet seen in Bootan. They are built of stone, with clay as cement, of a square form, and the walls narrowing from the foundations to the top. The roof is supported clear of the wall, has a very low pitch, and is composed of fir boards placed lengthways on cross beams and joists of fir, and confined by large stones laid upon the top. The lower part of the house accommodates hogs, cows, and other animals . The family occupies the first story, to which they ascend by a ladder, composed of one half of a split fir tree; into the flat side of which, rude holes are cut at proper distances to serve as steps: Turner, Embassy, p. 50."

Figures crossing a bridge over a ravine, no title, 1783, wash-drawing. Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection. "Three or four fine waterfalls were passed; one jell perpendicular about 40 feet from the top of a rock; another a stream foaming and tumbling over large stones; another embosomed in a fine grove, with arches formed by the trees and rocks. There were wooden bridges over all the rivulets which ran from them: Bogle, Narratives, ed. Markham, pp. 19-20."

"View from Murichom looking northward up the Channel of the Teenchoo on the road to Tasissudon, Butan," 1783, watercolour. Victoria and Albert Museum, London. "May 22 and 23 [1783]. . . . Many European plants are to be met with on the road to Murishong; many different sorts of mosses, fern, wild thyme, peaches, willow, chickweed, and grasses common to the more southern parts of Europe; nettles, thistles, dock, strawberry, raspberry, and many destructive creepers, some peculiar to Europe. Murishong is the first pleasant and healthy spot to be met with on this side of Boutan. It lies high, and much of the ground about it, is cleared and cultivated; the soil, rich and fertile, produces good crops. The only plant now under culture, is a species of the polygonum of Linnaeus, producing a triangular seed, nearly the sice of barley, and the common food of the inhabitants. It was now the beginning of their harvest; and the ground yields them, as in other parts ofBoutan, a second crop of rice. May 25. On the road to Chooka found all the Murishong plants, cinnamon tree, willow, and one or two firs; strawberries every where and very good, and a few bilberry plants: Saunders. "Account", in Turner, Embassy, pp. 390- 1 . "  

Waterfall, no title, c. 1800, wash-drawing, British Museum, Dept. of Prints and Drawings. "On the face of the opposite mountain is a water-fall, called Minzapeezo, which issues in a collected body, but descends from so great a perpendicular height, that before it is received in the thick shade below, it is nearly dissipated, and appears like the steam arising from boiling water: Turner, Embassy, p. 53."

"On the Road near Choka in Bootan," 1783, pencil drawing. Author's collection.

William Daniell after Davis, engraved by J. Redaway, "Crossing a Torrent in Bootan," 1837, engraving on steel. "A very curious and simple bridge, for the accommodation of single passengers, communicated between this and the opposite mountain. It consisted of two large ropes made of twisted creepers, stretched parallel to each other, and encircled with a hoop. The traveller, who wishes to cross over from hence, has only to place himself between the ropes, and sit down on the hoop, seizing one rope in each hand, by means of which he slides himself along, and crosses an abyss on which I could not look without shuddering. Custom, however, has rendered it familiar, and easy to those who are in the practice of thus passing from one mountain to the other, as it saves them, by this expedient, a laborious journey of several days: Turner, Embassy, p. 54. "

"The Chain Bridge in Bhootan," 1783, watercolour. Victoria Memorial, Calcutta, formerly in the possession of Sir Leicester Beaufort, deposited by Lord Curzon. This is one of several iron-chain suspension bridges attributed locally to the great Tibetan saint Thangtong Gyalpo (1385-1464), who is now reckoned by historians of bridge building to be "the earliest known builder of iron chain bridges": Tom F. Peters et al., The Development of Long-Span Bridge Building (Zurich, 1980), p. 51. There is however no mention of this particular bridge in his Bhutanese biography. None of the sain'ts bridges in western Bhutan are still standing. "In a nation where no records are kept to perpetuate the memory of the achievement of genius, and in which the minds of the people are remarkably prone to superstition, perhaps more than a century may not be necessary, to deify the author of a great work. Thus it is, that the bridge of Chuka is reckoned to be of more than mortal production. No less a being than the dewta Tchuptchup [=Tibetan "drubthop", Sanskrit mahasiddha, "great magician", title of Thangton Gyalpo] could possibly have contrived so curious a piece of mechanism. Neither the origin nor the history of this renowned Tehuptchup, can be traced with any degree of certainty, but the works they assign to him, the road up the mountain we lately passed (many parts of which are held, it may be said, upon a precipice, by pins and cramps of iron uniting together the stones that form it), and the bridge at Chuka, do credit to a genius, who deservedly ranks high upon the rolls of fame, and justly claims from the inhabitants, decided tokens of respect and gratitude: Turner, Embassy, pp. 54-6.

"Kapta [Chapcha] Castle", 1783, wash-drawing. Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection.

William Daniell after Davis, engraved by J. Cousen, "Capta Castle, Bootan," 1837, engraving on steel. Like the earlier Chukha Dzong, this fort was probably built in the seventeenth century to guard the trade route and control the surrounding district. The central tower would have contained two storeys of temples. Formerly the seat of a minor "ponlop" (district governor), the building survives today in a somewhat altered condition as a centre of local government. "The castle of Chupka, or Kepta, is built about half way up the mountain, in a bleak, but beautifully romantic situation: the mountains in its neighbourhood, I judged to be the highest we had yet seen in Bootan. The light clouds in some parts swiftly glided past their sides; in others they had assembled, and sat with deep and heavy shade upon their brows: and as they were continually shifting their position, they varied and improved the views. On the summit of Lomeela mountain, bearing from hence to the east, and in direct distance about five miles, there lay a great deal of unmelted snow: we felt the cold even at noon: Turner, Embassy, p. 58."

"Near Chepta [Chapcha] in Bhootan," 1783, watercolour. Victoria Memorial, Calcutta, R. 1731, formerly in the possession of Sir Leicester Beaufort, deposited by Lord Curzon, 1921. A wash-drawing of the same view is in the Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection. "I remember to have seen one of these buildings, which was dedicated to the junction of the Hatchieu [Hachu] with the Tehintchieu [Thinchu rivers] near Kepta [Chapcha]. They are often placed at the meeting of two principal roads. I have seen them also at the base of a remarkable mountain, and they are invariably met with, at the entrance of every capital village: Turner, Embassy, p. 9

"View of the Mountain Downgala [Dongkarla] (On the summit, a religious habitation Downgachine). Taken in the village Puga [Paga] on the road to Tassisudon in Bhootan," 1783, watercolour. Victoria Memorial, Calcultta. Formerly in the possession of Warren Hastings, deposited 1916.

William Daniell after Davis (Victoria Memorial, Calcutta, R. 1716 watercolour, and R. 1724 pencil sketch), engraved by M.J. Starling, "Loomno, looking towards Tassisudon," 1839, engraving on steel. "As we approached Nomnoo, the husbandmen were busied in the fields; the reapers were cutting down the corn with sickles, which others collected in handfuls, and bound up with a wisp of straw: we saw also oxen yoked in a plough, which was guided by a boy at the plough tail. We came early to Nomnoo, and were lodged in a large apartment in a spacious house, the walls of which were black from the smoke of a fire, which in the winter they commonly burn upon a large flat stone, in the middle of the room; the commodiousness of a chimney being here unknown: Turner, Embassy, p. 61."

"A Bhootan Landscape", 1783, watercolour. Victoria Memorial, Calcutta, R. 1713, deposited by the Director-General of Archaeology in India, 1932. Unidentified village with soldiers in foreground, probably on the first stage beyond the Pachu-Thinchu confluence towards the capital at Thinphu. "The road, on Friday the 30th of May, led by the river along the sides of the mountains, and there were few inequalities from hence to Nomnoo, and easy stages of about eight miles. We saw hermitages and villages spread over the sides and summits of the mountains, to each of which is allotted a spacious portion of cultivated ground: still much more appeared capable of improvement; for over the whole of these mountains, except where precipices or steep points project, there is a great deal of soil; yet vegetation is not so strong as the neighbourhood of Bengal. The trees are no where so numerous or flourishing, nor do the pines grow with that luxuriance, which might be expected in a favourable soil: Turner, Embassy, pp. 60-1."

"Wankaka," 1783, wash-drawing. Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection. Unidentified monastery. "The road from hence [Paga] to Tassesudon [Tashicho Dzong], presents us with little that we have not met with; fewer strawberries; some very good orchards of peaches, apricots, apples, and pears. The fruit formed, and will be ripe in August and September. Met with two sorts of cranberry, one very good. Saw the fragaria sterilis and a few poppies. At Wanakha found a few turnips, shallots, cucumbers, and gourds. Near Tassesudon, the road is lined with many different species of the rose, and a few jessamine plants. The soil is light, and the hills in many places barren, rocky, and with very little verdure. The rock in general laminated and rotten, with many small particles of talc in every part of the country, incorporated with the stones and soil. Some limestone, and appearance of good chalk. Several good and pure springs of water: Saunders, "Account", in Turner, Embassy, pp. 393-4."

View of Tashicho Dzong from above, no title, 1783, wash-drawing. Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection. "Although the building was entirely rebuilt, except for the central "citadel" and one temple, in the late 1960s in order to convert it into the permanent seat of the modern government of Bhutan, it retains the basic layout seen here in the reconstruction of 1772. Bogle wrote that, "The building of it stripped naked several mountains". The palace is divided into courts, flanked with galleries, supported on wooden pillars running round them, like the inns in England. The different officers have each their apartments. The gylongs [Buddhist monks] live in a large church, besides which there is a smaller one where they officiate, and where the larger images are kept. These images are mostly decent and well-proportioned figures, sitting cross-legged. There is a large gallery above the church, painted with festoons of death's-heads and bones, where folks go to see the ceremonies. I went once or twice myself; and the Rajah, thinking I was fond of it, used to send for me to church by break of day and at all hours, and congratulated me greatly on my good fortune in happening to be at Tassisudon during the grand festival [the "Thinphu Dromcho"]. All the governors of provinces repaired there to the presence, and there were [monastic] dances every day in one of the courts of the palace: Bogle, Narratives, ed. Markham, p. 27."

"The Palace of the Deib Rajah at Tassisudon [Tashicho Dzong]", 1783, watercolour. Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection. "The castle, or palace, of Tassisudon [seen here from the south] stands near the centre of the valley, and is a building of stone, of a quadrangular form. The length of the front, exceeds that of the sides by one-third: the walls are lofty, and as I conjecture upwards of thirty feet high, and they are sloped a little from the foundation to the top: above the middle space, is a row of projecting balconies, to each of which are curtains made of black hair, which are always drawn at night: below, the walls are pierced with very small windows, which I judge to be intended rather for the purpose of admitting air, than light. There are two entrances into the palace: the one facing south is by a flight of wooden steps, edged with plates of iron, beginning on a level with the ground on the outside, and rising to the more elevated terrace within, the whole being comprehended within the thickness of the wall. The other, the grand entrance, is on the east front, which is ascended by a flight of stone steps . . . We passed through this gateway, and came opposite to the central square building, which I must call the citadel; and this is the habitation of the supreme Lama: Turner, Embassy, pp. 90-1." "The magnitude, regularity, and showy decorations of this edifice, combined with the numerous clusters of houses and well cultivated state of the adjacent land, produced a favourable contrast with the wild and solitary aspect of the country through which the embassy had yet advanced, and afforded a favourable impression of the intelligence and civilization of the inhabitants of Bootan . . . On one of the adjacent hills is seen the rajah's villa of Wandechy [Plates 34-5], to which he occasionally retires by the zig-zag road which is visible on the side of the hill. The building seen lower down is a small castle or fortified house, the residence of a lama, or priest of high rank [Plates 32-3]. The red stripe observable on all these buildings, has a reference to the religion of the inhabitants: it invariably occurs where there is a chapel, or where the place is specifically dedicated to Budha: William Daniell, Views in Bootan, excerpt from caption [by Davis ?] to plate 3." 

"Tassisudon [Taschicho Dzong], Bhutan / House where embassy was Lodged / Covered Bridge / the Palace," 1783, watercolour. Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection. "The summer capital of Tashicho Dzong in the Thimphu valley was built in 1642 on the orders of Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyel, unifier of Bhutan, on the foundations of an older fort called Dongon or Donyuk Dzong. Nothing of the original building remains. After its destruction by fire in 1772, a new site was found and the fortress was very quickly rebuilt by command of the 16th Deb Raja. The hardship caused to the local population, and his consequent unpopularity, contributed to his downfall in 1773. By the time the first British mission led by Bogle arrived in 1774 the building, seen here from the north, had been standing for only about a year. The house where the missions of 1774 and 1783 were accommodated, seen here to the right above the river, was undoubtedly much older. We were accommodated in a good house near the palace; and soon found it so cold that I was glad to hang my room, which was a wooden balcony [visible here], with Bhutan blankets. The window looked to the river, and commanded the best prospect: Bogle, Narratives, ed. Markham, p. 23." "Our habitation, which was within a stone's throw of the palace, was extremely commodious, and well adapted to our use. We entered, by a door on the south side, into a square court-yard; not very large, but it served to confine our cattle, and, indeed more than we wished to have there . . . We inhabited the upper story, which displayed a good suite of rooms, boarded, and divided by doors that turned on pivots. The eastern front next the river had a commodious balcony, which projected sufficiently to command a view of as much of the valley as was visible from any one point . . .: Turner, Embassy, pp. 93-4." "Though the ambassador's house exhibits no appearance of diplomatic dignity, it was clean and commodious, and formed with the adjoining buildings a square court-yard, with stabling for the horses, and lodging for the servants and native attendants . . . The trees near this building are intended to be portraits of two pear-trees and a peach-tree. The latter hides the view of part of the Palace. The bridge leads to a level lawn or meadow, formed on the margin of the Teenchoo by alluvion, and ornamented with willows planted in rows. To this spot the order of priests from the castle occasionally repair for the purpose of religious ceremonial, and at other times for recreation. Two of these persons are represented in their usual dress, made of woollen cloth, of which there is abundance, and some of good quality, manufactured in Bootan. The rapid descent of the river, when swollen by the rains, renders it necessary to secure the bank, which is done in the manner represented in the view: William Daniell, Views in Bootan, caption [by Davis ?] to plate 3."  

"Tassisudon [Tashicho Dzong] -- House in which the Embassy was Lodged," 1783, watercolour. Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection. "The palace of Tassisudon is situated in a valley about five miles long and one broad, entirely surrounded with high mountains. The river Chinchu [Thinchu] gallops by; the low grounds near it being covered with rice, and well peopled. Villages are scattered on the brow of the hills. Immediately behind Tassisudon there is a very high mountain . . . and some solitary cottages, the retreat of dervises, are here and there dropped as from the clouds. In these airy abodes they pass their days in counting their beads, and look down with indifference on all the business and bustle of the world, from which they are entirely excluded. The palace is a very large building, and contains near 3000 men, and not a woman. Of these about 1000 may be gylongs [Buddhist monks], some of the former chiefs [the ousted 16th Deb Raja] adherents, who are kept in a kind of imprisonment, and the rest the Rajah and Lama's officers, and all their train of servants. A tower, about five or six stories high, rises in the middle, and is appropriated to Lama-Rimboche [the acting head of state - see Appendix]: Bogle, Narratives, ed. Markham, pp. 23, 26." 

"Bootan," three pencil studies of a Bhutanese warrior. Private collection. "The Booteeas are a strong and hardy race, by no means deficient in manly courage. Their feeble mode of attack and defence is, therefore, imputable only to their want of discipline; to their not fighting in compact files or platoons; and to their consequent distrust of each other; and something must also be attributed to [illegible] inexperience of war: for indeed, among this crowd of [illegible], we find merely husbandmen and villagers, called at [illegible] from their peaceful occupations to the field of battle. Every kind of discipline and order is totally disregarded in their mode of warfare, [illegible] is more practised than open assault; they engage in general [illegible] and wait their opportunity to fire unobserved. [illegible] so careful to conceal themselves, that seldom [illegible] but the top of a tufted helmet, or the end of a bow [illegible], that in their contests very few are killed. The accoutrements of a fighting [illegible], are extremely cumbrous. A prodigious deal of clothing surrounds the body: besides the common [illegible] very often a blanket, or thick quilted jacket. [illegible] as the helmet, (which is made either of stained cane, [illegible], or else of cotton rope, quilted between two cloths, [illegible] occasionally turn down over the ears, and a piece [illegible] the nose,) if not absolutely proof against the stroke of [illegible] arrow, must at least considerably weaken its force. He [illegible] upon his arm a large convex shield of painted cane, coiled [illegible] and a long straight sword is worn across the body, thrust [illegible] the belt before. To these arms must be added, a bow, and a quiver of arrows, slung by a belt behind the back; the arrows being commodiously drawn from it over the left shoulder. The bow is held in the right hand; it is commonly six feet long, made of bamboo, and, when unstrung, is perfectly straight . . . . . . Their fire-arms are very contemptible; evidently of no use, but in the fairest weather, when the match will burn, and the priming, in an open pan, take fire. In the management of the sword and shield they are sufficiently dexterous, and undoubtedly most excellent archers: Turner, Embassy, pp. 117-20." 

"View of Bhootan," 1783, watercolour. Victoria Memorial, Calcutta, R. 1254, formerly in the possession of Warren Hastings, deposited 1916.

William Daniell after Davis, engraved by W.J. Cooke. "Guard House near Tassisudon," 1838, engraving on steel. "A soldier in Bhutan has not a distinct profession. Every man is girt with a sword, and trained to the use of the bow. The hall of every public officer is hung round with matchlocks, with swords and shields. In times of war or danger, his servants and retainers are armed with these; the inhabitants, assembled from the different villages, are put under his command, and he marches in person against the enemy. The common weapons are a broadsword of a good temper, with shagreen handle; a cane-coiled target, painted with streaks of red; a bow formed of a piece of bamboo; a quiver of a junk of the same tree, the arrows of reeds, barbed, and often covered with a poison said to be so subtile that the slightest wound becomes mortal in a few hours. Some few are armed with a pike. They put great confidence in firearms; but are not so cunning in the use of the matchlock, as of their ancient weapons, the sword and the bow. Their warlike garb is various and not uniform. Some wear a cap quilted, or of cane and sugar-loaf shape, with a tuft of horse-hair stained; others, an iron-netted hood, or a helmet with the like ornament; under these they often put false locks to supply the want of their own hair, which among this tribe of Bhutanese is worn short. Sometimes a coat of mail is to be seen. In peace as well as in war, they are dressed in short trousers, like the highland philabeg; woollen hose, soled with leather and gartered under the knee; a jacket or tunic, and over all two or three striped blankets. Their leaders only are on horseback, and are covered with a cap, rough with red-dyed cowtails [yak-tails]. They sleep in the open air, and keep themselves warm with their plaids and their whisky. When they go to war or to an engagement, they whoop and howl, to encourage each other and intimidate the enemy. They are fond of attacking in the night time. As to their courage in battle, those can best speak who have tried it. I saw only some skirmishes: Bogle, Narratives, ed. Markham, pp. 62-3."

View of part of the Thinphu valley, looking northwest, the temple of Dechen Phodrang visible on a hillock in the middle distance, and two monks in the foreground, no title, 1783, watercolour. Victoria Memorial, Calcutta R. 1722, deposited by the Director-General of Archaeology in India, 1952.

"Near Tasissudon," 1783, wash-drawing. Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection. "This 'choten' shrine has a most unusual bulbous form that is not seen in Bhutan today. The imposing structure seen here stood on the banks of the Thinchu river, a few hundred yards east of the fortress of Tashicho Dzong. No trace of it remains today. A similar building is seen, placed like a centinel, as it were, by the road side, on each approach towards every consecrated habitation, proportionate in its dimensions to the magnitude and importance of the edifice with which it is connected: on each of the three great roads, that lead to Tassisudon, a very spacious one is found. They have one small doorway, which always remains closed [evidently not this one], at least I never could succeed in my endeavour to obtain a view of the interior; yet such is the superstitious respect of the inhabitants for its contents, that they constantly uncover their heads, and if travelling on horseback, dismount and walk while they pass by them: Turner, Embassy, p. 97." "The temples of Bode in Ceylong, Siam, and Pegu, as described by travellers, are generally solid structures of different forms. The temple shewn in the view is of this class, but enclosed in a building to defend it from the weather. It is erected on a level slip of alluvial land formed on the side of the river Teenchoo, about a mile below Tassisudon, and it serves the adjacent villagers for the exercise of their devotion. The idol is to be viewed in a niche on the side of the vase-shaped temple. In the distance is seen a small villa of the Rajah's [see Plates 34-5], and the view terminates with the mountain behind Tassisudon. The high poles erected at the angles of the building are such as occur throughout the country on elevated points of the road, or near temples and public edifices. They carry a strip of cloth, on which, in repetition from top to bottom, is printed the devout sentence - Om-ane-pee-mee-hon [Om mani padme hum]: William Daniell, Views in Bootan, caption [by Davis ?] to plate 6."  

The temple of Dechen Phodrang, Thinphu, no title, c. 1800, wash-drawing by an unknown artist after Davis. The original watercolour, much faded, upon which this view is based is in the Victoria Memorial, Calcutta, R. 1728.
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Engraving by James Basire after a copy of Davis, "The Residence of Lam' Ghassa-too," The 'Palace of Great Happiness' (Dechen Phodrang) may have been the seat of the incarnations of Jampel Dorje (1631-?), who was the son of the founder of Bhutan, Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyel. "The low hill on which the palace, or residence, of Lam' Ghassatoo stands, is upon the left [of the site of the previous fortress], and as long as they lasted, we were induced to loiter away many an evening, in picking strawberries from its sides, which were clothed with them from its foot to the very foundation of the palace walls. The Gylongs [Buddhist monks] used to look at us from the windows with amazement . . . Our return, when we chose to vary from the road by which we came [on our walks back to our lodgings], was in front of the palace of Lam' Ghassatoo, on the south side of which was a long narrow tract of level ground, supporting many tall flagstaffs, that had narrow banners of white cloth reaching nearly from one end to the other, and inscribed with the mystic words, Oom maunie paimee oom: Turner, Embassy, pp. 95, 96-7."

 The temple of Wangdutse, no title, 1783, wash-drawing. Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection. "The Raja [Jigme Senge] having determined, before the great festival, to retire to his villa ("Wandechy" of the Map] overhung, commanding a beautiful prospect of the valley' the castle, and the river, with many populous settlements, distributed over the surrounding mountains . . . Two musicians, placed at a distance, played upon reed instruments, in wild and not unharmonious strains, while the Raja held us in conversation, on the customs and produce of foreign countries; subjects on which he sought for information, with insatiable avidity. [The Raja speaks to them about "a race of people, of uncommon stature, inhabiting a prodigiously high mountain" east of Bhutan, also another race who live in the same area north of Assam who have "short straight tails, which, according to report, were extremely inconvenient to them, as they were inflexible"; and about "a sort of horse, with a horn growing from the middle of his forehead". The Raja continued with an account of his own pilgrimage incognito to Lhasa.] As the hour of dinner now approached, we were desirous awhile to stroll and look about us, which as soon as the Raja understood, he recommended to us to view the inside of his villa . . . On the lower floor we found a superb temple, in which some of the Gylongs [Buddhist monks] are perpetually employed in reading their sacred writings . . . Some mythological paintings, and symbols of their system of creation, decorated the walls; and in a large hall adjoining, were hung up representations of the city of Lassa, and the monastery of Pootalah, the residence of Dalai Lama; of Lubrong, the residence of Teshoo Lama, in Tibet; and of Cattamandu, the capital of Nipal, and Patan, in the same kingdom, as well as of other places of famed resort. Their representations partook both of plan and perspective; and, without the advantages of light and shade, a pretty good idea of the stile of building peculiar to each country might be collected from them . . . Some time elapsed, though we hastily ran over the different rooms; and when we descended to the pavilion, we were immediately called to dinner . . . The Raja supplied a dish of strange heterogeneous composition, for which, not all his rhetoric could give us a relish. It was an olio, consisting of rancid butter, various vegetables, rice, spices, and fat pork: a meat against which, our experience in this country, had inspired us with an invincible prejudice. The fermented infusion, called Chong, was more acceptable, and we drank of it plentifully. [The day ended with] a bull fight, between two animals, the strongest and fiercest of the species I ever beheld: Turner, Embassy, pp. 154-9."

William Daniell after an untraced original by Davis, engraved by J. Redaway, "The Palace at Wandechy, Bootan," 1837, engraving on steel.

"View near Tasisudon in Butan," 1783, watercolour. Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection. The cantilever bridge seen here across the Thinchu river has been replaced with a modern motor-bridge. It retains its old name, "The Bridge of Prophecy" (Lungtenzam). "A narrow slip of three or four miles in length, and in its widest part not exceeding one mile in breadth, has been made choice of (or the situation of the capital. It may rather be termed, I think, a softened glen, which lying betwixt the vast mountains that give a passage to the river Tehintchieu [Thinchu], ornament its border, by an easy slope of their bases to its sides; thus forming a bank of the richest soil, which the industrious Bootea well knows how to cultivate. It was, upon our arrival, luxuriantly clothed with the most promising crops of rice, which, in defect of rain, all the springs of the surrounding mountains, are artificially conducted to fertilize. There is no town, nor indeed any house, except that which we occupied, within a mile of the palace; but a few clusters of houses, distributed in different parts among the fields, when the eye is weary of contemplating the bold features of near and distant mountains, and scanning their wonderful combinations, serve as points of rest, and call back the wandering mind from a rude incoherent chaos, to repose amidst the fruitful and ingenious efforts of husbandry and population: Turner, Embassy, pp. 89-90." "The direction of this view, taken three miles below rassisudon, is on the course of the Teenchoo in its rapid descent towards Bengal. Seen in profile, the breadth of the bridge, which is about fifteen feet, scarcely appears. The buildings on each side of the river are such as often occur in Bootan by the road side: the most distant is of that class, which consists of a solid wall built to receive the red stripe, which is symbolical, and never fails to adorn religious structures. It bears likewise inscriptions in a character which appeared to the travellers to be deva-nagri, conveying, as they were informed, religious and moral instruction. It has niches, in which are sometimes placed idols, to be viewed through gratings, in a mode not dissimilar to what is observable in Roman Catholic countries, or the niche may be found to contain a wheel, the barrel of which encloses a roll of paper, printed all over with the sentence Om-ane-pee-mec-hon [Om mani padme hum]. This sentence is repeated by probationers for the priesthood during their noviciate, and by other devout persons as they tell their beads. Travellers are expected as they pass to give the wheel a twirl. The building on the foreground was converted into a post to command the passage of the river, in the course of the insurrection which happened when the embassy was at Tassisudon. [See Plate 28.] In the village seen on the summit of the hill in the middle of the view, resides a fraternity of Gylongs or Priests of Budha, or Bode: William Daniell, Views in Bootan, caption [by Davis ?] to plate 4."  

"Near Tassisudon." This wash-drawing is devoted to an example of village architecture in the Thinphu valley. Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection. " This typical example of Bhutanese domestic architecture features tapering walls of pise construction, shingle roof, and projecting wooden balcony supported on pillars. Generally, the ground floor is used for domestic animals and storage, the middle floors for the family's living quarters, and the attic below the roof for storing fodder and grain.

"In the Village near Tassisudon. This wash-drawing is devoted to an example of village architecture in the Thinphu valley. Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection. " This typical example of Bhutanese domestic architecture features tapering walls of pise construction, shingle roof, and projecting wooden balcony supported on pillars. Generally, the ground floor is used for domestic animals and storage, the middle floors for the family's living quarters, and the attic below the roof for storing fodder and grain.

"In the Village near Tassisudon. This wash-drawing is devoted to an example of village architecture in the Thinphu valley. Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection. " This typical example of Bhutanese domestic architecture features tapering walls of pise construction, shingle roof, and projecting wooden balcony supported on pillars. Generally, the ground floor is used for domestic animals and storage, the middle floors for the family's living quarters, and the attic below the roof for storing fodder and grain.

"Near Tassisudon." This wash-drawing is devoted to an example of village architecture in the Thinphu valley. Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection. "The phallic symbols hanging below the eaves as seen here are still found in many houses in Bhutan today; their purpose is said to ward off 'malicious gossip (mikha'.)" This typical example of Bhutanese domestic architecture features tapering walls of pise construction, shingle roof, and projecting wooden balcony supported on pillars. Generally, the ground floor is used for domestic animals and storage, the middle floors for the family's living quarters, and the attic below the roof for storing fodder and grain.

Scene in the Thinphu valley, no title, 1783, watercolour. India Office Library, Department of Prints and Drawings.

"Near Tacisudon," 1783, detail of a watercolour. India Office Library, Department of Prints and Drawings. The drawings in both Plates were acquired in 1974 from the Royal Geographical Society, together with the view of Punakha in the Frontispiece and two others. They had been presented to the Society in 1921 by Lord Curzon, who had received them from Sir Leicester Beaufort, great-grandson of Samuel Davis. Plate 42 shows a temple which still stands in the Thinphu valley and a distant view of Simtokha Dzong, founded by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyel in 1629 as the first of his fortresses. Plate 41 is a view of the northern end of the Thinphu valley, with the temple of Dechen Phodrang (see Plates 32-3) visible on a hillock to the left and the bridge-house (see Plate 23) of Tashicho Dzong in the foreground to the right. "While I was at Tassisudon an insurrection broke out in favour of Deb Judhur [Zhidar], the former chief [see pp. 15-17 above], and the disturbances which this occasioned protracted my stay. The malcontents, after a fruitless attempt on the palace of Tassisudon, seized Simptoka [Simtokha], a castle in its neighbourhood, in which they found arms and ammunition . . . The castles [of Bhutan] . . . want but the mote and the bridge to resemble the gothic castles of our ancestors. There are only two ways of reducing them - by fire or by famine . . . But Simptoka having been built by Deb Seklu [?], a very popular Rajah, and being full of furniture and effects belonging to the government, it was resolved to blockade it. Troops were accordingly collected from the distant provinces, and three of the roads were stopped up. The fourth, however, was still open. The Deb Rajah's force increased every day. Deb Judhur's party saw no prospect of assistance; and after a siege of ten days they abandoned Simptoka, and being favoured by moonlight, escaped over the mountains into Teshu [Panchen] Lama's country. I left Tassisudon on the 13th of October, 1774, the day of their retreat . . . We passed Simptoka, and came up with a party of the Deb Rajah's men. They halted at a little village, and their leader sent for us . . . He enjoys the first place in the chief's favour, and his sagacity and superior abilities entitle him to it. In anything that relates to the government of his own country, he might be pitted against many a politic minister. As a philosopher, he would twist him round his finger. Of a truth, an ounce of mother-wit is worth a pound of clergy: Bogle, Narratives, ed. Markham, pp. 61-2."  

William Daniell after Davis, engraved by J.C. Armytage, "View near Wandepore," 1837, engraving on steel.

"Bhootan Scene," 1783, wash-drawing. Victoria memorial, Calcutta, deposited by the Director-General of Archaeology in India, 1932. "Bridges, in a country composed of mountains, and abounding with torrents, must necessarily be very frequent; the traveller has commonly some one to pass in every day's journey. They are of different constructions, generally of timber; and, if the width of the river will admit, laid horizontally from rock to rock [see Plate 7]. Over broader streams, a triple or quadruple row of timbers, one row projecting over the other, and inserted into the rock, sustain two sloping sides, which are united by an horizontal platform, of nearly equal length: thus the centre is, of course, raised very much above the current, and the whole bridge forms the figure nearly of three sides of an octagon. Piers [see Plate 45] are almost totally excluded, on account of the unequal heights, and extreme rapidity of the rivers. The widest river in Bootan has an iron bridge [see Plates 12-13], consisting of a number of iron chains, which support a matted platform . . .: Turner, Embassy, p. 191."

"The Bridge at Wandepore, Bhootan," 1783, wash-drawing. Victoria Memorial, Calcutta, R. 1729, formerly in the possession of Sir Leicester Beaufort, deposited by Lord Curzon, 1921. "This famous bridge, Wangdu Zam, survived in almost exactly the same form as seen here until the early 1970s, when it was demolished and replaced with a steel structure for motor traffic. William Westhofen, an engineer employed by one of the main contractors responsible for the Forth Bridge, held the surprising view that the bridge at Wangdu Phodrang "may fairly be looked upon as the prototype of the proposed Forth Bridge": W. Westhofen, "The Forth Bridge", Engineering, xlix (28 Feb. 1890), p. 217 and fig. 9. "The bridge of Wandipore is of a singular lightness and beauty in its appearance. I am happy to annex a view of this structure, taken upon the spot by Mr. Davis [engraved by James Basire, in Turner, Embassy, plate 6, "The Castle of Wandipore"], and comprehending also the highly picturesque scenery around, as another proof of the talent, fidelity and taste, with which my friend seized on every appropriate feature, that marks the character of this peculiar country. The bridge is composed entirely of fir, and has not the smallest piece of iron, or any other metal, to connect its parts. It has three gateways; one on each side the river, and another erected in the stream, upon a pier, which is pointed like a wedge towards the current, but is on the opposite side a little convex; below it, the eddy, produced by the re-union of the divided water, has thrown up a large bed of sand, on which grows a large willow, that flourishes extremely. The gateway on the Tassisudon side, is a lofty square stone building, with projecting balconies near the top, bordered by a breast work, and pierced with a portcullis. [This description accords better with the view of the bridge-house in Plate 47.] The span of the first bridge, which occupies two thirds of the breadth of the river, measures one hundred and twelve feet: it consists of three parts, two sides and a centre, nearly equal to each other . . . The beams and planks are both of hewn fir: and they are pinned together by large wooden pegs. This is all the fastening I could observe: it is secured by a neat light rail . . . The sound state of this bridge, is a striking instance of the durability of the turpentine fir; for, without the application of any composition in use for the preservation of wood, it has stood exposed to the changes of the seasons for nearly a century and a half, as tradition goes, without exhibiting any symptoms of decay, or suffering any injury from the weather: Turner, Embassy, pp. 132-3."  

"View from the Bridge at Wandepore [Wangdu Phodrang]", 1783, wash-drawing. Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection. A fortified bridge-house of a type not found in Bhutan today; since the bridge itself is clearly destroyed, only a few ropes still visibly in place, it may perhaps be surmised that the main bridge at Wangdu Phodrang (Plates 45-6,) was built to replace this one.

"Wandepore [Wangdu Phodrang]", 1783, watercolour. Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection. "This is considered as one of the consecrated habitations of Bootan; and the Daeb Raja makes it a point to reside here some part of every year. It stands upon the southern extremity of the narrow end of a rocky hill, which is shaped like a wedge: the sides of the hill are washed by the Matchieu-Patchieu [Pochu- Mochu] on the west, which runs in a swift smooth stream, and by the Taantchieu [Dangchu] on the east, which rushes with much noise and agitation over a rocky bed; they both join at the base of the point, below the castle. This is an irregular, lofty building of stone, covering all the breadth of the rock, as far as it extends. The walls are high and solid: there is but one entrance in front, before which, there lies a large space of level ground, joined by an easy slope on the north-west, to the Punukka road. About a hundred yards in front of the castle rises a round tower, on a high eminence, perforated all round with loop holes, and supporting several projecting balconies. It is a very roomy lodgement, has a commanding position, and prevents the castle from being seen even at a small distance: Turner, Embassy, pp. 131-2.

"View from Wandepore [Wangdu Phodrang] up the Valley towards Punokka with the snowy mountains seen on the frontier of Tibet," 1783, watercolour. Victoria Memorial, Calcutta, R. 1248, formerly in the possession of Warren Hastings, deposited 1916. "It was about seven o'clock [8th July] when we descended the hill of Wandipore, passing by a sort of barn, where a tame elephant was kept, the only one I had met with in Bootan . . . We were fortunate in our day: the weather was serene, the atmosphere clear, and the sun shone full upon the distant mountains. In the rear of all, swelling high above the rest, the mountains of Ghassa were distinctly visible, clothed with perpetual snow . . . Our road lay near the river, at the foot of the mountains, winding through a verdant valley of unequal width. In general, the mountains terminated with an easy slope; but their sides were divided into small beds, for the growth of corn: and they were not incumbered with trees. The few which were upon them consisted of pine and fir, with some barberry bushes intermixed; and every breeze of wind, diffusing the fragrance of the jessamine, gratefully convinced us of its presence: Turner, Embassy, p. 138."

The fortress of Wangdu Phodrang Dzong, no title, 1783, watercolour. Victoria Memorial, Calcutta. "The castle of Wandipore [see Map] with its gilded canopy, is of equal antiquity with the bridge [see plate 45]; and both are said to have been erected by Lam' Sohroo [Shabdrung], about one hundred and forty years ago, when he first entered and possessed himself of Bootan. [As the fortress was built in 1638, it was one hundred and forty-five years old in 1783.] Nor did the conqueror of these regions, shew less judgment than good taste, in selecting Wandipore for the place of his principal residence: as it is a situation, both for strength and beauty, superior to every other that offered to his choice. Perhaps some objection might be made to the violent winds, which are drawn up the deep dells on every quarter, and urged furiously across the surface of the hill; but the strength of Wandipore is not lessened by the more lofty surrounding heights, which carry their high heads far distant, by gradual easy slopes, and contribute greatly to the majesty of the views: Turner, Embassy, p. 131."


The former winter capital of Bhutan at Punakha Dzong, no title, 1783, watercolour. Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection. The great fortress of Punakha Dzong was founded by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyel in 1667. It was intended to house six hundred state monks during the winter months, and does so to this day. It was the scene of several Tibetan attacks during the mid-seventeenth century, and numerous civil wars later. Three years before the mission which Davis took part in the building burnt down, and what we see here is the restoration of c. 1781.

"View Near Poonaka," 1783, wash-drawing. Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection. Turner's mission, which proceeded to Tibet without Davis, returned to India by way of Punakha, spending a week there in December 1783. "We passed the summit of Soomoonang, that lofty range of mountains which forms the boundary of Tibet on the south, and divides it from Bootan, and hastened with our utmost speed to reach a milder region. This we found at Punukka, the winter residence of the Daeb Raja, who received us with every mark of hospitality and friendship. Compared with the land we had left, we now beheld this garden of Lam' Rimbochay [the regent, see Appendix] in high beauty, adorned with groves, crowded with rich loads of the finest oranges, citrons, and pomegranates. The mango and the peach tree had parted with their produce, but hoards of apples and of walnuts were opened for our gratification; and this vast profusion of ripe fruit, added to the temperature of the air, most gratefully convinced us of the prodigious disparity of climate, within so short a distance. My stay with the Daeb Raja, at his favourite palace of Punukka, was not of long duration. I hastened to make all the arrangements that appeared necessary, or expedient, with regard to the object of my mission. The Raja gave me frequent opportunities of meeting him, as well within doors, as by invitation to walk with him in the gardens. Indeed I was treated by him with the greatest freedom and cordiality. He urged me strongly to pass a long time with him, extolling the beauty of the place, and the mild temperature of the weather; but I was obliged to decline the honour. On the 30th of December I had my audience of leave, and received, at the Lama's hand, the valuable favour of a badge of thin crimson silk, over which various solemn incantations had been performed, and which was in future to secure forever, my prosperity and success. Valuable as the present was, I fear I have unfortunately lost it. In the evening, I took a long farewell of all the officers of his court, and on the following day, departed for Bengal: Turner, Embassy, pp. 357-8."
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George Nathaniel Curzon, 1st Marquess Curzon of Kedleston
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Accessed: 9/11/19



The Most Honourable
The Marquess Curzon of Kedleston
Lord Curzon, as Viceroy of India
Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs
In office
23 October 1919 – 22 January 1924
Monarch George V
Prime Minister David Lloyd George
Bonar Law
Stanley Baldwin
Preceded by Arthur Balfour
Succeeded by Ramsay MacDonald
Viceroy and Governor-General of India
In office
6 January 1899 – 18 November 1905
Monarch Victoria
Edward VII
Deputy The Lord Ampthill
Preceded by The Earl of Elgin
Succeeded by The Earl of Minto
Leader of the House of Lords
In office
3 November 1924 – 20 March 1925
Monarch George V
Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin
Preceded by The Viscount Haldane
Succeeded by The Marquess of Salisbury
In office
10 December 1916 – 22 January 1924
Monarch George V
Prime Minister David Lloyd George
Bonar Law
Stanley Baldwin
Preceded by The Marquess of Crewe
Succeeded by The Viscount Haldane
Lord President of the Council
In office
10 December 1916 – 23 October 1919
Monarch George V
Prime Minister David Lloyd George
Preceded by The Marquess of Crewe
Succeeded by Arthur Balfour
In office
3 November 1924 – 20 March 1925
Monarch George V
Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin
Preceded by The Lord Parmoor
Succeeded by The Earl of Balfour
President of the Air Board
In office
15 May 1916 – 3 January 1917
Monarch George V
Prime Minister H.H. Asquith
David Lloyd George
Preceded by The Earl of Derby
Succeeded by The Viscount Cowdray
Personal details
Born George Nathaniel Curzon
11 January 1859
Kedleston, Derbyshire, England, UK
Died 20 March 1925 (aged 66)
London, England, UK
Political party Conservative
Spouse(s) Mary Leiter
(m. 1895; her death 1906)
Grace Duggan
(m. 1917; his death 1925)
Children Mary Curzon, 2nd Baroness Ravensdale
Lady Cynthia Mosley
Lady Alexandra Curzon
Alma mater Balliol College, Oxford

George Nathaniel Curzon, 1st Marquess Curzon of Kedleston, KG, GCSI, GCIE, PC, FBA (11 January 1859–20 March 1925), who was styled as Lord Curzon of Kedleston between 1898 and 1911, and as Earl Curzon of Kedleston between 1911 and 1921, and was known commonly as Lord Curzon, was a British Conservative statesman who served as Viceroy of India from 1899 to 1905, during which time he created the territory of Eastern Bengal and Assam, and as Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs from 1919 to 1924.

Despite his illustrious success as both Viceroy and Foreign Secretary, especially at the recent Conference of Lausanne, in 1923 Curzon was denied the office of Prime Minister. This was partly because Curzon was a member of the House of Lords, and partly because Lord Davidson—to whom Baldwin was loyal—and Sir Charles Waterhouse falsely claimed to Lord Stamfordham that the resigned Prime Minister Bonar Law had recommended that George V appoint Baldwin, not Curzon, as his successor.[1] Curzon had been the candidate for Prime Minister preferred by the 4th Marquess of Salisbury, the son of the former Prime Minister, the 3rd Marquess.

Winston S. Churchill, one of Curzon's main rivals, accurately contended that Curzon "sow[ed] gratitude and resentment along his path with equally lavish hands".[2] However, even contemporaries who envied Curzon, such as Stanley Baldwin, conceded that Curzon was, in the words of his biographer Leonard Mosley, 'a devoted and indefatigable public servant, dedicated to the idea of Empire'.[3]

Sir David Gilmour, in his biography Curzon: Imperial Statesman (1994), contends that the insuperable extent of Curzon's efforts for the British Empire was forever unrecompensed by the British polity subsequent to his retirement from the office of Viceroy of India, including after his brilliance as Foreign Secretary at the Conference of Lausanne.

Early life

Curzon was educated at All Souls College, Oxford, of which he was a Prize Fellow

Curzon was the eldest son and the second of the eleven children of Alfred Curzon, 4th Baron Scarsdale (1831–1916), who was the Rector of Kedleston in Derbyshire. George Curzon's mother was Blanche (1837–1875), the daughter of Joseph Pocklington Senhouse of Netherhall in Cumberland. He was born at Kedleston Hall, built on the site where his family, who were of Norman ancestry, had lived since the 12th century. His mother, exhausted by childbirth, died when George was 16; her husband survived her by 41 years. Neither parent exerted a major influence on Curzon's life. Scarsdale was an austere and unindulgent father who believed in the long-held family tradition that landowners should stay on their land and not go "roaming about all over the world". He thus had little sympathy for those journeys across Asia between 1887 and 1895 which made his son one of the most traveled men who ever sat in a British cabinet. A more decisive presence in Curzon's childhood was that of his brutal, sadistic governess, Ellen Mary Paraman, whose tyranny in the nursery stimulated his combative qualities and encouraged the obsessional side of his nature. Paraman used to beat him and periodically forced him to parade through the village wearing a conical hat bearing the words liar, sneak, and coward. Curzon later noted, "No children well born and well-placed ever cried so much and so justly."[4]

Curzon at Eton, 1870s

He was educated at Wixenford School,[5] Eton College,[6] and Balliol College, Oxford.[7] At Eton, he was a favourite of Oscar Browning, an over-intimate relationship that led to his tutor's dismissal.[8][9]

Browning's personal relationships with boys were a further matter of concern to Hornby.[52] Although Browning took a firm personal line against homosexuality, masturbation and any other sexual practices,[1] he maintained a series of romantic friendships with boys. He had favourites, who were often replaced with a brutal suddenness when they lost their appeal.[53] Sometimes, one of these would accompany him on his regular European trips during the summer holidays, as did Gerald Balfour, the future prime minister's brother, in 1869.[54][n 6] Although this type of close, even affectionate master-boy relationship was considered generally acceptable in Victorian public school life,[56] Browning's flamboyance and mannerisms were contrary to Hornby's vision for the school; Anstruther writes: "The mere sight of Oscar Browning with his pale face and effeminate manner was enough in itself to make Hornby suspicious".[57] Furthermore, Browning's friendship with the artist Simeon Solomon was widely known. Solomon, like Browning, was an advocate of "Greek love", a concept derived from Plato's Dialogues which held that the highest form of love was that of men for each other, exclusive of physical expression.[58]

Greek love is a term originally used by classicists to describe the primarily homoerotic customs, practices, and attitudes of the ancient Greeks. It was frequently used as a euphemism for homosexuality and pederasty.

-- Greek Love, by Wikipedia

The two holidayed together, and Solomon was a frequent visitor to Eton – he exchanged with Browning a series of intimate letters in which they mutually extolled the beauties of various boys.[59] In February 1873 Solomon was convicted of an act of gross indecency in a London public lavatory – a consensual act of sodomy with a mature working-class male was far from the ideals of Greek love, and Browning ended the relationship with Solomon immediately.[60][61]

Hornby's patience with Browning's conduct was tested further in 1874, when Browning began a friendship with a boy from another house – acting with the full approval of the boy's father. The boy was George Nathaniel Curzon, the future Conservative statesman and Viceroy of India.[62] The nature of this association became the occasion for gossip amongst the staff; Curzon's housemaster, Charles Wolley-Dod, complained to Hornby, who after some equivocation ordered Browning to end all contact with the boy during term-time.[63][64] Browning was outraged by what he took as a slur on his morals, and a heated correspondence with Hornby ensued. Since he had the support of Curzon's father, Lord Scarsdale, Browning challenged the headmaster's injunction and appealed to the provost, who upheld Hornby.[65] Under threat of dismissal unless he submitted, Browning did so reluctantly, while continuing to meet Curzon during the holidays.[64]

-- Oscar Browning, by Wikipedia

A spinal injury, incurred, during his adolescence, whist riding, left Curzon in lifelong pain, which often caused insomnia, and required him to wear a metal corset for the duration of his life.[10]

At Oxford, Curzon was President of the Union[7] and Secretary of the Oxford Canning Club (a Tory political club named for George Canning): as a consequence of the extent of his time-expenditure on political and social societies, he failed to achieve a first class degree in Greats, although he subsequently won both the Lothian and Arnold Prizes, the latter for an essay on Sir Thomas More, about whom he confessed to having known almost nothing before commencing study). In 1883, Curzon received the most prestigious fellowship at the university, a Prize Fellowship at All Souls College. Whilst at Eton and at Oxford, Curzon was a contemporary and close friend of Cecil Spring Rice and Edward Grey.[11] However, Spring Rice contributed, alongside John William Mackail, to the composition of a famous sardonic doggerel about Curzon that was published in The Balliol Masque:

My name is George Nathaniel Curzon,
I am a most superior person.
My cheeks are pink, my hair is sleek,
I dine at Blenheim once a week.

When Spring-Rice was British Ambassador to the United States, he was suspected by Curzon of trying to prevent Curzon's engagement to the American Mary Leiter, whom Curzon nevertheless married.[12] However, Spring Rice assumed for a certainty, like many of Curzon's other friends, that Curzon would inevitably become Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs: he wrote to Curzon in 1891, 'When you are Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs I hope you will restore the vanished glory of England, lead the European concert, decide the fate of nations, and give me three month's leave instead of two'.[13]

Garter-encircled shield of arms of George Curzon, 1st Marquess Curzon of Kedleston, KG, as displayed on his Order of the Garter stall plate in St. George's Chapel.

Early political career

Curzon became Assistant Private Secretary to Salisbury in 1885, and in 1886 entered Parliament as Member for Southport in south-west Lancashire.[7] His maiden speech, which was chiefly an attack on home rule and Irish nationalism, was regarded in much the same way as his oratory at the Oxford Union: brilliant and eloquent but also presumptuous and rather too self-assured. Subsequent performances in the Commons, often dealing with Ireland or reform of the House of Lords (which he supported), received similar verdicts. He was Under-Secretary of State for India in 1891–92 and Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs in 1895–98.[14]

Asian travels and writings

In the meantime he had travelled around the world: Russia and Central Asia (1888–89), a long tour of Persia (September 1889 – January 1890), Siam, French Indochina and Korea (1892), and a daring foray into Afghanistan and the Pamirs (1894). He published several books describing central and eastern Asia and related policy issues.[7] A bold and compulsive traveler, fascinated by oriental life and geography, he was awarded the Patron's Gold Medal of the Royal Geographical Society for his exploration of the source of the Amu Darya (Oxus). His journeys allowed him to study the problems of Asia and their implications for British India, whilst reinforcing his pride in his nation and her imperial mission.

Curzon believed Russia to be the most likely threat to India, Britain's most valuable colony, from the 19th century through the early 20th century.
[15] In 1879 Russia had begun construction of the Transcaspian Railroad along the Silk Road, officially solely to enforce local control. The line starts from the city of Kzyzl Su (Krasnovodsk) (nowadays Turkmenbashi) (on the Caspian Sea), travels southeast along the Karakum Desert, through Ashgabat, continues along the Kopet Dagh Mountains until it reaches Tejen. Curzon dedicated an entire chapter in his book Russia in Central Asia to discussing the perceived threat to British control of India.[16] This railroad connected Russia with the most wealthy and influential cities in Central Asia at the time, including the Persian province of Khorasan,[17] and would allow the rapid deployment of Russian supplies and troops into the area. Curzon also believed that the resulting greater economic interdependence between Russia and Central Asia would be damaging to British interests.[18]

Persia and the Persian Question, written in 1892, has been considered Curzon's magnum opus and can be seen as a sequel to Russia in Central Asia.[19] Curzon was commissioned by The Times to write several articles on the Persian political environment, but while there he decided to write a book on the country as whole. This two-volume work covers Persia's history and governmental structure, as well as graphics, maps and pictures (some taken by Curzon himself). Curzon was aided by General Albert Houtum-Schindler and the Royal Geographical Society (RGS), both of which helped him gain access to material to which as a foreigner he would not have been entitled to have access. General Schindler provided Curzon with information regarding Persia's geography and resources, as well as serving as an unofficial editor. [20]

Curzon was appalled by his government's apathy towards Persia as a valuable defensive buffer to India from Russian encroachment.[21] Years later Curzon would lament that "Persia has alternatively advanced and receded in the estimation of British statesmen, occupying now a position of extravagant prominence, anon one of unmerited obscurity."[22]

First marriage (1895–1906)

Mary Victoria Leiter by Alexandre Cabanel, 1887

In 1895 he married Mary Victoria Leiter, the daughter of Levi Ziegler Leiter, an American millionaire[7] of German Mennonite origin and co-founder of the Chicago department store Field & Leiter (later Marshall Field). Initially he had just married her for her money so he could save his estate but ended up falling head over heels for her. Mary had a long and nearly fatal illness near the end of summer 1904, from which she never really recovered. Falling ill again in July 1906, she died on the 18th of that month in her husband's arms, at the age of 36.[23] It was the greatest personal loss of his life.

She was buried in the church at Kedleston, where Curzon designed his memorial for her, a Gothic chapel added to the north side of the nave. Although he was neither a devout nor a conventional churchman, Curzon retained a simple religious faith; in later years he sometimes said that he was not afraid of death because it would enable him to join Mary in heaven.

They had three daughters during a firm and happy marriage: Mary Irene, who inherited her father's Barony of Ravensdale and was created a life peer in her own right; Cynthia, who became the first wife of the fascist politician Sir Oswald Mosley; and Alexandra Naldera ("Baba"), who married Edward "Fruity" Metcalfe, the best friend, best man and equerry of Edward VIII. Mosley exercised a strange fascination for the Curzon women: Irene had a brief romance with him before either were married; Baba became his mistress; and Curzon's second wife, Grace, had a long affair with him.

Viceroy of India (1899–1905)

Curzon—procession to Sanchi Tope, 28 November 1899.

Curzon and Madho Rao Scindia, Maharaja of Gwalior, pose with hunted tigers, 1901.

Curzon and his wife and staff on tour of the Persian Gulf in 1903

In January 1899 he was appointed Viceroy of India.[7] He was created a Peer of Ireland as Baron Curzon of Kedleston, in the County of Derby,[24] on his appointment. This peerage was created in the Peerage of Ireland (the last so created) so that he would be free, until his father's death, to re-enter the House of Commons on his return to Britain.

Reaching India shortly after the suppression of the frontier risings of 1897–98, he paid special attention to the independent tribes of the north-west frontier, inaugurated a new province called the North West Frontier Province, and pursued a policy of forceful control mingled with conciliation. The only major armed outbreak on this frontier during the period of his administration was the Mahsud–Waziri campaign of 1901.

In the context of the Great Game between the British and Russian Empires for control of Central Asia, he held deep mistrust of Russian intentions. This led him to encourage British trade in Persia, and he paid a visit to the Persian Gulf in 1903. Curzon argued for an exclusive British presence in the Gulf, a policy originally proposed by John Malcolm. The British government was already making agreements with local sheiks/tribal leaders along the Persian Gulf coast to this end. Curzon had convinced his government to establish Britain as the unofficial protector of Kuwait with the Anglo-Kuwaiti Agreement of 1899. The Lansdowne Declaration in 1903 stated that the British would counter any other European power's attempt to establish a military presence in the Gulf.[25] Only four years later this position was abandoned and the Persian Gulf declared a neutral zone in the Anglo-Russian Agreement of 1907, prompted in part by the high economic cost of defending India from Russian advances.[26]

At the end of 1903, Curzon sent a British expedition to Tibet under Francis Younghusband, ostensibly to forestall a Russian advance. After bloody conflicts with Tibet's poorly armed defenders, the mission penetrated to Lhasa, where a treaty was signed in September 1904. No Russian presence was found in Lhasa.

During his tenure, Curzon undertook the restoration of the Taj Mahal and expressed satisfaction that he had done so.

Within India, Curzon appointed a number of commissions to inquire into education, irrigation, police and other branches of administration, on whose reports legislation was based during his second term of office as viceroy. Reappointed Governor-General in August 1904, he presided over the 1905 partition of Bengal, which roused such bitter opposition among the people of the province that it was later revoked (1911).[27]

Indian Army

Curzon also took an active interest in military matters. In 1901, he founded the Imperial Cadet Corps, or ICC. The ICC was a corps d'elite, designed to give Indian princes and aristocrats military training, after which a few would be given officer commissions in the Indian Army. But these commissions were "special commissions" which did not empower their holders to command any troops. Predictably, this was a major stumbling block to the ICC's success, as it caused much resentment among former cadets. Though the ICC closed in 1914, it was a crucial stage in the drive to Indianise the Indian Army's officer Corps, which was haltingly begun in 1917.

Military organisation proved to be the final issue faced by Curzon in India. It often involved petty issues that had much to do with clashes of personality: Curzon once wrote on a document "I rise from the perusal of these papers filled with the sense of the ineptitude of my military advisers", and once wrote to the Commander-in-Chief in India, Kitchener, advising him that signing himself "Kitchener of Khartoum" took up too much time and space, which Kitchener thought petty (Curzon simply signed himself "Curzon" as if he were a hereditary peer, although he later took to signing himself "Curzon of Kedleston").[28] A difference of opinion with Kitchener, regarding the status of the military member of the council in India (who controlled army supply and logistics, which Kitchener wanted under his own control), led to a controversy in which Curzon failed to obtain the support of the home government. He resigned in August 1905 and returned to England.

Indian famine

Main article: Indian famine of 1899–1900

A major famine coincided with Curzon's time as viceroy in which 1 to 4.5 million people died.[29][30][31] Large parts of India were affected and millions died, and Curzon has been criticised for allegedly having done little to fight the famine.[32] Curzon did implement a variety of measures, including opening up famine relief works that fed between 3 and 5 million, reducing taxes and spending vast amounts of money on irrigation works.[33] But he also stated that "any government which imperiled the financial position of India in the interests of prodigal philanthropy would be open to serious criticism; but any government which by indiscriminate alms-giving weakened the fibre and demoralized the self-reliance of the population, would be guilty of a public crime."[34] He also cut back rations that he characterized as "dangerously high" and stiffened relief eligibility by reinstating the Temple tests.[35]

Return to Britain

Arthur Balfour's refusal to recommend an earldom for Curzon in 1905 was repeated by Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman, the Liberal Prime Minister, who formed his government the day after Curzon returned to England. In deference to the wishes of the King and the advice of his doctors, Curzon did not stand in the general election of 1906 and thus found himself excluded from public life for the first time in twenty years. It was at this time, the nadir of his career, that he suffered the greatest personal loss of his life. Mary died in 1906 and Curzon devoted himself to private matters, including establishing a new home. After the death of Lord Goschen in 1907, the post of Chancellor of Oxford University fell vacant. Curzon successfully became elected as Chancellor of Oxford after he won by 1001 votes to 440 against Lord Rosebery.[36] He proved to be quite an active Chancellor – "[he] threw himself so energetically into the cause of university reform that critics complained he was ruling Oxford like an Indian province."[37]

House of Lords

In 1908, Curzon was elected a representative peer for Ireland, and thus relinquished any idea of returning to the House of Commons.[7] In 1909–1910 he took an active part in opposing the Liberal government's[7] proposal to abolish the legislative veto of the House of Lords, and in 1911 was created Baron Ravensdale, of Ravensdale in the County of Derby, with remainder (in default of heirs male) to his daughters, Viscount Scarsdale, of Scarsdale in the County of Derby, with remainder (in default of heirs male) to the heirs male of his father, and Earl Curzon of Kedleston, in the County of Derby, with the normal remainder, all in the Peerage of the United Kingdom.[38]

He became involved with saving Tattershall Castle, Lincolnshire, from destruction. This experience strengthened his resolve for heritage protection. He was one of the sponsors of the Ancient Monuments Consolidation and Amendment Act 1913.[39]

On 5 May 1914, he spoke out against a bill in the House of Lords that would have permitted women who already had the right to vote in local elections the right to vote for members of Parliament.

First World War

Curzon joined the Cabinet, as Lord Privy Seal, when Asquith formed his coalition in May 1915.

Like other politicians (e.g. Chamberlain, Arthur Balfour) Curzon favoured British Empire efforts in Mesopotamia, believing that the increase in British prestige would discourage a German-inspired Muslim revolt in India.[40]

Curzon was a member of the Dardanelles Committee and told that body (October 1915) that the recent Salonika expedition was "quixotic chivalry".[41]

Early in 1916 Curzon visited Douglas Haig (newly appointed Commander-in-Chief of British forces in France) at his headquarters in France. Haig was impressed by Curzon's brains and decisiveness, considering that he had mellowed since his days as Viceroy (the then Major-General Haig had been Inspector-General of Cavalry, India, at the time) and had lost "his old pompous ways".[42]

Curzon served in Lloyd George's small War Cabinet as Leader of the House of Lords from December 1916, and he also served on the War Policy Committee. With Allied victory over Germany far from certain, Curzon wrote a paper (12 May 1917) for the War Cabinet urging that Britain seize Palestine and possibly Syria.[43] However, like other members of the War Cabinet, Curzon supported further Western Front offensives lest, with Russian commitment to the war wavering, France and Italy be tempted to make a separate peace. At the War Policy Committee (3 October 1917) Curzon objected in vain to plans to redeploy two divisions to Palestine, with a view to advancing into Syria and knocking Turkey out of the war altogether. Curzon's commitment wavered somewhat as the losses of Third Ypres mounted.[44] In the summer of 1917 the CIGS General Robertson sent Haig a biting description of the members of the War Cabinet, who he said were all frightened of Lloyd George; he described Curzon as "a gasbag".

During the crisis of February 1918, Curzon was one of the few members of the government to support Robertson, threatening in vain to resign if he were removed.[45]

Despite his continued opposition to votes for women (he had earlier headed the Anti-Suffrage League), the House of Lords voted conclusively in its favour.

Second marriage (1917)

Grace Elvina, second wife

After a long affair with the romantic novelist Elinor Glyn, Curzon married the former Grace Elvina Hinds in January 1917. She was the wealthy Alabama-born widow of Alfredo Huberto Duggan (died 1915), a first-generation Irish Argentinian appointed to the Argentine Legation in London in 1905. Elinor Glyn was staying with Curzon at the time of the engagement and read about it in the morning newspapers.

Grace had three children from her first marriage, two sons, Alfred and Hubert, and a daughter, Grace Lucille. Alfred and Hubert, as Curzon's step-sons, grew up within his influential circle. Curzon had three daughters from his first marriage, but he and Grace (despite fertility-related operations and several miscarriages) did not have any children together, which put a strain on their marriage. Letters written between them in the early 1920s imply that they still lived together, and remained devoted to each other. In 1923, Curzon was passed over for the office of Prime Minister partly on the advice of Arthur Balfour, who joked that Curzon "has lost the hope of glory but he still possesses the means of Grace".

In 1917, Curzon bought Bodiam Castle in East Sussex, a 14th-century building that had been gutted during the English Civil War. He restored it extensively, then bequeathed it to the National Trust.[46]

Foreign Secretary (1919–24)

Statue of Curzon in front of the Calcutta Victoria Memorial

Relations with Lloyd George

Curzon did not have David Lloyd George's support. Curzon and Lloyd George had disliked one another since the 1911 Parliament Crisis. The Prime Minister thought him overly pompous and self-important, and it was said that he used him as if he were using a Rolls-Royce to deliver a parcel to the station; Lloyd George said much later that Churchill treated his Ministers in a way that Lloyd George would never have treated his: "They were all men of substance — well, except Curzon."[47] Multiple drafts of resignation letters written at this time were found upon Curzon's death. Despite their antagonism, the two were often in agreement on government policy.[48] Lloyd George needed the wealth of knowledge Curzon possessed so was both his biggest critic and, simultaneously, his largest supporter. Likewise, Curzon was grateful for the leeway he was allowed by Lloyd George when it came to handling affairs in the Middle East.[49]

Other cabinet ministers also respected his vast knowledge of Central Asia but disliked his arrogance and often blunt criticism. Believing that the Foreign Secretary should be non-partisan, he would objectively present all the information on a subject to the Cabinet, as if placing faith in his colleagues to reach the appropriate decision. Conversely, Curzon would take personally and respond aggressively to any criticism.[50]

It has been suggested that Curzon's defensiveness reflected institutional insecurity by the Foreign Office as a whole. During the 1920s the Foreign Office was often a passive participant in decisions which were mainly reactive and dominated by the Prime Minister.[51] The creation of the job of Colonial Secretary, the Cabinet Secretariat and the League of Nations added to the Foreign Office's insecurity.[52]

Policy under Lloyd George

The territorial changes of Poland. Light blue line: Curzon Line "B" as proposed by Lord Curzon in 1919. Dark blue line: "Curzon" Line "A" as proposed by the Soviet Union in 1940. Pink: Formerly German provinces annexed by Poland after World War II. Grey: Pre-World War II Polish territory east of the Curzon Line annexed by the Soviet Union after the war.

After nine months as acting Secretary while Balfour was at the Paris Peace Conference,[53] Curzon was appointed Foreign Secretary in October 1919. He gave his name to the British government's proposed Soviet-Polish boundary, the Curzon Line of December 1919. Although during the subsequent Russo-Polish War, Poland conquered ground in the east, after World War II, Poland was shifted westwards, leaving the border between Poland and its eastern neighbours today approximately at the Curzon Line.[54]

Curzon was largely responsible for the Peace Day ceremonies on 19 July 1919. These included the plaster Cenotaph, designed by the noted British architect Sir Edwin Lutyens, for the Allied Victory parade in London. It was so successful that it was reproduced in stone, and still stands.

In 1918, during World War I, as Britain occupied Mesopotamia (modern Iraq), Curzon tried to convince the Indian government to reconsider his scheme for Persia (modern Iran) to be a buffer against Russian advances.[55] British and Indian troops were in Persia protecting the oilfields at Abadan and watching the Afghan frontier – Curzon believed that British economic and military aid, sent via India, could prop up the Persian government and make her a British client state. However, the agreement of August 1919 was never ratified and the British government rejected the plan as Russia had the geographical advantage and the defensive benefits would not justify the high economic cost.[56]

Small British forces had twice occupied Baku on the Caspian in 1918, while an entire British division had occupied Batum on the Black Sea, supervising German and Turkish withdrawal. Against Curzon's wishes, but on the advice of Sir George Milne, the commander on the spot, the CIGS Henry Wilson, who wanted to concentrate troops in Britain, Ireland, India, and Egypt,[57] and of Churchill (Secretary of State for War), the British withdrew from Baku (the small British naval presence was also withdrawn from the Caspian Sea), at the end of August 1919 leaving only 3 battalions at Batum.

In January 1920 Curzon insisted that British troops remain in Batum, against the wishes of Wilson and the Prime Minister. In February, while Curzon was on holiday, Wilson persuaded the Cabinet to allow withdrawal, but Curzon had the decision reversed on his return, although to Curzon's fury (he thought it "abuse of authority") Wilson gave Milne permission to withdraw if he deemed it necessary. At Cabinet on 5 May 1920 Curzon "by a long-winded jaw" (in Wilson's description) argued for a stay in Batum. After a British garrison at Enzeli (on the Persian Caspian coast) was taken prisoner by Bolshevik forces on 19 May 1920, Lloyd George finally insisted on a withdrawal from Batum early in June 1920. For the rest of 1920 Curzon, supported by Milner (Colonial Secretary), argued that Britain should retain control of Persia. When Wilson asked (15 July 1920) to pull troops out of Persia to put down the rebellion in Mesopotamia and Ireland, Lloyd George blocked the move, saying that Curzon "would not stand it". In the end, financial retrenchment forced a British withdrawal from Persia in the spring of 1921.[58]

Curzon helped in several Middle Eastern problems: he helped to negotiate Egyptian independence (granted in 1922) and the division of the British Mandate of Palestine, despite the strong disagreement he held with the policy of his predecessor Arthur Balfour,[59] and helped create the Emirate of Transjordan for Faisal's brother, which may also have delayed the problems there. According to Sir David Gilmour, Curzon "was the only senior figure in the British government at the time who foresaw that its policy would lead to decades of Arab–Jewish hostility".[59]

During the Irish War of Independence, but before the introduction of martial law in December 1920, Curzon suggested the "Indian" solution of blockading villages and imposing collective fines for attacks on the police and army.[60]

In 1921 Curzon was created Earl of Kedleston, in the County of Derby, and Marquess Curzon of Kedleston.[61]

In 1922, he was the chief negotiator for the Allies of the Treaty of Lausanne.

Under Bonar Law

Unlike many leading Conservative members of Lloyd George's Coalition Cabinet, Curzon ceased to support Lloyd George over the Chanak Crisis and had just resigned when Conservative backbenchers voted at the Carlton Club meeting to end the Coalition in October 1922. Curzon was thus able to remain Foreign Secretary when Bonar Law formed a purely Conservative ministry.

In 1922–23 Curzon had to negotiate with France after French troops occupied the Ruhr to enforce the payment of German reparations; he described the French Prime Minister (and former President) Raymond Poincaré as a "horrid little man". Curzon had expansive ambitions and was not much happier with Bonar Law, whose foreign policy was based on "retrenchment and withdrawal", than he had been with Lloyd George. However he provided invaluable insight into the Middle East and was instrumental in shaping British foreign policy in that region.[62]

Passed over for Prime Minister, 1923

Lord Curzon of Kedleston by John Singer Sargent, 1914. Royal Geographical Society

On Bonar Law's retirement as Prime Minister in May 1923, Curzon was passed over for the job in favour of Stanley Baldwin, despite having written Bonar Law a lengthy letter earlier in the year complaining of rumours that he was to retire in Baldwin's favour, and listing the reasons he should have the top job.

This decision was taken on the private advice of leading members of the party including former Prime Minister Arthur Balfour. Balfour advised the monarch that in a democratic age it was inappropriate for the Prime Minister to be a member of the House of Lords, especially when the Labour Party, which had few peers, had become the main opposition party in the Commons. In private Balfour admitted that he was prejudiced against Curzon, whose character was objectionable to some. George V shared this prejudice. A letter purporting to detail the opinions of Bonar Law but actually written by Baldwin sympathisers was delivered to the King's Private Secretary Lord Stamfordham, though it is unclear how much impact this had in the final outcome.

Curzon, summoned by Stamfordham, traveled to London by train assuming he was to be appointed Prime Minister, and is said to have burst into tears when told the truth. He later described Baldwin as "a man of the utmost insignificance", although he served under Baldwin and proposed him for the leadership of the Conservative Party.

Curzon remained Foreign Secretary under Baldwin until the government fell in January 1924. When Baldwin formed a new government in November 1924 he appointed Curzon Lord President of the Council.


The last photograph taken of Curzon on his way to attend a cabinet meeting (1925)

In March 1925 Curzon suffered a severe haemorrhage of the bladder. Surgery was unsuccessful and he died in London on 20 March 1925 at the age of 66. His coffin, made from the same tree at Kedleston that had encased his first wife, Mary, was taken to Westminster Abbey and from there to his ancestral home in Derbyshire, where he was interred beside Mary in the family vault at All Saints Church on 26 March. In his will, proven on 22 July, Curzon bequeathed his estate to his wife and his brother Francis; his estate was valued for probate at £343,279 10s. 4d. (roughly equivalent to £19,231,412 in 2018)[63].[64]

Upon his death the Barony, Earldom and Marquessate of Curzon of Kedleston and the Earldom of Kedleston became extinct, whilst the Viscountcy and Barony of Scarsdale were inherited by a nephew. The Barony of Ravensdale was inherited by his eldest daughter Mary and is today held by his second daughter Cynthia's great-grandson, Daniel Nicholas Mosley, 4th Baron Ravensdale.

There is now a blue plaque on the house in London where Curzon lived and died, No. 1 Carlton House Terrace, Westminster.[65]


On his appointment as Viceroy of India in 1898, he was created Baron Curzon of Kedleston, in the County of Derby. This title was created in the Peerage of Ireland to enable him to potentially return to the House of Commons, as Irish peers did not have an automatic right to sit in the House of Lords. His was the last title to be created in the Peerage of Ireland. In 1908, he was elected a representative of the Irish peerage in the British House of Lords, from which it followed that he would be a member of the House of Lords until death; indeed, his representative peerage would continue even if (as proved to be the case) he later received a United Kingdom peerage entitling him to a seat in the House of Lords in his own right.

In 1911 he was created Earl Curzon of Kedleston, Viscount Scarsdale, and Baron Ravensdale. All of these titles were in the Peerage of the United Kingdom.

Upon his father's death in 1916, he also became 5th Baron Scarsdale, in the Peerage of Great Britain. The title had been created in 1761.

In the 1921 Birthday Honours, he was created Marquess Curzon of Kedleston.[66] The title became extinct upon his death in 1925, as he was survived by three daughters and no sons.[67]


Few statesmen have experienced such changes in fortune in both their public and their personal lives. Sir David Gilmour, 4th Baronet, concludes:

Curzon's career was an almost unparallelled blend of triumph and disappointment. Although he was the last and in many ways the greatest of Victorian viceroys, his term of office ended in resignation, empty of recognition and devoid of reward.... he was unable to assert himself fully as foreign secretary until the last weeks of Lloyd George's premiership. Finally, after he had restored his reputation at Lausanne, his ultimate ambition was thwarted by George V.[68]

Critics generally agreed that Curzon never reached the heights that his youthful talents had seemed destined to reach. This sense of opportunities missed was summed up by Winston Churchill in his book Great Contemporaries (1937):

The morning had been golden; the noontide was bronze; and the evening lead. But all were polished till it shone after its fashion.

Churchill also wrote there was certainly something lacking in Curzon:

it was certainly not information nor application, nor power of speech nor attractiveness of manner and appearance. Everything was in his equipment. You could unpack his knapsack and take an inventory item by item. Nothing on the list was missing, yet somehow or other the total was incomplete.[69]

His Cabinet colleague The Earl of Crawford provided a withering personal judgment in his diary; "I never knew a man less loved by his colleagues and more hated by his subordinates, never a man so bereft of conscience, of charity or of gratitude. On the other hand the combination of power, of industry, and of ambition with a mean personality is almost without parallel. I never attended a funeral ceremony at which the congregation was so dry-eyed!"[70]

The first leader of independent India, Jawaharlal Nehru, paid Curzon a surprising tribute, referring to the fact that Curzon as Viceroy exhibited real love of Indian culture and ordered a restoration project for several historic monuments, including the Taj Mahal:[71]

After every other Viceroy has been forgotten, Curzon will be remembered because he restored all that was beautiful in India.[72]


Curzon Hall, the home of the faculty of science at the University of Dhaka, is named after him. Lord Curzon himself inaugurated the building in 1904.

Curzon Gate, a ceremonial gate, was erected by Maharaja Bijay Chand Mahatab in the heart of Burdwan town to commemorate Lord Curzon's visit to the town in 1904, which was renamed as Bijay Toran after the independence of India in 1947.

Curzon Road, the road connecting India Gate, the memorial dedicated to the Indian fallen during the Great War of 1914–18, and Connaught Place, in New Delhi was named after him. It has since been renamed Kasturba Gandhi Marg. The apartment buildings on the same road are still named after him.


1. Mosley, Leonard (1961). Curzon: The End of an Epoch. pp. 264–275.
2. Great Contemporaries, Winston S. Churchill
3. Mosley, Leonard (1961). Curzon: The End of an Epoch. p. 288.
4. Empire, Niall Ferguson
5. Philip Holden, Autobiography and Decolonization: Modernity, Masculinity, and the Nation-state (2008), p. 46
6. Eton, the Raj and modern India; By Alastair Lawson; 9 March 2005; BBC News.
7. This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Curzon of Kedleston, George Nathaniel, 1st Baron". Encyclopædia Britannica. 7(11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 665.
8. "... Oscar Browning (1837–1923), who had been sacked from Eton in September 1875 under suspicion of paederasty, partly because of his involvement with young George Nathaniel Curzon" in Michael Kaylor, Secreted Desires 2006 p.98
9. "His intimate, indiscreet friendship with a boy in another boarding-house, G. N. Curzon [...] provoked a crisis with [Headmaster] Hornby [….] Amid national controversy he was dismissed in 1875 on the pretext of administrative inefficiency but actually because his influence was thought to be sexually contagious" in Richard Davenport-Hines, Oscar Browning DNB
10. Mosley, Leonard (1961). Curzon: The End of an Epoch. Longmans, Green, and Co. p. (need page).
11. Burton, David Henry (1990). Cecil Spring Rice: A Diplomat's Life. Page 22: Fairleigh Dickinson Univ Press. ISBN 978-0-8386-3395-3.
12. Mosley, Leonard (1961). Curzon: The End of an Epoch. Longmans, Green, and Co. p. 26.
13. Mosley, Leonard (1961). Curzon: The End of an Epoch. Longmans, Green, and Co. p. 43.
14. Mosley, Leonard (1961). Curzon: The End of an Epoch.
15. Curzon, Russia in Central Asia (1967), p. 314.
16. Curzon, Russia in Central Asia (1967), p. 272.
17. Denis Wright, "Curzon and Persia," The Geographical Journal 153#3 (November 1987): 343.
18. Curzon, Russia in Central Asia p. 277.
19. Denis Wright, "Curzon and Persia," The Geographical Journal 153#3 (November 1987):346.
20. Wright, "Curzon and Persia," pp 346–7
21. Brockway, Thomas P (1941). "Britain and the Persian Bubble, 1888–1892". The Journal of Modern History. 13 (1): 46. doi:10.1086/243919.
22. George N. Curzon, Persia and the Persian Question (Volume 1). New York: Barnes & Noble, 1966, p 605.
23. Maximilian Genealogy Master Database, Mary Victoria LEITER, 2000 Archived 6 March 2008 at the Wayback Machine
24. "No. 27016". The London Gazette. 21 October 1898. p. 6140.
25. M. E. Yapp, "British Perceptions of the Russian Threat to India," Modern Asian Studies 21#4 (1987): 655.
26. Yapp, pp 655, 664.
27. "First Partition of Bengal".
28. Reid 2006, p116
29. Fagan, Brian (2009), Floods, Famines, and Emperors: El Nino and the Fate of Civilizations, Basic Books. p. 13
30. Fieldhouse 1996, p. 132 Quote: "In the later nineteenth century there was a series of disastrous crop failures in India leading not only to starvation but to epidemics. Most were regional, but the death toll could be huge. Thus, to take only some of the worst famines for which the death rate is known, some 800,000 died in the North West Provinces, Punjab, and Rajasthan in 1837–38; perhaps 2 million in the same region in 1860–61; nearly a million in different areas in 1866–67; 4.3 million in widely spread areas in 1876–78, an additional 1.2 million in the North West Provinces and Kashmir in 1877–78; and, worst of all, over 5 million in a famine that affected a large population of India in 1896–97. In 1899–1900 more than a million were thought to have died, conditions being worse because of the shortage of food following the famines only two years earlier. Thereafter the only major loss of life through famine was in 1943 under exceptional wartime conditions.(p. 132)"
31. Davis, Mike. Late Victorian Holocausts. 1. Verso, 2000. ISBN 1-85984-739-0 pg 158
32. Mike Davis: Late Victorian Holocausts
33. David Gilmour's Curzon and Ruling Caste. In Curzon he writes that 3.5 million were on famine relief, in Ruling Caste he writes it was over five million.
34. Davis, Mike. Late Victorian Holocausts. 1. Verso, 2000. ISBN 1-85984-739-0 pg 162
35. Davis, Mike. Late Victorian Holocausts. 1. Verso, 2000. ISBN 1-85984-739-0 pg 164
36. The Rt. Hon. The Earl of Ronaldshay. The Life of Curszon Vol.3.
37. Oxford DNB
38. "No. 28547". The London Gazette. 3 November 1911. p. 7951.
39. Winterman, Denise (7 March 2013). "The man who demolished Shakespeare's house". BBC News.
40. Woodward, 1998, pp113, 118–9
41. Woodward, 1998, p.16
42. Groot 1988, p.226–7
43. Woodward, 1998, pp.155–7
44. Woodward, 1998, pp134, 159–61,
45. Woodward, 1998, p.200
46. Channel 4 history microsites: Bodiam Castle
47. Michael Foot: Aneurin Bevan
48. Johnson, Gaynor "Preparing for Office: Lord Curzon as Acting Foreign Secretary, January- October 1919." Contemporary British History 18.3 (2004): 56.
49. G.H. Bennett, "Lloyd George, Curzon and the Control of British Foreign Policy 1919–22," Australian Journal of Politics & History 45#4 (1999): 479.
50. Bennett, G.H. (1999). "Lloyd George, Curzon and the Control of British Foreign Policy 1919–22". Australian Journal of Politics & History. 45 (4): 472. doi:10.1111/1467-8497.00076.
51. Sharp, Alan "Adapting to a New World? British Foreign Policy in the 1920s." Contemporary British History 18.3 (2004): 76.
52. Bennett, G.H. (1999). "Lloyd George, Curzon and the Control of British Foreign Policy 1919–22". Australian Journal of Politics & History. 45 (4): 473. doi:10.1111/1467-8497.00076.
53. Gaynor Johnson, "Preparing for Office: Lord Curzon as Acting Foreign Secretary, January–October 1919", Contemporary British History, vol. 18, n°3, 2004, pp. 53–73.
54. Sarah Meiklejohn Terry (1983). Poland's Place in Europe: General Sikorski and the Origin of the Oder-Neisse Line, 1939–1943. Princeton University Press. p. 121. ISBN 9781400857173.
55. Yapp, p. 654.
56. Yapp, p. 653.
57. Jeffery 2006, pp. 251–252.
58. Jeffery 2006, pp. 233–234, 247–251.
59. Jump up to:a b Gilmour, David (1996). "The Unregarded Prophet: Lord Curzon and the Palestine Question". Journal of Palestine Studies. 25 (3): 60–68. doi:10.2307/2538259. JSTOR 2538259.
60. Jeffery 2006, pp. 266–267.
61. "No. 32376". The London Gazette. 1 July 1921. p. 5243.
62. Bennett, "Lloyd George, Curzon and the Control of British Foreign Policy 1919–22," p. 477.
63. UK Retail Price Index inflation figures are based on data from Clark, Gregory (2017). "The Annual RPI and Average Earnings for Britain, 1209 to Present (New Series)". MeasuringWorth. Retrieved 27 January 2019.
64. "Curzon of Kedleston". UK Government. 1925. Retrieved 7 August2019.
65. "George Nathaniel Curzon blue plaque". Retrieved 13 May 2013.
66. "No. 32346". The London Gazette (Supplement). 4 June 1921. p. 4529.
67. "Lord Curzon: A Great Career". The Times. The Times Digital Archive. 21 March 1925. p. 7.
68. David Gilmour, "Curzon, George Nathaniel, Marquess Curzon of Kedleston (1859–1925)" Oxford Dictionary of National Biography Oxford University Press, 2004; online edn, Jan 2011 accessed 30 Sept 2014 doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/32680
69. Churchill, Great Contemporaries, Chapter on Curzon
70. Lindsay, p. 507.
71. Roy, Amit (15 January 2005). "Reviled-Curzon-name-wins-new-respect-in-India". Retrieved 29 August 2017.
72. "When Curzon rescued Ahmedabad's icon". Retrieved 5 July 2017.


George Nathaniel Curzon's writings

• Curzon, Russia in Central Asia in 1889 and the Anglo-Russian Question (1889) Frank Cass & Co. Ltd., London (reprinted Cass, 1967), Adamant Media Corporation; ISBN 978-1-4021-7543-5 (27 February 2001) Reprint (Paperback) Details
• Curzon, Persia and the Persian Question (1892) Longmans, Green, and Co., London and New York.; facsimile reprint:
o Volume 1 (Paperback) by George Nathaniel Curzon, Adamant Media Corporation; ISBN 978-1-4021-6179-7 (22 October 2001) Abstract
o Volume 2 (Paperback) by George Nathaniel Curzon, Adamant Media Corporation; ISBN 978-1-4021-6178-0 (22 October 2001) Abstract
• Curzon, On The Indian Frontier, Edited with an introduction by Dhara Anjaria; (Oxford U.P. 2011) 350 pages ISBN 978-0-19-906357-4
• Curzon, Problems of the Far East (1894; new ed., 1896) George Nathaniel Curzon Problems of the Far East. Japan -Korea – China, reprint; ISBN 1-4021-8480-8, ISBN 978-1-4021-8480-2 (25 December 2000) Adamant Media Corporation (Paperback)Abstract
• Curzon, The Pamirs and the Source of the Oxus, 1897, The Royal Geographical Society. Geographical Journal 8 (1896): 97–119, 239–63. A thorough study of the region's history and people and of the British–Russian conflict of interest in Turkestan based on Curzon's travels there in 1894. Reprint (paperback): Adamant Media Corporation, ISBN 978-1-4021-5983-1 (22 April 2002) Abstract. Unabridged reprint (2005): Elbiron Classics, Adamant Media Corporation; ISBN 1-4021-5983-8 (pbk); ISBN 1-4021-3090-2 (hardcover).
• Curzon, The Romanes Lecture 1907, FRONTIERS by the Right Hon Lord Curzon of Kedleston G.C.S.I., G.C.I.E., PC, D.C.L., LL.D., F.R.S., All Souls College, Chancellor of the University, Delivered in the Sheldonian Theatre, Oxford, 2 November 1907 full text.
• Curzon, Tales of Travel. First published by Hodder & Stoughton 1923 (Century Classic Ser.) London, Century. 1989, Facsimile Reprint; ISBN 0-7126-2245-4; reprint with Foreword by Lady Alexandra Metcalfe, Introduction by Peter King. A selection of Curzon's travel writing including essays on Egypt, Afghanistan, Persia, Iran, India, Iraq Waterfalls, etc. (includes the future viceroy's escapade into Afghanistan to meet the "Iron Emir", Abdu Rahman Khan, in 1894)
• Curzon, Travels with a Superior Person, London, Sidgwick & Jackson. 1985, Reprint; ISBN 978-0-283-99294-0, Hardcover, illustrated with 90 contemporary photographs most of them from Curzon's own collection (includes Greece in the Eighties, pp. 78–84; edited by Peter King; introduced by Elizabeth, Countess Longford)

Secondary sources

• Bennet, G. H. (1995). British Foreign Policy During the Curzon Period, 1919–1924. New York: St. Martin's Press. ISBN 0-312-12650-6.
• Carrington, Michael. Officers, Gentlemen, and Murderers: Lord Curzon’s campaign against ‘collisions’ between Indians and Europeans, 1899–1905,Modern Asian Studies 47:03, May 2013, pp. 780–819.
• Carrington, Michael. A PhD thesis, "Empire and authority: Curzon, collisions, character and the Raj, 1899–1905.", discusses a number of interesting issues raised during Curzon's Viceroyalty (available through British Library).
• De Groot, Gerard Douglas Haig 1861–1928 (Larkfield, Maidstone: Unwin Hyman, 1988)
• Dilks, David; Curzon in India (2 volumes, 1970) online edition
• Edwardes, Michael. High Noon of Empire: India under Curzon (1965)
• Gilmour, David (1994). Curzon: Imperial Statesman. Farrar, Straus & Giroux. excerpt and text search
• Gilmour, David. "Curzon, George Nathaniel, Marquess Curzon of Kedleston (1859–1925)" Oxford Dictionary of National Biography 2004; online edn, Jan 2011 accessed 30 Sept 2014 doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/32680
• Goudie A. S. (1980). "George Nathaniel Curzon: Superior Geographer", The Geographical Journal, 146, 2 (1980): 203–209, doi:10.2307/632861 Abstract
• Goradia, Nayana. Lord Curzon The Last of the British Moghuls (1993) full text online free.
• Jeffery, Keith (2006). Field Marshal Sir Henry Wilson: A Political Soldier. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-820358-2.
• Katouzian, Homa. "The Campaign Against the Anglo-Iranian Agreement of 1919." British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies 25 (1) (1998): 5–46.
• Loades, David, ed. Reader's Guide to British History (2003) 1:324-25; historiography
• Lindsay, David (1984). John Vincent (ed.). The Crawford Papers: The journals of David Lindsay, twenty-seventh Earl of Crawford and tenth Earl of Balcarres 1871–1940 during the years 1892 to 1940. Manchester: Manchester University Press. ISBN 978-0-71900-948-8.
• McLane, John R.. "The Decision to Partition Bengal in 1905," Indian Economic and Social History Review, July 1965, 2#3, pp 221–237
• Mosley, Leonard Oswald. The glorious fault: The life of Lord Curzon
• Nicolson, Harold George (1934). Curzon: The Last Phase, 1919–1925: A Study in Post-war Diplomacy. London: Constable. ISBN 9780571258925
• Reid, Walter. Architect of Victory: Douglas Haig (Birlinn Ltd, Edinburgh, 2006.) ISBN 1-84158-517-3
• Ronaldshay, Earl of (1927). The life of Lord Curzon. Vol. 1–2. (London)
• Rose, Kenneth. Superior Person: A Portrait of Curzon and His Circle in Late Victorian England, Weidenfeld & Nicolson History, ISBN 1842122339
• Ross, Christopher N. B. "Lord Curzon and E. G. Browne Confront the 'Persian Question'", Historical Journal, 52, 2 (2009): 385–411, doi:10.1017/S0018246X09007511
• Woodward, David R, Field Marshal Sir William Robertson, Westport Connecticut & London: Praeger, 1998, ISBN 0-275-95422-6
• Wright, Denis. "Curzon and Persia." The Geographical Journal 153 (3) (1987): 343–350.

External links

• Analysis of George Curzon as Viceroy
• Hansard 1803–2005: contributions in Parliament by the Marquess Curzon of Kedleston
• India under Curzon and after, By Lovat Fraser, Published by William Heinemann, London – 1911.Digital Rare Book :
• Problems of the Far East: Japan – Korea – China by George Curzon, 1st Marquess Curzon of Kedleston at
• Modern parliamentary eloquence; the Rede lecture, delivered before the University of Cambridge, 6 November 1913 by George Curzon, 1st Marquess Curzon of Kedleston at
• Russia In Central Asia In 1889 by George Curzon, 1st Marquess Curzon of Kedleston at
• War poems and other translations by George Curzon, 1st Marquess Curzon of Kedleston at
• "Archival material relating to George Curzon, 1st Marquess Curzon of Kedleston". UK National Archives.
• George Nathaniel CURZON was born 11 Jan 1859. He died 20 Mar 1925. George married Mary Victoria LEITER on 22 Apr 1895
• Newspaper clippings about George Curzon, 1st Marquess Curzon of Kedleston in the 20th Century Press Archives of the ZBW
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Hereditary peer
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Accessed: 9/11/19



The hereditary peers form part of the peerage in the United Kingdom. As of 2019 there are 814 hereditary peers. The numbers of peers – of England, Scotland, Great Britain, and the UK – whose titles are the highest they hold (i.e. are not subsidiary titles) are: dukes, 24 (plus 7 royal dukes); marquesses, 34; earls, 193; viscounts, 112; barons, 444.

Not all hereditary titles are titles of the peerage. For instance, baronets and baronetesses may pass on their titles, but they are not peers. Conversely, the holder of a non-hereditary title may belong to the peerage, as with life peers. Peerages may be created by means of letters patent, but the granting of new hereditary peerages has largely dwindled; only seven hereditary peers have been created after 1965, four of them members of the British royal family.

From 1963 to 1999, all (non-Irish) peers were entitled to sit in the House of Lords, but since the House of Lords Act 1999 was passed, only 92 are permitted to do so, unless they are also life peers.[1] Peers are called to the House of Lords with a writ of summons.


Further information: History of the peerage

The hereditary peerage, as it now exists, combines several different English institutions with analogous ones from Scotland and Ireland.

English Earls are an Anglo-Saxon institution. Around 1014, England was divided into shires or counties, largely to defend against the Danes; each shire was led by a local great man, called an earl; the same man could be earl of several shires. When the Normans conquered England, they continued to appoint earls, but not for all counties; the administrative head of the county became the sheriff. Earldoms began as offices, with a perquisite of a share of the legal fees in the county; they gradually became honours, with a stipend of £20 a year. Like most feudal offices, earldoms were inherited, but the kings frequently asked earls to resign or exchange earldoms. Usually there were few Earls in England, and they were men of great wealth in the shire from which they held title, or an adjacent one, but it depended on circumstances: during the civil war between Stephen and the Empress Matilda, nine Earls were created in three years.

William the Conqueror and Henry II did not make Dukes; they were themselves only Dukes of Normandy or Aquitaine. But when Edward III of England declared himself King of France, he made his sons Dukes, to distinguish them from other noblemen, much as Royal Dukes are now distinguished from other Dukes. Later Kings created Marquesses and Viscounts to make finer gradations of honour: a rank something more than an Earl and something less than an Earl, respectively.

When Henry III or Edward I wanted money or advice from his subjects, he would order great churchmen, earls, and other great men to come to his Great Council (some of these are now considered the first parliaments); he would generally order lesser men from towns and counties to gather and pick some men to represent them. The English Order of Barons evolved from those men who were individually ordered to attend Parliament, but held no other title; the chosen representatives, on the other hand, became the House of Commons. This order, called a writ, was not originally hereditary, or even a privilege; the recipient had to come to the Great Council at his own expense, vote on taxes on himself and his neighbours, acknowledge that he was the king's tenant-in-chief (which might cost him special taxes), and risk involvement in royal politics – or a request from the king for a personal loan (benevolence). Which men were ordered to Council varied from Council to Council; a man might be so ordered once and never again, or all his life, but his son and heir might never go.

Under Henry VI of England, in the 15th century, just before the Wars of the Roses, attendance at Parliament became more valuable. The first claim of hereditary right to a writ comes from this reign; so does the first patent, or charter declaring a man to be a baron. The five orders began to be called peers. Holders of older peerages also began to receive greater honour than peers of the same rank just created.

If a man held a peerage, his son would succeed to it; if he had no children, his brother would succeed. If he had a single daughter, his son-in-law would inherit the family lands, and usually the same peerage; more complex cases were decided depending on circumstances. Customs changed with time; earldoms were the first to be hereditary, and three different rules can be traced for the case of an Earl who left no sons and several married daughters. In the 13th century, the husband of the eldest daughter inherited the earldom automatically; in the 15th century, the earldom reverted to the Crown, who might re-grant it (often to the eldest son-in-law); in the 17th century, it would not be inherited by anybody unless all but one of the daughters died and left no descendants, in which case the remaining daughter (or her heir) would inherit.

After Henry II became the Lord of Ireland, he and his successors began to imitate the English system as it was in their time. Irish earls were first created in the 13th century, and Irish parliaments began later in the same century; until Henry VIII declared himself King of Ireland, these parliaments were small bodies, representing only the Irish Pale. A writ does not create a peerage in Ireland; all Irish peerages are by patent or charter, although some early patents have been lost. After James II left England, he was King of Ireland alone for a time; three creations he ordered then are in the Irish Patent Roll, although the patents were never issued; but these are treated as valid.

The Irish peers were in a peculiar political position: because they were subjects of the King of England, but peers in a different kingdom, they could sit in the English House of Commons, and many did. In the 18th century, Irish peerages became rewards for English politicians, limited only by the concern that they might go to Dublin and interfere with the Irish Government.

Scotland evolved a similar system, differing in points of detail. The first Scottish Earldoms derive from the seven mormaers, of immemorial antiquity; they were named Earls by Queen Margaret. The Parliament of Scotland is as old as the English; the Scottish equivalent of baronies are called lordships of Parliament.

The Act of Union 1707, between England and Scotland, provided that future peerages should be peers of Great Britain, and the rules covering the peers should follow the English model; because there were proportionately many more Scottish peers, they chose a number of representatives to sit in the British House of Lords. The Acts of Union 1800 changed this to peers of the United Kingdom, but provided that Irish peerages could still be created; but the Irish peers were concerned that their honours would be diluted as cheap prizes, and insisted that an Irish peerage could be created only when three Irish peerages had gone extinct (until there were only a hundred Irish peers left). In the early 19th century, Irish creations were as frequent as this allowed; but only three have been created since 1863, and none since 1898. As of 2011, only 66 "only-Irish" peers remain.[a]

a. Counting those listed in the article Peerage of Ireland.

Modern laws

The law applicable to a British hereditary peerage depends on which Kingdom it belongs to. Peerages of England, Great Britain, and the United Kingdom follow English law; the difference between them is that Peerages of England were created before the Act of Union 1707, Peerages of Great Britain between 1707 and the Union with Ireland in 1800, and Peerages of the United Kingdom since 1800. Irish Peerages follow the law of the Kingdom of Ireland, which is very like English law, except in referring to the Irish Parliament and Irish officials, generally no longer appointed; no Irish peers have been created since 1898, and they have no part in the present governance of the United Kingdom. Scottish Peerage law is generally similar to English law, but differs in innumerable points of detail, often being more similar to medieval practice.

Women are ineligible to succeed to the majority of hereditary peerages, and only inherit in the absence of a male heir in the other peerages.[2]

Ranks and titles

The House of Lords (old chamber, burned down in 1834) as drawn by Augustus Pugin and Thomas Rowlandson for Ackermann's Microcosm of London (1808-11).

The ranks of the Peerage in most of the United Kingdom are, in descending order of rank, duke, marquess, earl, viscount and baron;[3] the female equivalents are duchess, marchioness, countess, viscountess and baroness respectively. Women typically do not hold hereditary titles in their own right, one significant change to this however was in 1532 when Henry VIII created the Marquess of Pembroke title for his soon to be wife, Anne Boleyn. Anne held this title in her own right and was therefore ennobled with the same rank as a male Viscount.

In the Scottish peerage, the lowest rank is lordship of Parliament, the male holder thereof being known as a lord of Parliament.[4] A Scottish barony is a feudal rank, and not of the Peerage. The barony by tenure or feudal barony in England and Wales was similar to a Scottish feudal barony, in being hereditary, but is long obsolete, the last full summons of the English feudal barons to military service having occurred in 1327.[5] The Tenures Abolition Act 1660 finally quashed any remaining doubt as to their continued status.

Peerage dignities are created by the Sovereign by either writs of summons or letters patent. Under modern constitutional conventions, no peerage dignity, with the possible exception of those given to members of the Royal Family, would be created except upon the advice of the Prime Minister.

Many peers hold more than one hereditary title; for example, the same individual may be a duke,a marquess, an earl, a viscount and a baron by virtue of different peerages. If such a person is entitled to sit in the House of Lords, he still only has one vote. However, until the House of Lords Act 1999 it was possible for one of the peer's subsidiary titles to be passed to his heir before his death by means of a writ of acceleration, in which case the peer and his heir would have one vote each. Where this is not done, the heir may still use one of the father's subsidiary titles as a "courtesy title", but he is not considered a peer.[6]

Inheritance of titles

The mode of inheritance of a hereditary peerage is determined by the method of its creation. Titles may be created by writ of summons or by letters patent. The former is merely a summons of an individual to Parliament—it does not explicitly confer a peerage—and descent is always to heirs of the body, male and female. The latter method explicitly creates a peerage and names the dignity in question. Letters patent may state the course of descent; normally, only male heirs are allowed to succeed to the peerage. A child is deemed to be legitimate if its parents are married at the time of its birth or marry later; only legitimate children may succeed to a title, and furthermore, an English, Irish, or British (but not Scottish) peerage can only be inherited by a child born legitimate, not legitimated by a later marriage.

Normally, a peerage passes to the next holder on the death of the previous holder. However, Edward IV introduced a procedure known as a writ of acceleration, whereby it was possible for the eldest son of a peer with multiple titles to sit in the House of Lords by virtue of one of his father's subsidiary dignities.

A person who is a possible heir to a peerage is said to be "in remainder". A title becomes extinct (an opposite to extant, alive) when all possible heirs (as provided by the letters patent) have died out, i.e., there is nobody in remainder at the death of the holder. A title becomes dormant if nobody has claimed the title, or if no claim has been satisfactorily proven. A title goes into abeyance if there is more than one person equally entitled to be the holder.

In the past, peerages were sometimes forfeit or attainted under Acts of Parliament, most often as the result of treason on the part of the holder. The blood of an attainted peer was considered "corrupted", consequently his or her descendants could not inherit the title. If all descendants of the attainted peer were to die out, however, then an heir from another branch of the family not affected by the attainder could take the title. The Forfeiture Act 1870 abolished corruption of blood; instead of losing the peerage, a peer convicted of treason would be disqualified from sitting in Parliament for the period of imprisonment.

The Titles Deprivation Act 1917 permitted the Crown to suspend peerages if their holders had fought against the United Kingdom during the First World War. Guilt was to be determined by a committee of the Privy Council; either House of Parliament could reject the committee's report within 40 days of its presentation. In 1919, King George V issued an Order in Council suspending the Dukedom of Albany (together with its subsidiary peerages, the Earldom of Clarence and the Barony of Arklow), the Dukedom of Cumberland and Teviotdale (along with the Earldom of Armagh) and the Viscountcy of Taaffe (along with the Barony of Ballymote). Under the Titles Deprivation Act, the successors to the peerages may petition the Crown for a reinstatement of the titles; so far, none of them has chosen to do so (the Taaffe and Ballymote peerages would have become extinct in 1967).

Nothing prevents a British peerage from being held by a foreign citizen (although such peers cannot sit in the House of Lords, while the term foreign does not include Irish or Commonwealth citizens). Several descendants of George III were British peers and German subjects; the Lords Fairfax of Cameron were American citizens for several generations.

A peer may also disclaim a hereditary peerage under the Peerage Act 1963. To do so, the peer must deliver an instrument of disclaimer to the Lord Chancellor within 12 months of succeeding to the peerage, or, if under the age of 21 at the time of succession, within 12 months of becoming 21 years old. If, at the time of succession, the peer is a member of the House of Commons, then the instrument must be delivered within one month of succession; meanwhile, the peer may not sit or vote in the House of Commons. Prior to the House of Lords Act 1999, a hereditary peer could not disclaim a peerage after having applied for a writ of summons to Parliament; now, however, hereditary peers do not have the automatic right to a writ of summons to the House. Irish peerages may not be disclaimed. A peer who disclaims the peerage loses all titles, rights and privileges associated with the peerage; his wife or her husband is similarly affected. No further hereditary peerages may be conferred upon the person, but life peerages may be. The peerage remains without a holder until the death of the peer making the disclaimer, when it descends normally.

Merging in the Crown

A title held by someone who becomes monarch is said to merge in the Crown and ceases to exist, for the Sovereign cannot hold a dignity from himself. The Dukedom of Cornwall and of Rothesay, and the Earldom of Carrick, are special cases, which when not in use are said to lapse to the Crown: they are construed as existing, but held by no one, during such periods. These peerages are also special because they are never directly inherited. The Dukedom of Cornwall was held formerly by the eldest son of the King of England, and the Dukedom of Rothesay, the Earldom of Carrick, and certain non-peerage titles (Baron of Renfrew, Lord of the Isles and Prince and Great Steward of Scotland) by the eldest son of the King of Scotland. Since those titles have been united, the dukedoms and associated subsidiary titles are held by the eldest son of the monarch. In Scotland, the title Duke of Rothesay is used for life. In England and Northern Ireland, the title Duke of Cornwall is used until the heir-apparent is created Prince of Wales. At the same time as the Principality is created, the Duke is also created Earl of Chester. The earldom is a special case, because it is not hereditary, instead revesting or merging in the Crown if the Prince succeeds to the Crown or predeceases the monarch: thus George III was created Prince of Wales and Earl of Chester a month after his father's death.

The Dukedom of Cornwall is associated with the Duchy of Cornwall; the former is a peerage dignity, while the latter is a private estate held by the Duke of Cornwall with certain privileges under the law. For example, the duchy is exempt from the provisions of the Town and County Planning Act 1990. Therefore, the planning laws of England and Wales do not apply to the duchy. This was evidenced in 2002 when Kerrier District Council objected to duchy plans to commence development on one of its properties.[citation needed] Income from the Duchy of Cornwall goes to the Duke of Cornwall, or, when there is no duke, to the Sovereign (but the money is then paid to the heir to the throne under the Sovereign Grant Act 2011). The duchy is now considered to be a private estate and conveys to the Prince of Wales the majority of his income. The only other Duchy in the United Kingdom is the Duchy of Lancaster, which is also an estate rather than a peerage dignity. The Dukedom of Lancaster merged in the Crown when Henry of Monmouth, Duke of Lancaster became King Henry V. Nonetheless, the Duchy of Lancaster still continues to exist, theoretically run by the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster. Normally, however, the Chancellor does not exercise any actual duties related to the Duchy, so he is normally available as a Minister without Portfolio. The Duchy is the inherited property that belongs personally to the monarch, rather than to the Crown. Thus, while income from the Crown Estate is turned over to the Exchequer in return for a civil list payment, the income from the Duchy forms a part of the Privy Purse, the personal funds of the Sovereign.

See also: Category:British and Irish peerages which merged in the Crown.

Writs of summons

At the beginning of each new parliament, each peer who has established his or her right to attend Parliament is issued a writ of summons. Without the writ, no peer may sit or vote in Parliament. Writs of summons generally follow the same form. Firstly, they set out the titles of the Sovereign, and then those of the recipient. Next, they note the date for Parliament's calling and the reason for its calling. This portion of the writ differs based on whether Parliament is at the time sitting, or prorogued, or dissolved. Then, after commanding the recipient to attend, the writ indicates that the sovereign him or herself witnesses it. The form of writs issued while Parliament is dissolved is as follows:

Elizabeth the Second by the Grace of God of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and of Our other Realms and Territories Queen, Head of the Commonwealth, Defender of the Faith, To Our right trusty and well beloved XXXX Chevalier Greeting.

Whereas by the advice and assent of Our Council for certain arduous and urgent affairs concerning Us, the state, and defence of Our United Kingdom and the Church, We have ordered a certain Parliament to be holden to Our City of Westminster on the XX day of XX next ensuing and there to treat and have conference with the Prelates, Great Men, and Peers of Our Realm. We strictly enjoining Command you upon the faith and allegiance by which you are bound to Us that the weightness of the said affairs and imminent perils considered, waiving all excuses, you be at the said day and place personally present with Us and with the said Prelates, Great Men, and Peers to treat and give your counsel upon the affairs aforesaid. And this as you regard Us and Our honour and the safety and defence of the said Kingdom and Church and dispatch of the said affairs in nowise do you omit Witness Ourself at Westminster the XX day of XX in the XX year of Our Reign.

In the case of writs issued when Parliament is prorogued, the form of the first sentence of the second paragraph changes:

Whereas by reason of certain arduous and urgent affairs concerning Us the State and defence of Our United Kingdom and the Church We did lately with the advice and consent of Our Council ordain Our present Parliament to be holden at Our City of Westminster on the XX day of XX in the XX year of Our Reign which Parliament hath been from that time by several adjournments and prorogations adjourned prorogued and continued to and until the XX day of XX now next ensuing at Our City aforesaid to be then there holden. We strictly enjoining Command ...

In the case of writs issued during a session of Parliament, the form of the first sentence of the second paragraph changes:

Whereas Our Parliament for arduous and urgent affairs concerning Us the state and defence of Our United Kingdom and the Church is now met at Our City of Westminster We strictly enjoining Command ...

Charles I (pictured) attempted to withhold a writ of summons for John Digby, 1st Earl of Bristol in 1626.

It is established precedent that the sovereign may not deny writs of summons to qualified peers. In 1626, King Charles I ordered that the writ of summons of John Digby, 1st Earl of Bristol not be issued. Lord Bristol had been charged with treason but was never tried. He complained to the House of Lords, which resolved that the denial of a writ to an eligible peer was without precedent and that the sovereign should immediately issue a writ of summons, which did occur.

Baronies by writ

By modern English law, if a writ of summons was issued to a person who was not a peer, that person took his seat in Parliament, and the parliament was a parliament in the modern sense (including representatives of the Commons), that single writ created a barony, a perpetual peerage inheritable by male-preference primogeniture. This was not medieval practice, and it is doubtful whether any writ was ever issued with the intent of creating such a peerage. The last instance of a man being summoned by writ without already holding a peerage was under the early Tudors; the first clear decision that a single writ (as opposed to a long succession of writs) created a peerage was in Lord Abergavenny's case of 1610. The House of Lords Act 1999 also renders it doubtful that such a writ would now create a peer if one were now issued; however, this doctrine is applied retrospectively: if it can be shown that a writ was issued, that the recipient sat and that the council in question was a parliament, the Committee of Privileges of the House of Lords determines who is now entitled to the peerage as though modern law had always applied. Several such long-lost baronies were claimed in the 19th and 20th centuries, though the committee was not consistent on what constituted proof of a writ, what constituted proof of sitting, and which 13th-century assemblages were actually parliaments.[7] Even a writ issued in error is held to create a peerage unless the writ was cancelled before the recipient took his seat; the cancellation would have been performed by the now obsolete writ of supersedeas.

Peerages created by writ of summons are presumed to be inheritable only by the recipient's heirs of the body. The House of Lords has settled such a presumption in several cases, including Lord Grey's Case (1640) Cro Cas 601, the Clifton Barony Case (1673), the Vaux Peerage Case (1837) 5 Cl & Fin 526, the Braye Peerage Case (1839) 6 Cl & Fin 757 and the Hastings Peerage Case (1841) 8 Cl & Fin 144. The meaning of heir of the body is determined by common law. Essentially, descent is by the rules of male primogeniture, a mechanism whereby normally, male descendants of the peer take precedence over female descendants, with children representing their deceased ancestors, and wherein the senior line of descent always takes precedence over the junior line per each gender. These rules, however, are amended by the proviso whereby sisters (and their heirs) are considered co-heirs; seniority of the line is irrelevant when succession is through a female line. In other words, no woman inherits because she is older than her sisters. If all of the co-heirs but one die, then the surviving co-heir succeeds to the title. Otherwise, the title remains abeyant until the sovereign "terminates" the abeyance in favour of one of the co-heirs. The termination of an abeyance is entirely at the discretion of the Crown.

A writ of acceleration is a type of writ of summons that enables the eldest son of a peer to attend the House of Lords using one of his father's subsidiary titles. The title is strictly not inherited by the eldest son, however; it remains vested in the father. A writ may be granted only if the title being accelerated is a subsidiary one, and not the main title, and if the beneficiary of the writ is the heir-apparent of the actual holder of the title. A total of ninety-four writs of acceleration have been issued since Edward IV issued the first one, including four writs issued in the twentieth century. The only individual who recently sat in the House of Lords by writ of acceleration is Viscount Cranborne in 1992, through the Barony of Cecil which was actually being held by his father, the Marquess of Salisbury. (Viscount Cranborne succeeded to the marquessate on the death of his father in 2003.)

There are no Scottish peerages created by writ; neither can Scottish baronies go into abeyance, for Scots law does not hold sisters as equal heirs regardless of age. Furthermore, there is only one extant barony by writ in the Peerage of Ireland, that of La Poer, now held by the Marquess of Waterford. (Certain other baronies were originally created by writ but later confirmed by letters patent.)

Letters patent

More often, letters patent are used to create peerages. Letters patent must explicitly name the recipient of the title and specify the course of descent; the exact meaning of the term is determined by common law. For remainders in the Peerage of the United Kingdom, the most common wording is "to have and to hold unto him and the heirs male of his body lawfully begotten and to be begotten". Where the letters patent specifies the peer's heirs male of the body as successors, the rules of agnatic succession apply, meaning that succession is through the male line only. Some very old titles, like the Earldom of Arlington, may pass to heirs of the body (not just heirs-male), these follow the same rules of descent as do baronies by writ and seem able to fall into abeyance as well. Many Scottish titles allow for passage to heirs general of the body, in which case the rules of male primogeniture apply; they do not fall into abeyance, as under Scots law, sisters are not treated as equal co-heirs. English and British letters patent that do not specify a course of descent are invalid, though the same is not true for the letters patent creating peers in the Peerage of Scotland. The House of Lords has ruled in certain cases that when the course of descent is not specified, or when the letters patent are lost, the title descends to heirs-male.

Limitation to heirs of the body

It is generally necessary for English patents to include limitation to heirs "of the body", unless a special remainder is specified (see below). The limitation indicates that only lineal descendants of the original peer may succeed to the peerage. In some very rare instances, the limitation was left out. In the Devon Peerage Case (1831) 2 Dow & Cl 200, the House of Lords permitted an heir who was a collateral descendant of the original peer to take his seat. The precedent, however, was reversed in 1859, when the House of Lords decided in the Wiltes Peerage Case (1869) LR 4 HL 126 that a patent that did not include the words "of the body" would be held void.

Special remainder

It is possible for a patent to allow for succession by someone other than an heir-male or heir of the body, under a so-called special remainder. Several instances may be cited: the Barony of Nelson (to an elder brother and his heirs-male), the Earldom of Roberts (to a daughter and her heirs-male), the Barony of Amherst (to a nephew and his heirs-male) and the Dukedom of Dover (to a younger son and his heirs-male while the eldest son is still alive). In many cases, at the time of the grant the proposed peer in question had no sons, nor any prospect of producing any, and the special remainder was made to allow remembrance of his personal honour to continue after his death and to preclude an otherwise certain rapid extinction of the peerage. However, in all cases the course of descent specified in the patent must be known in common law. For instance, the Crown may not make a "shifting limitation" in the letters patent; in other words, the patent may not vest the peerage in an individual and then, before that person's death, shift the title to another person. The doctrine was established in the Buckhurst Peerage Case (1876) 2 App Cas 1, in which the House of Lords deemed invalid the clause intended to keep the Barony of Buckhurst separate from the Earldom of De La Warr (the invalidation of clause may not affect the validity of the letters patent itself). The patent stipulated that if the holder of the barony should ever inherit the earldom, then he would be deprived of the barony, which would instead pass to the next successor as if the deprived holder had died without issue.

Amendment of letters patent

Letters patent granting the Dukedom of Marlborough to Sir John Churchill were later amended by Parliament

Letters patent are not absolute; they may be amended or revoked by Act of Parliament. For example, Parliament amended the letters patent creating the Dukedom of Marlborough in 1706. The patent originally provided that the dukedom could be inherited by the heirs-male of the body of the first duke, Captain-General Sir John Churchill. One son had died in infancy and the other died in 1703 from smallpox. Under Parliament's amendment to the patent, designed to allow the famous general's honour to survive after his death, the dukedom was allowed to pass to the Duke's daughters, the Lady Henrietta, the Countess of Sunderland, the Countess of Bridgewater and the Lady Mary, and their heirs-male, and thereafter "to all and every other the issue male and female, lineally descending of or from the said Duke of Marlborough, in such manner and for such estate as the same are before limited to the before-mentioned issue of the said Duke, it being intended that the said honours shall continue, remain, and be invested in all the issue of the said Duke, so long as any such issue male or female shall continue, and be held by them severally and successively in manner and form aforesaid, the elder and the descendants of every elder issue to be preferred before the younger of such issue."

Number of hereditary peers

The number of peers has varied considerably with time. At the end of the Wars of the Roses, which killed many peers, and degraded or attainted many others, there were only 29 Lords Temporal; but the population of England was also much smaller then. The Tudors doubled the number of Peers, creating many but executing others; at the death of Queen Elizabeth, there were 59.

Creation of English peerage dignities by Stuart monarchs

Sovereign / Reign / Peers

James I / 1603–1625 / 62
Charles I / 1625–1649 / 59
Charles II / 1660–1685 / 64
James II / 1685–1689 / 8
William III & Mary II / 1689–1702 / 30
Anne / 1702–1714 / 30
Total / 1603–1714 / 253

The number of peers then grew under the Stuarts and all later monarchs. By the time of Queen Anne's death in 1714, there were 168 peers. In 1712, Queen Anne was called upon to create 12 peers in one day in order to pass a government measure,[8][9] more than Queen Elizabeth I had created during a 45-year reign.

Several peers were alarmed at the rapid increase in the size of the Peerage, fearing that their individual importance and power would decrease as the number of peers increased. Therefore, in 1719, a bill was introduced in the House of Lords to place a limitation on the Crown's power. It sought to permit no more than six new creations, and thereafter one new creation for each other title that became extinct. But it did allow the Crown to bestow titles on members of the Royal Family without any such limitation. The Bill was rejected in its final stage in the Lords, but it was passed in the Lords when it was reintroduced in the next year. Nonetheless, the House of Commons rejected the bill by 269 to 177.

George III was especially profuse with the creation of titles, mainly due to the desire of some of his Prime Ministers to obtain a majority in the House of Lords. During his 12 years in power, Lord North had about 30 new peerages created. During William Pitt the Younger's 17-year tenure, over 140 new peerages were awarded.

A restriction on the creation of peerages, but only in the Peerage of Ireland, was enacted under the Acts of Union 1800 that combined Ireland and Great Britain into the United Kingdom in 1801. New creations were restricted to a maximum of one new Irish peerage for every three existing Irish peerages that became extinct, excluding those held concurrently with an English or British peerage; only if the total number of Irish peers dropped below 100 could the Sovereign create one new Irish peerage for each extinction.

There were no restrictions on creations in the Peerage of the United Kingdom. The Peerage continued to swell through the 19th century. In the 20th century, there were even more creations, as Prime Ministers were eager to secure majorities in the House of Lords. Peerages were handed out not to honour the recipient but to give him a seat in the House of Lords.

Current status

In 1984 Harold Macmillan, a former Prime Minister, was the last non-royal recipient of a hereditary peerage, the Earldom of Stockton.

Matt Ridley, well-known popular science writer and conservative journalist, is the Viscount Ridley

Since the start of the Labour government of Harold Wilson in 1964, the practice of granting hereditary peerages has largely ceased (except for members of the royal family). Only seven hereditary peers have been created since 1965: four in the Royal Family (the Duke of York, the Earl of Wessex, the Duke of Cambridge, and the Duke of Sussex) and three additional creations under Margaret Thatcher's government (the Viscount Whitelaw, the Viscount Tonypandy and the Earl of Stockton). The two Viscounts died without male heirs, extinguishing their titles. Harold Macmillan, 1st Earl of Stockton received the Earldom often awarded to former Prime Ministers after they retired from the House of Commons.

There is no statute that prevents the creation of new hereditary peerages; they may technically be created at any time, and the government continues to maintain pro forma letters patent for their creation. The most recent policies outlining the creation of new peerages, the Royal Warrant of 2004, explicitly apply to both hereditary and life peers.[10] However, successive governments have largely disowned the practice, and the Royal Household website currently describes the Queen as the fount of honour for "life peerages, knighthoods and gallantry awards", with no mention of hereditary titles.[11]


Until the coming into force of the Peerage Act 1963, peers could not disclaim their peerage in order to sit in the House of Commons, and thus a peerage was sometimes seen as an impediment to a future political career. The law changed due to an agreement that the Labour MP Tony Benn having been deprived of his seat due to an inadvertent inheritance was undemocratic; and the desire of the Conservatives to put their choice of Prime Minister (ultimately Alec Douglas-Home) into the House of Commons, which by that time was deemed politically necessary.

In 1999, the House of Lords Act abolished the automatic right of hereditary peers to sit in the House of Lords. Out of about 750 hereditary peers, only 92 may sit in the House of Lords. The Act provides that 90 of those 92 seats are to be elected by other members of the House: 15 by vote of the whole house (including life peers), 42 by the Conservative hereditary peers, two by the Labour hereditary peers, three by the Liberal Democrat hereditary peers, and 28 by the crossbench hereditary peers. Elections were held in October and November 1999 to choose those initial 90 peers, with all hereditary peers eligible to vote. Hereditary peers elected hold their seats until their death, resignation or exclusion for non-attendance (the latter two means introduced by the House of Lords Reform Act 2014), at which point by-elections are held to maintain the number at 92.

The remaining two hold their seats by right of the hereditary offices of Earl Marshal and Lord Great Chamberlain. These offices are hereditary in themselves, and in recent times have been held by the Dukes of Norfolk and the Marquesses of Cholmondeley respectively. These are the only two hereditary peers whose right to sit is automatic.

The Government reserves a number of political and ceremonial positions for hereditary peers. To encourage hereditary peers in the House of Lords to follow the party line, a number of Lords-in-Waiting (government whips) are usually hereditary peers. This practice was not adhered to by the Labour government of 1997–2010 due to the small number of Labour hereditary peers in the House of Lords.

Modern composition of the hereditary peerage

Many hereditary peers are associated with famous estates such as Hatfield House; many notable estates are open to the public.

The peerage has traditionally been associated with high gentry, the British nobility, and in recent times, the Conservative Party. Only a tiny proportion of wealthy people are peers, but the peerage includes a few of the very wealthiest, such as Hugh Grosvenor (the Duke of Westminster) and Lord Salisbury of Hatfield House. Most of the largest stately homes belong to the National Trust due to forms of estate tax. A few peers own one or more of England's largest estates passed down through inheritance, particularly those with medieval roots: until the late 19th century the dominant English and Scottish land division on death was primogeniture.

However, the proliferation of peerage creations in the late 19th century and the first half of the 20th century resulted in even minor political figures entering the ranks of the peerage; these included newspaper owners (e.g. Alfred Harmsworth) and trade union leaders (e.g. Walter Citrine). As a result, there are many hereditary peers who have taken up careers which do not fit traditional conceptions of aristocracy. For example, Arup Kumar Sinha, 6th Baron Sinha is a middle-class computer technician working for a travel agency; Matt Ridley, 5th Viscount Ridley, is a popular science writer; and Peter St Clair-Erskine, 7th Earl of Rosslyn is a former Metropolitan Police Service Commander. The Earl of Longford was a socialist and prison reformer, while Tony Benn, who renounced his peerage as Viscount Stansgate (only for his son to reclaim the family title after his death) was a senior government minister (later a writer and orator) with solidly left-wing policies.

Gender distribution

See also: List of peerages inherited by women

As the vast majority of hereditary peerages can only be inherited by men, the number of peeresses is very small; only 18 out of 758 hereditary peers by succession, or 2.2%, were female, as of 1992.[12] From 1963 (when female hereditary peers were allowed to enter the House of Lords) to 1999, there has been a total of 25 female hereditary peers.[13]

Of those 92 currently sitting in the House of Lords, only one – Margaret of Mar, 31st Countess of Mar – is female. Originally there were five female peers elected under the House of Lords Act 1999 (all of them Crossbenchers), but four of these have since died or resigned,[14] and no female has won a by-election to a vacant Lords seat since 1999.[15]

See also

• List of hereditary baronies in the Peerage of the United Kingdom
• List of hereditary peers elected to sit in the House of Lords under the House of Lords Act 1999
• By-elections to the House of Lords
• List of hereditary peers in the House of Lords by virtue of a life peerage
• Substantive title
• Writ of acceleration
• Roll of the Peerage
• The Hereditary Peerage Association


1. "Members of the House of Lords". UK Parliament. 2012. Archived from the original on 2013-01-03.
2. House of Commons Political and Constitutional Reform Committee, Rules of Royal Succession: Eleventh Report of Session 2010–12, 7 December 2011.
3. "Ranks of the Peerage". Debrett's. Retrieved 11 November 2006.[dead link]
4. "Forms of Address for use orally and in correspondence". Ministry of Justice (information formerly managed by the Department for Constitutional Affairs). The Crown Office. June 2003. Archived from the original on March 6, 2007. Retrieved 11 November 2006.
5. Sanders, I.J. English Baronies, Oxford, 1960, preface, vii
6. "Burke's Guide to British Titles: Courtesy Titles". Burke's Peerage and Gentry. 2005. Archived from the original on 11 July 2006. Retrieved 13 November 2006.
7. Complete Peerage, Vol IX, Appendix B; the date of the last writ issued to an uncertain since the records of the House of Lords for most of the reign of Henry VIII are lost. There is a solitary fifteenth-century writ summoning a man and his heirs male; this would now be a patent.
8. Harry Graham, The Mother of Parliaments (Little, Brown & company, 1911), p. 33
9. Justin McCarthy. The Reign of Queen Anne, Vol. 2 (Chatto & Windus, 1902) p. 115.
10. Article 9, Royal Warrant 2004
11. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on January 16, 2013. Retrieved November 29, 2012.
12. Adonis, Andrew (1993). Parliament Today (2nd ed.). p. 194.
13. http://researchbriefings.files.parliame ... 8-0014.pdf
14. Myrtle Robertson, 11th Baroness Wharton, Cherry Drummond, 16th Baroness Strange, Davina Ingrams, 18th Baroness Darcy de Knayth and Flora Fraser, 21st Lady Saltoun


• Blackstone, William (1765). Commentaries on the Laws of England. Oxford: Clarendon Press.
• Cox, Noel (1997). "The British Peerage: The Legal Standing of the Peerage and Baronetage in the overseas realms of the Crown with particular reference to New Zealand". New Zealand Universities Law Review. 17 (4): 379–401.
• May, Erskine (1896). Constitutional History of England since the Accession of George the Third (11th ed.). London: Longmans, Green and Co. Archived from the original on 18 July 2006.
• First Report from the Committee for Privileges (Report). 18 October 1999. HL 106-I. Archived from the original on 8 September 2008.
• "House of Lords Debates, Vol. 600, col. 1156". The United Kingdom Parliament. 1998–1999. Archived from the original on 30 June 2004.
• McCallion, Peter (2003). "Letter to The Earl Alexander of Tunis". Hereditary Peerage Association.
• "Peerage". Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). London: Cambridge University Press. 1911.

UK Legislation

• Text of the House of Lords Act 1999. (c. 34). as in force today (including any amendments) within the United Kingdom, from
• Text of the Peerage Act 1963. (1963 c. 48). as in force today (including any amendments) within the United Kingdom, from
• Text of the Titles Deprivation Act 1917. (7 & 8 George 5 c 47). as in force today (including any amendments) within the United Kingdom, from
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Fri Sep 13, 2019 6:33 am

Alfred Harmsworth, 1st Viscount Northcliffe
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 9/12/19




Sir. – Recent devastating events in Tibet caused over 15,000 Tibetans to cross the perilous Himalayas into India. It may be a long time before these unfortunate people can safely return to their overrun country. Our own consciences should allow us neither to neglect nor forget them.

The Indian Government has manfully coped with this addition to its own problems at home. In this country we are bound in honour to help relieve needs of the Tibetan refugees, because from 1905 to 1947 there was a special relationship between Tibet and the United Kingdom – a relationship handed on to the new India.

On balance we think it wisest to concentrate chiefly on collecting money which can be used for the benefit of the refugees, not least in the purchase of necessary antibiotics and other medicaments. The Tibet Society has opened a Tibet Relief Fund for which we now appeal in the hope of a generous response. Donations should be sent to the address below or direct to the National Bank Ltd. (Belgravia Branch), 21 Grosvenor Gardens, S.W.I.

Yours faithfully,

... Harmsworth ... The Tibet Relief Fund, 58 Eccleston Square, S.W. I., Letter to the Times, July 31, 1959, p.7.

-- Tibet Society, by

The Right Honourable
The Viscount Northcliffe
Portrait of Alfred Harmsworth, 1st Viscount Northcliffe, by Gertrude Kasebier
Born Alfred Charles William Harmsworth
15 July 1865
Chapelizod, County Dublin, Ireland
Died 14 August 1922 (aged 57)
Carlton House Gardens, London, England
Nationality British
Education Stamford School, Stamford, Lincolnshire, England
Occupation Publisher
Title 1st Viscount Northcliffe
Parent(s) Alfred Harmsworth & Geraldine Mary Maffett
Relatives Cecil Harmsworth (brother)
Harold Harmsworth (brother)
Leicester Harmsworth (brother)
Hildebrand Harmsworth (brother)

Alfred Charles William Harmsworth, 1st Viscount Northcliffe (15 July 1865 – 14 August 1922) was a British newspaper and publishing magnate. As owner of the Daily Mail and the Daily Mirror, he was an early developer of popular journalism, and he exercised vast influence over British popular opinion during the Edwardian era. Lord Beaverbrook said he was "the greatest figure who ever strode down Fleet Street."[1] About the beginning of the 20th century there were increasing attempts to develop popular journalism intended for the working class and tending to emphasize sensational topics. Harmsworth was the main innovator.

Northcliffe had a powerful role during the First World War, especially by criticizing the government regarding the Shell Crisis of 1915. He directed a mission to the new ally, the United States, during 1917, and was director of enemy propaganda during 1918.

His Amalgamated Press employed writers such as Arthur Mee and John Hammerton, and its subsidiary, the Educational Book Company, published The Harmsworth Self-Educator, The Children's Encyclopædia, and Harmsworth's Universal Encyclopaedia.


Early life and success

Born in Chapelizod, County Dublin, the son of Alfred and Geraldine Harmsworth, he was educated at Stamford School in Lincolnshire, England, from 1876 and at Henley House School in Kilburn, London from 1878.[2] A master at Henley House who was to prove important to his future was J. V. Milne, the father of A. A. Milne, who according to H. G. Wells was at school with him at the time and encouraged him to start the school magazine.[3] In 1880 he first visited the Sylvan Debating Club, founded by his father, and of which he later served as Treasurer.

Alfred Harmsworth (3 July 1837 – 16 July 1889) was a British barrister, and the father of several of the United Kingdom's leading newspaper proprietors, five of whom were honoured with hereditary titles – two viscounts, one baron and two baronets. Another son designed the iconic bulbous Perrier mineral water bottle.[1]

Alfred Harmsworth was born on 3 July 1837 in Marylebone, London, the only son of Charles Harmsworth and Hannah Carter.[2]

On 21 September 1864, at St Stephen's Church, Dublin, he married Geraldine Mary Maffett (1838–1925), one of the eight children of William Maffett, a land agent in County Down, and his second wife Margaret Finlayson. They lived in Dublin until 1867, when they moved to London, initially to St John's Wood, and later to Hampstead when the family's fortunes declined, in part due to Harmsworth's "fondness for alcohol", although they were always short of money, in part due to having so many children.[2][3]

The Harmsworths had 14 children, three of whom died in infancy:[4]

Alfred Harmsworth, 1st Viscount Northcliffe (1865–1922)
Geraldine Adelaide Hamilton Harmsworth (1866–1945), married Sir Lucas White King, mother of Cecil Harmsworth King[4]
Harold Harmsworth, 1st Viscount Rothermere (1868–1940)
Cecil Harmsworth, 1st Baron Harmsworth (1869–1948)
Sir Leicester Harmsworth, 1st Baronet (1870–1937)
Sir Hildebrand Harmsworth, 1st Baronet (1872–1929)
Violet Grace Harmsworth (1873–1961), married William Wild[3]
Charles Harmsworth (1874–1942)
St John Harmsworth (1876–1933)
Maud Harmsworth (1877–187?)
Christabel Rose Harmsworth (1880–1967)
Vyvyan George Harmsworth (1881–1957)
Muriel Harmsworth (1882–188?)
Harry Stanley Giffard Harmsworth (1885–188?)

Christabel was named after the suffragette Christabel Pankhurst, as Harmsworth was an ardent believer in women's suffrage.[3] In 1939, there were five Lady Harmsworths.[4]

Harmsworth was a barrister of the Middle Temple and one of the standing counsel for the Great Northern Railway.[5] He has been described as an "unsuccessful" barrister.[6] It was not until after his death that the press empire created by his sons "really took off".[4] Harmsworth was the founder of the Sylvan Debating Club, for which he served as Secretary for a number of years.

Harmsworth died on 16 July 1889.[2] He is buried at East Finchley Cemetery. He died of cirrhosis of the liver, as did his son Hildebrand, both in their 50s.[3]

-- Alfred Harmsworth (Barrister), by Wikipedia

Beginning as a freelance journalist, he initiated his first newspaper, Answers (original title: Answers to Correspondents), and was later assisted by his brother Harold, who was adept in business matters. Harmsworth had an intuitive sense for what the reading public wanted to buy, and began a series of cheap but successful periodicals, such as Comic Cuts (tagline: "Amusing without being Vulgar") and the journal Forget-Me-Not for women. From these periodicals, he developed the largest periodical publishing company in the world, Amalgamated Press.[4] His half-penny periodicals published in the 1890s played a role in the decline of the Victorian penny dreadfuls.[5]

Harmsworth was an early developer of popular journalism. He bought several failing newspapers and made them into an enormously profitable news group, primarily by appealing to the general public. He began with The Evening News during 1894, and then merged two Edinburgh papers to form the Edinburgh Daily Record. That same year he funded an expedition to Franz Joseph Land in the Arctic with the intention of making attempts to travel to the North Pole.[6]

On 4 May 1896 he began publishing the Daily Mail in London, which was a success, having the world record for daily circulation until Harmsworth's death
; taglines of the Daily Mail included "the busy man's daily journal" and "the penny newspaper for one halfpenny". Prime Minister Robert Cecil, Lord Salisbury, said it was "written by office boys for office boys".[7] Harmsworth then transformed a Sunday newspaper, the Weekly Dispatch, into the Sunday Dispatch, then the greatest circulation Sunday newspaper in Britain. He also initiated the Harmsworth Magazine (later London Magazine 1898–1915), utilizing one of Britain's best editors, Beckles Willson, who had been editor of many successful publications, including The Graphic.[8]

During 1899 Harmsworth was responsible for the unprecedented success of a charitable appeal for the dependents of soldiers fighting in the South African War by inviting Rudyard Kipling and Arthur Sullivan to write the song "The Absent-Minded Beggar".[9]

Harmsworth also initiated The Daily Mirror during 1903, and rescued the financially desperate Observer and The Times during 1905 and 1908, respectively.[10] During 1908, he also acquired The Sunday Times.

Chapter 6: The Times

Beyond the academic field, the Milner Group engaged in journalistic activities that sought to influence public opinion in directions which the Group desired. One of the earliest examples of this, and one of the few occasions on which the Group appeared as a group in the public eye, was in 1905, the year in which Milner returned from Africa. At that time the Group published a volume, The Empire and the Century, consisting of fifty articles on various aspects of the imperial problem. The majority of these articles were written by members of the Milner Group, in spite of the fact that so many of the most important members were still in Africa with Lord Selborne. The volume was issued under the general editorship of Charles S. Goldman, a friend of John Buchan and author of With General French and the Cavalry in South Africa. Among those who wrote articles were W. F. Monypenny, Bernard Holland, John Buchan, Henry Birchenough, R. B. Haldane, Bishop Lang, L. S. Amery, Evelyn Cecil, George Parkin, Edmund Garrett, Geoffrey Dawson, E. B. Sargant (one of the Kindergarten), Lionel Phillips, Valentine Chirol, and Sir Frederick and Lady Lugard.

This volume has many significant articles, several of which have already been mentioned. It was followed by a sequel volume, called The Empire and the Future, in 1916. The latter consisted of a series of lectures delivered at King's College, University of London, in 1915, under the sponsorship of the Royal Colonial Institute. The lectures were by members of the Milner Group who included A. L. Smith, H. A. L. Fisher, Philip Kerr, and George R. Parkin.(1) A somewhat similar series of lectures was given on the British Dominions at the University of Birmingham in 1910-1911 by such men as Alfred Lyttelton, Henry Birchenough, and William Hely-Hutchinson. These were published by Sir William Ashley in a volume called The British Dominions.

These efforts, however, were too weak, too public, and did not reach the proper persons. Accordingly, the real efforts of the Milner Group were directed into more fruitful and anonymous activities such as The Times and The Round Table.

The Milner Group did not own The Times before 1922, but clearly controlled it at least as far back as 1912. Even before this last date, members of the innermost circle of the Milner Group were swarming about the great newspaper. In fact, it would appear that The Times had been controlled by the Cecil Bloc since 1884 and was taken over by the Milner Group in the same way in which All Souls was taken over, quietly and without a struggle. The midwife of this process apparently was George E. Buckle (1854-1935), graduate of New College in 1876, member of All Souls since 1877, and editor of The Times from 1884 to 1912. (2) The chief members of the Milner Group who were associated with The Times have already been mentioned. Amery was connected with the paper from 1899 to 1909. During this period he edited and largely wrote the Times History of the South African War. Lord Esher was offered a directorship in 1908. Grigg was a staff writer in 1903-1905, and head of the Imperial Department in 1908-1913. B. K. Long was head of the Dominion Department in 1913-1921 and of the Foreign Department in 1920-1921. Monypenny was assistant editor both before and after the Boer War (1894-1899, 1903-1908) and on the board of directors after the paper was incorporated (1908-1912). Dawson was the paper's chief correspondent in South Africa in the Selborne period (1905-1910), while Basil Williams was the reporter covering the National Convention there (1908-1909). When it became clear in 1911 that Buckle must soon retire, Dawson was brought into the office in a rather vague capacity and, a year later, was made editor. The appointment was suggested and urged by Buckle. (3) Dawson held the position from 1912 to 1941, except for the three years 1919-1922. This interval is of some significance, for it revealed to the Milner Group that they could not continue to control The Times without ownership. The Cecil Bloc had controlled The Times from 1884 to 1912 without ownership, and the Milner Group had done the same in the period 1912-1919, but, in this last year, Dawson quarreled with Lord Northcliffe (who was chief proprietor from 1908-1922) and left the editor's chair. As soon as the Milner Group, through the Astors, acquired the chief proprietorship of the paper in 1922, Dawson was restored to his post and held it for the next twenty years. Undoubtedly the skillful stroke which acquired the ownership of The Times from the Harmsworth estate in 1922 was engineered by Brand. During the interval of three years during which Dawson was not editor, Northcliffe entrusted the position to one of The Time's famous foreign correspondents, H. W. Steed.

-- The Anglo-American Establishment: From Rhodes to Cliveden, by Carroll Quigley

The Amalgamated Press subsidiary the Educational Book Company published the Harmsworth Self-Educator, The Children's Encyclopædia, and Harmsworth's Universal Encyclopaedia.[11] He brought his younger brothers into his media empire, and they all flourished: Harold Harmsworth, 1st Viscount Rothermere, Cecil Harmsworth, 1st Baron Harmsworth, Sir Leicester Harmsworth, 1st Baronet and Sir Hildebrand Harmsworth, 1st Baronet.


Harmsworth was created a Baronet, of Elmwood, in the parish of St Peters in the County of Kent during 1904.[12] During 1905, Harmsworth was named to the peerage as Baron Northcliffe, of the Isle of Thanet in the County of Kent,[13] and during 1918 was named as Viscount Northcliffe, of St Peter's in the County of Kent, for his service as the director of the British war mission in the United States.[14]


Alfred Harmsworth married Mary Elizabeth Milner on 11 April 1888. She was appointed Dame Grand Cross of the Order of the British Empire (GBE) and Dame of Grace, Order of St John (D.St.J) during 1918. They did not have any children.[15]


Alfred Harmsworth had four acknowledged children by two different women. The first, Alfred Benjamin Smith, was born when Harmsworth was seventeen years old; the mother was a sixteen-year-old maidservant in his parents' home.[16] Smith died during 1930, allegedly in a mental home.[17] By 1900, Harmsworth had acquired a new mistress, an Irishwoman named Kathleen Wrohan, about whom little is known but her name; she bore him two further sons and a daughter, and died during 1923.[18]

Political influence

By 1914 Northcliffe controlled 40 per cent of the morning newspaper circulation in Britain, 45 per cent of the evening and 15 per cent of the Sunday circulation.[19]

June, 1917

Northcliffe's ownership of The Times, the Daily Mail and other newspapers meant that his editorials influenced both "the classes and the masses".[20] In an era before radio, television or internet, that meant that Northcliffe dominated the British press "as it never has been before or since by one man".[21]

Northcliffe's editorship of the Daily Mail in the years just preceding the First World War, when the newspaper displayed "a virulent anti-German sentiment", caused The Star to declare
, "Next to the Kaiser, Lord Northcliffe has done more than any living man to bring about the war."[22] His newspapers—especially The Times—reported the Shell Crisis of 1915 with such zeal that it helped to end the Liberal government of Prime Minister H. H. Asquith, forcing Asquith to form a coalition government (the other causal event was the resignation of Admiral Fisher as First Sea Lord).

It should perhaps be pointed out that the Cecil Bloc was a social rather than a partisan group — at first, at least. Until 1890 or so it contained members of both political parties, including the leaders, Salisbury and Gladstone. The relationship between the two parties on the topmost level could be symbolized by the tragic romance between Salisbury's nephew and Gladstone's niece, ending in the death of the latter in 1875. After the split in the Liberal Party in 1886, it was the members of the Cecil Bloc who became Unionists — that is, the Lytteltons, the Wyndhams, the Cavendishes. As a result, the Cecil Bloc became increasingly a political force. Gladstone remained socially a member of it, and so did his protege, John Morley, but almost all the other members of the Bloc were Unionists or Conservatives. The chief exceptions were the four leaders of the Liberal Party after Gladstone, who were strong imperialists: Rosebery, Asquith, Edward Grey, and Haldane. These four supported the Boer War, grew increasingly anti-German, supported the World War in 1914, and were close to the Milner Group politically, intellectually, and socially. (7)

-- The Anglo-American Establishment: From Rhodes to Cliveden, by Carroll Quigley

Lord Northcliffe's newspapers propagandized for creating a Minister of Munitions (a job first held by David Lloyd George) and helped to bring about Lloyd George's appointment as prime minister during 1916. Lloyd George offered Lord Northcliffe a job in his cabinet, but Northcliffe refused and was appointed director for propaganda.[23]

This organization has been able to conceal its existence quite successfully, and many of its most influential members, satisfied to possess the reality rather than the appearance of power, are unknown even to close students of British history. This is the more surprising when we learn that one of the chief methods by which this Group works has been through propaganda. It plotted the Jameson Raid of 1895; it caused the Boer War of 1899-1902; it set up and controls the Rhodes Trust; it created the Union of South Africa in 1906-1910; it established the South African periodical The State in 1908; it founded the British Empire periodical The Round Table in 1910, and this remains the mouthpiece of the Group; it has been the most powerful single influence in All Souls, Balliol, and New Colleges at Oxford for more than a generation; it has controlled The Times for more than fifty years, with the exception of the three years 1919-1922, it publicized the idea of and the name "British Commonwealth of Nations" in the period 1908-1918, it was the chief influence in Lloyd George's war administration in 1917-1919 and dominated the British delegation to the Peace Conference of 1919; it had a great deal to do with the formation and management of the League of Nations and of the system of mandates; it founded the Royal Institute of International Affairs in 1919 and still controls it; it was one of the chief influences on British policy toward Ireland, Palestine, and India in the period 1917-1945; it was a very important influence on the policy of appeasement of Germany during the years 1920-1940; and it controlled and still controls, to a very considerable extent, the sources and the writing of the history of British Imperial and foreign policy since the Boer War.

-- The Anglo-American Establishment: From Rhodes to Cliveden, by Carroll Quigley

Such was Northcliffe's influence on anti-German propaganda during the First World War that a German warship was sent to shell his house, Elmwood, in Broadstairs,[24] in an attempt to assassinate him.[25] His former residence still bears a shell hole out of respect for his gardener's wife, who was killed in the attack. On 6 April 1919, Lloyd George made an excoriating attack on Harmsworth, terming his arrogance "diseased vanity". By that time Harmsworth's influence was decreasing.

Northcliffe's enemies accused him of power without responsibility
, but his papers were a factor in settling the Anglo-Irish Treaty in 1921, and his mission to the United States at the start of the Great War has been judged a success by the historians.[26]

Northcliffe's personality shaped his career. He was monolingual and not well-educated; he knew little history or science. He had a lust for power and for money, while leaving the accounting paperwork to his brother Harold. He imagined himself Napoleon reborn, and did resemble the emperor physically and in terms of enormous energy and ambition. Above all, he had a boyish enthusiasm for everything. Norman Fyfe, an intimate friend, states he was:

Boyish in his power of concentration upon the matter of the moment, boyish in his readiness to turn swiftly to a different matter and concentrate on that. . . . Boyish the limited range of his intellect, which seldom concerns itself with anything but the immediate, the obvious, the popular. Boyish his irresponsibility, his disinclination to take himself or his publications seriously; his conviction that whatever benefits them is justifiable, and that it is not his business to consider the effect of their contents on the public mind.[27]


In 1903 Harmsworth initiated the Harmsworth Cup, the first international award for motorboat racing.[28]


Harmsworth was a friend of Claude Johnson, chief executive of Rolls-Royce Limited, and during the years preceding the First World war became an enthusiast of the Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost car.[29]


Lord Northcliffe circa 1921 driving a Fordson tractor at Henry Ford's farm near Dearborn, Michigan. Northcliffe was on a world tour at the time, trying to recover his health, but he died in 1922. He had been closely involved in the purchase of Fordson tractors by the British government during World War I.

Monument to Northcliffe at St Dunstan-in-the-West

Alfred Harmsworth's health declined during 1921 due mainly to a streptococcal infection. He went on a world tour to revive himself, but it failed to do so. He died of endocarditis in a hut on the roof of his London house, No. 1 Carlton House Gardens, during August, 1922,[30] and left three months' pay to each of his six thousand employees. The viscountcy, barony, and baronetcy of Northcliffe became extinct.

A monument to Northcliffe at St Dunstan-in-the-West, Fleet Street, London, was unveiled in 1930. The obelisk was designed by Edwin Lutyens and the bronze bust is by Kathleen Scott. His body was buried at East Finchley Cemetery in North London.[31]

Styles of address

1865–1904: Mr Alfred Harmsworth.
1904–1905: Sir Alfred Harmsworth, Baronet (Bt).
1905–1918: The Right Honourable The Lord Northcliffe[a]
1918–1922: The Right Honourable The Viscount Northcliffe
1. Although The Viscount Northcliffe was the Harmsworth Baronet of Elmwood, by custom the post-nominal Bt is omitted, since Peers of the Realm do not list subsidiary hereditary titles.


Historian Ian Christopher Fletcher states:

Northcliffe's drive for success and respectability bounded main outlet in the commercial world of journalism, not the political world the parties and parliaments. Perhaps his greatest accomplishment, underlying the relentless acquisition of newspapers and perfection of their "copy," was the simple incorporation of millions of readers into his press empire.[32]

A. J. P. Taylor, however, says, "Northcliffe could destroy when he used the news properly. He could not step into the vacant place. He aspired to power instead of influence, and as a result forfeited both."[33]

P. P. Catterall and Colin Seymour-Ure conclude that:

More than anyone [he] ... shaped the modern press. Developments he introduced or harnessed remain central: broad contents, exploitation of advertising revenue to subsidize prices, aggressive marketing, subordinate regional markets, independence from party control.[34]

The A. Harmsworth Glacier in North Greenland was named by Robert Peary in his honour. Harmsworth had gifted Peary expedition ship "Windward" following a lecture on Polar exploration he gave at the Royal Geographical Society in 1897.[35]

Promotion of Group Settlement Scheme

Through his newspaper career, Northcliffe promoted the ideas which resulted in the Group Settlement Scheme. The scheme promised land in Western Australia to British settlers prepared to emigrate and develop the land. A town founded specifically to assist the new settlements was named Northcliffe, in recognition of Lord Northcliffe's promotion of the scheme.

Northcliffe lived for a time at 31 Pandora Road, West Hampstead – this site is now marked with an English Heritage blue plaque.

See also

• Daily Mail aviation prizes


1. Lord Beaverbrook, Politicians and the War, 1914–1916 (1928) 1:93.
2. "Oxford Dictionary of National Biography". Retrieved 3 October 2013.
3. H. G. Wells, An Experiment in Autobiography, Chapter 6
4. Boyce (2004).
5. Springhall, John (1998). Youth, Popular Culture and Moral Panics. New York: St. Martin's Press. p. 75. ISBN 978-0-312-21394-7. OCLC 38206817.
6. Brice, Arthur Montefiore, and H. Fisher. "The Jackson-Harmsworth Polar Expedition, Notes of the Last Year's Work." The Geographical Journal 8.6 (1896): 543–564. online
7. Oxford Dictionary of Quotations, 1975
8. "Victorian Secrets". History of Harmsworth Magazine. Archived from the original on 27 December 2013. Retrieved 26 December 2012.
9. Cannon, John. "The Absent-Minded Beggar", Gilbert and Sullivan News, March 1987, Vol. 11, No. 8, pp. 16–17, The Gilbert and Sullivan Society, London.
10. "Alfred Charles William Harmsworth, Viscount Northcliffe | British publisher". Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved 27 December 2017.
11. Boyce (2004).
12. "No. 27696". The London Gazette. 15 July 1904. p. 4556.
13. "No. 27871". The London Gazette. 5 January 1906. p. 107.
14. "No. 30533". The London Gazette. 19 February 1918. p. 2212.
15. Taylor, S. J. (1996). The Great Outsiders: Northcliffe, Rothermere and the Daily Mail. London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson. p. 47. ISBN 978-0297816539.
16. Taylor The Great Outsiders pp.10–11
17. Taylor The Great Outsiders p. 222
18. Taylor The Great Outsiders pp. 47–48 and p. 222.
19. Tompson, "Fleet Street Colossus" p. 115.
20. Blake, Robert (1955). The Unknown Prime Minister: The Life & Times of Andrew Bonar Law 1858–1918. p. 294.
21. Fromkin, David (1989). A Peace to End All Peace. p. 233.
22. Bingham, Adrian (May 2005). "Monitoring the popular press: an historical perspective". History & Policy.
23. Boyce (2004).
24. 51.3739°N 1.4337°E
25. "Kent Today & Yesterday". 1 January 2010. Retrieved 19 July 2011.
26. John Cannon, ed., The Oxford Companion to British History (2002) p. 454.
27. Hamilton Fyfe, Northcliffe an Intimate Biography (1930) p. 106.
28. "Harmsworth Cup | motorboat racing award". Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved 27 December 2017.
29. Pugh, Peter (2001). The Magic of a Name The Rolls-Royce Story: The First 40 Years. Icon Books. ISBN 978-1-84046-151-0.
30. Wilson, A. N. (2005). "12: Chief". After the Victorians. Hutchinson. pp. 191–2. ISBN 978-0-09-179484-2. Retrieved 23 November 2013.
31. "Alfred Harmsworth – Find a Grave". Retrieved 29 November 2013.
32. Ian Christopher Fletcher , "Northcliffe, Lord" in Fred M. Leventhal, ed., Twentieth-century Britain: an encyclopedia(Garland, 1995) pp 573–74
33. A.J.P. Taylor, English History 1914-1945 (1965) p 27.
34. P. P. Catterall and Colin Seymour-Ure, "Northcliffe, Viscount". in John Ramsden, ed. The Oxford Companion to Twentieth-Century British Politics (2002) p. 475.
35. Daniel E. Harmon, Robert Peary. 2013

Further reading

• Boyce, D. George (2004). Harmsworth, Alfred Charles William, Viscount Northcliffe (1865–1922). Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press.
• Chalaby, Jean K. "‘Smiling Pictures Make People Smile’: Northcliffe's journalism." Media History 6.1 (2000): 33-44.
• Koss, Stephen. The rise and fall of the political press in Britain Vol. 2: the Twentieth Century (1984).
• Pound, Reginald, and Geoffrey Harmsworth. Northcliffe (Cassell, 1959).
• Sullivan, March (September 1922). "Northcliffe: Living, Dying, Dead". The World's Work: A History of Our Time. XLIV: 648–654. Retrieved 4 August 2009.
• Taylor, S.J. The Great Outsiders: Northcliffe, Rothermere, and the Daily Mail (London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson 1996).
• Thompson, J. Lee. Press Barons in Politics 1865–1922 (London, 1996).
• Thompson, J. Lee. "Fleet Street Colossus: The Rise and Fall of Northcliffe, 1896-1922." Parliamentary History 25.1 (2006): 115-138. online
• Thompson, J. Lee. "‘To Tell the People of America the Truth’: Lord Northcliffe in the USA, Unofficial British Propaganda, June–November 1917." Journal of Contemporary History 34.2 (1999): 243-262.

External links

• Works written by or about Alfred Harmsworth, 1st Viscount Northcliffe at Wikisource
• DMGT, Rothermere and Northcliffe
• Alfred Harmsworth, Lord Northcliffe on Spartacus Educational
• Who's Who: Lord Northcliffe
• Europeana Collections 1914–1918 makes 425,000 First World War items from European libraries available online, including relevant volumes of The Northcliffe Papers
• Newspaper clippings about Alfred Harmsworth, 1st Viscount Northcliffe in the 20th Century Press Archives of the ZBW
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Fri Sep 13, 2019 8:07 am

Mary Harmsworth, Viscountess Northcliffe
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 9/13/19



Photographed 9 May 1902.

Mary Elizabeth Harmsworth, Viscountess Northcliffe, GBE, DStJ, ARRC (née Milner; 22 December 1867 – 29 July 1963), later Lady Hudson, was the daughter of Robert Milner, of Kidlington, Oxfordshire, England, [mother is Ann Garland].[1][2]

Robert Milner
Birthdate: 1837
Death: 1900 (63)
Immediate Family:
Son of Thomas Milner and Jane Peck
Husband of Ann Garland
Father of Henry Garland Milner and Mary Harmsworth, Viscountess Northcliffe, Lady Hudson, GBE, DStJ, ARRC
Managed by: James Beresford Loel
Last Updated: February 23, 2015

-- Robert Milner, by


Mary Elizabeth Milner married, firstly, Alfred Charles William Harmsworth (born 16 July 1865, Chapelizod, County Dublin, Ireland – died 14 August 1922) on 11 April 1888, at which time her married name became Harmsworth, and she was styled as Baroness Northcliffe, effective 27 December 1905. The westernmost tip of Franz Joseph Land in the Arctic was named in her honour by an expedition financed by her husband. She was later elevated to Viscountess Northcliffe on 14 January 1918. This union was childless, which weigh heavily on her and her husband. Six months after her husband's death, she remarried, on 4 April 1923, to Sir Robert Arundal Hudson.[2]


Lady Hudson died in Virginia Water, Surrey, aged 95.[2]

Awards and honors

• Dame Grand Cross of the Order of the British Empire (GBE) — 1918
• Registered as an Associate Royal Red Cross (ARRC) — 1919
• Dame of Grace of the Order of St. John of Jerusalem — 1919


1. Mosley, Charles, ed. (2003). Burke's Peerage, Baronetage & Knighthood (107 ed.). Burke's Peerage & Gentry. p. 3410. ISBN 978-0-9711966-2-9.
2. "Lady Hudson". The Times. The Times Digital Archive. 31 July 1963. p. 12.
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Fri Sep 13, 2019 8:12 am

Balfour Mission [British War Mission]
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 9/13/19



Northcliffe, Alfred Charles William Harmsworth, 1st Viscount (cr. 1917), 1st Baron of Isle of Thanet (cr. 1905); baronet (cr. 1904); newspaper proprietor; born Chapelizod, Co. Dublin,July 15, 1854; eldest son of the late Alfred Harmsworth, barrister-at-law, of the Middle Temple, and Geraldine Mary, daughter of William Maffett, Pembroke Pl., Co. Dublin; married, in 1888, Mary Elizabeth, eldest daughter of the late Robert Milner, Kidlington, Oxford, and St. Vincent, West Indies; appointed chairman of the British War Mission in the United States on May 31, 1917, and sailed to take up duties on June 2, 1917. Returned to England on Nov. 3, 1917, to establish the London Headquarters of the British War Mission in the U.S.A., at Crewe House, Curzon St., W. Other addresses: -- 8, Buckingham St., S.W.; Elmwood, St. Peter's, Thanet; Grand Falls House, Newfoundland.

-- Who's Who in the British War Mission in the United States of America, 1918, by High Commissioner, The Earl of Reading, Published by Edward J. Clode, New York, First Edition, December, 1917; Second Edition, October,l 1918

The Balfour Mission, outside the home of Breckinridge Long at 2829 16th Street NW, Washington DC, where the group stayed during the trip (today the Mexican Cultural Institute).[1]

Balfour in New York, 11 May 1917

The Balfour Mission, also referred to as the Balfour Visit, was a formal diplomatic visit to the United States by the British Government during World War I, shortly after the United States declaration of war on Germany (1917).

The mission's purpose was to promote wartime cooperation, and to assess the war-readiness of Britain's new partner.[2] British Foreign Secretary Arthur Balfour, President Woodrow Wilson and Wilson's chief advisor, Colonel House had a meeting that discussed the secret treaties which bound Britain and France to Italy and others. Members of the delegation met with many senior leaders in the national government, finance, industry and politics, to explain the British positions. Other meetings dealt with the supply of munitions and other exports, and the proposed Balfour Declaration.

France sent a separate mission at the same time, and these were followed later in 1917 by missions from Italy, Russia, Belgium and Japan, all of whom were invited to address the US Congress.[3]


The mission left England on 11 April and arrived in Washington, on 22 April, having landed in Halifax, Nova Scotia on 20 April.[4][5]

Balfour addressed both houses of Congress – the House of Representatives on 5 May[6][7] and the Senate on 8 May[4][8][9] – becoming the first British person to do so.[10]

Balfour, [url=[/b]]Colonel Edward M. House[/url] and Wilson dined at the White House on 30 April, after which Balfour recounted the details of the secret treaties regarding Italy and the Near East to Wilson. On 18 May, Balfour sent Wilson copies of the Sykes-Picot Agreement, the Allied Notes of March–April 1915, the Treaty of London (1915) and the Treaty of Bucharest (1913).[11]

Cecil Spring Rice, the British Ambassador to the United States, stated that the mission had created "an entirely new atmosphere in Anglo-American relations".[10]

Travelling group

The travelling party included:[2][5]

• Arthur Balfour, British Foreign Secretary and former Prime Minister
• Walter Cunliffe, 1st Baron Cunliffe, governor of the Bank of England
Eric Drummond, 7th Earl of Perth, who in 1920 became the first Secretary-General of the League of Nations (1920–1933)

• Ian Malcolm
• Cecil Dormer
• Geoffrey G. Butler
• Tom Bridges, major general
• Herbert Henry Spender-Clay
• Dudley de Chair, admiral who was Naval Adviser to Foreign Office on Blockade Affairs
• Vincent Lawford

Others in the party included:

• War Office — Colonel Goodwin, Colonel Langhorne, Major L. W. B. Rees, and Major C. E. Dansey
• Blockade Department Experts — Lord Eustace Percy; Andrew Archibald Paton; F. P. Robinson, of the Board of Trade; S. McKenna, of the War Trade Intelligence Department, and M. D. Peterson of the Foreign Trade Department, Foreign Office.
• Wheat Commission — Alan Anderson, Chairman, and H. D. Vigor.
• Munitions — Walter Layton (Later Baron Layton), Director of Requirements and Statistics Branch, Secretariat of the Ministry of Munitions; C. T. Phillips, American and Transport Department, Ministry of Munitions; Captain Leeming, Mr. Amos.
• Ordnance and Lines of Communication — Captain Heron.
• Supplies and Transports — Major F. K. Puckle.

See also

• Diplomatic history of World War I


1. Burk 2014, pp. 102–103.
2. Burk 2014, p. 99.
3. GPO 1917.
4. Venzon 2013, p. 63.
5. Towne 2015, pp. 15–18.
6. GPO 1917, p. 32.
7. "Balfour Tells of Aims of War in House". The Seattle Times. May 6, 1917. p. 21.
8. GPO 1917, p. 25.
9. "Balfour Predicts Victory for U.S. in Senate". The Seattle Times. May 8, 1917. p. 3.
10. Tillman 2015, p. 11.
11. Tillman 2015, p. 10.


• Burk, Kathleen (24 April 2014). "The Balfour Mission, April—May 1917: the American Giant Awakens". Britain, America and the Sinews of War 1914–1918 (RLE The First World War). Routledge. ISBN 978-1-317-70051-7.
• GPO (1917). Visiting War Missions to the United States: Proceedings in the Senate and House of Representatives, Congress of the United States, on the Occasion of the Receptions Tendered to the War Missions of France, Great Britain, Italy, Russia, Belgium, and Japan. Fb &C Limited. ISBN 978-1-332-83156-2.
• Loper, Richard Lee (1967). The Balfour Mission: Anglo-American Diplomacy, April–May, 1917.
• Tillman, Seth P. (8 December 2015). Anglo-American Relations at the Paris Peace Conference of 1919. Princeton University Press. ISBN 978-1-4008-7672-3.
• Towne, Charles Hanson (1 September 2015). The Balfour Visit: How America Received Her Distinguished Guest. BiblioBazaar. ISBN 978-1-341-06014-4. Archived from the original on 21 April 2017.
• Venzon, Anne Cipriano (2 December 2013). "Balfour Mission". The United States in the First World War: An Encyclopedia. Taylor & Francis. p. 63. ISBN 978-1-135-68453-2. Archived from the original on 3 February 2014.
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Mon Sep 16, 2019 5:42 am

William Frederick Travers O'Connor
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 9/15/19



9th Panchen Lama and Sir William Frederick Travers O'Connor, taken in Calcutta. According to a paper by Braham Norwick in PIATS 2000, this photo was published in 1924 in Charles Bell's Tibet Past and Present(1924), p. 84

Sir William O'Connor, CIE CSI CVO
Birth name William Frederick Travers O'Connor
Born 30 July 1870
Longford, Ireland
Died 14 December 1943
Chelsea, London
Buried St Luke's Church Office, Headley Road, Grayshott, Hindhead, GU26 6LF
Allegiance United Kingdom
Service/branch Flag of the British Army.svg British Army Flag of Indian Army.svg Indian Army
Years of service 1890–1925
Rank Lieutenant Colonel
Unit Royal Artillery
Battles/wars Tirah Campaign, British expedition to Tibet, World War I
Awards Order of the Indian Empire, Royal Victorian Order,The Most Exalted Order of the Star of India, Knight Bachelor

Lieutenant Colonel Sir William Frederick Travers O'Connor CIE CSI CVO (30 July 1870 – 14 December 1943)[1][2][3][4] was an Irish diplomat and officer in the British and British Indian armies. He is remembered for his travels in Asia, cartography, study and publication of local cultures and language, his actions on the Younghusband expedition to Tibet, Royal Geographic Society council member,[5] member of the Royal Automobile Club[6] and for his work negotiating and signing the Nepal–Britain Treaty of 1923.

Early life

O'Connor was born in 1870, Longford, Ireland,[1] son of land agent[1] Matthew Weld O'Connor, and Harriet Georgina,[7] daughter of Anthony O’Reilly, of Baltrasna, County Meath. He had a sister, Lina O'Connor, and two younger brothers Matthew O'Connor and Myles O'Connor.[8] He was educated at Charterhouse School[1][9] as a Junior Scholar, in Verites house, 1884-1887.[10][8] Member of Charterhouse shooting team in 1885, and placing 7th,[10][8] winning the House Shooting Cup in 1885.[8]

Wilkinson 1821 pattern sabre, serial number 29781 made in 1889, etched with W.F.T.O'C. initials.

He passed through the Royal Military Academy in 1888 and was gazetted to the Royal Artillery in 1890.[11] He received Henry Wilkinson sabre number 29781 in 1889, as gift from a family member.

Military career

14 February 1890 – Joined 14th Field Academy Royal Artillery at Shorncliffe as Second Lieutenant.[1][4]

14 February 1893 – Promoted to Lieutenant.[12]

1894 – Served in Indian mountain battery stationed near Darjeeling.[1][9]

1897–98 – Employed in the Swat valley and Tirah Campaigns, patrolling the Kurrum Valley.[13] Awarded medal and 3 clasps.[14]

1 October 1899 – Promoted to Captain.[15]

1899–1903 – Appointed inspecting officer of the Kashmir Imperial Service Troops, stationed at Gilgit near the border of Afghanistan and Chinese Turkmenistan.[1]

1903-04-13 Routes between Tibet and India by Captain W. F. O'Connor, Royal Artillery

Younghusband team in 1904, O'Connor standing second from left

11 December 1903 – Departed Sikkim as interpreter, secretary and chief intelligence officer[16] to Sir Francis Younghusband's Lhasa mission as part of British expedition to Tibet.[1][9][17] Awarded medal and clasp.[18]

1904 – Employed former Sengchen Lama's personal attendant Sherab Gyatso to be his personal language teacher and suspected intelligence informant.[19]

21 May 1904 - Fought, and wounded, in battle to capture village of Pala.[20] David (born Dorje) MacDonald briefly took over O'Connor's interpreter duties during recovery.[9]

O'Connor and domestic staff at Gyantse in 1905

1905 – Posted as the first British Trade Agent at the new Trade Mart in Gyantse, under the Anglo-Tibet Convention.[1][8][9]

May 1905 – Investigated theft of remains of Younghusband mission money from boxes left at Gyantse.[9]

Summer 1906 – Stayed with Gertrude Bell whilst she worked on her travel book The Desert and the Sown[21].

Frederick O'Connor (representative of English Trade in Tibet for British Raj, and secretary of Younghusband) and Thubten Chokyi Nyima, 9th Panchen Lama, in a Peugeot car, one of the two first in Tibet, in 1907

Peugeot in front of the Gyantse fortress in Freddie 1907

1907 – Import of two motor cars, by carrying over the Himalayas, into Tibet.[22] One was an 8hp Clement brought as a gift for Thubten Choekyi Nyima, the 9th Panchen Lama, who presided over Tashi Lhunpo monastery near Shigatse. The other was his own 6.5hp Baby Peugeot (Peugeot Type 69).[23]

1908 – Accompanied Sikkimese Prince on world tour and also to meet 13th Dali Lama.[9] O'Connor was the first Indian Government official to meet the Dalai Lama.[9]

14 February 1908 – Promoted to Major.[24]

30 September 1909 – Appointed His Majesty's council for the districts of Seistan and Kain.[25][1]

1910 – Serving in Mashad[9] as Consul-General and Agent to the Governor-General.[7]

1912 – Transferred to Shiraz, capital province of Fars,[1] as Consul.[7]

28 October 1913 – Met with the Edwin Montagu, Under-Secretary of State for India, at lunch arranged by Gertrude Bell, for 1.5 hour briefing and questions on the status of the frontier.[21]

November 1915 – Taken captive by Persian army[1][13]

14 February 1916 - Promoted to Lieutenant-Colonel.[26][4]

August 1916 – Released from Persian captivity as part of prisoner exchange.[1][13]

1918 – Met with Lord Beaverbrook, the Minister of Information and sent to Siberia to further the cause of the Allies and their friends amongst the Russians.[1][27]

9 April 1918 – Sailed from the Liverpool to New York on board the SS Carpathia,[28] taking 11 days,[27] to meet with senior military[13] and diplomats regarding the US policy in Siberia.

3 June 1918 – Arrived in to Vladivostok[27] and served as Resident.[7]

January 1921 – Appointed political officer at Gangtok.[9]

March 1921 – Left position in Gangtok and returned to England, when mother fell seriously ill.[9]

21 December 1921 – Signed Nepal–Britain Treaty of 1923 as British Envoy at the Court of Nepal.[29][7]

1925 – Retired from military service.[1]


• The Most Eminent Order of the Indian Empire, Companion (C.I.E.), 1904[30]
• Royal Victorian Order, Commander (C.V.O.), 1922[1]
The Most Exalted Order of the Star of India, Companion (O.S.I.), 1924
• Knight Bachelor, 1925

Later life

2 February 1930 - Article in Detroit Free Press newspaper showing O'Connor leading tiger hunt in India.[31]

28 June 1931 – Article in The Indianapolis Sunday Star newspaper saying O'Connor inviting 5 Americans on tiger hunt for $100,000 ($20,000 each).

30 June 1931 – Bankruptcy petition filed.[33]

29 July 1931 – Receiving Order issued on a creditor's petition.[33][6]

11:00 12 August 1931 – Date First Bankruptcy Meeting.[33]

30 October 1931 – Date of bankruptcy public examination.[33]

13 Jul 1932 – Arrived in Southampton from New York on the RMS Berengaria.

Group at Louis D. Lighton’s ranch, Southern California, 1938. Left to right: Heather Thatcher, Luis D. Lighton, Lillian Disney, Walt Disney, Ranch Foreman, William Frederic Travers O’Connor, Hope Loring.

Upon the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor by the Axis-affiliated Empire of Japan on December 7, 1941, 500 United States Army troops moved in the next day to occupy Walt Disney Studios in Burbank, California for the next eight months—the only Hollywood film studio under military occupation in history—as America began a massive build up to fight in World War II. The soldiers were stationed there to protect a nearby Lockheed aircraft plant from enemy air raids, convert parking garages into ammunition depots, and fixing equipment in large soundstages.[1] From there, Disney was approached with requests from the U.S. services to produce propaganda films.[2] The Navy was the first, and other branches of the government, including the Army Air Forces, the Department of Agriculture, and the Treasury Department, rapidly caught on to Disney’s creative approach to generating educational films, propaganda, and insignias.

During World War II, Disney made films for every branch of the United States Armed Forces and government.[3][4] This was accomplished through the use of animated graphics by means of expediting the intelligent mobilization of servicemen and civilians for the cause of the war. Over 90% of Disney employees were devoted to the production of training and propaganda films for the government.[3] Throughout the duration of the war, Disney produced over 400,000 feet of educational war films, most at cost, which is equal to 68 hours of continuous films. In 1943 alone, 204,000 feet of film was produced. [2]

As well as producing films for different government divisions from 1942 to 1943, Disney was asked to create animation for a series of pictures produced by Colonel Frank Capra for the U.S. Army.[2] This series included films such as Prelude to War and America goes to War. Although these films were originally intended for servicemen, they were released to theaters because of their popularity.

-- Walt Disney's World War II propaganda production, by Wikipedia

16 July 1934 – Crossed border from Canada to Seattle, to go to L.A. and tour the US.[34]

27 November 1938 – The Old House performed by John McCormack at the Royal Albert Hall in London.[8]

November 1939 – The Old House recorded by John McCormack.[8]

14 December 1943 – Death, Chelsea.[1]

17 December 1943 – Funeral, St Luke's Church Office, Headley Road, Grayshott, Hindhead, GU26 6LF


• Routes in Sikkim, 1900.[35]
• Report on Tibet, 1903.[36]
• Rules for the Phonetic Transcription into English of Tibetan Words, with Charles Alfred Bell,1904[37][38]
Lhasa: an account of the country and people of Central Tibet, with Perceval Landon and Herbert James Walton, 1905.[39]
• Folk Tales from Tibet with Illustrations by a Tibetan Artist and Some Verses from Tibetan Love Songs, 1906.[40]
• On the frontier and beyond: a record of thirty years' service, 1931[27]
• Wrote music and lyrics to The Old House,[1][3] Quietide and One Hundred Years Ago, 1937.[1]

• Things mortal, 1940.[8]


1. "The Annual Register Volume 185". 1943.
2. Alex., McKay, (1997). Tibet and the British Raj: the frontier cadre, 1904–1947. Richmond, Surrey: Curzon. ISBN 0700706275. OCLC 37390564.
3. "LC Linked Data Service: Authorities and Vocabularies (Library of Congress)". The Library of Congress. Retrieved 8 May 2018.
4. "(550) – Army lists > 1913–1919 – Quarterly Army Lists (First Series) 1879–1922 > 1917 > Third quarter > Volume 3 – British Military lists – National Library of Scotland". Retrieved 8 May 2018.
5. "Obituaries". The Geographical Journal. 103 to 104: 304. 1944.
6. "THE BANKRUPTCY ACTS, 1914 AND 1926" (PDF). Edinburgh Gazette. 4 August 1934. Retrieved 8 May2018.
7. F., Riddick, John (1998). Who was who in British India. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press. ISBN 0313292329. OCLC 39045191.
8. O'Connor, Frederick (1940). Things Mortal. London: Hodder and Stoutghton Limited.
9. Alex., McKay, (2009). Tibet and the British Raj : the frontier cadre, 1904-1947 (2nd ed.). Dharamsala, H.P.: Library of Tibetan Works and Archives. ISBN 9788186470923. OCLC 435961312.
10. Charterhouse register, 1872-1900. 2012. ISBN 1236288785.
11. "The London Gazette 25th February 1890".
12. "London Gazette 4th April 1893".
13. 1933–, Newton, David, (2009). Kipling's Canadian : Colonel Fraser Hunter, MPP, maverick soldier-surveyor in "the Great Game". Victoria, BC: Trafford. ISBN 9781425191412. OCLC 606116081.
14. Archives, The National. "The Discovery Service". Retrieved 27 April 2018.
15. "The London Gazette 12th December 1905".
16. "Frederick O'Connor (biographical details)". Retrieved 27 April 2018.
17. 1940–, Allen, Charles, (2004). Duel in the snows : the true story of the Younghusband mission to Lhasa. London: John Murray. ISBN 0719554276. OCLC 53709120.
18. Archives, The National. "The Discovery Service". Retrieved 27 April 2018.
19. Netherlands), International Association for Tibetan Studies. Seminar (9th : 2000 : Leiden, (2002). Tibetan studies : PIATS 2000 : Tibetan studies : proceedings of the Ninth Seminar of the International Association for Tibetan Studies, Leiden 2000. Blezer, Henk., Ardussi, John., Buffetrille, Katia., Diemberger, Hildegard., Huber, Toni. Leiden: Brill. ISBN 9004127755. OCLC 52449349.
20. 1869–1927., Landon, Perceval, (2000). Lhasa : an account of the country and people of Central Tibet and of the progress of the mission sent there by the English Government in the year 1903-4. Varanasi: Pilgrims. ISBN 8177690574. OCLC 647450672.
21. 1868–1926,, Bell, Gertrude Lowthian,. Gertrude Bell : complete letters. Volume I and II. Bell, Florence Eveleen Eleanore Olliffe, Lady, 1851–1930,. [United States]. ISBN 9781500826901. OCLC 967604643.
22. "Images of First Cars to Cross the Himalayas into Tibet 102 Years Ago and Secret Photos of Japan from 1898 for Sale".
23. "Bonhams : TIBET Album, likely to have belonged an army mechanic responsible for the first motor cars Tibet". Retrieved 27 April 2018.
24. "London Gazette 10 April 1908".
25. "London Gazette 15 October 1909".
26. "The London Gazette 19 May 1916".
27. O'Connor, Frederick (1931). On the frontier and beyond: a record of thirty years' service. London: John Murray.
28. US Department of Labor Immigration Service, Form 500, 1918-04-09
29. "TREATY SERIES NO. 31 ( 1925). TREATY BETWEKS UNITED KINGDOM AND NEPAL TOGETHER WITH Note respecting the Importation of Arms and Ammunition into Nepal" (PDF).
30. "The London Gazette 16th December 1904".
31. "Tiger Hunting in India". Detroit Free Press. 2 February 1930.
32. "The Indianapolis Sunday Star". The Indianapolis Sunday Star. 28 June 1931.
33. "The London Gazette – 31st July 1931".
34. US Department of Labor Immigration Service, Form 54S, 1934-07-16
35. O'Connor, W. F. (1900). Routes in Sikkim. India: Office of the Superintendent of Government Printing.
36. "William Frederick Travers O'Connor - Wikisource, the free online library". Retrieved 27 April 2018.
37. Martin, Emma (21 July 2016). "Translating Tibet in the Borderlands: Networks, Dictionaries, and Knowledge Production in Himalayan Hill Stations". Transcultural Studies. 0 (1): 86–120. ISSN 2191-6411.
38. William Jones (1962). Journal Of The Asiatic Society 1961 Vol Iii.
39. O'Connor, Frederick (1905). Lhasa: an account of the country and people of Central Tibet.
40. Connor, Capt. W. F (1906). Folk Tales from Tibet with Illustrations by a Tibetan Artist and Some Verses from Tibetan Love Songs. London: Hurst and Blackett LTD.
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