The Viscount Bertie of Thame
Lord Bertie of Thame, 1915.
|British Ambassador to France|
|Monarch|| Edward VII |
|Preceded by||Sir Edmund Monson, Bt|
|Succeeded by||The Earl of Derby|
|Born||17 August 1844|
|Died||26 September 1919 (aged 75)|
|Spouse(s)||Lady Feodorowna Cecilia Wellesley (1838-1920)|
Francis Leveson Bertie, 1st Viscount Bertie of Thame, GCB, GCMG, GCVO, PC ( / ...
Her Majesty's Most Honourable Privy Council, usually known simply as the Privy Council of the United Kingdom or just the Privy Council, is a formal body of advisers to the Sovereign of the United Kingdom. Its membership mainly comprises senior politicians who are current or former members of either the House of Commons or the House of Lords.
Bertie was the second son of Montagu Bertie, 6th Earl of Abingdon, and Elizabeth Harcourt, daughter of George Harcourt. He was educated at Eton. From his great grandmother Charlotte Warren he had Dutch and Huguenot ancestral roots from the Schuyler family, the Van Cortlandt family, and the Delancey family of British North America.
Montagu Bertie, 6th Earl of Abingdon was a British peer and politician. He was styled Lord Norreys from birth until acceding in 1854.
George Granville Harcourt was a British Whig and then Conservative Party politician.
Eton College is an English 13–18 independent boarding school and sixth form for boys in the parish of Eton, near Windsor in Berkshire. It was founded in 1440 by King Henry VI as The King's College of Our Lady of Eton besides Wyndsor, as a sister institution to King's College, Cambridge, making it the 18th-oldest Headmasters' and Headmistresses' Conference school.
Bertie entered the Foreign Office in 1863. From 1874 to 1880 he served as Private Secretary to Robert Bourke, the Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, and in 1878 attended the Congress of Berlin. He served as acting senior clerk in the Eastern department from 1882 to 1885, and then later as senior clerk and assistant under-secretary in that department. In 1902 he was rewarded for his services by being made a Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath (KCB) in the 1902 Coronation Honours list published on 26 June 1902.He received the knighthood in a private audience with King Edward VII on 2 August, during the King′s convalescence on board HMY Victoria and Albert.
Robert Bourke, 1st Baron Connemara, was a British Conservative politician and colonial administrator. He served as Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs between 1874 and 1880 and 1885 and 1886, and was Governor of Madras between 1886 and 1890.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs has been a junior position in the British government since 1782, subordinate to both the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs and since 1945 also to the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs. The post has been based at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, which was created in 1968, by the merger of the Foreign Office, where the position was initially based, and the Commonwealth Office. Notable holders of the office include Granville Leveson-Gower, 2nd Earl Granville, John Wodehouse, 1st Earl of Kimberley, Edward Grey, 1st Viscount Grey of Fallodon, George Curzon, 1st Marquess Curzon of Kedleston, and Anthony Eden. The current holders are Alistair Burt and Henry Bellingham.
The Congress of Berlin was a meeting of the representatives of six great powers of the time, the Ottoman Empire and four Balkan states. It aimed at determining the territories of the states in the Balkan peninsula following the Russo-Turkish War of 1877–78 and came to an end with the signing of the Treaty of Berlin, which replaced the preliminary Treaty of San Stefano, signed three months earlier between Russia and the Ottoman Empire.
In 1903, Bertie was appointed a Privy Counsellorand made Ambassador to Italy, and then in 1905 became Ambassador to France, a post previously held by his father-in-law, Lord Cowley. Bertie would hold the Paris embassy for the next thirteen years. Having spent most of his career in the Foreign Office, he initially had some trouble adjusting to the role of ambassador, where he had far less control over the development of policy. But in his time at Paris Bertie was able to play a substantial role in strengthening the Entente Cordiale between France and Britain into a genuine alliance, encouraging strong British backing for France during the Moroccan Crises of 1905 and 1911. During these years, he was also showered with honours, being made Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order (GCVO) in 1903, a Knight Grand Cross of the Order of Saint Michael and Saint George (GCMG) in 1904, and a Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath (GCB) in 1908, as well as receiving the French Legion of Honour.
Henry Richard Charles Wellesley, 1st Earl Cowley, known as The Lord Cowley between 1847 and 1857, was a British diplomat. He served as British Ambassador to France between 1852 and 1867.
The Entente Cordiale was a series of agreements signed on 8 April 1904 between the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and the French Republic which saw a significant improvement in Anglo-French relations. Beyond the immediate concerns of colonial expansion addressed by the agreement, the signing of the Entente Cordiale marked the end of almost a thousand years of intermittent conflict between the two states and their predecessors, and replaced the modus vivendi that had existed since the end of the Napoleonic Wars in 1815 with a more formal agreement. The Entente Cordiale was the culmination of the policy of Théophile Delcassé, France's foreign minister from 1898, who believed that a Franco-British understanding would give France some security against any German system of alliances in Western Europe. Credit for the success of the negotiation belongs chiefly to Paul Cambon, France's ambassador in London, and to the British foreign secretary Lord Lansdowne.
The Royal Victorian Order is a dynastic order of knighthood established in 1896 by Queen Victoria. It recognises distinguished personal service to the monarch of the Commonwealth realms, members of the monarch's family, or to any viceroy or senior representative of the monarch. The present monarch, Queen Elizabeth II, is the Sovereign of the order, its motto is Victoria, and its official day is 20 June. The order's chapel is the Savoy Chapel in London.
Bertie's career coincided with that of Sir Edward Grey at the Foreign Office, his immediate superior, and the wider fortunes of the Liberal governments of Campbell-Bannerman and H. H. Asquith. There are a large number of extant official letters marked "very confidential" that prove and intensive ongoing diplomacy on behalf of the Entente in the protracted period that preceded war.As early as 1906 there were discussions about the possibility of a German invasion of France, yet always the proviso that it was in doubt, "that matters might be brought to a point in which a pacific issue would be difficult." But giving a positive assurance to France might be dependent on the circumstances. Bertie negotiated closely with Théophile Delcassé the foreign minister "toute occasion de concerter avec le Gouvernement Francais," warning them of the revulsion for war in France. He was careful always not to "cause offence to Germany" which characterised the effects of a diplomatic round shuttling between capital cities. David Owen argues that this placed too great a reliance on the Admiralty and War Office to promise unequivocally support of a BEF. It was his view that Germany would try to dissuade France from our friendship. He was of the school that believed that reductions in Naval estimates would not appease German preparations for aggression.
Edward Grey, 1st Viscount Grey of Fallodon,, better known as Sir Edward Grey, was a British Liberal statesman and the main force behind British foreign policy in the era of the First World War. An adherent of the "New Liberalism", he served as foreign secretary from 1905 to 1916, the longest continuous tenure of any person in that office. He is probably best remembered for his "the lamps are going out" remark on 3 August 1914 on the outbreak of the First World War. He signed the Sykes-Picot Agreement on 16 May 1916. Ennobled in 1916, he was Ambassador to the United States between 1919 and 1920 and Leader of the Liberal Party in the House of Lords between 1923 and 1924.
Herbert Henry Asquith, 1st Earl of Oxford and Asquith,, generally known as H. H. Asquith, was a British statesman and Liberal Party politician who served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1908 to 1916. He was the last prime minister to lead a majority Liberal government, and he played a central role in the design and passage of major liberal legislation and a reduction of the power of the House of Lords. In August 1914, Asquith took Great Britain and the British Empire into the First World War. In 1915, his government was vigorously attacked for a shortage of munitions and the failure of the Gallipoli Campaign. He formed a coalition government with other parties, but failed to satisfy critics. As a result, he was forced to resign in December 1916, and he never regained power.
Théophile Delcassé was a French statesman and foreign minister 1898-1905. He is best known for his hatred of Germany and efforts to secure alliances with Russia and Britain that became the Entente Cordiale. He was a radical and protege of Léon Gambetta.
When Clemenceau became Prime Minister in France he pledged never to rompre des accords[ clarification needed ] with Britain. Campbell-Bannerman reasserted the value of an alliance propre on election, but Bertie was concerned about the integrity of secret diplomatic lines of communication & the prompt arrival of dispatches. He was not present at the leaders meeting at the embassy on 7 April 1907; which was a worry for the francophile ambassador. One dispatch of April 1911 was so sensitive that it has since been destroyed by archivists: but it is clear that under Asquith, military leaders questioned Grey's competence; one of these critics must have been the Ambassador to France. His military attache, Colonel Fairholme clearly believed the French would outflank a German army on the frontier, which greatly exercised Bertie's mind "respecting strategical problems." Bertie had played hs part in diffusing the crises off the coast of Morocco, but down the coast in Portugal, the German influence was more sinister still. Unfortunately Grey refused to pressurise the misgovernors of their colonies to sell up, leaving the Germans to fill the diplomatic vacuum. But the Union of South Africa cried foul, as Delgoa Bay represented a strategic naval base area that could not be ceded to Germany. Bertie was reassured, but had his own critics who were most disparaging of his performance, and failure to keep abreast of modern developments of politics and strategy. Bertie was an old school diplomat, admired protocol and court precedents, was reluctant to go beyond his own prescribed powers. In a series of letters at the end of 1911/12 he found to his cost that francophiles were dead set against Metternich's 'satanic invitation.' In fact as time went on he became more sceptical of the Haldane Mission as foolish because it threatened the "excellent position" in Paris. By February 1912 it had become clear to him that Germany was still the problem; not France. In competing with the British Empire Germany sought to acquire lands in southern Africa from Portugal, France, Belgium and Britain, in addition to promising the Portuguese government financial support. Bertie blamed Admiral Tirpitz's sabre-rattling belligerence in the Persian Gulf where it coincidentally met with the Berlin-Baghdad Railway.
He sold the manor of North Weston (now in Great Haseley) and his lands there in 1913, and the estate was divided up.
Bertie was still ambassador in Paris when the First World War broke out in 1914. Although he was raised to the peerage as Baron Bertie of Thame, in the County of Oxford, in 1915,during the war he was frequently bypassed by special missions directly from the British government, particularly the military mission of Lord Esher, with whom he also came into personal conflict. After the February Revolution he advised the British government against the Romanovs being allowed to go into exile in France as the ex-Empress Alexandra was perceived as pro-German. When Bertie fell ill in April 1918, he was replaced by the Secretary of State for War, Lord Derby, and returned to England. On his retirement, Bertie was made Viscount Bertie of Thame, in the County of Oxford. In June 1919, he sold off the manors of Beckley and Horton-cum-Studley, Oxfordshire, which he had inherited from his father. He never fully recovered from his illness, dying in London on 26 September 1919.
Bertie married Lady Feodorowna Cecilia Wellesley (1838–1920), daughter of Henry Wellesley, 1st Earl Cowley and grandniece of the Duke of Wellington, in 1874. They had one child Vere, who succeeded in the viscountcy.
James Bryce, 1st Viscount Bryce, was a British academic, jurist, historian and Liberal politician.
Prince Arthur of Connaught was a British military officer and a grandson of Queen Victoria. He served as Governor-General of the Union of South Africa from 20 November 1920 to 21 January 1924.
Earl of Abingdon is a title in the Peerage of England. It was created on 30 November 1682 for James Bertie, 5th Baron Norreys of Rycote. He was the eldest son of Montagu Bertie, 2nd Earl of Lindsey by his second marriage to Bridget, 4th Baroness Norreys de Rycote, and the younger half-brother of Robert Bertie, 3rd Earl of Lindsey. His mother's family descended from Sir Henry Norris, who represented Berkshire and Oxfordshire in the House of Commons and served as Ambassador to France. In 1572 he was summoned by writ to Parliament as Lord Norreys de Rycote. He was succeeded by his grandson, the second Baron. In 1621 he was created Viscount Thame and Earl of Berkshire in the Peerage of England. He had no sons and on his death in 1624 the viscountcy and earldom became extinct. He was succeeded in the barony by his daughter Elizabeth, the third holder of the title. On her death the title passed to her daughter, the aforementioned Bridget, the fourth Baroness, second wife of the second Earl of Lindsey.
James Edward Hubert Gascoyne-Cecil, 4th Marquess of Salisbury,, known as Viscount Cranborne from 1868 to 1903, was a British statesman.
Charles Hardinge, 1st Baron Hardinge of Penshurst, was a British diplomat and statesman who served as Viceroy and Governor-General of India from 1910–16.
Aretas Akers-Douglas, 1st Viscount Chilston,, born Aretas Akers and known as Aretas Akers-Douglas between 1875 and 1911, was a British Conservative statesman who sat in the House of Commons from 1880 until he was raised to the peerage in 1911. He notably served as Home Secretary under Arthur Balfour between 1902 and 1905.
Count Hayashi Tadasu, GCVO was a Japanese career diplomat and cabinet minister in Meiji period Japan.
Edgar Vincent, 1st Viscount D'Abernon, was a British politician, diplomat, art collector and author.
Charles Robert Spencer, 6th Earl Spencer,, styled The Honourable Charles Spencer until 1905 and known as The Viscount Althorp between 1905 and 1910, was a British courtier and Liberal politician from the Spencer family. An MP from 1880 to 1895 and again from 1900 to 1905, he served as Vice-Chamberlain of the Household from 1892 to 1895. Raised to peerage as Viscount Althorp in 1905, he was Lord Chamberlain from 1905 to 1912 in the Liberal administrations headed by Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman and H. H. Asquith. In 1910, he succeeded his half-brother in the earldom of Spencer. He was married to Margaret Baring, a member of the Baring family. They were great-grandparents of Diana, Princess of Wales.
Sir Ernest Joseph Cassel, was a British merchant banker and capitalist. Born and raised in Prussia, he moved to Britain at the age of 17.
Viscount Bertie of Thame, in the County of Oxford, was a title in the Peerage of the United Kingdom. It was created in 1918 for the prominent diplomat Francis Bertie, 1st Baron Bertie of Thame, on his retirement as British Ambassador to France. He had already been created Baron Bertie of Thame, in the County of Oxford, in 1915, also in the Peerage of the United Kingdom. Bertie was the second son of Montagu Bertie, 6th Earl of Abingdon. Both titles became extinct on the death of his son, the second Viscount, in 1954.
Major Victor Albert Francis Charles Spencer, 1st Viscount Churchill, known as the Hon. Victor Albert Spencer until 1886 and as The Lord Churchill between 1886 and 1902, was a British peer and courtier.
Lieutenant-Colonel Arthur John Bigge, 1st Baron Stamfordham, was a British Army officer and courtier. He was Private Secretary to Queen Victoria during the last few years of her reign, and to George V during most of his reign. He was the maternal grandfather of Lord Adeane, Private Secretary to Elizabeth II from 1953 to 1972.
Frederick Edward Grey Ponsonby, 1st Baron Sysonby, was a British soldier and courtier.
Sir Francis Hyde Villiers was a British civil servant and diplomat who was ambassador to Portugal and Belgium.
John George Lambton, 3rd Earl of Durham, known as Viscount Lambton until 1879, was a British peer.
Herbert John Gladstone, 1st Viscount Gladstone, was a British Liberal statesman. The youngest son of William Ewart Gladstone, he was Home Secretary from 1905 to 1910 and Governor-General of the Union of South Africa from 1910 to 1914.
Sir Louis du Pan Mallet was a British diplomat who was Ambassador to Turkey at the outbreak of World War I.
| British Ambassador to Italy |
Sir Edmund Monson, Bt
| British Ambassador to France |
The Earl of Derby
|Peerage of the United Kingdom|
|New creation|| Viscount Bertie of Thame |
Vere Frederick Bertie
| Baron Bertie of Thame |