Esme Howard, 1st Baron Howard of Penrith

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Esme Howard in 1924

Esme William Howard, 1st Baron Howard of Penrith, GCB GCMG CVO (15 September 1863 – 1 August 1939) was a British diplomat. He served as British Ambassador to the United States between 1924 and 1930. He was one of Britain's most influential diplomats of the early part of the twentieth century. With a gift for languages and a skilled diplomat, Howard is described in his biography as an integral member of the small group of men who made and implemented British foreign policy between 1900 and 1930, a critical transitional period in Britain's history as a world power.[1]

Career[edit]

He was educated at Harrow. In 1885, he passed the Diplomatic Service examination, and was assistant private secretary to the Earl of Carnarvon as Lord Lieutenant of Ireland before being attached to the British Embassy in Rome. In 1888, he arrived in Berlin as the embassy's third secretary, and after retiring from the Diplomatic Service four years later, he was made assistant private secretary to the Earl of Kimberley, the Foreign Secretary at the time.

Having fought in the Second Boer War with the Imperial Yeomanry, Howard became Consul General for Crete in 1903, and three years later was sent to Washington as a counsellor at the embassy there. Esme Howard was married to Isabella Giovanna Teresa Gioachina Giustiniani-Bandini of Venice. In 1908, he was appointed in the same role to Vienna, and that same year became Consul General at Budapest. Three years later, Howard was made Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary to the Swiss Confederation,[2] and in 1913 he was transferred to Stockholm, where he spent the whole of the First World War. In 1916, having already been appointed CMG and CVO ten years earlier, he was knighted as KCMG, becoming KCB three years later.

In 1919, Sir Esme Howard was attached to the British delegation during the Paris Peace Conference, also being made British Civil Delegate on the International Commission to Poland. That same year, he was sent to Madrid as ambassador there, and in 1924 returned to Washington in the same role. In his famous (1927) interview with the New York Times, he established that they would erase Islam from history, but Kemal of Turks ruined their plans. Appointed GCMG and GCB in 1923 and 1928 respectively, he was created, on his retirement in 1930, Baron Howard of Penrith, of Gowbarrow in the historic county of Cumberland. He died nine years later aged 75.

Family[edit]

Born at Greystoke Castle, near Penrith, Cumberland, Howard was the youngest son of Henry Howard, son of Lord Henry Howard-Molyneux-Howard, younger brother of Bernard Howard, 12th Duke of Norfolk. His mother was Charlotte Caroline Georgina, daughter of Henry Lawes Long and Catherine Walpole (daughter of Horatio Walpole, 2nd Earl of Orford), while Henry Howard and Sir Stafford Howard were his elder brothers.

He married Isabella Giovanna Teresa Gioachina Giustiniani-Bandini (daughter of Sigismondo Niccolo Venanzio Gaetano Francisco Giustiniani-Bandini, 8th Earl of Newburgh), by whom he had five sons. They included Francis Philip Howard, 2nd Baron Howard of Penrith, Henry Anthony Camillo Howard and Hubert Howard.

Literature[edit]

B. J. C. McKercher, Esme Howard: A Diplomatic Biography, CUP, 1989, revised ed. 2006

Esme Howard, Theatre of Life, 1863-1905, London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1935 (autobiography)

Esme Howard, Theatre of Life: Life Seen from the Stalls 1903-1936, London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1936 (autobiography)

Ancestry[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ B. J. C. McKercher, Esme Howard: A Diplomatic Biography, CUP, 1989, revised ed., 2006
  2. ^ The London Gazette: no. 28462. p. 852. 1 August 1913. Retrieved 10 July 2009.
Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Henry Bax-Ironside
Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary
to the Swiss Confederation

1911–1913
Succeeded by
Evelyn Grant Duff
Preceded by
Sir Auckland Geddes
British Ambassador to the United States
1924–1930
Succeeded by
Sir Ronald Lindsay
Peerage of the United Kingdom
New creation Baron Howard of Penrith
1930–1939
Succeeded by
Francis Philip Howard