Frank Lascelles

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Sir Frank Lascelles.

Sir Frank Cavendish Lascelles GCB, GCMG, GCVO, PC (23 March 1841 – 2 January 1920) was a British diplomat. He served as Ambassador to both Russia and Germany.

Background and education[edit]

Lascelles was born in London, the fifth son of the Honourable William Lascelles, third son of Henry Lascelles, 2nd Earl of Harewood. His mother was Lady Caroline Georgiana Howard, daughter of George Howard, 6th Earl of Carlisle. He was educated at Harrow and joined the Diplomatic Service in 1861.

Diplomatic career[edit]

Lascelles served in junior positions at the British embassies in Madrid, Paris, Rome, Washington D.C. and Athens and was Consul-General in Egypt from 20 March to 10 October 1879, during the last years of the reign of Khedive Isma'il Pasha.[1] In 1879 Lascelles became Consul-General in Bulgaria, which had been an autonomous principality since the Treaty of Berlin of 1878. He remained in Bulgaria until 1887, and was then Minister (similar to ambassador) to Romania from 1887 to 1891 and to Persia from 1891 to 1894, where his niece Gertrude Bell visited him, starting a lifelong passion for travel. He served briefly as Ambassador to Russia between 1894 to 1895, but the latter year he was appointed to succeeded Sir Edward Malet as Ambassador to Germany.

His tenure in Berlin saw the growing estrangement between Germany and the United Kingdom and Lascelles notably had to deal with the effects of the Kruger telegram only days after his arrival. His relationship with Emperor William II were always cordial but he was known to resent the policies of Chancellor Bernhard von Bülow. He resigned as Ambassador in 1908 but continued to exercise influence over Anglo-German relations up until the First World War. Lascelles was made a KCMG in 1886, a GCMG in 1892, a GCB in 1897 and a GCVO in 1904 and was admitted to the Privy Council in 1892.


Funerary monument, Brompton Cemetery, London.

Lascelles married Mary Emma Olliffe (1845–1897), daughter of Sir Joseph Francis Olliffe, in 1869. They had three children:

  • William Frank Lascelles (21 March 1863 – 8 March 1913), married Lady Sybil Beauclerk, daughter of William Beauclerk, 10th Duke of St Albans.
  • Gerald Claud Lascelles (19 July 1869 – 26 June 1919), married Cecil Raffo.
  • Florence Caroline Lascelles (27 January 1876 – 9 December 1961), married Sir Cecil Spring Rice.

Lascelles survived his wife by over twenty years and died in January 1920, aged 78. He is buried in Brompton Cemetery, London.


  1. ^ Baring, Evelyn (2005) [First published 1908]. "Appendix: British Agents and Consuls-General in Egypt". Modern Egypt. Elibron Classics. Vol. 2. Adamant Media Corporation. p. 574. ISBN 978-1-4021-7830-6. OCLC 283798084. 


  • Davies, H. W. C.; Weaver, J. R. H (editors). The Dictionary of National Biography: 1912-1921. Oxford University Press, 1927.
Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
The Lord Vivian
British Agent and Consul-General in Egypt
Succeeded by
Edward Malet
Preceded by
Sir Robert Burnett David Morier
British Ambassador to Russia
Succeeded by
Sir Nicholas Roderick O'Conor
Preceded by
Sir Edward Malet
British Ambassador to Germany
Succeeded by
Sir Edward Goschen