Henry Drummond Wolff

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Caricature from Punch, 1882

Sir Henry Drummond-Wolff GCB, GCMG, PC (1830 – 11 October 1908) was an English diplomat and Conservative Party politician, who started as a clerk in the Foreign Office.[1]

Background[edit]

Wolff was the son of Georgiana Mary (née Walpole) and Joseph Wolff.[2][3] His father was a missionary who had been born Jewish, and his mother a descendant of Prime Minister Robert Walpole.

Political and diplomatic career[edit]

Drummond Wolff sat in parliament for Christchurch from 1874 to 1880 and for Portsmouth from 1880 to 1885. Whilst MP for Christchurch he lived in Boscombe, where he developed the Boscombe Spa estate, and he played an active role in the public life of Bournemouth. In 1870 presented the Bournemouth Rowing Club with a four oared racing galley. He was one of the group known as the Fourth Party.

In 1885 he went on a special mission to Constantinople and Egypt in connection with the Eastern Question,[4] and as a result various awkward difficulties, hinging on the Sultan's suzerainty, were addressed. Wolff negotiated a settlement whereby Britain and Turkey would each appoint a commissioner to Egypt to help the khedive's government conduct reforms of the army and the government. Wolff then assumed the role of British high commissioner in Egypt from 1885[5] to 1887. He was appointed Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary to Teheran in 1888, a post he held until 1891, and was then Ambassador to Madrid from 1892 to 1900.

Drummond Wolff was a notable raconteur, and he did good service to the Conservative Party by helping to found the Primrose League. He was appointed a Knight Commander of the Order of St Michael and St George (KCMG) in 1862 for various services abroad. He was advanced to Knight Grand Cross of the Order of St Michael and St George (GCMG) in 1878 and made a Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath (GCB) in 1889.

Family[edit]

Drummond Wolff's only daughter, Lucas Cleeve, was a novelist.[6] Her son Algernon Kingscote was a notable tennis player. Drummond Wolff's grandson Henry Maxence Cavendish Drummond Wolff was briefly the Conservative Member of Parliament for Basingstoke.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Biography of Joseph Woolf at the Jewish Encyclopedia
  2. ^ http://www.cwi.org.uk/library/articles/HATA.html
  3. ^ http://www.thepeerage.com/p3833.htm#i38326
  4. ^ The London Gazette: no. 25502. p. 3848. 18 August 1885.
  5. ^ The London Gazette: no. 25528. p. 5129. 10 November 1885.
  6. ^ Lorna Sage, Germaine Greer, Elaine Showalter (1999). "Cleeve, Lucas". The Cambridge guide to women's writing in English. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-66813-2. 

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Edmund Haviland-Burke
Member of Parliament for Christchurch
18741880
Succeeded by
Horace Davey
Preceded by
Thomas Charles Bruce
Sir James Dalrymple-Horn-Elphinstone, Bt
Member of Parliament for Portsmouth
18801885
With: Thomas Charles Bruce
Succeeded by
Sir William Crossman
Philip Vanderbyl
Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
High Commissioner to Egypt
1885–1887
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Ronald Ferguson Thomson
Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary
1888–1891
Succeeded by
Sir Frank Lascelles
Preceded by
Sir Clare Ford
Ambassador to Spain
1892–1900
Succeeded by
Sir Mortimer Durand