Horace James Seymour

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For Sir Horace Seymour MP (1791-1851), see Horace Seymour.

Sir Horace James Seymour GCMG CVO (26 February 1885 - 10 September 1978) was a British diplomat, Ambassador of the United Kingdom to China from 1942 to 1946.

Early life and family[edit]

The elder son of Hugh Francis Seymour and the grandson of Col. Hugh Henry Seymour, brother of the Peelite member of parliament Sir Horace Seymour (1791–1851), Seymour was educated at Eton and Trinity College, Cambridge.[1]

He was a descendant of many notable Seymours, including Admiral Lord Hugh Seymour, Francis Seymour-Conway, 1st Marquess of Hertford, and Edward Seymour, 1st Duke of Somerset. His great aunt, Adelaide Horatia Elizabeth Seymour (1825–1877) married Frederick Spencer, 4th Earl Spencer and became an ancestor of Diana, Princess of Wales.[2]

Career[edit]

Horace James Seymour's former residence in Washington, D.C.

Seymour entered the Foreign Office and Diplomatic Service in 1908. He was Second Secretary at the British Embassy to the United States in 1919, First Secretary in the Netherlands in 1923 and in Italy in 1925, then from 1932 to 1936 Principal Private Secretary to the British Foreign Secretary. He was next British Minister ('Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary') in Tehran, from 1936 to 1939, Assistant Under-Secretary of State at the Foreign Office, 1939 to 1942, and then British Ambassador to China, from 1942 to 1946. He retired in 1947.[1][3]

Between April 1947 and July 1947, he was a member of the Franco-Siamese Boundary Commission in Washington, D.C., and in December 1947 was appointed chairman of the British Delegation to the Balkans Commission, based at Salonika, in Greece.[3]

Marriage and children[edit]

Lady Seymour working at the registry of the British Embassy, Chungking

In 1917, Seymour married Violet, daughter of Thomas Edward Erskine, and they had three daughters, Jane (who died in infancy on 15 Aug 1918), Joan, and Virginia, and one son, Hugh Francis Seymour (born 14 December 1926).[3] They lived at Bratton House, Bratton, Westbury, Wiltshire.[1]

Honours[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g 'SEYMOUR, Sir Horace James', in Who Was Who, A & C Black, 1920–2007; online edition by Oxford University Press, December 2007 (subscription required): SEYMOUR, Sir Horace James, accessed 14 Aug 2008]
  2. ^ Lundy, Darryl. "Hugh Horatio Seymour". The Peerage. [unreliable source?], accessed 30 November 2008
  3. ^ a b c d Lundy, Darryl. "Sir Horace James Seymour". The Peerage. [unreliable source?], accessed 30 November 2008
Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Sir Walford Selby
Principal Private Secretary
to the Foreign Secretary

1932-1935
Succeeded by
Oliver, The Lord Harvey of Tasburgh
Preceded by
Hughe Knatchbull-Hugessen
British Ambassador to Iran
1936–1939
Succeeded by
Reader Bullard
Preceded by
Archibald Clark Kerr, 1st Baron Inverchapel
British Ambassador to China
1942–1946
Succeeded by
Sir Ralph Clarmont Skrine Stevenson