Evelyn Shuckburgh

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Sir Charles Arthur Evelyn Shuckburgh, GCMG, CB (26 May 1909 – 12 December 1994), better known as Sir Evelyn Shuckburgh, was a British diplomat. In the 1950s he was at the heart of affairs in London, as Principal Private Secretary to the Foreign Secretary, Anthony Eden, and from 1954 to 1956 as Assistant Under-Secretary at the Foreign Office in charge of Middle East affairs. In 1986 he published the diaries he wrote during the Suez Crisis, titled Descent to Suez.[1][2]

Family and education[edit]

He was the son of Sir John Evelyn Shuckburgh,[3] an under-secretary at the Colonial Office, and was educated at Winchester and King's College, Cambridge.

Professional career[edit]

Shuckburgh entered the Diplomatic Service in 1933, spending his early years in Egypt, Canada, Argentina and Czechoslovakia. In Egypt, during the years preceding the Second World War, he was for a time Private Secretary to Sir Miles Lampson, the British Ambassador to Egypt. He served as chargé d'affaires in Argentina in 1944.[1]

Shuckburgh returned to the Foreign Office in 1947. After heading up three successive regional departments, he was recommended in 1951 for the post of Private Secretary to the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs; Ernest Bevin had retired in March of that year, to be succeeded by Herbert Morrison for a seven-month period, followed by Anthony Eden when the Conservative Party took power that autumn. In the succeeding three years Eden and Shuckburgh were involved in the post-war reorganisation of Western Europe which led up to the creation of the Common Market, in negotiations in Korea and Indochina, and in making an agreement with Egypt over the withdrawal of British forces from the Suez Canal Zone.[1]

After a period at the Imperial Defence College, Shuckburgh served at the headquarters of NATO in Paris, in 1958, as Assistant Secretary-General. He was British Permanent Representative to the North Atlantic Council from 1962 to 1966. He spoke Italian fluently and his final posting was as Ambassador to Italy from 1966 to 1969.[1]

Later life[edit]

After retiring in 1969, Shuckburgh returned to Britain and lived in the Chilterns. During the 1970s he chaired his local committee for the National Trust.[1] He also worked for the British Red Cross; he was Chairman of both its executive committee and its council.[4]

Shuckburgh died on 12 December 1994 in Watlington, Oxfordshire.[1]

Personal life[edit]

On 25 September 1937, Shuckburgh married Nancy Mildred Gladys Brett, daughter of The 3rd Viscount Esher. They had a daughter, Catherine (born 1939), and two sons, Julian John Evelyn (30 July 1940 - 23 September 2021) and Robin Anthony (born 1948).[5]


Shuckburgh's papers, including personal diaries and letters, are held at the Cadbury Research Library (University of Birmingham).[6]


  1. ^ a b c d e f Roderick Barclay (19 December 1994). "Obituaries: Sir Evelyn Shuckburgh". The Independent.
  2. ^ A & C Black (1994). "SHUCKBURGH, Sir (Charles Arthur) Evelyn". Who Was Who, online edition. Oxford University Press. Retrieved 2 May 2012.
  3. ^ "Sir John Evelyn Shuckburgh". thePeerage.com. 15 March 2010.
  4. ^ "Chairmen of the Standing Commission: Evelyn Shuckburgh (1977–81)". International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement. Archived from the original on 21 November 2004. Retrieved 22 October 2011.
  5. ^ "Sir Charles Arthur Evelyn Shuckburgh". thePeerage.com. 15 March 2010.
  6. ^ "UoB Calmview5: Search results". calmview.bham.ac.uk. Retrieved 1 March 2021.

External links[edit]

Diplomatic posts
Preceded by Principal Private Secretary
to the Foreign Secretary

Succeeded by
Preceded by British Permanent Representative
on the North Atlantic Council

Succeeded by
Preceded by British Ambassador
to Italy

Succeeded by