Dimitar Stanchov

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Dimitar Stanchov
Димитър Станчов
15th Prime Minister of Bulgaria
In office
Acting: 12 – 16 March 1907
Monarch Ferdinand
Preceded by Dimitar Petkov
Succeeded by Petar Gudev
Personal details
Born 21 May 1863
Svishtov, Ottoman Empire
Died 23 March 1940(1940-03-23) (aged 76)
Sofia, Bulgaria

Dimitar Yanev Stanchov, sometimes transliterated as Dimitri Stancioff (Bulgarian: Димитър Янев Станчов) (21 May 1863, in Svishtov – 23 March 1940, in Sofia), was a Bulgarian diplomat and politician who briefly served as Prime Minister.

Early life[edit]

Stanchov came from a leading family of Bulgarian merchants who had lived for three generations in Svishtov, although they had originated in Berat.[1] The third of four children, his family was rich but non-aristocratic and were closely associated with support for Bulgarian as an independent state rather than a vassal of the Ottoman Empire.[2] Stanchov was educated at the Theresianum in Vienna and following his graduation entered the diplomatic service rather than the career in business that had initially been envisaged for him.[3] Both as a result of what he learned in the education system of the Habsburg Empire and due to his enthusiasm for Bulgaria's new independence under her own monarch the young Stanchov became a staunch and lifelong royalist.[4]

Diplomatic and political career[edit]

Stanchov in 1896

Stanchov first came to prominence in 1887 when Ferdinand I of Bulgaria as modern Bulgaria's second prince and the head of the Theresianum recommended Stanchov to him for the role of the prince's private secretary, Ferdinand requiring someone who was equally comfortable in his native German as well as Bulgarian.[5]

He served as ambassador to France from 1908 to 1915[6] although he interrupted his service during the First Balkan War to enrol in the Bulgarian Army. Although his duties mostly involved dealing with overseas journalists who were reporting on the war he was awarded a medal for bravery during a brief spell of frontline action near Salonika.[7] Other ambassadorial roles he held included to the United Kingdom (1908 and 1920–1921), Belgium (1910–1915 and 1922–1924), Italy (1915) and the Netherlands (1922–1924).

Stanchov was acting Prime Minister from 12–16 March 1907 following the assassination of Dimitar Petkov and before the accession of Petar Gudev.[8] He also served as foreign minister in two cabinets. He actively opposed Bulgaria's entry in World War I, for which he was temporarily removed from duty. In 1919, after Bulgaria's defeat, he was the secretary of the Bulgarian delegation at the signing of the Treaty of Neuilly-sur-Seine. He resigned from his diplomatic positions in 1924 due to disagreements with the right-wing policies of Aleksandar Tsankov's cabinet.

From 1925 to 1929 Stanchov was president of the Bulgarian Olympic Committee.[9]

Personal life[edit]

Stanchov married the noblewoman Anna de Grenaud (1861-1955) in 1889 and they had five children: Alexander (1890-1891), Nadezhda (1894-1957), Feodora (1895-1969), Ivan (1897-1972) and Helene (1901-1966).[10] One of the couple's daughters, Nadezhda Stanchova Muir, became Bulgaria's first woman on diplomatic service during the 1910s and 1920s with her brother Ivan also a leading diplomat.[10] In 1957 Stanchova Muir published a hagiographical biography of her father Dmitri Stancioff, Patriot and Cosmopolitan.[11] Marion Mitchell (Stancioff) Stanchov, who was an American by birth, left Bulgaria in 1942 and eventually settled in Urbana, Maryland with her husband Ivan Stanchov .[12] Another relative, Poliksaniia (1867-1947), was the wife of Stefan Stambolov.[13]

A grandson, Ivan Stanchov, served as ambassador of Bulgaria to the United Kingdom and to Ireland (1991–1994) and as minister of foreign affairs in Reneta Indzhova's caretaker government (October 1994–January 1995).


  1. ^ Mari Agop Firkatian, Diplomats and Dreamers: The Stancioff Family in Bulgarian History, University Press of America, 2008, pp. 13-14
  2. ^ Firkatian, Diplomats and Dreamers, p. 14
  3. ^ Firkatian, Diplomats and Dreamers, pp. 14-15
  4. ^ Firkatian, Diplomats and Dreamers, p. 15
  5. ^ Firkatian, Diplomats and Dreamers, p. 20
  6. ^ Aubrey Herbert, Albania's Greatest Friend: Aubrey Herbert and the Making of Modern Albania: Diaries and Papers 1904-1923, IB Tauris, 2011, p. 117
  7. ^ Firkatian, Diplomats and Dreamers, p. 109
  8. ^ Rulers - Bulgaria
  9. ^ Председатели на БОК
  10. ^ a b Firkatian, Diplomats and Dreamers, p. 13
  11. ^ Frederick B. Chary, The History of Bulgaria, ABC-CLIO, 2011, p. 195
  12. ^ Ezra Pound, Olivia Rossetti Agresti, Demetres P. Tryphonopoulos, Leon Surette, I Cease Not to Yowl: Ezra Pound's Letters to Olivia Rossetti Agresti, University of Illinois Press, 1998, p. 288
  13. ^ Duncan M. Perry, Stefan Stambolov and the Emergence of Modern Bulgaria: 1870-1895, Duke University Press, 1993, p. 31