Francis Hyde Villiers

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Sir Francis Hyde Villiers GCMG GCVO CB PC (13 August 1852 – 18 November 1925) was a British civil servant and diplomat who was ambassador to Portugal and Belgium.

Career[edit]

The youngest son of George Villiers, 4th Earl of Clarendon, Francis Villiers was educated at Harrow School and entered the Foreign Office in 1870. He was appointed Acting Second Secretary in the Diplomatic Service in 1885,[1] and served as Private Secretary to the Foreign Secretary, Lord Rosebery, in 1886 and 1892–94, and Acting Private Secretary to Lord Salisbury in 1887. From 1896 to 1905 he was Assistant Under Secretary at the Foreign Office. In 1906 he was appointed to be Minister to Portugal,[2] and in 1911 he was transferred to be Minister to Belgium.[3]

When the German army invaded Belgium in 1914 the Belgian Government retreated first to Antwerp and then to Le Havre (although King Albert remained in De Panne commanding the Belgian Army) and Villiers accompanied it until the end of the war, when he returned to Brussels. After the peace treaty had been signed, the British Legation at Brussels was raised to an Embassy and Villiers was promoted to Ambassador in October 1919.[4] He retired in August 1920.

Honours[edit]

Francis Villiers was appointed CB in 1894,[5] knighted KCMG in 1906 on his appointment to Portugal,[6] given the additional knighthood of GCVO on the occasion of the King of Portugal's visit to England in 1909[7] and promoted GCMG in the New Year Honours of 1918.[8] He was appointed to the Privy Council in August 1919.[9]

The King of Portugal gave him the Grand Cross of the Order of Christ, and the King of the Belgians gave him the Grand Cross of the Order of Leopold.

Offices held[edit]

Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Sir Eric Barrington
Principal Private Secretary to the Foreign Secretary
1886, 1892–1894
Succeeded by
Sir Eric Barrington
Preceded by
Sir Martin Gosselin
Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary at the Court of His Majesty the King of Portugal
1906–1911
Succeeded by
Sir Arthur Hardinge
Preceded by
Sir Arthur Hardinge
Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary at the Court of His Majesty the King of the Belgians
1911–1919
Succeeded by
himself, as Ambassador
Preceded by
himself, as Minister
Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to His Majesty the King of the Belgians
1919–1920
Succeeded by
Sir George Grahame

References[edit]

  1. ^ "No. 25462". The London Gazette. 17 April 1885. p. 1739.
  2. ^ "No. 27887". The London Gazette. 20 February 1906. p. 1223.
  3. ^ "No. 28540". The London Gazette. 10 October 1911. p. 7372.
  4. ^ "No. 31616". The London Gazette. 24 October 1919. p. 13024.
  5. ^ "No. 26495". The London Gazette. 16 March 1894. p. 1589.
  6. ^ "No. 27879". The London Gazette. 30 January 1906. p. 689.
  7. ^ "No. 28311". The London Gazette. 23 November 1909. p. 8665.
  8. ^ "No. 30451". The London Gazette (Supplement). 28 December 1917. p. 82.
  9. ^ "No. 31593". The London Gazette. 10 October 1919. p. 12529.

External links[edit]