Henry Howard (diplomat)
Henry Howard was the elder son of Sir Henry Francis Howard, also a British diplomat and ambassador, and through him was a descendant of Lord William Howard, younger son of Thomas Howard, 4th Duke of Norfolk. As a member of the Howard family he was a Roman Catholic and was educated at Downside School.
He joined the Diplomatic Service as an attaché to the Legation in Washington, D.C. in 1865. He was promoted to Third Secretary in 1869 and to Second Secretary in 1873. While in Washington he was Her Majesty's Agent for British claims under the Treaty of Washington (1871). For this service he was appointed CB in 1874 after leaving Washington. He then served in The Hague, and in early 1876 was in London as secretary to a Royal Commission on Fugitive Slaves. After this he was posted back to Washington, then to Guatemala in 1883.
In 1885 Howard was promoted again to be Secretary to the legation at Athens, and subsequently held the same post at the legations at Copenhagen, Peking and St Petersburg. In 1894 he was appointed Secretary to the embassy at Paris. In 1896 he was appointed minister to the Netherlands and also to Luxembourg. While at The Hague, Howard was knighted KCMG in January 1899 and a few months later he was named as British co-representative (with Sir Julian Pauncefote) at the Hague Convention of 1899. Sir Henry was given the additional honour of KCB in the King's Birthday Honours of 1907. In October 1908 he left The Hague after presenting his letters of recall to Queen Wilhelmina, who conferred on him the Order of Orange-Nassau. Some of his furniture and effects were shipped on the Great Eastern Railway Company's ship Yarmouth which sank with all hands on its way from Hook of Holland to Harwich on 27 October 1908.
In December 1914, after the outbreak of the First World War, Sir Henry was appointed "His Majesty's Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary on a Special Mission to His Holiness the Pope" (Benedict XV, who had been elected that September). Sir Henry was accompanied by a member of Foreign Office staff to be Secretary of the mission. This appointment established full diplomatic relations with the Holy See for the first time since 1558 (although the United Kingdom had been intermittently represented at the Vatican during the 19th century by diplomats accredited to Italian states). Sir Henry's instructions, in a letter to him from the Foreign Secretary, Sir Edward Grey, were published in a parliamentary paper (Cd.7736):
You will ... in presenting your letters of credence to his Holiness, and offering him the cordial congratulations of his Majesty the King on the occasion of his election, intimate to him that his Majesty's Government are anxious to put themselves into direct communication with him for the purpose of demonstrating the motives which have governed their attitude since the first moment that the normal relations between the Great Powers of Europe began to be disturbed and of establishing that his Majesty's Government used every effort to maintain the peace of Europe which his Holiness' venerated predecessor had so much at heart.
In August 1916 Sir Henry retired from the Diplomatic Service and was appointed GCMG "in recognition of his long and eminent services, and on the occasion of his retirement." He died in Rome on 4 May 1921.
Sir Horace Rumbold, 8th Baronet
|Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary to the Court of The Hague and Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary to His Royal Highness the Grand Duke of Luxemburg
|Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary on a Special Mission to His Holiness the Pope
John Francis Charles, 7th Count de Salis-Soglio
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