Hugh James Arbuthnott

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Hugh James Arbuthnott, CMG (born 27 December 1936) is a retired British diplomat.

Son of James Gordon Arbuthnott and Margaret Georgiana, née Hyde. Married to Vanessa Rose Dyer, has three sons, Dominic Hugh, Justin Edward James (died 1989), and Giles Sebastian.

Educated at Ampleforth College and New College, Oxford, Arbuthnott was also a 2nd Lieutenant in Black Watch. He then joined HM Foreign (subsequently Diplomatic) Service during the years of 1960–96. Arbuthnott then served as the Head of European Integration Department (External), FCO, from 1974 to 1978. As well, Arbuthnott served in Paris as Counsellor (Agricultural & Economic), and then as Head of Chancery 1978–83.

Between 1986 and 1989, he was HM Ambassador to Romania. As Ambassador, in 1989, he attempted to personally send a letter to the dissident Doina Cornea at her home in the Transylvanian city of Cluj-Napoca.[1] Securitate officers prevented him to do this, "pushing and manhandling" him, a behaviour that Britain described as "outrageous".[2] The official response of the Romanian authorities was that Hugh Arbuthnott "infringed traffic regulations" and that Cornea's activities were an internal matter of Romania.[2]

Between 1989 and 1993 he was the Ambassador to Portugal and between 1993 and 1996 to Denmark.

He is a coauthor of Hugh Arbuthnott and Geoffrey Edwards (eds.) (1989). Common Man's Guide to the Common Market. Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN 0-333-40913-2.CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link)



  1. ^ Dennis Deletant (1995). Ceaușescu and the Securitate: Coercion and Dissent in Romania, 1965–1989. M. E. Sharpe, London. p. 269. ISBN 1-56324-633-3.
  2. ^ a b "Britain Outraged at Romanian Behavior, Warns of Damaged Relations". AP. 21 February 1989. Retrieved 8 December 2012.
  3. ^ "No. 49583". The London Gazette. 31 December 1983. p. 4.

External links[edit]

Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Philip McKearney
British Ambassador to Romania
Succeeded by
Michael Atkinson
Preceded by
Michael Simpson-Orlebar
British Ambassador to Portugal
Succeeded by
Stephen Wall
Preceded by
Nigel Williams
British Ambassador to Denmark
Succeeded by
Andrew Bache