Born in Preston, the son of Joshua Milne Cheetham, MP, he was educated at Rossall School, from which he won a scholarship to Christ Church, Oxford. He studied classics at Oxford, after which he entered the diplomatic service. He served in Madrid, Paris, Tokyo, Berlin, Rome and Rio de Janeiro before being sent to Cairo in January 1910. When the United Kingdom declared its protectorate over Egypt in December 1914, he became acting High Commissioner, pending the arrival of Sir Henry McMahon. He took charge of the British Residency during the spring and fall of 1919, and thus had to confront the 1919 Revolution.
He later served in the British embassy in Paris, and was appointed minister to Switzerland in 1922. In 1924, he was appointed minister to Greece, after a two-year break in diplomatic relations. He was sent to Denmark in 1926, and retired in 1928.
Sir Milne Cheetham married twice. His first wife was Anastasia Muravieva (aka Mouravieff) CBE (died 1976), stepdaughter of Nikolay Muraviev, the Russian Empire's Minister of Justice and later ambassador to Italy. They married in 1907 and divorced in 1923.
- "Annual Register" (snippet view). 1939: 415. Retrieved 1 March 2010.
- Goldschmidt, Arthur (2000). Biographical Dictionary of Modern Egypt. Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner Publishers. p. 42. ISBN 978-1-55587-229-8. OCLC 52401049.
- "no. 32781". The London Gazette. 29 December 1922. p. 9161. Retrieved 1 March 2010.
- "no. 32914". The London Gazette. 29 February 1924. p. 1822. Retrieved 21 February 2010.
- Stillwell, Stephen Joseph (2003). Anglo-Turkish Relations in the Interwar Era (snippet view). Volume 73 of Studies in British History. Lewiston, NY: Edwin Mellen Press. p. 182. ISBN 978-0-7734-6776-7. OCLC 51553133. Retrieved 21 February 2010.
- Foreign Office (1965). The Foreign Office List and Diplomatic and Consular Year Book (snippet view). 137. London, UK: Harrison and Sons. p. 489. OCLC 59626229. Retrieved 1 March 2010.
- Mosley, Charles, ed. (2003). Burke's Peerage, Baronetage & Knightage. 1 (107th ed.). Wilmington, Delaware: Burke's Peerage & Gentry. p. 1308. ISBN 978-0-9711966-2-9. OCLC 150226262. Retrieved 1 March 2010.
- Who Was Who: A Companion to Who's Who, Containing the Biographies of Those who Died During the Period 1929–1940 (snippet view). 3. London, UK: Adam & Charles Black. 1941. p. 244. OCLC 223100078. Retrieved 1 March 2010.
- "Sir Nicolas Cheetham obituary". The Daily Telegraph. 23 January 2002. Retrieved 1 March 2010.
- Mosley, Charles, ed. (2003). Burke's Peerage, Baronetage & Knightage. 2 (107th ed.). Wilmington, Delaware: Burke's Peerage & Gentry. p. 1887. ISBN 978-0-9711966-2-9. OCLC 150226262. Retrieved 1 March 2010.
as Agent and Consul-General
|Acting British High Commissioner to Egypt
December 1914 – January 1915
Sir Henry McMahon
as High Commissioner
Hon. Odo Russell
|British Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary to Switzerland
Break in diplomatic relations
Title last held bySir Francis Lindley
|British Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary to Greece
Sir Percy Loraine
|British Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary to Denmark
Sir Thomas Hohler
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