British Diplomatic Passport For Attache Nigel Law 1914

British Diplomatic Passport For Attache Nigel Law 1914

Issued 22 June in Vienna and signed by Ambassador Sir Maurice William Ernest de Bunsen, French visa on back. Excellent condition and rare! Bunsen was earlier also Ambassador to Spain. A fantastic British document crisp and clean.
Nigel Walter Law was born in March 1890 the son of Sir William Algernon Law (who was the son of Hon. William Towry Law). He was educated at Eton, graduating from Trinity College Cambridge in 1912 and became 1st Secretary, Diplomatic Service.  He was with the Ministry of Economic Warfare, Ministry of Information and the Foreign Office during the second world war. In 1929 he became the second husband of Anastasia Muravieff, daughter of Nicholas Muravieff, Russian Ambassador to Italy. She was appointed Dame of Grace, Most Venerable Order of the The Hospital of St John of Jerusalem, and was also appointed a Companion of the British Empire (CBE). Nigel died in April 1967. (Thank you for your input Sandie Law!)
British Diplomatic Passport For Attache Nigel Law 1914
British Diplomatic Passport For Attache Nigel Law 1914

Sir Maurice William Ernest de Bunsen, 1st Baronet GCMG GCVO CB PC (8 January 1852 – 21 February 1932), was a British diplomat. De Bunsen was the son of Ernest de Bunsen, second son of Baron von Bunsen, Prussian ambassador to London, by Elizabeth Gurney. He was educated at Rugby School, and Christ Church, Oxford, and entered the diplomatic service in 1877.
De Bunsen was appointed Third Secretary in 1879 and Second secretary in 1883, then served as Secretary of Legation in Tokyo 1891–1894, and as Consul- General in Siam 1894–1897. He was Secretary at Constantinople 1897–1902, Secretary of Embassy and Minister Plenipotentiary at Paris 1902–1905, and saw his first posting as head of station when he was appointed British Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary at Lisbon in 1905. He was British Ambassador to Spain between 1906 and 1913 and to Austria between 1913 and 1914.

On 16 July 1914, reporting on what he had been told the previous day at a lunch with Count Heinrich von Lützow, who had learned of the planned aggression against Serbia and was trying to derail what he saw as a coming war, told Sir Edward Grey that “a kind of indictment is being prepared against the Servian Government for alleged complicity in the conspiracy which led to the assassination of the Archduke” and that “the Servian Government will be required to adopt certain definite measures in restraint of nationalistic and anarchistic propaganda, and that Austro-Hungarian Government are in no mood to parley with Servia, but will insist on immediate unconditional compliance, failing which force will be used. Germany is said to be in complete agreement with this procedure.” An old hand at the diplomatic game, Von Lutzow made a friend of Bunsen feeling obliged to disclose the truth.

However he was a thorough, diligent public servant, and an efficient administrator, who would prove an exemplary wartime record. Reserved, modest and decorous, Sir Maurice would later be forced to resign, but he showed a shrewd alertness to the July crisis. So when he visited Berchtold at his country estate, Buchlau on the 17th they shared a passion for horses. He cabled Sir Arthur Nicholson from Vienna warning him that it was a very grave situation; Austria intended to “compel” Serbia to yield.

British Diplomatic Passport For Attache Nigel Law 1914

His wife recorded in her diary

A strong note with ultimatum Lutzow told M is to be sent in the next week probably not acceptable to Serbia.

Whilst he may have believed Austrian innocence Grey had already received the importance of the message loud and clear.

The Foreign Minister was reassuringly “charming,” and the British showed no further curiosity about the leak of vital information. When on 25 July 1914 Serbia rejected Austria’s Ultimatum de Bunsen wrote to Sir Edward Grey “…vast crowds parading the streets and singing patriotic songs till the small hours of the morning.” Within a week, the rest of Europe was aflame, and he was recalled to London after the outbreak of the First World War.

He headed the De Bunsen Committee in 1915, established to determine British wartime policy toward the Ottoman Empire, and was also head of a special mission to South America in 1918. He retired from the diplomatic service in 1919.

De Bunsen was sworn of the Privy Council in 1906 and created a baronet, of Abbey Lodge, Hanover Gate, in the Metropolitan borough of Saint Marylebone, in 1919. He died in February 1932, aged 80, when the baronetcy became extinct.

De Bunsen married, in 1899, Bertha Mary Lowry-Corry. They had four daughters, including:

  • Hilda Violet Helena de Bunsen, married firstly Major Guy Yerburgh (d 1926), and secondly Major-General Sir Guy Salisbury-Jones
  • Elizabeth Cicely de Bunsen, married Lieutenant Colonel Archibald Vivien Campbell Douglas (1902–1977)

British Diplomatic Passport For Attache Nigel Law 1914

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  1. Nigal Law was member of the Foreign Office, First Secretary in the Diplomatic Service, later with the UK Ministry of Information, French Department. And mentioned by Franklin D. Roosevelt as one of the few British diplomats he could talk with (1914). Nigel is also mentioned in the Lucy Mercer affair of FDR.
    [ see also book: Young Mr. Roosevelt: FDR’s Introduction to War, Politics, and Life, Stanley Weintraub; Hachette UK, 8 okt. 2013 – 288 pages ]

    1. Thank you for your input Sandie Law. I updated the article with your information. How is your relation to Nigel? How did you find me? Cheers Tom.

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