Edward Grey, 1st Viscount Grey of Fallodon

Edward Grey, 1st Viscount Grey of Fallodon, KG, PC, DL, FZS (25 April 1862 – 7 September 1933), better known as Sir Edward Grey, was a British Liberal statesman and the main force behind British foreign policy in the era of the First World War.


The Viscount Grey of Fallodon

Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs
In office
10 December 1905  10 December 1916
Prime MinisterSir Henry Campbell-Bannerman
H. H. Asquith
Preceded byThe Marquess of Lansdowne
Succeeded byArthur Balfour
British Ambassador to the United States
In office
1919–1920
MonarchGeorge V
PresidentWoodrow Wilson
Prime MinisterDavid Lloyd George
Preceded byThe Earl of Reading
Succeeded bySir Auckland Geddes
Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs
In office
18 August 1892  20 June 1895
Prime MinisterWilliam Ewart Gladstone
The Earl of Rosebery
Preceded byJames Lowther
Succeeded byHon. George Curzon
Member of Parliament
for Berwick-upon-Tweed
In office
1885–1916
Preceded byHubert Jerningham
David Milne Home
Succeeded byFrancis Blake
Personal details
Born(1862-04-25)25 April 1862
London, England
Died7 September 1933(1933-09-07) (aged 71)
Fallodon, England
NationalityBritish
Political partyLiberal
Spouse(s)(1) Dorothy Widdrington (20 October 1885 – 4 February 1906) (2) Pamela Wyndham (d. 18 November 1928)
RelationsHouse of Grey
Alma materBalliol College, Oxford
ProfessionPolitician

An adherent of the "New Liberalism",[1] he served as foreign secretary from 1905 to 1916, the longest continuous tenure of any holder of that office. He renewed the 1902 alliance with Japan in 1911. The centrepiece of his policy was the defence of France against German aggression, while avoiding a binding alliance with Paris. He supported France in the Moroccan crises of 1905 and 1911. Another major achievement was the Anglo-Russian entente of 1907. He resolved an outstanding conflict with Germany over the Baghdad railway in 1913, but successfully convinced the cabinet that Britain had an obligation and was honour-bound to defend France, and prevent Germany from controlling Western Europe in August 1914. Once the war began, there was little role for his diplomacy; he lost office in December 1916. He was a leading British supporter of the League of Nations.

He is remembered for his "the lamps are going out" remark on 3 August 1914 on the outbreak of the First World War.[2] He signed the Sykes-Picot Agreement on 16 May 1916.[3] He was ennobled in 1916, prior to which he was the 3rd Baronet Grey of Fallodon, and was Ambassador to the United States between 1919 and 1920 and Leader of the Liberal Party in the House of Lords between 1923 and 1924.