Edwin Henry Egerton

Sir Edwin Henry Egerton, GCMG, KCB, PC (8 November 1841 – 8 July 1916) was a British diplomat who was envoy to Greece and ambassador to Spain and Italy.

Sir Edwin Egerton

British Ambassador to Italy
In office
Preceded bySir Francis Bertie
Succeeded bySir Rennell Rodd
British Ambassador to Spain
In office
Preceded bySir Mortimer Durand
Succeeded bySir Arthur Nicolson
British Ambassador to Greece
In office
Preceded byHon. Edmund Monson
Succeeded bySir Francis Elliot
Personal details
Born8 November 1841
Died8 July 1916 (1916-07-09) (aged 74)


Edwin Egerton was educated at Eton College, and joined the Diplomatic Service in 1859 as an attaché at St Petersburg.[1] He was Secretary of Legation at Buenos Aires 1879–1881[2] and at Athens 1881–85;[3] Consul-General in Egypt 1884–85; Secretary of Embassy at Constantinople in 1885[4] and at Paris during 1885–86;[5] Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary to Greece 1892–1903;[6] Ambassador to Spain 1903–04[7] and Ambassador to Italy 1905–08.[8]

During his time in Paris, Egerton was trained by Richard Lyons, 1st Viscount Lyons, who was then British Ambassador to France. Egerton was a member of the Tory-sympathetic[9] 'Lyons School' of British diplomacy.[10]

When Egerton retired in 1908, The Times correspondent in Rome wrote:

He will be followed into his retirement by the good wishes not only of the British colony, who received constant proofs of his kindness and interest in their concern, but also of the Italian Government, which has always found in him a cordial representative of the traditional friendship that has so long existed between England and Italy. During his tenure of his post no questions of any great moment have arisen between the two countries but, should such questions arise in the future, Sir Edwin has simplified their solution for his successors by enhancing the kindly feeling of Anglo-Italian relations. The British Archaeological School in Rome owes much to his generosity and has received from him the same liberal and personal support which he formerly gave to the school in Athens, while the untiring efforts of Lady Egerton in the cause of charity should have earned the lasting gratitude of many poor British subjects. The general regret experienced at their departure will be doubly felt by the many friends in whom they have inspired a sentiment of warm affection.[11]


Egerton was appointed Companion of the Order of the Bath (CB) in 1886,[12] and knighted as a Knight Commander (KCB) of the same order in 1897. He received the Knight Grand Cross of the Order of St Michael and St George (GCMG) in the 1902 Coronation Honours list published on 26 June 1902,[13][14] and was invested as such by King Edward VII at Buckingham Palace on 8 August 1902.[15]


Edwin Egerton was a son of the Rev. Thomas Egerton (1809–1847) and Charlotte Catherine (1812–1894), daughter of Sir William Milner, 4th Baronet. He was a grandson of Wilbraham Egerton (MP died 1856) and a nephew of William Egerton, 1st Baron Egerton.

He married in 1895 Olga, daughter of Prince Nicholas Lobanov-Rostovsky of Lobanovo, Russia, and widow of M. Michel Katkoff who had been Russian Secretary of Legation at Lisbon. They had one son, John Frederick, who was killed in the First World War.[16]


  1. The Civil Service - Foreign Department, The Times, London, 26 November 1859, page 12
  2. "No. 24784". The London Gazette. 18 November 1879. p. 6493.
  3. "No. 25012". The London Gazette. 6 September 1881. p. 4598.
  4. "No. 25461". The London Gazette. 14 April 1885. p. 1669.
  5. "No. 25549". The London Gazette. 15 January 1886. p. 215.
  6. "No. 26258". The London Gazette. 16 February 1892. p. 846.
  7. "No. 27621". The London Gazette. 1 December 1903. p. 7935.
  8. "No. 27755". The London Gazette. 17 January 1905. p. 415.
  9. Otte, T. G. (2011). The Foreign Office Mind: The Making of British Foreign Policy: 1865 – 1914. pp. 138–139.
  10. Otte, T. G. (2011). The Foreign Office Mind: The Making of British Foreign Policy: 1865 – 1914. pp. 155–156.
  11. The British Ambassador In Rome, The Times, London, 4 December 1908, page 12
  12. "No. 25557". The London Gazette. 9 February 1886. p. 620.
  13. "The Coronation Honours". The Times (36804). London. 26 June 1902. p. 5.
  14. "No. 27456". The London Gazette. 22 July 1902. p. 4669.
  15. "Court Circular". The Times (36842). London. 9 August 1902. p. 6.
  16. John Frederick Egerton Archived 19 August 2013 at the Wayback Machine, Christ Church, Oxford