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Papers of David Urquhart


Biographical note

Born in 1805, the second son of David Urquhart of Braelangwell by his second wife Margaret Hunter. His father died while he was a child, leaving his mother in charge of his upbringing. Jeremy Bentham also took an interest in the young Urquhart's education. Urquhart matriculated at St. John's College, Oxford in 1822 but ill health prevented him from completing his studies. Instead he travelled to the East and fought in the Greek War of Independence from 1827- 8. His reports from the Greek frontier, at the time when the protocol determining Greek territory was made, gained him the favour of Sir Herbert Taylor, Private Secretary to William IV. Urquhart also impressed Sir Stratford Canning for whom he undertook missions in Turkey and on the continent during the period 1831- 4.

A lifelong interest in the Turkish Empire began when Urquhart visited Constantinople in 1829 and undertook a mission there for Canning in 1834. Urquhart became First Secretary to Viscount Ponsonby, the British ambassador at Constantinople, in 1836. His familiarity with the Turks and his intense suspicion of Russia did not make for good relations with Palmerston and Ponsonby. This hostility came to a head in the "Vixen" episode when Urquhart supported the efforts of shipowner George Bell to trade with Circassia thereby implying that Circassia should gain independence from the Russian empire. This incident brought about Urquhart's departure from the Diplomatic service.

Although no longer a member of the diplomatic service Urquhart's interest in foreign affairs continued. Urquhart founded the Portfolio, a journal concerned with foreign affairs. As M.P. for Stafford (1847- 52), cooperating with Thomas Chisholm Anstey in the commons, he urged an investigation of Palmerston's foreign policy. However Urquhart devoted most of his energies to extra parliamentary activities, aiming to raise public awareness of foreign policy issues. He sought to shift the focus of Chartism away from domestic politics to foreign policy. Later he formed Foreign Affairs Committees to promote his cause: these committees produced a newspaper, originally the Diplomatic Review, later the Free Press, and a sizeable amount of printed material.

Urquhart's crusading interest in foreign affairs took on a theological dimension as he became an advocate of a universal canon law enforced by the agency of the papacy. At the time when the Catholic Church was upholding the Doctrine of "Papal infallibility", Urquhart found himself in accord with several prominent members of the Catholic Church such as Dupanloup, Bishop of Orleans and Defourny. Although he himself never converted to Catholicism, he attended the first Vatican Council and met Pius IX in 1870.

David Urquhart married Harriet Angelina Fortescue in 1854. She was actively involved in her husband's work, contributing regularly to the Diplomatic Review as "Caritas" and writing to associates of Urquhart such as Le Play, the French sociologist and Major Poore, a Foreign Affairs Committee member. In compiling her biography of Harriet Urquhart M.C.Bishop noticed the problem that this created: "It has been difficult indeed almost impossible, to disengage her share of her husband's labour from his during the years of her married life." Bishop quotes their eldest son who relates how Urquhart's work was composed: "the argumentative work, the collating of extracts from despatches, treaties, and c. was done by her first, and then my father dictated the introduction and conclusion." Their marriage produced two surviving sons and two daughters. David Urquhart died in 1877.

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Dictionary of National Biography. 1909.

Memoir of Mrs Urquhart. M.C.Bishop. London: Kegan Paul, Trench, Trubner & co. 1897.

David Urquhart. Gertrude Robinson. Oxford: Basil Blackwell. 1920.

The Troublemakers. A.J.P.Taylor. 1957.

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Provenance and arrangement

The collection came to Balliol College via Francis Fortescue Urquhart, younger son of David Urquhart and fellow of Balliol College from 1896- 1934. Additional letters concerning Urquhart's grave was added to the collection in 1992. These letters came from the papers of A.J.P.Kenny (former Master) and have been added to section XI of the collection.

Urquhart's papers appear to have been initially organised by his wife, Harriet, who played an active part in his work; handwritten comments on the reverse of papers and on some of the exercise books and folded pieces of paper holding the papers are in her hand. The papers appear to have been used for Bishop's memoir of Harriet Urquhart although no definite indication of any rearrangement at the time is given in the work. According to the "Preface" in Gertrude Robinson's life of Urquhart rearrangement of the papers occurred when Miss Urquhart one of D.U.'s daughters (it is unclear which one) was responsible for the "reading, selection, and tabulation of a great mass of almost unarranged correspondence" used by Robinson in the writing her book. F.F.Urquhart may also have been involved in the organisation of the papers since he wrote the introduction to Robinson's biography. It is either his handwriting or that of Miss Urquhart which appears on the reverse of some of the papers and in folders and envelopes which contained the papers. Any papers with such comments written on have been kept with the part of the collection with which they were found. These comments seem to have formed the basis of the original catalogue, a copy of which can be found in section XI: this catalogue was clearly produced before 1946 when Vincent Quinn (Librarian) rediscovered the papers.

According to information added in pencil to the original catalogue, the papers appear to have been neglected until Quinn located them in "Basement XV" in 1946. An effort to restore their papers to "the order which had obviously been lost during the last six years by researchers" was made in by Quinn in 1952 but "the contents of each group were not checked in detail."

This catalogue has not altered the order of the papers and has preserved the structure and section names of the original catalogue since its references have been cited in published work. This is why some vague section titles such as "Death and character" (I N) and some arbitrary divisions between sections containing similar material (eg. I K and I L) have been retained.

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for David Urquhart and family

  • D.U. David Urquhart
  • A.E. Agnes Eastmont, D.U.'s cousin.
  • C.G.U. Charles Gordon Urquhart, D.U.'s elder half brother.
  • F.F.U. Francis Fortescue Urquhart. Son of D.U. 1868- 1933.
  • H.U. Harriet Urquhart, D.U.'s wife.
  • Hen.U. Henrietta Urquhart, D.U.'s half sister
  • M.U. Margaret Urquhart, mother of D.U.

for non relatives

  • A.R. A.E.Robinson
  • B.R. Bishop of Rodez.
  • C.B. Charles Bryce.
  • C.D.C. Charles Dobson Collet.
  • D.R.B. David Ross of Bladensburg.
  • G.C. George Crawshay.
  • G.S. Gerard Smith.
  • G.S.B. Sir George Sinclair Bart, M.P.
  • H.T. Sir Herbert Taylor.
  • J.B. Jeremy Bentham
  • J.Bh. John Backhouse.
  • J.H. James Hudson.
  • J.J. John Johnson.
  • J.P. Viscount John Ponsonby,
  • K. Kossuth.
  • L.T.C. Lord Thomas Cochrane.
  • L.D. Lord Denbigh.
  • Le P. Le Play.
  • Mc N. McNeil, John.
  • W.F.S. William Thomas Horner Fox Strangways.
  • Pam. Lord Palmerston.
  • Ps. Pisani.
  • P.T. Lt. Colonel Pringle Taylor
  • R.M. Robert Monteith of Carstairs.
  • R.P. Rustem Pacha.
  • S.C. Stratford Canning.
  • S.E.R. S.E.Rolland.
  • T.C.A. Thomas Chisholm Anstey,
  • W.C. William Cargill
  • F.A.Cs. Foreign Affairs Committees

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Main figures in the collection

  • A'ali. Grand vizier.
  • Addington. 1790- 1870. Permanent under secretary for foreign affairs 1842- 54.
  • Achmet Fethi Pacha. Turkish ambassador in London.
  • Anstey, Thomas Chisholm. M.P. 1847- 52. 1816- 73.
  • Attwood, Thomas. Lancashire ironmaster. Brother of Charles Attwood.
  • Azarian. Vicar General to the Patriarch of Constantinople.
  • Backhouse, John. Permanent under secretary, Foreign Office 1827- 1842.
  • Bell, F.A. Involved in Chartism with D.U.
  • Bell, George. English merchant who sent the "Vixen" to trade with the Circassians.
  • Bentham, Jeremy. Utilitarian philosopher who took an interest in D.U.'s education. 1748- 1832.
  • Bentinck, George. 1802- 48. M.P. 1828- 48.
  • Blunt, Charles. Correspondent of D.U. in Turkey.
  • Bodenham, Member of an English Catholic Charles de la Barre. family. A correspodent with D.U. on Catholicism. 1813- 1883.
  • Bonnechose, Cardinal. Acquaintance of D.U. in Rome.
  • Breda, Comte de. Lay figure who was in Rome for the Vatican Council.
  • Bryce, Charles. Friend of D.U. in East.
  • Cadogan. Involved in Chartism with D.U.
  • Cambridge, Duke of.
  • Canning, Stratford. Diplomatist. 1776- 1880. First Viscount de Redcliffe.
  • Carbonnell. Italian acquaintance.
  • Cardo, William. Delegate to Chartist convention.
  • Cargill, William. Newcastle merchant, involved in Chartism with Urquhart.
  • Church, Sir Richard. Commander of armies in Greek war of independence. 1784- 1873.
  • Cochrane, Lord Thomas. Admiral in chief in Greek war of independence.
  • Collet, Charles Dobson. F.A.C. member, editor Free Press.
  • Collet, F. Associate of Mermillod.
  • Czartoryski, Prince Polish statesman who worked for the Adam Jerzy. restoration of Poland.
  • Davidson. Involved in Chartism with D.U.
  • Deane, Thomas. F.A.C. member.
  • Defourny, Abbe. Priest at Beaumont en Argonne.
  • Denbigh, Lord. Catholic friend of D.U.
  • Disraeli, Benjamin. 1804- 81.
  • Duffy, Edward. Fenian leader.
  • Dupanloup, Felix Antoine. Bishop of Orleans.
  • D'Yvoire.
  • Effendi, Nourir.
  • Fincham, Fred.
  • Fox Strangways, Parliamentary under secretary. William Thomas Horner 1835- 40.
  • Fourth earl of Ilchester.
  • Franchi. Bishop of Thessalonica.
  • Fyler, George. London barrister involved in Chartism with Urquhart.
  • Eastmont, Agnes. Cousin of D.U. Nicknamed "Aggie."
  • Fischel, Dr. German journalist.
  • Gladstone, W.E. 1809- 98.
  • Grant, Duncan. Correspondent with M.U. re D.U.'s education.
  • Hassoun. Patriarch of Constantinople.
  • Hastings, Frank Abney. Naval commander in Greek war of independence. 1794- 1828.
  • Howe, James. American accquqintance of D.U. in Greece.
  • Hudson, James.
  • Hunter, George. D.U.'s uncle.
  • Ghica, Prince Ion. Moldavian Prince.
  • Johnson, John. F.A.C. member.
  • Jullion, Father. Supporter of Defourny's "Oeuvre Apostolique."
  • Kossuth, Lajos. Hungarian political leader. 1802- 1894.
  • Langley, S. Chartist.
  • Le Play, Frederic. French sociologist.
  • Llewellyn, H.B. Merchant in the East.
  • Mac Gee, Thomas D'arcy. Irish Canadian statesman.
  • 1825- 68.
  • Mac Neill, John. Diplomatist. 1795- 1883.
  • Marx, Karl.
  • Mergan, Dr C.L. Correspondent with D.U. and M.U. re D.U.'s education.
  • Mermillod. Bishop of Geneva.
  • Mill, J.S. 1806- 73.
  • Monteith, R. of Carstairs. Involved in Chartism with D.U., assisted in formation of F.A.Cs and as a Catholic shared some of D.U.'s ideas about the role of the church in world politics.1811- 84.
  • Morris, Miss.
  • Palmerston, Viscount. 1784- 1865.
  • Parkinson, Father. Fellow of All Souls, Oxford.
  • Peplow, William. Chartist.
  • Ponsonby, Viscount John Ambassador at Constantinople 1832- 41.
  • Poore, Major. F.A.C. member.
  • Potter, William. F.A.C. member.
  • Robinson, A.E. F.A.C. member.
  • Rodez, Bishop of.
  • Rolland, S.E. F.A.C. member.
  • Ross of Bladensburg, Travelled with Turkey, David. involved in Chartism with D.U. and the setting up of F.A.Cs.
  • Rustem Pacha. Turkish envoy to the Grand Duke of Tuscany.
  • Schleswig Holstein, Prince Frederick of
  • Scott, I.G. Tradesman in the Lebanon.
  • Sheppard, William. Involved in Chartism with D.U.
  • Simmons, George.
  • Sinclair, Sir George Bart. M.P. 1775- 1839.
  • Singleton, William. F.A.C. member.
  • Smith, Gerard. College friend of D.U. Matriculated at St. Johns, Oxford 1822.
  • Staines, Sir Thomas. Naval captain. 1776- 1830.
  • Stanley, Edward Henry. 15 Earl Derby. 1826- 1892.
  • Suffield, Father Rudolph. Dominican, who disagreed with some of D.U.'s views on the role of the Catholic church. Left the Catholic church and became a Unitarian.
  • Sultan Mahmud II. Sultan 1808- 39.
  • Sultan Abdulmecid I. Sultan 1839- 61.
  • Sultan Abdulaziz. Sultan 1861-76.
  • Taylor, Adelaide. Wife of Lt.Col. Pringle Taylor.
  • Taylor, Sir Herbert. Private secretary to William IV.
  • Taylor, Lt. Col. Pringle. Major 1796- 1884.
  • Urquhart, Charles Gordon. D.U.'s elder half brother. Killed in 1828 while governor of Karabusa.
  • Urquhart, Harriet. D.U.'s wife. 1825- 1889.
  • Urquhart, Henrietta. D.U.'s sister.
  • Urquhart, Margaret. D.U.'s mother. d 1839.
  • Wells, Charles. F.A.C. member.
  • Westmacott. F.A.C. member?
  • White, James. Involved in Chartism with D.U.
  • Zamoyski, Count [Andrzejz] Exile from old Polish and Countess. family.

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Additional list of correspondents in connection with Foreign Affairs committees featured in I G.

Crawshay, S.E.Rolland, C.D.Collet, D.U. and John Johnsons' names do not occur on this list: their correspondence is to be found in many of the sections in I G and all letters from them are listed in this catalogue under the appropriate sections.

  • Andrew, Abel. G20, G21.
  • Angier. G24 3.
  • Bacon, J.J. G2.
  • Ball, J. G11c.
  • Bardsley, James. G24 3.
  • Barter, J. G19.
  • Bartholemew, Charles. G9, G14.
  • Bazley, W. G14.
  • Bell, T. G24 3.
  • Bird, Major. G24 3.
  • Bishop, J. G14.
  • Bowley. G5.
  • Brown. W. G14.
  • Bucell, J. G14.
  • Burdy. G8.
  • Butcher. G23.
  • Butterfield, Francis. G8, G10
  • Buxton, J. G1, G14, G17, G24 3.
  • Bywater, Thomas. G17.
  • Cardingley. G6.
  • Cardo, William. G20.
  • Carr, F. G11a, G14, G18, G24 2a.
  • Cepples, W. G18.
  • Charlesworth, T. G8, G9.
  • Clark, W. G24 3.
  • Clay. G5.
  • Cockburn. G3.
  • Cooke, Noah. G1.
  • Couley, F. G11c.
  • Coulton, G. G24 2.
  • Crawshay, Eliza. G24 4.
  • Crowther. G8.
  • Cyples, William. G24 3.
  • Dann. G13.
  • Day. G5, G24 3.
  • Dean, Thomas. G1a, G3, G13, G24 1, G24 3.
  • Demani, George. G1.
  • Denton, W. G11b.
  • Dibb, John. G3.
  • Dodd, R. G24 3.
  • Duce, John. G11a, G11b.
  • Faggan. G8, G9.
  • Fenton, T.W. G3.
  • Foden, Joseph. G14, G24 3, G24 2a.
  • Freakley, W. G24 3.
  • Goodall, Charles. G13.
  • Gore- Langton. G4.
  • Green, John. G11a, G11c.
  • Green, W. G1.
  • Greenwood, Ben. G21.
  • Gregory, J. G14.
  • Grimshaw, J. G24 2.
  • Guyer, Thomas. G11b.
  • Hadfield, W. G14.
  • Harlow, John. G1a, G14.
  • Hart, R. G1a, G18.
  • Hawkins, J. G1a, G16.
  • Hewitt, John. G14.
  • Hilton, William. G2.
  • Hodgson. G11a.
  • Holland, C. G4.
  • Holmes, William. G13.
  • Holstead, Thomas. G2, G24 1.
  • Horn, Murgatroyd. G11a.
  • Hovelaw, John. G24 3.
  • Howarth, George. G5.
  • Hoyle, John. G11c.
  • Ingram, R. G19.
  • Ironside, Issac. G18.
  • Johnson, Thomas. G24 3.
  • Jones, Charles. G24 3.
  • Kindle, J. G24 3.
  • Leach, John. G13.
  • Leresy, A. G24 4.
  • Lewis. G5, G24 3.
  • Manning, George. G17.
  • Mc Donald, H. G24 3.
  • Mc Heath, M.D. G14.
  • Mac Queen, C.E. G14.
  • Mac Rae. G7, G24 1.
  • Mallen, H.K. G12.
  • Morrell, R. G8, G10.
  • Nutall. G18.
  • Oakes, W. G12.
  • Otley, H.M.I. G14.
  • Pickles, John F. G10.
  • Potter, W. G4, G16, G24 3.
  • Rae, A.S. G24 2a.
  • Rafferty, G1a.
  • Rawnsley, F.S. G11a.
  • Richardson, R.M. G19, G24 2.
  • Ripton. G6.
  • Robinson, A. G3.
  • Robson, Robert. G19.
  • Rule. G8.
  • Scott, David. G6, G24 1.
  • Shallcross, J. G1a, G18, G20.
  • Shaw, John. G8, G9, G11a, G11c, G24 2, G24 3.
  • Singleton, W. G17, G14.
  • Smalley. G5.
  • Smith, A. G16, G24 1, G24 3.
  • Smith, H. G24 1.
  • (Stafford F.A.C.)
  • Smith, John. G10.
  • Smith. G7.
  • Spence, William. G3.
  • Stobbart, G. G15, G24 4.
  • Stobbs, T. G24 3.
  • Talbot, W.P. G14.
  • Taylor, Henry. G5.
  • Taylor, William G24 1.
  • (Stalybridge F.A.C.)
  • Thornley, J. G3.
  • Tonith, A. G19.
  • Waddington, John. G10, G11a.
  • Walker, J. G24 3.
  • Walton. G1.
  • Warden, J. G20.
  • Wells, Jonas. G10.
  • Wilks. G5.
  • Wilson, J. G6.
  • Wodehouse. G11a.
  • Wood, Sam. G11c.
  • Woodruff, Thomas. G19.
  • Wyatt. G24 3.
  • Young, John. G24 1.

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