Arthur Paget (diplomat)

British politician

Portrait by John Hoppner of The Honourable Sir Arthur Paget, 1804

Sir Arthur Paget GCB, PC (15 January 1771 – 26 July 1840)[1] was a British diplomat and politician.

Life[edit]

Arthur Paget was the third son of Henry Paget, 1st Earl of Uxbridge and his wife Jane Champagné daughter of Arthur Champagné, Dean of Clonmacnoise in Ireland. He was a younger brother of Henry Paget, 1st Marquess of Anglesey and the older brother of Sir Edward Paget, an army officer and colonial governor.[2][3]

He was educated at Westminster School and Christ Church, Oxford, but did not take a degree.[4] At Oxford, Paget formed a close relationship with Cyril Jackson, Dean of Christ Church.[1]

Diplomatic career[edit]

In 1791, he entered the British diplomatic service. J. M. Rigg described Paget as ‘a man of easy charm who made his way with little difficulty up the diplomatic ladder, assisted by his moderate whiggery.’[1] In 1794, he was elected as Member of Parliament for Anglesey. He nominally represented this for 13 years, though usually abroad. In 1794, he was sent as Envoy-extraordinary to Berlin to remind King Frederick William II of his obligations to Holland, a service in which Lord Malmesbury the ambassador commended him for his tact.[5]

His next appointment was as Envoy Extraordinary to the Elector Palatine and the Perpetual Diet at Regensburg in 1798, followed by Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary first at Naples in 1800 and then at Vienna the following year. He remained at Vienna until 1806, being nicknamed “The Emperor” on account of his extravagance.[4]

A dispatch in 1802, following Napoleon’s creation of the Confederation of the Rhine predicted the hegemony of Prussia within Germany. He was materially contributed to the creation of the Third Coalition, and reported its collapse following the Battle of Austerlitz (2 December 1805), a dispatch that is said to have hastened the death of William Pitt the Younger (23 January 1806).[1]

After his recall from Austria, he was sent to the Ottoman Porte in 1807, where he told the Sultan of a secret clause in the Treaty of Tilsit adverse to his interests. However, he was unable to detach the Ottoman Empire from its French Alliance. He was recalled in May 1809 and awarded a pension of £2,000.

Retirement[edit]

Paget had been made a Privy Councillor and Knight of the Bath, both in 1804, and was given a GCB in 1815. In 1808, he eloped with Lady Augusta Fane, then the wife of Lord Boringdon, and married her the following year, as soon as her divorce took place. They had several children, including Sir Augustus Berkeley Paget, who followed his father as a diplomat. He occupied time in his retirement as an agriculturalist and yachtsman.

Scandal[edit]

On 18 May 1808, Paget eloped with Augusta Jane Parker, Lady Boringdon (née Fane), daughter of John Fane, 10th Earl of Westmorland, and wife of John Parker, 2nd Baron Boringdon (later first Earl of Morley from 1815).[3] Paget married Lady Augusta on 16 February 1809, two days after her divorce from Lord Boringdon by an Act of Parliament.[4]

Family[edit]

Paget and Lady Augusta (née Fane) had issue:

He died on 26 July 1840 at his home at Grosvenor Street, London.[1]

Notes[edit]

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  1. ^ a b c d e .mw-parser-output cite.citation{font-style:inherit;word-wrap:break-word}.mw-parser-output .citation q{quotes:”””””””‘””‘”}.mw-parser-output .citation:target{background-color:rgba(0,127,255,0.133)}.mw-parser-output .id-lock-free.id-lock-free a{background:url(“//upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/6/65/Lock-green.svg”)right 0.1em center/9px no-repeat}body:not(.skin-timeless):not(.skin-minerva) .mw-parser-output .id-lock-free a{background-size:contain}.mw-parser-output .id-lock-limited.id-lock-limited a,.mw-parser-output .id-lock-registration.id-lock-registration a{background:url(“//upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/d/d6/Lock-gray-alt-2.svg”)right 0.1em center/9px no-repeat}body:not(.skin-timeless):not(.skin-minerva) .mw-parser-output .id-lock-limited a,body:not(.skin-timeless):not(.skin-minerva) .mw-parser-output .id-lock-registration a{background-size:contain}.mw-parser-output .id-lock-subscription.id-lock-subscription a{background:url(“//upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/a/aa/Lock-red-alt-2.svg”)right 0.1em center/9px no-repeat}body:not(.skin-timeless):not(.skin-minerva) .mw-parser-output .id-lock-subscription a{background-size:contain}.mw-parser-output .cs1-ws-icon a{background:url(“//upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/4/4c/Wikisource-logo.svg”)right 0.1em center/12px no-repeat}body:not(.skin-timeless):not(.skin-minerva) .mw-parser-output .cs1-ws-icon a{background-size:contain}.mw-parser-output .cs1-code{color:inherit;background:inherit;border:none;padding:inherit}.mw-parser-output .cs1-hidden-error{display:none;color:#d33}.mw-parser-output .cs1-visible-error{color:#d33}.mw-parser-output .cs1-maint{display:none;color:#2C882D;margin-left:0.3em}.mw-parser-output .cs1-format{font-size:95%}.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-left{padding-left:0.2em}.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-right{padding-right:0.2em}.mw-parser-output .citation .mw-selflink{font-weight:inherit}html.skin-theme-clientpref-night .mw-parser-output .cs1-maint{color:#18911F}html.skin-theme-clientpref-night .mw-parser-output .cs1-visible-error,html.skin-theme-clientpref-night .mw-parser-output .cs1-hidden-error{color:#f8a397}@media(prefers-color-scheme:dark){html.skin-theme-clientpref-os .mw-parser-output .cs1-visible-error,html.skin-theme-clientpref-os .mw-parser-output .cs1-hidden-error{color:#f8a397}html.skin-theme-clientpref-os .mw-parser-output .cs1-maint{color:#18911F}}“Paget, Sir Arthur (1771–1840), diplomatist”. Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. 2004. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/21101. ISBN 978-0-19-861412-8. Retrieved 21 June 2021. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  2. ^ Burke’s Peerage (1930 edition), s.v. Anglesey, Marquis.
  3. ^ a b The Paget brothers, 1790–1840, ed. Lord Hylton [H. G. H. Jolliffe] (1918)
  4. ^ a b c The Paget Papers: Diplomatic and other correspondence of the Right Hon. Sir Arthur Paget, G. C. B., 1794–1807, ed. A. B. Paget, 2 vols. (1896)
  5. ^ Diaries and correspondence of James Harris, first earl of Malmesbury, ed. third earl of Malmesbury [J. H. Harris], 4 vols. (1844)
Parliament of Great Britain
Preceded by

Member of Parliament for Anglesey
1794–1801
Succeeded by

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by

Parliament of Great Britain
Member of Parliament for Anglesey
18011807
Succeeded by

Diplomatic posts
Preceded by

British minister to Bavaria
1798–1799
Succeeded by

Preceded by

British Minister to the Kingdom of Naples
1800–1801
Succeeded by

Preceded by

British Minister to Austria
1801–1806
Succeeded by

Preceded by

British ambassador to the Ottoman Empire
1807–1809
Succeeded by