PP/GC/PO/310 Letter from Lord Ponsonby to Henry John Temple, third Viscount Palmerston, concerning the relationship between a secretary of embassy and an ambassador, 7 Nov 1837
Letter from John Ponsonby, second Baron Ponsonby, later first Viscount Ponsonby, [ambassador extraordinary and plenipotentiary at Constantinople], to Henry John Temple, third Viscount Palmerston: he is much obliged to Palmerston for his kindness about the new secretary of embassy. Ponsonby has been in service in foreign countries, either in subaltern or higher positions, for seventeen years without a break, and has always had a good relationship with his superiors. He has also always enjoyed friendly feelings of goodwill from those under him, until the appointment of the previous secretary of embassy [David Urquhart]. "I confess I am afraid of the effects of constant contact between men placed respectively as ambassador and secretary of embassy. I fear that the everyday accidents of private life are likely, too likely, to beget petty disputes or a sort of coldness that may not arise from a very intimate but less constant intercourse. It depends in such cases even on a servant to breed dissatisfaction between the inmates of the same house, in despite of the master, if so he may be called, and the subordinate officer having a right to be domiciliated. Boths the chief and the second may be in the wrong, but the service suffers from disputes and the credit of the embassy. I say nothing of the almost intolerable position of those who are forced to live in domestick intimacy, being at the same time anything rather than friends." Ponsonby will explain in another letter what he has done, and how the expense of lodging the secretary of embassy may be almost nothing. 7 Nov 1837 The letter is marked: "Private" and it is noted that it was received on 4 December 1837.
One paper, punched for disinfection
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David Urquhart, former secretary of the British embassy at Constantinople
Diplomatic appointments
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