Date Published: 1856
Binding: No binding
6-1/4 x 4-1/2 inches. Autograph letter signed. One page. Dated Norfolk House April 21st 1856. Sending a gift to "dear Caroline.".
Very good condition.
Richard Bickerton Pernell Lyons, 1st Viscount Lyons was a British diplomat with fifty years of service to the British Foreign Office. He was Ambassador to the United States (1858-1865) during the Civil War and was key in the "Trent affair", which established Lyons' lasting reputation. In the autumn of 1861, the Confederacy sent two envoys (James Mason and John Slidell) to Europe to try to secure formal recognition. They traveled on the (neutral) British mail steamer Trent. A Union warship intercepted the Trent and seized the envoys, outraging British opinion. Public excitement over the affair grew so intense that war between Britain and America seemed for a time unavoidable. Through tact and firmness Lyons was largely responsible for the avoidance of open war between the two countries, persuading the reluctant United States government to release the envoys. The author Raymond A. Jones in his work The British Diplomatic Service, 1815-1914 has stated, unequivocally, that Lyons' handling of the "Mason-Slidell affair ... established his well-deserved reputation as Britain's greatest mid-century ambassador."
He was ambassador to France from 1867 until 1887.