Catalogue description Woodbine Parish Papers

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Details of FO 354
Reference: FO 354
Title: Woodbine Parish Papers

This series contains entry books of letters received and sent, commercial reports, etc, belonging to Sir Woodbine Parish, special agent and consul general at Buenos Aires from 1823 to 1832; and correspondence, entry books and papers, 1833 to 1855 of the same as joint commissioner for examining the rates of French port dues levied on British shipping and later as chief commissioner at Naples, where he concluded a commercial treaty.

Date: 1813-1855
Held by: The National Archives, Kew
Legal status: Public Record(s)
Language: English

Sir Woodbine Parish, Knight, 1796-1882

Physical description: 16 volume(s)
Immediate source of acquisition:

The volumes relating to Woodbine's postings to Frenace and Naples were added to the series in January 1952.

Administrative / biographical background:

Sir Woodbine Parish was born on 14 September 1796, the eldest son of a Lincolnshire clergyman, of the same name, and Elizabeth Headley. He was educated at Eton and then entered the public service in 1812. He received his first appointment to Sicily in 1814, and then in 1815 accompanied the expedition to Naples which restored the Bourbon dynasty. He then went to Paris, attached to Lord Castlereagh's extraordinary embassy to achieve a general peace settlement on the fall of Napoleon. The protocol for the resulting peace treaty signed by Great Britain on 20 November 1815 is supposedly in Parish's handwriting.

On his return, he became assistant to Castlereagh's private secretary, Joseph Planta. Then in 1816 he was sent to the Ionian Islands to assist Sir Thomas Maitland with the arrangements for the cecession of Parga. In 1818 he was recalled and accompanied Castlereagh to Aix-le Chapelle where the treaty of 1815 was to be modified. Then in 1821 he accompanied George IV and Castlereagh on their visit to Hanover.

In 1823 he was appointed commissioner and consul-general to Buenos Aires. On 2nd February 1825 he concluded a treaty of amity and commerce with the government of Argentina, which was the first treaty made with any of the new South American States, and the first recognition of their national existence by any European power. As a reward he was made chargé d'affairs. He brought the importance of the Falkland Islands to the governments notice whilst in Argentina, and was instructed, as a result, to lay claim to them as a British possession. In 1828., Parish was involved in the ending of the Brazilian war and the establishment of an independent state of Uruguay.

On 1 July 1832 the office of consul general at Buenos Aires was abolished, and Parish received a compensation allowance in recompence. In 1833 he was appointed as joint commissioner with the French consul general to investigate French port dues levied on British shipping. In 1840 he was appointed chief commissioner to Naples to settle British claims on the Neopolitan government in consequence of their breaking the agreement over the Sulphur Monopoly. Parish brought about an agreement and in 1842 was given full powers as plenipotentiary to Naples. He then managed to negotiate with the help of the minister to Naples, Temple, a new commercial treaty in 1845.

He married twice: first Amelia Jane Morse in 1819 and secondly in 1844 Louisa Anne Hubbard. He died on 16 August 1882 at St Leonards-on-Sea.

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