Catalogue description Bloomfield Papers

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Details of FO 356
Reference: FO 356
Title: Bloomfield Papers

This series contains entry books of the first Baron Bloomfield, while minister to Sweden, and drafts of despatches sent, entry books and registers of letters of the second baron while minister to Russia, Prussia and then Austria.

Date: 1823-1871
Held by: The National Archives, Kew
Legal status: Public Record(s)
Language: English

Benjamin Bloomfield, 1st Baron Bloomfield, 1768-1846

John Arthur Douglas Bloomfield, 2nd Baron Bloomfield, 1802-1879

Physical description: 42 bundle(s)
Administrative / biographical background:

Lt. General Benjamin Bloomfield was born on 13th April 1768, the only son of John Bloomfield of Newport Co. Tipperary. He was educated at the Royal Military Academy and on 24th May 1781 he entered the Royal Artillery as a second lieutenant. During his active career he served in both Newfoundland and Gibraltar. In about 1806, while a brevet-major serving with the 10th Hussars in Brighton, his social and musical attainments came to the attention of the future King George IV who made him a gentleman-in-waiting and later chief equerry and clerk Marshal.

From 1811-1814 he was ADC and from 1812-1818 MP for Plymouth. In 1814 he was promoted to Major-General, and in 1815 received his knighthood. In 1817 he became private secretary to the Prince Regent and in this position he had the prince's confidence throughout the rest of the Regency.

In 1822, however, he fell into disfavour and resigned his appointments. He was sent as minister plenipotentiary to the court of Stockholm where he remained until 1833. Subsequently he commanded the Woolwich garrison.

He married in 1797 Harriet Douglas of Grantham. In May 1825 he was raised to the Irish peerage as first Baron Bloomfield and he died on 15th August 1846.

John Arthur Douglas, 2nd Baron Bloomfield, son of the 1st baron, was born on 12th November 1802. He entered the diplomatic service in 1818 and gradually progressed through various posts in Vienna, Lisbon and Stuttgart. In September 1826 he became secretary of the legation in Stockholm, where he remained until June 1839. He was secretary of the embassy at St. Petersburg from then until on 3rd April 1844, he became envoy extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary to the court, moving to Berlin in the same capacity, on 28th April 1851.

On 22nd November 1860 he was appointed embassador extraordinary and plenipotentiary to the Emperor of Austria in Vienna. He held this post until his retirement on 28th October 1871.

Bloomfield received many honours during his career, including a United Kingdom peerage to accompany his Irish one. On 4th September 1845 he married the Hon. Georgina Liddell. He died on 17th August 1879.

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