Document ReferenceBu 1-69
TitlePapers of Sir Andrew Buchanan, first baronet; 1747-1976
Extent18 boxes
AbstractPrincipal document types present include: correspondence, photographs, and newspaper cuttings.
Access ConditionsAccessible to all readers.
Admin HistorySir Andrew Buchanan, first baronet, entered the diplomatic service in 1825 and spent his early career in Constantinople and Corfu, with brief sojourns in Rio de Janeiro and Washington in the 1830s. He was appointed as a paid attaché to St Petersburg in 1838 and remained there until 1841.

From 1841 to 1844 he worked at Florence, before returning to St Petersburg as the secretary of legation. In 1852 he moved to the Swiss Confederation as minister-plenipotentiary, and the following year he was posted to Denmark as envoy-extraordinary to the king. His wife died while the family were living in Copenhagen and was buried there. After service in Madrid from 1858 and subsequently in the Hague from 1860, he held postings as ambassador to Prussia (1862), Russia (1864) and Austria (1871-1878).

He married firstly, in 1839, Frances Katherine Mellish (d 1854), daughter of the Rev. Edward Mellish, Dean of Hereford and grand-daughter of William Mellish of Blyth Hall and Hodsock, Nottinghamshire (1708-1791), and had five sons and four daughters, including Sir James (1840-1901), 2nd baronet, Sir Eric (1848-1928), 3rd baronet, Sir George (1954-1924) and Louisa, who married Sir George Bonham, 2nd baronet.

After the death of Frances Katherine Buchanan, Sir Andrew married Georgina Eliza Stuart (d 1904), 3rd daughter of Robert Walter, 11th Baron Blantyre in 1857.

He retired in 1878 and, after being refused the customary peerage by Disraeli, accepted a baronetcy. He died on 12 November 1882 at his home, Craigend Castle in Stirlingshire, which he had purchased in 1851.
Custodial HistoryThe Collection was transferred to the University Library in 1986 and 2007.
DescriptionThis section consists of the correspondence of Sir Andrew Buchanan. Much of the correspondence is official and highlights British diplomatic interests in the majority of the countries in which Sir Andrew Buchanan served (although no records survive from his earliest postings). The papers also reflect general foreign policy interests during this period, and contain comments on news about political developments in Britain. The letters contain advice from officials in the foreign office and instructions regarding foreign policy. Correspondents include many leading British political figures, such as the Earl of Aberdeen, Viscount Palmerston, Lord John Russell and the Earl of Derby. There is also a series of correspondence from the Rev. Joseph Wolff, the eccentric Jewish-Christian missionary, letters relating to the grant of a baronetcy on Sir Andrew, and more general family correspondence.

Buchanan was in regular correspondence with the politicians of the countries in which he served, including Bismarck and Gorchakov. A large proportion of his correspondence was with other diplomats posted in various embassies around the world. It contains information about political and social conditions, as well as major events of historical significance such as the Franco/Prussian War. The papers are valuable for the wealth of evidence they contain about the diplomatic service, its problems and privileges.
MgtGroupPolitical and diplomatic papers
Family and estate collections
ArrangementThe collection was bound by the Buchanan family into volumes and, although for preservation reasons the majority of material has now been remounted in fascicules, this original order has been maintained. The bulk of the letters have been sorted into the categories of Sir Andrew's 'Letters received', 'Copy letters out', but some other series reflect the activities of Sir George and Meriel Buchanan. Within series, the order is chronological.
Diplomatic and consular service, British - Soviet Union - History
Diplomats, British
Great Britain - Foreign relations - 19th century
Great Britain - Politics and government - 19th century
Great Britain - Politics and government - 20th century
Great Britain - Foreign relations - 20th century
Politicians - Great Britain
Franco-Prussian war, 1870-1871
Great Britain - Social conditions - 19th century
Great Britain - Economic conditions - 19th century
FindingAidsCopyright in all finding aids belongs to The University of Nottingham. Online: Catalogue accessible from the website of Manuscripts and Special Collections, Manuscripts Online Catalogue. Family and Estate Resource relating to the Buchanan family and their records, published on the Manuscripts and Special Collections website:
ReprodnNoteReprographic copies can be supplied for educational and private study purposes only, depending on access status and the condition of the documents.
Related MaterialPapers of the Mellish family of Hodsock (Me)
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