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Former Foreign Secretaries

In this section we are in the process of compiling a biography for every former Foreign Secretary, with a new one added each month.

Charles James Fox

Charles James Fox © Crown copyright: UK Government Art Collection

A brief but brilliant start to the line of Foreign Secretaries

Lord Lansdowne

Marquess of Lansdowne (Public Domain)

He presided over a diplomatic revolution by concluding the Anglo-Japanese alliance and the Anglo-French Entente.

Marquess of Salisbury

Robert Cecil - small

A Secretary of State who successfully combined the offices of Prime Minister and Foreign Secretary.

Sir Edward Grey

Edward Grey

Holds the longest continuous term of any Foreign Secretary

George Nathaniel Curzon

George Curzon

A veteran of the Great Game, noted for his aristocratic disdain and vitriolic wit

Viscount Halifax

Viscount Halifax

Nick-named 'the Holy Fox' due to his passion for hunting and his Christian moral outlook

Lord Grenville

Lord Grenville, William Wyndham Grenville

Spent almost a decade as Foreign Secretary during the struggle against Revolutionary France

Earl Granville

Earl Granville, George Leveson Gower

The first of the ‘three Whig Earls’ (Granville, Clarendon, Rosebery) at the Foreign Office

Lord Aberdeen

Lord Aberdeen, George Hamilton Gordon

A quiet, serious Scot and a great favourite of Queen Victoria

Austen Chamberlain

Austen Chamberlain

A Nobel Peace Prize winner who tried to prevent further war in Europe