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Milne Cheetham

This article is about the British diplomat. For the Member of Parliament for Oldham, see Joshua Milne Cheetham.

Sir Joshua Milne Crompton Cheetham,[1] KCMG (9 July 1869 – 6 January 1938) was a British diplomat.

Born in Preston, he was educated at Rossall School, from which he won a scholarship to Christ Church, Oxford.[1] He studied classics at Oxford, after which he entered the diplomatic service. He served in Madrid, Paris, Tokyo, Berlin, Rome and Rio de Janeiro before being sent to Cairo in January 1910. When the United Kingdom declared its protectorate over Egypt in December 1914, he became acting High Commissioner, pending the arrival of Sir Henry McMahon. He took charge of the British Residency during the spring and fall of 1919, and thus had to confront the 1919 Revolution.[2] He later served in the British embassy in Paris, and was appointed minister to Switzerland in 1922.[3] In 1924, he was appointed minister to Greece,[4] after a two-year break in diplomatic relations.[5] He was sent to Denmark in 1926,[6] and retired in 1928.[2]


Sir Milne Cheetham married twice. His first wife was Anastasia Mouravieff (d. 1976),[7] daughter of Nicholas Mouravieff, the Russian Empire's last ambassador to Italy. They married in 1907 and divorced in 1923.[8] They had one son, Nicolas (1910–2002), who followed in his father's footsteps and went on to have a successful career in the diplomatic service.[9] Cheetham's second wife was Cynthia Charlette Seymour (d. 1968), whom he married on 11 July 1923.[8] She was the daughter of Sir Horace Alfred Damer Seymour and Elizabeth Mary Romilly.[10]


Sir Milne Cheetham received the King George V Coronation Medal in 1911 and was made a Knight Commander of the Order of St Michael and St George in 1915.[2]


Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Herbert Kitchener
as Agent and Consul-General
Acting British High Commissioner to Egypt
December 1914 – January 1915
Succeeded by
Sir Henry McMahon
as High Commissioner
Preceded by
Hon. Theo William Odo Villiers Russell
British Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary to Switzerland
Succeeded by
Howland Arthur Charles Sperling
Break in diplomatic relations
Title last held by
Sir Francis Lindley
British Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary to Greece
Succeeded by
Sir Percy Loraine
Preceded by
Earl Granville
British Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary to Denmark
Succeeded by
Sir Thomas Beaumont Hohler

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