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Vincent N. Dona Paula. Joseph Canisius Dias. Margaret Widdemer. Revenge of the Cousinocracy Zohrab faced local obstruction, there were other suspicious deaths of British seamen at Odessa, and the result was that his investigation stretched to almost a year — and still proved inconclusive. However, Lord Clarendon, who was once more at the Foreign Office, agreed to let him pay it by instalments. Kotzebue also had direct and highly active command of all Russian forces in Southern Russia.
He was based at Odessa. The governor would have been only too well aware of these see p. And then there was the question of the nationalist insurrection against Russian rule in Poland in Palmerston had spoken out against the brutality of its suppression by Russia, and accordingly — although Grenville-Murray himself was no admirer of the Poles and was privately unsympathetic to their cause — it was to the British consul-general that the Polish leaders in hiding in Odessa appealed for help. The first opportunity presented to Kotzebue to get rid of Grenville-Murray was provided when a British resident at Odessa, Adelaide Owen, a woman of dubious reputation, complained to him that, during an altercation at her house, the consulgeneral had beaten her over the shoulders with his whip.
As a result, Clarendon ordered a full inquiry to be made on the spot. William Stuart, second son of the 11th Lord Blantyre and occupant of the post that Grenville-Murray had himself dreamed of occupying: secretary of embassy at Constantinople. Revenge of the Cousinocracy happens, Lyons himself had only shortly before replaced Bulwer as ambassador at Constantinople.
Written statements were taken and formal interviews conducted, including with Grenville-Murray. In a private letter afterwards to the British ambassador at St. But even if Grenville-Murray was not in trouble at home, the same could not be said for his position at the Foreign Office. Here, notable among the charges he now encountered was that of responsibility for improper marriage ceremonies at Odessa. An entire section of this volume is devoted to this subject. This presented particular difficulties to a woman going out from England to marry, and in March a Royal Commission — the work of which Grenville-Murray was himself well aware — had already been appointed to look into this, as well as other weaknesses of British marriage law.
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Unfortunately for the consul-general, both couples lived at Kherson, one of the closest of his out-stations, where the vice-consul, George Stevens, a member of a numerous family of Levantine consuls in British employment, was related to one of the new husbands — and Stevens was happy neither with life in general nor with Grenville-Murray in particular. HCPP , p. Diplomacy, Satire and the Victorians unhealthy climate , although the correspondence shows that Grenville-Murray had repeatedly pleaded his case with the Foreign Office.
He duly advertised his view that the two couples married by him in had been joined illegally, and — with his encouragement — they promptly complained to the Foreign Office. In fact, the Act was arguably supererogatory; that is, strictly unnecessary. The consul-general, he said, had also lost a box of important documents.
In addition, Stevens hinted, he had received large back-handers from the British civil engineering company, George Furness and Co. Revenge of the Cousinocracy Grenville-Murray, who no longer had access to his own archives, was hardpressed to answer some of these accusations, and seems to have been caught in a number of contradictory statements.
He was always likely to have looked askance at his man in Odessa. For one thing, the consul-general had a reputation for mendacity while the foreign secretary had an obsessive concern for truth; for another, although himself a liberallyminded Conservative, unlike Grenville-Murray he favoured reform precisely in order to preserve rather than liquidate the rule of the territorial aristocracy.
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These men, led by James Murray and soon supported by the legal adviser Phillimore, began to apply relentless pressure on the foreign secretary and his permanent under-secretary for the dismissal of the consul-general. Diplomacy, Satire and the Victorians The foreign secretary, however, needed more certainty that he was being counselled to do the right thing, and so fell in with another option suggested by the head of the Consular Department: that another investigator should first be sent to Odessa to examine the charges.
TNA, min. There had for some time been a question mark over the need for his post at Chicago, and its closure was announced in July , HCDeb. Here it was soon in the hands of Prince Gorchakov, who drew it to the attention of Sir Andrew Buchanan. Admitting that the British subjects had not proceeded correctly, the imperial chancellor nevertheless invited the ambassador to accept their memorial as a strictly private communication.
He could not afford it, and was also unimpressed by the prospect of having to shuffle around the town in the official shadow of his accuser. The only surprise is that his report did not condemn Grenville-Murray more strongly. This was probably in part because the complexity of some of the issues defeated him. It took him at least three months to compose his document, and shortly before Christmas the foreign secretary told him in sharp tones that it was neither fair to Grenville-Murray nor in the public interest for it to be any longer delayed. Buchanan to Stanley, 22 May , BB, p.
Joseph Coohill. His report was received on the following day. It noted the opinion of the registrar-general, George Graham, that some of the irregularities in the Odessa marriage register were so grave that, had Grenville-Murray been prosecuted in time, he might have been found guilty of felony and sentenced to penal servitude for life. Had Graham been earlier given the job of inspecting the marriage registers of the many other under-funded and poorly staffed British consulates of the mid-Victorian era and his advice acted upon, the consular service would probably have collapsed altogether — and, with it, the prison system at home.
Nor was he able to come to any sensible conclusion on the affair of Margarita Tagliaferro, although some of the additional documents he turned up suggested that Grenville-Murray had a strong financial interest in her affairs, and that there were inconsistencies in his account. Finally, as to whether all the fees that should have been levied at Odessa in his time were in fact levied and paid to the government, this, Wilkins maintained, could be answered only by inference and not by direct proof: there was certainly a very large drop in the fees gathered compared to those generated by his predecessor in and those obtained by Stevens since he had left.
The report, which was padded out with much recapitulation at the beginning and 40 lengthy enclosures at the end, had no general conclusions: like a Lower Second Class dissertation, it just fizzled out. A dismissal notice was signed by Lord Stanley and delivered to Grenville-Murray by messenger on 28 May The foreign secretary wrote:. Stevens eventually ended up in Brazil.
Diplomacy, Satire and the Victorians Revenge of the Cousinocracy Refusing to despair, the evicted consul-general turned for help to the Duke of Buckingham.