Constantine Phipps (diplomat)

Sir Edmund Constantine Henry Phipps KCMG CB (15 March 1840 15 March 1911) was a British diplomat.


Phipps was educated at Harrow School and entered the Diplomatic Service in 1858.[1]

In 1873, he was Third Secretary in Rio de Janeiro and was requested by the Ambassador, George Buckley Mathew, to report on the condition of British emigrants in Brazil.[2]

In 1881, Phipps was promoted from the rank of Second Secretary to be Consul-General at Budapest with the rank of Secretary of Legation,[3] and in 1885 was posted to be Secretary of the Embassy at Vienna.[4] In 1892 he was appointed Secretary of the Embassy at Paris[1] and in the following year promoted to be Minister Plenipotentiary[5] under the Ambassador to France, the Marquess of Dufferin and Ava.

While in Paris, Phipps was a British delegate to an international conference on the prevention of cholera, in 1894.[6] He was made a Companion of the Bath in the Queen's 1894 Birthday Honours.[7] In the same year he was appointed British Ambassador to Brazil.[8]

In 1900 Phipps was appointed Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary at the Court of His Majesty the King of the Belgians.[9] He was knighted as a Knight Commander of the Order of St Michael and St George (KCMG) in the 1902 Coronation Honours list "for services in connection with the Sugar Conference".[10][11] This was the Brussels Sugar Convention of 5 March 1902, which was controversial in Britain[12] and was opposed by Henry Campbell-Bannerman amongst others. Phipps retired from the Diplomatic Service in 1906 and died in 1911.

Personal life

Constantine Phipps was the only son of the Hon Edmund Phipps, and grandson of Henry Phipps, 1st Earl of Mulgrave. His maternal grandfather was Lieutenant General Sir Colin Campbell. In 1863 he married Maria Miller Mundy, daughter of Edward Miller Mundy, of Shipley Hall, Derbyshire, and his wife Maria Jane, daughter of Rear-Admiral Sir John Hindmarsh;[13] their son Eric became a diplomat in his turn, serving in the 1930s as ambassador successively to Berlin and Paris. Maria Phipps died in 1902, and in 1904 he married Alexandra Wassilewna, widow of Gomez Brandão of Rio de Janeiro,[1] who died in 1954.[14]

Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Hugh Wyndham
Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary to the United States of Brazil
Succeeded by
Sir Henry Dering
Preceded by
Sir Edmund Monson
Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary at the Court of His Majesty the King of the Belgians
Succeeded by
Sir Arthur Hardinge


  1. 1 2 3 PHIPPS, Sir Edmund Constantine Henry, Who Was Who, A & C Black, 1920–2008; online edn, Oxford University Press, Dec 2007, accessed 2 April 2012
  2. The London Gazette, 24 October 1873
  3. The London Gazette, 6 September 1881
  4. The London Gazette, 24 November 1885
  5. The London Gazette, 20 January 1893
  6. British Medical Journal, 3 February 1894, page 267
  7. The Edinburgh Gazette, 29 May 1894
  8. The Edinburgh Gazette, 21 September 1894
  9. The London Gazette, 25 September 1900
  10. "The Coronation Honours". The Times (36804). London. 26 June 1902. p. 5.
  11. The London Gazette: no. 27456. p. 4669. 22 July 1902.
  12. The Brussels Sugar Convention, Hansard, 10 March 1902
  13. Burke's Landed Gentry, Miller Mundy of Shipley Hall
  14. Burke's Peerage, 2004 edition, p2921
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