Papers of Sir John Elijah Blunt

Scope and Content

The papers are of significant value to students of the Eastern Question. The majority of the papers are in manuscript, including a very important collection of documents relating to political, religious and social affairs in Rumelia, Bulgaria and Macedonia, 1870-1900. In addition, there are draft chapters of Sir John's reminiscences relating to the Crimean War and of his history of Serbians and Serbia to 1903. Amongst the printed volumes and bound papers are copies of correspondence with the Foreign Office in London and HM Embassy in Constantinople, and extensive press cuttings. There are also a number of papers relating to other members of the Blunt family, for example, an account of Captain O.D. Blunt's service in the Boer War.

Administrative / Biographical History

Administrative/Biographical History

Sir John Elijah Blunt, 1832-1916 was a distinguished British consul of the late nineteenth century, with numerous family ties to the consular service. He was the son of Charles Blunt, HM Consul at Smyrna, and of Caroline Vitalis, daughter of HM Consul at Brussa. After education privately and at Kensington Grammar School, Sir John first came to prominence as chief interpreter and aide-de-campe to Lord Lucan during the Crimean War, being present at the battles of Alma, Balaclava and Inkerman. Having held various consular appointments in Uskub, Adrianople, Belgrade and Bitholia, he was appointed HM Consul-General for Salonica, 1879-1899, and HM Consul (with the rank of Consul General) at Boston, 1899-1902. He was created Companion of the Bath in 1878 and knighted in 1902, the year of his retirement to Malta, after more than half a century of consular activity.

Reference: The University of Birmingham, Research Libraries Bulletin ( Number 2, Autumn 1994 ).

Access Information

Access Conditions

Open. Access to all registered researchers.

Acquisition Information

Immediate Source of Acquisition

This collection was deposited on permanent loan in 1994 through the good offices of the Director of the University of Birmingham's Centre for Byzantine, Ottoman and Modern Greek Studies.

Other Finding Aids

See full catalogue for more information.

Conditions Governing Use

Permission to make any published use of any material from the collection must be sought in advance in writing from the University Archivist, Special Collections. Identification of copyright holders of unpublished material is often difficult. Special Collections will assist where possible with identifying copyright owners, but responsibility for ensuring copyright clearance rests with the user of the material.


Further deposits are not expected.

Related Material

University of Birmingham Information Services, Special Collections Department also holds the papers of Nikolai Pavlovich Shishkin, which cover Russian consular and diplomatic relations in the Balkans in the same period.