Wilfrid Scawen Blunt - Westminster, London, UK
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member wildwoodke
N 51° 29.987 W 000° 08.421
30U E 698478 N 5709282
Quick Description: This Blue Plaque identifies a former home of Wilfrid Scawen Blunt a diplomat, poet, and traveller who lived at this location in Westminster, London, UK.
Location: London, United Kingdom
Date Posted: 9/5/2011 7:21:17 AM
Waymark Code: WMCGEZ
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member miatabug
Views: 13

Long Description:
"Wilfrid Scawen Blunt (17 August 1840 – 10 September 1922) was an English poet and writer. He was born at Petworth House in Sussex, and served in the Diplomatic Service from 1858 to 1869. He is best known for his poetry, which was published in a collected edition in 1914, but also wrote a number of political essays and polemics."

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"Sir Wilfred Blunt was born August 17,1840 and was the second son of Francis Blunt, the scion of an ild Sussex family. Unfortunately, Blunt's father died two years later. His mother leased the family estate, Crabbet Park, and wandered with her three young children in desultory fashion throughout England and Europe. At the age of eighteen Blunt passed the examination for the diplomatic service and for twelve years he served as an attaché to British embassies and legations in Athens, Constantinople, Lisbon, Madrid, Paris and Frankfurt. It was also during this time that the handsome Blunt pursued his favorite pastime, the seduction of beautiful, often married, aristocratic women.

Blunt ended up marrying a very different sort of woman. Lady Anne King Noel was twenty-nine years old when they first met in Florence, Italy. She was chaste, rich and attractive in an unassuming way. Lady Anne came with a remarkable family history. She was child of Lord Byron's daughter, Augusta Ada, and had been brought up largely by her grandmother, Lady Byron. She had spent most of her youth in Europe.

In 1882 the Blunts purchased Sheykh Obeyd, a thirty-two acre house and walled garden on the outskirts of Cairo in the desert near the pyramids. The estate was originally owned by Ibrahim Pasha, uncle to Abbas Pasha. A family friend, Frederic Harrison, visited Sheykh Obeyd in 1895 and wrote a full description of the Blunt's life in Egypt:

The garden, which covers about forty acres, is full of oranges, olives, apricots in blossom and roses in bloom - so that, although it is in the desert, it is a wilderness of water and greenery ....The house is a genuine, roomy and airy Egyptian villa in two stories, with a large flat roof on which we spend early morning and evening, take afternoon tea and coffee and lounge .... Under the palm grove, in front of the gate and outer court, the Arabian brood mares and their foals are tethered and are feeding down the clover. there are about twenty-five of them ... tended by a small tribe of Bedouin lads in burnouses, who live in tents under the palms. The sight is like a bit from Genesis in real life. The camel encampment is some distance off, in the actual desert, where there is another tribe of Bedouins who never come under a roof..
The primary horse objective of the Blunts became that of collecting from the stud of Ali Pasha Sherif. With perseverance and tenacity they collected approximately 16 stallions and 51 mares bred by Ali Pasha Sherif which were some of Egypt's finest Arabians. They shipped some of them to the Blunt's estate, Newbuildings and later to Crabbet while leaving others at their Sheykh Obeyd Stud. In a poignant note, Lady Anne mentions that she could almost regret having purchased the Ali Pasha mares because Judith, her sole heir, did not value them.

Wilfred Blunt died September 10, 1922. By his own orders there was no ceremony, only a simple Bedouin-style funeral. His body was wrapped in an Oriental carpet and carried by six workmen to a grave several hundred yards from Crabbet Park."

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Blue Plaque managing agency: Greater London Council

Individual Recognized: Wilfrid Scawen Blunt

Physical Address:
15 Buckingham Gate
London, United Kingdom

Web Address: [Web Link]

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