Louis du Pan Mallet

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Person.png Louis du Pan Mallet  Rdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
Louis du Pan Mallet.png
Born10 July 1864
Died8 August 1936 (Age 72)
Alma materClifton College, Balliol College Oxford
ParentsLouis Mallet (1823-1890)
British diplomat who was Ambassador to Turkey at the outbreak of World War I

Not to be confused with his father Louis Mallet (1823-1890)

Sir Louis du Pan Mallet was a British diplomat who was Ambassador to Turkey at the outbreak of World War I.


Louis du Pan Mallet was the third son of Sir Louis Mallet, a British civil servant. He was educated at Clifton College[1] and privately before going up to Balliol College, Oxford after which he entered the Foreign Office in 1888.[2]


He worked in Brazil, Rome and Cairo before holding the posts of précis writer to the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Lord Lansdowne, 1902–05 and subsequently Private Secretary to Lansdowne's successor, Sir Edward Grey, 1905–07. He was assistant Under-Secretary of State, in charge of Near and Middle Eastern affairs, 1907–13.

In 1913 Mallet was appointed Ambassador at Constantinople.[3] "The appointment caused no little surprise, as it had been expected that it would be given to a member of the Diplomatic Corps with experience of Constantinople. Conditions in Turkey had greatly changed in the past 15 years. British influence had waned, while that of Germany had increased to the point of dominance. The Secretary of State considered it wise to have an Ambassador in Constantinople without preconceptions derived from former experience there. Mallet had wide experience of foreign politics in general; and, in Sir Edward Grey's opinion, a special knowledge of the problems to be dealt with by a British Ambassador to the Porte."[4]

Up to July 1914, Mallet's task was not difficult. Britain and Germany had both helped with the settlement after the First Balkan War and relations with the Ottoman Empire were comfortable. But he was on leave at the outbreak of World War I when Britain confiscated two Ottoman dreadnought battleships that were being built in Britain. Shortly afterwards two German battleships, SMS Goeben and SMS Breslau, arrived at Constantinople. As Turkey was still officially neutral, they and their crews were transferred to the Ottoman navy. By the time Mallet reached his post, three weeks after the outbreak of war, the question of Turkey's affiliation was practically decided, although the Allied powers continued to negotiate with the Porte until the Ottomans joined the war on the side of the Central Powers, when Mallet and other Allied ambassadors had to leave Constantinople. Mallet was criticised at the time and afterwards for failing to keep the Ottoman Empire out of the war, but Germany's influence was aided by Turkey's long-running enmity with Russia, one of the Allies. Also, Mallet could only act with the concurrence of the British, French and Russian governments, whereas the German ambassador, Wangenheim, was able to act on his own initiative.[4]

Mallet worked in the Foreign Office during the war and among other tasks was a member of a government committee on prisoners of war.[5] He was attached to the British delegation to the Paris Peace Conference, 1919, and retired in 1920.

Personal life

In 1912 Mallet acquired the dilapidated 14th century Otham Manor, then known as Wardes, having 'detected amid the ruin and squalor the possibility of restoring an exceptionally fine old timber house to something like its pristine beauty'.[6]


  1. "Clifton College Register" Muirhead, J.A.O. p86: Bristol; J.W Arrowsmith for Old Cliftonian Society; April, 1948
  2. https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/issue/25834/page/3638
  3. https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/issue/28770/page/7674
  4. a b Obituary – Sir Louis Mallet – The Turco-German Alliance in the War, The Times, London, 10 August 1936, page 12
  5. Prisoners of War, Hansard, 16 March 1916
  6. https://www.countrylife.co.uk/property/beautiful-grade-listed-650-year-old-manor-house-gardens-survived-dereliction-twice-now-lovingly-restored-200031
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