Sir Thomas Wyse

Wyse, Sir Thomas, K.C.B., author, politician, and diplomatist, was born in December 1791, at the manor of St. John, County of Waterford. He was the son of a country gentleman, and belonged to a family that traced their descent from one of the Anglo-Norman conquerors of Ireland. He was educated at Stonyhurst, and graduated with honours at Trinity College, Dublin. He entered at Lincoln's Inn, but was not called to the Bar. In 1821 he married Letitia, daughter of Lucien Bonaparte, Prince of Canino, by whom he had two sons, who survived him. The marriage was not a happy one, and the parties separated in 1828. Mr. Wyse represented the County of Tipperary in Parliament from 1830 to 1832, and the City of Waterford from 1835 to 1847. He held office under Lord Melbourne from 1839 to 1841, and was one of the Secretaries of the Board of Control from 1846 to 1849, in which year he was appointed British Minister at Athens. He held this post during the remainder of his life; much responsibility devolving upon him during the Crimean War. In 1857 he was created a K.C.B. Besides translations and contributions to magazines, Sir Thomas Wyse was the author of several works, mostly sketches of travel in Europe and the East. In 1829 he published in London, in two volumes, a valuable Historical Sketch of the Late Catholic Association of Ireland, giving an account of the agitation for Catholic Emancipation from its inception to the success of the movement in that year. Few men had a more intimate knowledge of modern Greece and its people than Sir Thomas Wyse. He died at Athens, 15th April 1862, aged 70, writing despatches up to the last week of a long and painful illness. His remains were accorded a public funeral by the King of Greece. His niece, Winifrede M. Wyse, edited from his manuscripts, An Excursion in the Peloponnesus in 1858, with illustrations, in 2 vols., 1865; and Impressions of Greece, 1871.


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