Evelyn Baring

(1841—1917) diplomatist and proconsul

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Proconsul. Baring spent the years 1858–72 in the Royal Artillery and then went to India as private secretary to his cousin, Lord Northbrook, the viceroy. In 1877 he began his life's work when he was sent as commissioner to Egypt to attempt the enormous task of placing its finances on a firm footing. For 30 years he was the effective power in the land, comptroller‐general from 1879 to 1880, consul‐general 1883–1907. Restoration of Egyptian solvency meant withdrawal from the Sudan and Baring acquiesced, with misgivings, in the choice of Gordon to carry out the task, watching helplessly when Gordon was trapped at Khartoum. Not until the 1890s was Kitchener able to restore Egyptian control over the Sudan. Baring, meanwhile, accumulated honours—a barony in 1892, viscountcy in 1899, and earldom in 1901.

Subjects: British History.

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