|Sir John Blunt's papers include an important collection of documents relating to political, religious and social affairs in Rumelia, Bulgaria and Macedonia, 1870-1900. Blunt kept a voluminous quantity of papers during his career, which make interesting reading on the events of the time in Eastern Europe. He was with Lord Lucan at the battle of Alma, Balaklave and Inkerman, and later saw the advance of the Russian army into Bulgaria in 1877. As Consul General in Salonika he followed closely the situation in Macedonia at the end of the 19th century. He was a careful observer and his reports contain a lot of detail.
Much of his papers are in manuscript, though there are printed copies of his correspondence with the Foreign Office in London and the HM Embassy in Constantinople. There are also extensive press cuttings. In retirement in Malta in 1902, he wrote his reminiscences but apparently did not develop them to the point of publication, though draft chapters exist. These include Blunt's reminiscences relating to the Crimean War and of his history of Serbians and Serbia.
There are also a number of papers within the collection relating to other members of the Blunt family, for example, an account of Captain O.D. Blunt's service in the Boer War and other papers relating to Osmond Blunt; papers of Fanny Blunt; and papers of Charles Blunt.
|Sir John Elijah Blunt, 1832-1916 was a distinguished British consul of the late nineteenth century, with numerous family ties to the consular service. Born 14 October 1832 in Adrianople (now Edirne), he was the son of Charles Blunt, HM Consul at Smyrna, and of Caroline Vitalis, daughter of HM Consul at Brussa. He married Fanny Janet Sandison in 1858, daughter of Donald Sandison, HM Consul, Brusa.
After being educated 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 (Skopje), 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. He died 19th June 1916 in Malta.
Reference: The University of Birmingham, Research Libraries Bulletin (Number 2, Autumn 1994).