Henry McMahon (diplomat)
Lieutenant-Colonel Sir Arthur Henry McMahon, GCMG
Order of St Michael and St George
The Most Distinguished Order of Saint Michael and Saint George is an order of chivalry founded on 28 April 1818 by George, Prince Regent, later George IV of the United Kingdom, while he was acting as Prince Regent for his father, George III....

Royal Victorian Order
The Royal Victorian Order is a dynastic order of knighthood and a house order of chivalry recognising distinguished personal service to the order's Sovereign, the reigning monarch of the Commonwealth realms, any members of her family, or any of her viceroys...

Order of the Indian Empire
The Most Eminent Order of the Indian Empire is an order of chivalry founded by Queen Victoria in 1878. The Order includes members of three classes:#Knight Grand Commander #Knight Commander #Companion...

Order of the Star of India
The Most Exalted Order of the Star of India is an order of chivalry founded by Queen Victoria in 1861. The Order includes members of three classes:# Knight Grand Commander # Knight Commander # Companion...

 (28 November 1862 Shimla
Shimla , formerly known as Simla, is the capital city of Himachal Pradesh. In 1864, Shimla was declared the summer capital of the British Raj in India. A popular tourist destination, Shimla is often referred to as the "Queen of Hills," a term coined by the British...

, India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

 — 29 December 1949 London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

, United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

) was a British
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland was the formal name of the United Kingdom during the period when what is now the Republic of Ireland formed a part of it....

 diplomat and Indian Army officer who served as the High Commissioner
High Commissioner (Commonwealth)
In the Commonwealth of Nations, a High Commissioner is the senior diplomat in charge of the diplomatic mission of one Commonwealth government to another.-History:...

 in Egypt
Egypt , officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, Arabic: , is a country mainly in North Africa, with the Sinai Peninsula forming a land bridge in Southwest Asia. Egypt is thus a transcontinental country, and a major power in Africa, the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East and the Muslim world...

 from 1915 to 1917. He was also an administrator in British India
British Raj
British Raj was the British rule in the Indian subcontinent between 1858 and 1947; The term can also refer to the period of dominion...

, and served twice as Chief Commissioner of Balochistan
Balochistan (Pakistan)
Balochistan is one of the four provinces or federating units of Pakistan. With an area of 134,051 mi2 or , it is the largest province of Pakistan, constituting approximately 44% of the total land mass of Pakistan. According to the 1998 population census, Balochistan had a population of...

. McMahon is best known for the McMahon-Hussein Correspondence, as well as the McMahon Line
McMahon Line
The McMahon Line is a line agreed to by Great Britain and Tibet as part of Simla Accord, a treaty signed in 1914. Although its legal status is disputed by China, it is the effective boundary between China and India....

 between Tibet
Tibet is a plateau region in Asia, north-east of the Himalayas. It is the traditional homeland of the Tibetan people as well as some other ethnic groups such as Monpas, Qiang, and Lhobas, and is now also inhabited by considerable numbers of Han and Hui people...

 and India. He also features prominently in T.E. Lawrence's account of his role in the Arab Revolt
Arab Revolt
The Arab Revolt was initiated by the Sherif Hussein bin Ali with the aim of securing independence from the ruling Ottoman Turks and creating a single unified Arab state spanning from Aleppo in Syria to Aden in Yemen.- Background :...

 against the Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman EmpireIt was usually referred to as the "Ottoman Empire", the "Turkish Empire", the "Ottoman Caliphate" or more commonly "Turkey" by its contemporaries...

 during World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

, Seven Pillars of Wisdom
Seven Pillars of Wisdom
Seven Pillars of Wisdom is the autobiographical account of the experiences of British soldier T. E. Lawrence , while serving as a liaison officer with rebel forces during the Arab Revolt against the Ottoman Turks of 1916 to 1918....



McMahon was the son of Lieutenant-General Charles Alexander McMahon, FRS
Royal Society
The Royal Society of London for Improving Natural Knowledge, known simply as the Royal Society, is a learned society for science, and is possibly the oldest such society in existence. Founded in November 1660, it was granted a Royal Charter by King Charles II as the "Royal Society of London"...

Geological Society of London
The Geological Society of London is a learned society based in the United Kingdom with the aim of "investigating the mineral structure of the Earth"...

 (1830-1904), a edgeologist and Commissioner of both Lahore
Lahore Division
Lahore Division was an administrative division of the Punjab Province of Pakistan, until the reforms of 2000 abolished the third tier of government.-History:Lahore Division was originally an administrative division of the Punjab Province of British India...

 and Hisar
Hisar District
Hisar district is one of the 21 districts of Haryana state, India. Hisar city serves as the district headquarters. The district is also part of Hisar division, which is headed by a commissioner who belongs to the Indian Administrative Service....

 in British India
British Raj
British Raj was the British rule in the Indian subcontinent between 1858 and 1947; The term can also refer to the period of dominion...

, and who, like his father Captain
Captain (OF-2)
The army rank of captain is a commissioned officer rank historically corresponding to command of a company of soldiers. The rank is also used by some air forces and marine forces. Today a captain is typically either the commander or second-in-command of a company or artillery battery...

 Alexander McMahon (born 1791 in Kilrea
Kilrea is a village and townland in County Londonderry, Northern Ireland. It is near the River Bann, which marks the boundary between County Londonderry and County Antrim...

, Derry
Derry or Londonderry is the second-biggest city in Northern Ireland and the fourth-biggest city on the island of Ireland. The name Derry is an anglicisation of the Irish name Doire or Doire Cholmcille meaning "oak-wood of Colmcille"...

, Ireland) had been an officer with the East India Company
East India Company
The East India Company was an early English joint-stock company that was formed initially for pursuing trade with the East Indies, but that ended up trading mainly with the Indian subcontinent and China...

. The McMahons are the Gaelic tribe of Mac Mathghamhna who had come originally from the medieval Irish kingdom of Airgíalla or Oriel
Airgíalla or Airgialla was the name of an Irish federation and Irish kingdom which first formed around the 7th century...

 in South Ulster/North Leinster, where they reigned from around 1250 until about 1600. Sir Henry's own family had settled in the Downpatrick
Downpatrick is a medium-sized town about 33 km south of Belfast in County Down, Northern Ireland. It is the county town of Down with a rich history and strong connection to Saint Patrick. It had a population of 10,316 at the 2001 Census...

 area of County Down
County Down
-Cities:*Belfast *Newry -Large towns:*Dundonald*Newtownards*Bangor-Medium towns:...

 before his great-grandfather Rev. Arthur McMahon moved to Kilrea, where he was minister to the local Presbyterian congregation between 1789 and 1794: a prominent Irish Republican, Rev. McMahon was a member of the National Directory of the Society of United Irishmen and one of their Colonels
Colonel , abbreviated Col or COL, is a military rank of a senior commissioned officer. It or a corresponding rank exists in most armies and in many air forces; the naval equivalent rank is generally "Captain". It is also used in some police forces and other paramilitary rank structures...

 in Ulster
Ulster is one of the four provinces of Ireland, located in the north of the island. In ancient Ireland, it was one of the fifths ruled by a "king of over-kings" . Following the Norman invasion of Ireland, the ancient kingdoms were shired into a number of counties for administrative and judicial...

 during the Irish Rebellion of 1798
Irish Rebellion of 1798
The Irish Rebellion of 1798 , also known as the United Irishmen Rebellion , was an uprising in 1798, lasting several months, against British rule in Ireland...

. He apparently fought at the battles of Saintfield
Battle of Saintfield
The Battle of Saintfield was a short but bloody clash in County Down, in Northern Ireland. The battle was the first major conflict of the Irish Rebellion of 1798 in Down. The battle took took place on Saturday, 9 June 1798.-Background:...

 and Ballynahinch
Battle of Ballynahinch
The Battle of Ballynahinch was fought outside Ballynahinch, County Down, on 12 June, during the Irish rebellion of 1798 between British forces led by Major-General George Nugent and the local United Irishmen led by Henry Munro .-Background:...

 and after the rebels' overall defeat had been able to flee to France where he served with Napoleon's Irish Legion
Irish Legion
The Irish Legion was a French battalion established in 1803 for a future invasion of Ireland. It was later expanded to a Regiment and won distinction in the Walcheren Expedition and the Peninsular War...

. It is said that he was captured by the British during the Walcheren Campaign
Walcheren Campaign
The Walcheren Campaign was an unsuccessful British expedition to the Netherlands in 1809 intended to open another front in the Austrian Empire's struggle with France during the War of the Fifth Coalition. Around 40,000 soldiers, 15,000 horses together with field artillery and two siege trains...

 of 1809, and though sent to England, was later able to return to France where in June 1815 he eventually died fighting, it is believed, at either Ligny
Battle of Ligny
The Battle of Ligny was the last victory of the military career of Napoleon I. In this battle, French troops of the Armée du Nord under Napoleon's command, defeated a Prussian army under Field Marshal Blücher, near Ligny in present-day Belgium. The bulk of the Prussian army survived, however, and...

 or of Waterloo
Battle of Waterloo
The Battle of Waterloo was fought on Sunday 18 June 1815 near Waterloo in present-day Belgium, then part of the United Kingdom of the Netherlands...



McMahon was commissioned a Lieutenant in the Indian Staff Corps in the 1880s and was appointed a CIE in 1894. By 1897, he had been promoted to captain and was appointed a CSI in that year. He was promoted to a majority in the army in 1901. He was knighted with the KCIE in 1906 and promoted to the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel in 1909. In 1911, on the occasion of the Delhi Durbar, he was appointed a GCVO and was appointed to the post of High Commissioner in Egypt in 1914. In 1915, he was made a Knight of Grace of the Order of St John (KStJ). He was appointed a GCMG in 1916 upon his retirement from the Indian Army. In 1920, he was awarded the Order of El Nahda, 1st Class from the King of the Hejaz. In 1925, he was promoted to a Knight of Justice in the Order of St John.


  • 1862-1882: Arthur Henry McMahon
  • 1882-1894: Lieutenant
    A lieutenant is a junior commissioned officer in many nations' armed forces. Typically, the rank of lieutenant in naval usage, while still a junior officer rank, is senior to the army rank...

     Arthur Henry McMahon
  • 1894-1895: Lieutenant Arthur Henry McMahon, CIE
    Order of the Indian Empire
    The Most Eminent Order of the Indian Empire is an order of chivalry founded by Queen Victoria in 1878. The Order includes members of three classes:#Knight Grand Commander #Knight Commander #Companion...

  • 1895-1897: Captain Arthur Henry McMahon, CIE
  • 1897-1901: Captain Arthur Henry McMahon, CSI, CIE
  • 1901-1906: Major
    Major is a rank of commissioned officer, with corresponding ranks existing in almost every military in the world.When used unhyphenated, in conjunction with no other indicator of rank, the term refers to the rank just senior to that of an Army captain and just below the rank of lieutenant colonel. ...

     Arthur Henry McMahon, CSI, CIE
  • 1906-1909: Major Sir
    Sir is an honorific used as a title , or as a courtesy title to address a man without using his given or family name in many English speaking cultures...

     Arthur Henry McMahon, KCIE
    KCIE may refer to:* Knight Commander, one of the ranks of the Order of the Indian Empire* KCIE , a radio station licensed to Dulce, New Mexico, United States...

    , CSI
  • 1909-1911: Lieutenant-Colonel Sir Arthur Henry McMahon, KCIE, CSI
  • 1911-1916: Lieutenant-Colonel Sir Arthur Henry McMahon, GCVO, KCIE, CSI
  • 1916-1949: Lieutenant-Colonel Sir Arthur Henry McMahon, GCMG, GCVO, KCIE, CSI
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