Death in the Embassy

The day after Uritskii’s assassination and the attack on Lenin, the British Embassy in Petrograd was raided by Cheka personnel.  Suspicions about British involvement in anti-Bolshevik activities had reached fever pitch. The raid turned deadly as shots were exchanged.  On the Embassy side, the life of naval attaché Captain Francis Cromie was lost, to the outrage of politicians and the public at home.

Amongst the University Library’s Templewood papers (the archive of Sir Samuel Hoare), are notes relating to Hoare’s book on revolutionary Russia called The fourth seal, half of whose 13th chapter is dedicated to Cromie.  On display are Hoare’s notes about Francis Cromie, which refer to his death and mention Reverend Bousfield Lombard, the British chaplain, who was visiting Cromie when the attack happened and was then arrested with the remaining Embassy staff.  They also mention Maksim Litvinoff, the Soviet representative in the UK, who was then “placed under preventative arrest in London”.

Templewood II:5.A