Colonel Sir Mark Sykes, 6th Baronet (born Tatton Benvenuto Mark Sykes) (16 March 1879 – 16 February 1919) was an English traveller, Conservative Party politician and diplomatic advisor, particularly about matters respecting the Middle East at the time of World War I. Events 597 BC - Babylonians capture Jerusalem, replace Jehoiachin with Zedekiah as king Year 1879 ( MDCCCLXXIX) was a Common year starting on Wednesday (link will display the full calendar of the Gregorian calendar (or a Common Events 1249 - Andrew of Longjumeau is dispatched by Louis IX of France as his ambassador to meet with the Khan of the Mongols Year 1919 ( MCMXIX) was a Common year starting on Wednesday (link will display the full calendar of the Gregorian calendar (or a Common England is a Country which is part of the United Kingdom. Its inhabitants account for more than 83% of the total UK population whilst its mainland The Conservative Party (officially the Conservative and Unionist Party) is a Political party in the United Kingdom. The Middle East is a Subcontinent with no clear boundaries often used as a synonym to Near East, in opposition to Far East. World War I (abbreviated WWI; also known as the First World War, the Great War, and the War to End All He will always be associated with the Sykes-Picot Agreement, drawn up while the war was in progress, regarding the apportionment of postwar spheres of interest in the Ottoman Empire to Britain, France and Russia. The Ottoman Empire (1299–1923 ( Old Ottoman Turkish: دولتْ علیّه عثمانیّه Devlet-i Âliye-yi Osmâniyye, Late Ottoman and Modern Turkish The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom, the UK or Britain,is a Sovereign state located This article is about the country For a topic outline on this subject see List of basic France topics. Russia (Россия Rossiya) or the Russian Federation ( Rossiyskaya Federatsiya) is a transcontinental Country extending
Mark Sykes was the only child of Sir Tatton Sykes, who, when a 48 year old wealthy bachelor, married his mother, Christina Anne Jessica Cavendish-Bentinck, 30 years his junior. There have been created four Baronetcies created for persons with the surname Sykes, two in the Baronetage of Great Britain and two in the Baronetage of the United Several accounts suggest that his future mother-in-law essentially trapped Tatton Sykes into marrying Christina. They were reportedly an unhappy couple. After spending large amounts of money paying off his wife's debts, Tatton Sykes published a notice in the papers disavowing her future debts and legally separating from her.
Lady Sykes lived in London, and Mark divided his time between her home and the East Riding of Yorkshire estates, 30,000 acres (120 km²), of his father. Their seat was Sledmere House. Sledmere House is a Georgian Country house, containing Chippendale, Sheraton and French furnishings and many fine pictures set within a park Lady Sykes converted to Roman Catholicism and Mark was brought into that faith at the age of three. For all practical purposes he was a "cradle Catholic".
Mark Sykes was left much to his own devices and developed an imagination, without the corresponding self discipline to make him a good scholar. He travelled most winters with his father to the Middle East, especially the Ottoman Empire. The Ottoman Empire (1299–1923 ( Old Ottoman Turkish: دولتْ علیّه عثمانیّه Devlet-i Âliye-yi Osmâniyye, Late Ottoman and Modern Turkish He also visited the Mediterranean, Egypt, India, the Caribbean, Mexico, the United States and Canada. But all things Turkish appealed to him most.
In 1897 he was commissioned into the 3rd (Militia) Battalion, Green Howards. The term militia is commonly used today to refer to a military force composed of ordinary Citizens to provide defense emergency law enforcement or Paramilitary service The Green Howards (Alexandra Princess of Wales's Own Yorkshire Regiment was an Infantry Regiment of the British Army, part of the King's Division
Mark Sykes attended Cambridge University and by the age of 25 he had published at least four books; D'Ordel's Pantechnicon (1904), a parody of the magazines of the period (illustrated by Edmund Sandars); D'Ordel's Tactics and Military Training (date unknown), a parody of the Infantry Drill Book of 1896 (also with Sandars); and two travel books, Dar-Ul-Islam (The Home of Islam, 1904) and Through Five Turkish Provinces (1900). The University of Cambridge (often Cambridge University) located in Cambridge, England, is the second-oldest university in the Sir Sykes also wrote The Caliphs' Last Heritage: A Short History of the Turkish Empire, which was more of a travelogue than a history.
Heir to the vast Yorkshire estates and a baronetcy, the Roman Catholic Sykes was not content to await his inheritance. Yorkshire is a historic county of Northern England and the largest in Great Britain. A baronet (traditional abbreviation Bart, modern abbreviation Bt) or the rare female equivalent a baronetess (abbreviation Btss) is the holder He served in the Second Boer War for two years where he was engaged mostly in guard duty, but saw action on several occasions. See also First Boer War,, South African Wars (1879-1915 The Second Boer War ( Dutch: Tweede Boerenoorlog, Afrikaans: He travelled extensively, especially in the Middle East.
From 1904 to 1905 he was Parliamentary Secretary to the Chief Secretary for Ireland, George Wyndham. A Parliamentary Secretary is a member of a Parliament in the Westminster system who assists a more senior minister with their duties The office before 1800 The dominant position of the Lord Lieutenant in the Irish governmental system had been central to the British administration for much of the history of George Wyndham ( 29 August 1863 &ndash 8 June 1913) was an English Political figure. Later he served as honorary attaché to the British Embassy in Istanbul. Istanbul (historically Byzantium and later Constantinople; see the other Names of Istanbul) is the largest city of Turkey
Sykes was very much a Yorkshire grandee, with his country seat at Sledmere House, breeding race horses, sitting on the bench, raising and commanding a militia unit and fulfilling his social obligations. Grandee is a word either to render in English the Iberic high aristocratic title 'Grande' used by the Spanish Portuguese and Brazilian peerage or by analogy to refer to other Sledmere House is a Georgian Country house, containing Chippendale, Sheraton and French furnishings and many fine pictures set within a park A Justice of the Peace ( JP) is a Puisne Judicial officer appointed by means of a commission to keep the peace He married Edith Gorst, also a Roman Catholic. It was a happy union and they had six children who were raised as Catholics. Sykes succeeded to the baronetcy and the estates in 1913. A baronet (traditional abbreviation Bart, modern abbreviation Bt) or the rare female equivalent a baronetess (abbreviation Btss) is the holder
In 1912, Sykes was elected as Conservative Member of Parliament (MP) for Hull Central, after two close but unsuccessful tries in another constituency. Year 1912 ( MCMXII) was a Leap year starting on Monday (link will display the full calendar of the Gregorian calendar (or a Leap year starting A Member of Parliament, or MP, is a representative elected by the voters to a Parliament. Kingston upon Hull Central was a parliamentary constituency in the city of Kingston upon Hull in East Yorkshire. A constituency is any cohesive corporate unit or body bound by shared structures goals or loyalty He became close to Lord Hugh Cecil, another MP. Hugh Richard Heathcote (Gascoyne-Cecil 1st Baron Quickswood PC ( 14 October 1869 &ndash 10 December 1956) was a British and was a contemporary of the volatile F.E. Smith, later Lord Birkenhead, and a fellow Catholic, Hilaire Belloc, a naturalized British citizen from France. Frederick Edwin Smith 1st Earl of Birkenhead, GCSI, PC ( 12 July 1872 – 30 September 1930) was a British Joseph Hilaire Pierre René Belloc (27 July 1870 &ndash 16 July 1953 was a French -born Writer who became a Naturalised British subject
Sykes was also a friend of Aubrey Herbert, another Englishman influential in Middle Eastern affairs, and was acquainted with Gertrude Bell, the pro-Arab Foreign Office advisor and Middle Eastern traveller. Aubrey Nigel Henry Molyneux Herbert, MP, (1880 &ndash September 26, 1923) was a British diplomat traveller and intelligence officer associated with Gertrude Margaret Lowthian Bell CBE ( July 14, 1868 – July 12, 1926) was a British writer traveller political analyst Sykes was never as single minded an advocate of the Arab cause as Bell, and her friends T.E. Lawrence and Sir Percy Cox. His sympathies and interests later extended to Armenians, Arabs and Jews as well as Turks. The Armenians (Հայեր Hayer) are a Nation and Ethnic group originating in the Caucasus and in the Armenian Highlands A large The araB gene Promoter is a bacterial promoter activated by e L-arabinose binding PLEASE TAKE NOTE************ The Turkic peoples are Eurasian peoples residing in northern central and western Eurasia who speak languages belonging to the Turkic language family This is reflected in the Turkish Room he had installed in Sledmere House, using a noted Armenian artist as designer.
When World War I broke out, Lieutenant Colonel Sykes was commanding officer of a reserve unit, the 5th Battalion of the Green Howards. World War I (abbreviated WWI; also known as the First World War, the Great War, and the War to End All Lieutenant Colonel ( Lieutenant-Colonel in English from the French grade 's spelling is a rank of Commissioned officer in the armies A battalion is a Military unit of around 500-1500 men usually consisting of between two and seven companies and typically commanded by a Lieutenant Colonel The Green Howards (Alexandra Princess of Wales's Own Yorkshire Regiment was an Infantry Regiment of the British Army, part of the King's Division But, he did not lead them into battle as his particular talents were needed in the War Office working for Lord Kitchener, the Secretary of State for War. The War Office was a former department of the British Government, responsible for the administration of the British Army between the 17th century and 1963 when Field Marshal Horatio Herbert Kitchener 1st Earl Kitchener, KG, KP, GCB, OM The position of Secretary of State for War, commonly called War Secretary, was a British Cabinet -level position first applied to Henry Dundas Kitchener placed him on the de Bunsen Committee advising the Cabinet on Middle Eastern affairs. Although Sykes never got to know Kitchener well, they shared a similar outlook and Sykes had his confidence. He was soon the dominant person on the Committee, and so gained great influence on British Middle Eastern policy. Upon Sykes's instigation but not completely according to his wishes, the Arab Bureau was created. The Arab Bureau was a section of the Cairo Intelligence Department during the First World War. It was Sykes and his fellows in this group who revived ancient Greek and Roman names for Middle Eastern regions. Such terms in common use today include "Syria", "Palestine", "Iraq" and "Mesopotamia". Syria ( سوريّة or) officially the Syrian Arab Republic (Arabic ar الجمهورية العربية السورية Palestine is a name which has been widely used since Roman times to refer to the region between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River. For a topic outline on this subject see List of basic Iraq topics. Mesopotamia (from the Greek meaning "land between the rivers" is an area geographically located between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers largely corresponding He also designed the Flag of the Arab Revolt, a combination of green, red, black and white. The Flag of the Arab Revolt was a Flag used by Arab nationalists during the Arab Revolt against the Ottoman Empire in the First World War Variations on his design are today the flags of Jordan, Iraq, Syria and the Palestinian flag. The national flag of Jordan ( علم الأردن) is based on the Flag of the Arab Revolt against the Ottoman Empire during World War I The flag of Iraq ( علم العراق) has had five different designs since the Kingdom of Iraq was established in 1921 The current flag of Syria ( علم سوريا) was re-adopted in 1980. The Palestinian flag ( علم فلسطين) was originally designed by Sharif Hussein for the Arab revolt against the Ottoman Empire in 1916
Sykes in 1904 wrote describing the Arabs:
|“||. . . ready to riot and slay for the sake of fanaticism …. detesting Europeans with a bigoted, foolish, senseless hatred.||”|
Sykes had long agreed with the traditional policy of British Conservatives in propping up the Ottoman Empire (Turkey) as a buffer against Russian expansion into the Mediterranean. Britain feared that Russia had designs on India, its most important colonial possession. A Russian fleet in the Mediterranean might cut British sea routes to India. British statesmen of the Conservative Party, such as Palmerston, Disraeli and Salisbury had held this view. The Conservative Party (officially the Conservative and Unionist Party) is a Political party in the United Kingdom. "Lord Palmerston" and "Henry Temple" redirect here Benjamin Disraeli 1st Earl of Beaconsfield, KG, PC, FRS (born Benjamin D'Israeli; 21 December 1804 &ndash 19 April 1881 was "Lord Salisbury" redirects here For other holders of the title see Marquess of Salisbury. The 19th century Liberal Party leader, William Ewart Gladstone, was much more critical of the Ottoman government, deploring its misgovernment and periodic slaughter of minorities, especially Christian ones. The Liberal Party was one of the two major British political parties from the early 19th century until the rise of the Labour Party in the 1920s and a third party A Liberal successor, David Lloyd George, shared these views. David Lloyd George 1st Earl Lloyd George of Dwyfor OM, PC (17 January 1863 &ndash 26 March 1945 was a British Statesman and the only
Since Britain was now at war with Turkey, a major rethinking of policy was needed. Turkey (Türkiye known officially as the Republic of Turkey ( is a Eurasian Country that stretches Sykes, through his connexion with Kitchener, was at the centre of this. Two conflicting positions were soon apparent. Some favoured the Arab cause in postwar settlements at the expense of Turkey, seeing the value of friendly client states in the coastal areas along the sea route to India and in the Persian Gulf which was assuming a new importance now that the Royal Navy had converted its ships to oil from coal. The Persian Gulf, in the Southwest Asian region is an extension of the The Royal Navy of the United Kingdom is the oldest of the British armed services (and is therefore known as the Senior Service) Others saw the need to retain a strong Turkey lest Russia enter the vacuum and seize Constantinople and the Straits. Constantinople (Κωνσταντινούπολις Konstantinoúpolis, or gr ἡ Πόλις hē Polis, Latin: la CONSTANTINOPOLIS A strait is a narrow navigable Channel of water that connects two larger navigable bodies of water
Compounding this was the desire of France to secure lands in the Middle East, especially in Syria, where there was a significant Christian minority. Another ally, Italy, advanced claims to Aegean Islands and protection of Christian minorities in Asia Minor. Anatolia (Anadolu Ανατολία Anatolía) or Asia minor, comprising most of modern Turkey, is the geographic region bounded by the Black Then Russian claims had to be considered, particularly with respect to control of the Straits leading from the Black Sea to the Aegean and protection of the Christian population of Turkish Armenia and the Black Sea Coast. Armenia (Հայաստան transliterated: Hayastan,) officially the Republic of Armenia (Հայաստանի Հանրապետություն Hayastani The Black Sea is an inland Sea bounded by southeastern Europe, the Caucasus and the Anatolian peninsula ( Turkey
Another problem was the desire of Greece to regain historic territories in Asia Minor, and Thrace, claims that conflicted with those of Russia and Italy, as well as Turkey. Greece (Ελλάδα transliterated: Elláda, historically, Ellás,) officially the Hellenic Republic (Ελληνική Δημοκρατία Anatolia (Anadolu Ανατολία Anatolía) or Asia minor, comprising most of modern Turkey, is the geographic region bounded by the Black Thrace (Тракия Trakiya or "Trakija" or Trakia, Θράκη Thráki, Trakya is a historical and geographic area in southeast Europe The Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (1916-1922), David Lloyd George, favoured the Greek cause. The Prime Minister of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is the political leader of the United Kingdom David Lloyd George 1st Earl Lloyd George of Dwyfor OM, PC (17 January 1863 &ndash 26 March 1945 was a British Statesman and the only
Complicating all this was the desire of Jewish Zionists to have a homeland in Palestine. History of Zionism|Timeline of Zionism|World Zionist Organization|Zionist political violence Zionism is an international political movement that originally supported the
In summary form; the conflicting interests of the Great Powers and aspiring nations during World War I were:
Russia vs Turkey vs Greece over Constantinople, the Straits and Thrace
France vs the Arabs vs Turkey over Syria
Britain vs France vs the Arabs vs the Zionists over Palestine
Greece vs Turkey vs Italy over Smyrna and southwest Asia Minor
Britain vs France vs the Arabs vs Turkey over Kurdish northern Iraq
France vs Turkey over southeastern Asia Minor and Alexandretta
Russia vs Turkey over Armenia and The southeast Black Sea coast
It was the special role of Sykes to hammer out an agreement with Britain's most important ally, France, which was shouldering a disproportionate part of the effort against Germany in the war. A great power is a Nation or State that has the ability to exert its influence on a global scale This article is on the Ancient Greek city of Smyrna principally in connection with the ruins remaining to this day His French counterpart was François Georges-Picot and it is generally felt that Picot got a better deal than expected. François Marie Denis Georges-Picot ( Paris, 21 December 1870 &ndash Paris, 20 June 1951) son of Historian Sykes came to feel this as well and it bothered him. Particulars may be found in the article Sykes-Picot Agreement.
Evidence suggests that Sykes had a hand in promoting the Balfour Declaration issued on 2 November 1917. Balfour Declaration of 1917 (dated November 2 1917) was a Classified formal statement of Policy by the British government stating Events 1570 - A Tidal wave in the North Sea devastates the coast from Holland to Jutland, killing more than 1000 Year 1917 ( MCMXVII) was a Common year starting on Monday (link will display the full calendar of the Gregorian calendar (or a Common year It stated that: "His Majesty"s Government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object. . . "
Sir Mark Sykes was in Paris in connection with peace negotiations in 1919. At the conference, a junior diplomat present, Harold Nicolson, described his role: "It was due to his endless push and perservance, to his enthusiasm and faith, that Arab nationalism and Zionism became two of the most successful of our war causes. Sir Harold George Nicolson KCVO CMG ( November 21 1886 &ndash May 1 1968) was an English Diplomat "
He died there in his hotel room on 16 February 1919, aged 39, a victim of the Spanish flu pandemic. Events 1249 - Andrew of Longjumeau is dispatched by Louis IX of France as his ambassador to meet with the Khan of the Mongols Year 1919 ( MCMXIX) was a Common year starting on Wednesday (link will display the full calendar of the Gregorian calendar (or a Common The 1918 flu pandemic (commonly referred to as the Spanish flu) was an Influenza Pandemic that spread to nearly every part of the world His remains were transported back to his family home at Sledmere House (in East Riding of Yorkshire) for burial. Sledmere House is a Georgian Country house, containing Chippendale, Sheraton and French furnishings and many fine pictures set within a park Although he had been a Roman Catholic, he was buried in the graveyard of the local Anglican St. Mary's church in Sledmere.
Nahum Sokolow, a Russian Zionist colleague of Chaim Weizmann in Paris at this time, wrote that Sykes ". Nahum Sokolow (1859-1936 was a Zionist leader author translator and a pioneer of Hebrew Journalism. Chaim Azriel Weizmann ( Hebrew: חיים עזריאל ויצמן – November 27, 1874 &ndash November 9, 1952) was a Zionist . . fell as a hero at our side. "
He was succeeded by his son, Sir Richard Sykes, 7th Baronet (1905–1978). Another son, Christopher Sykes (1907–1986), was a distinguished author and official biographer of Evelyn Waugh. Christopher Sykes could refer to Christopher Sykes (MP (1831 &ndash 1898 Member of Parliament and friend of Edward VII as Prince of Wales Arthur Evelyn St John Waugh (ˈiːvlɪn ˈwɔː (28 October 1903 &ndash 10 April 1966 was an English Writer, best known for such darkly humorous and (His grandchildren include the New York-based fashion writer and novelist Plum Sykes and her twin sister, Lucy Sykes (Mrs. Victoria "Plum" Sykes (born 4 December 1969) is a British -born fashion-writer novelist and New York Socialite. Euan Rellie), and their brother Thomas (Tom) Sykes).
Sledmere House is still in the possession of the family, with Sir Mark's eldest grandson Sir Tatton Sykes, 8th Baronet, being the current occupant. Sledmere House is a Georgian Country house, containing Chippendale, Sheraton and French furnishings and many fine pictures set within a park A brother is the photographer and writer Christopher Sykes (photographer); he or his son will eventually inherit the baronetcy.
Sykes was, among others like D.G. Hogarth and Henry McMahon, one of the inspirations for the character of Mr. Dryden in the film Lawrence of Arabia (1962). David George Hogarth (born May 23, 1862, in Barton-upon-Humber, Lincolnshire; died November 6, 1927, in Oxford Henry McMahon may refer to Henry McMahon (diplomat (1862-1949 diplomat best known for the McMahon-Hussein Correspondence Henry McMahon Dryden is a major character in the film Lawrence of Arabia (1962 Lawrence of Arabia is a 1962 Epic film based on the life of T
In 2007, nearly 90 years after Sir Mark Sykes died, permission was given by his grandchildren to exhume his body for scientific investigation. His remains were of interest because he had been buried in a lead-lined coffin, and this was thought likely to have preserved Spanish Flu viral particles intact. The 1918 flu pandemic (commonly referred to as the Spanish flu) was an Influenza Pandemic that spread to nearly every part of the world Any samples taken are to be used for research in the quest to develop defences against the next flu pandemic, which some scientists believe is likely to flare up at some stage in the future as a mutation of the bird flu virus named H5N1. A pandemic (from Greek παν pan all + δήμος demos people is an Epidemic of Infectious disease that spreads through Influenza A virus subtype H5[[Neuraminidase N1]], also known as A(H5N1 or simply H5N1, is a subtype of the Influenza A virus which can cause The Spanish Flu itself became a human infection by a mutation of an aviary virus nowadays called H1N1. The 1918 flu pandemic (commonly referred to as the Spanish flu) was an Influenza Pandemic that spread to nearly every part of the world H1[[Neuraminidase N1]] is a subtype of the species Influenza A virus. There are only five other extant samples of the Spanish Flu and none of the other remains from which they come are as well preserved as Sir Mark's body is expected to be. The 1918 flu pandemic (commonly referred to as the Spanish flu) was an Influenza Pandemic that spread to nearly every part of the world 
Sykes is a major feature in Balfour to Blair, a documentary about the history of British involvment in the middle east.
|Parliament of the United Kingdom|
Henry Seymour King
|Member of Parliament for Hull Central|
|Baronetage of Great Britain|
Mark Tatton Richard Tatton-Sykes