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Sir James Marjoribanks


1911 - 2003

Diplomat. Born in Colinton (Edinburgh), the son of the parish minister, Marjoribanks was educated at Merchiston Castle School, Edinburgh Academy and the University of Edinburgh, where he gained a first-class degree in modern languages. He followed a career in the diplomatic service, joining the British Foreign Service in 1934 and posted to China the following year. He escaped China as the Japanese invaded, and was sent to France just as that country fell to the Germans. He then served in the USA, playing a role in fostering the 'special relationship' between that country and Britain. He occupied various positions in Europe and beyond before being appointed Ambassador to the European Economic Community in 1965. He presented Britain's application to join the European Community in 1967 and, through astute negotiation, was instrumental in this application eventually becoming successful.

He was awarded a CMG in 1954 and knighted in 1965.

Marjoribanks retired to Edinburgh, occupying a home on Regent Terrace. He served as a Director of the Distillers Company and of Inveresk Research, and also became a member of the Court of the University of Edinburgh (1974-79). He died in the city.


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