Category Mildred Barnes Bliss

Henry Adams and Lady Lindsay in Washington

Within the intersecting circles of the story of the British Embassy, Henry Adams is the center point in its early history. His beloved home across from the White House brings together several elements of this Landscape of a Washington Place: the Embassy’s first landscape gardener (Elizabeth Sherman Hoyt, later Lady Lindsay); Beatrix Jones (later Farrand […]

The Embassy Gardens in Post-War Recovery

The Immediate Post-War Years The monarch’s birthday celebration in the gardens of British Embassy, last held in 1938, was revived in June 1947. The ambassador who greeted guests entering through the wooden Lutyens garden gate was the unconventional, if not eccentric, Archibald Clark Kerr, 1st Baron Inverchapel. Wearing white linens, he presided over a more […]

The Second World War as Seen in the Embassy Landscape

The transformation of Washington during the Second World War can be seen in structural changes at the British Embassy. Quickly assembled wartime additions to the Lutyens Chancery were erected in 1940. When those proved inadequate for the burgeoning staff’s needs, property was leased throughout the city and land bordering the Embassy’s service road and Observatory […]

Elizabeth Lindsay at the End

After leaving Washington and diplomatic life, Elizabeth Lindsay was to finally have a home and garden entirely of her own making. She initially intended to stay in New York for only a while before following Sir Ronald to England. But with the outbreak of war, the condition of her own health and unspecified “family problems,” […]

The End of the Lindsay Era and the Beginning of the War Years in the Embassy’s Gardens

Ronald Lindsay retired from the British Ambassadorship in Washington and set sail for England on 30 August 1939, landing just after war was declared on Germany. Elizabeth Lindsay never saw her husband again. His work and failing health confined him to his country for the duration. He died in 1945 and was buried next to […]

The Aftermath of the Royal Garden Party

Ronald Lindsay’s tenure as Ambassador to the United States finally came to an end in the summer of 1939, following the King and Queen’s trip to Washington and then on to New York. Lady Lindsay, exhausted from the preparations and attending criticism of those events, struggled to pack up from the Ambassador’s Residence, her main […]

The Royal Garden Party

Ambassador Ronald Lindsay was commanded to hold a garden party for King George VI and Queen Elizabeth on 8 June 1939, followed the next day by a morning reception for British subjects, and then a dinner, all at the Washington Embassy. These were to be the Lindsays’s last, but by far their most public and […]