Francis Leveson Bertie, 1st Viscount Bertie of Thame was born in London on 7th August 1844 the son of Montagu Bertie, 6th Earl of Abingdon and Elizabeth Lavinia Vernon-Harcourt.
He married Lady Feodorowna Cecilia Wellesley, daughter of Henry Richard Charles Wellesley, 1st Earl Cowley and Hon. Olivia Cecilia FitzGerald-de Ros, on 11 April 1874 at Draycott, Staffordshire, England. They had one son Vere Frederick Bertie, 2nd Viscount Bertie of Thame b. 20 Oct 1878, d. 29 Aug 1954.
He was educated at Eton College, Windsor, Berkshire, England. He was in the Foreign Office in 1863 and held the office of Parliamentary Private Secretary between 1874 and 1880, to the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs. He was acting Assistant Clerk at the Foreign Office between 1880 and 1881, acting Senior Clerk at the Foreign Office between 1882 and 1885 and he was Senior Clerk at the Foreign Office between 1889 and 1894.
He held the office of Assistant Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs between 1894 and 1903. He was invested as a Knight Commander, Order of the Bath (K.C.B.) in 1902 and as a Knight Grand Cross, Royal Victorian Order (G.C.V.O.) in 1903.
Bertie was invested as a Privy Counsellor on 2 March 1903 and held the office of Ambassador to Italy between 1903 and 1905. He was invested as a Knight Grand Cross, Order of St. Michael and St. George in 1904 and was decorated with the award of the Grand Cross, Order of St. Maurice and St. Lazarus of Italy.
He held the office of Ambassador to France between 1905 and 1918. He was invested as a Knight Grand Cross, Order of the Bath (G.C.B.) in 1908 and was created 1st Baron Bertie of Thame, on 28 June 1915. He was created 1st Viscount Bertie of Thame, on 2 September 1918.
Bertie died on 26 September 1919 at age 75 at London, and was buried on 30 September 1919 in St Mary’s, Thame, Oxfordshire.
Lord Grey of Faldon wrote that “his work and the position he made for himself as Ambassador in Paris were of the highest value to his country. Indeed his personality, in that very important and delicate post, had much to do with the maintenance of the entente between Britain and France during years that were very difficult and critical. He believed the entente with France not only to be practicable, but to be the policy which was best for his own country, for France, and for Europe generally.”
The Thame Remembers Cross was delivered to St Mary’s Churchyard, Thame on 03rd August 2014 by Cllr Anne Purse (Chairman of Oxfordshire County Council)