Document Numbers 13-22
29 June 1914 - 30 June 1914

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(29078) No. 13.
Consul Jones to Sir Edward Grey.
Serajevo, June 29, 1914.
D. 8:30 A.M.
R. 11 A.M.
Tel. Urgent.

With reference to my telegram of yesterday (Assassination of Archduke Franz).(l)

I was told subsequently at Government House that there are probably several accomplices.

Local paper speaks of Anarchist crime, but act was more likely that of Servian irredentists, preconcerted long ago.

(1) No. 9.

(29072) No. 14.
Sir Edward Grey to Sir M. de Bunsen.
Foreign Office, June 29, 1914.
Tel. (No. 119.) En clair.
D. 12 50 P.M.

Please convey to Minister for Foreign Affairs the grief with which His Majesty's Government have heard of the terrible event at Serajevo and the expressions of their profound sympathy with the Imperial Family and the Dual Monarchy in the grievous loss which they have suffered. His Majesty's Government wish also to transmit their most sincere and respectful condolences with His Imperial Majesty. I should like you also to express my personal feelings of deep sympathy as I recall the honour which I had of meeting His Imperial Highness last year and of seeing thepleasure given by his visit to the King and to this country.

No. 15.
Sir Edward Grey to Count Mensdorff.
Foreign Office, June 29, 1914.

Dear Count Mensdorff.

I must add to our official expression of feeling a personal line to you to say how deeply I sympathise in the loss which has befallen Austria-Hungary. The cruel circumstances attending it add to the tragedy.You will know how much we all feel for your Emperor and for the shock and grief which he must suffer.

His life is so bound up with the peace of Europe that I dread anything that must try his strength.

It is less than a year since many of us saw the Archduke and his wife enjoying their visit to Windsor and seeming to be so happy here, and this too quickens our sympathy.

Every feeling political and personal makes me sympathise with you.

Yours, &c.

No. 16
Count Mensdorff to Sir Edward Grey.
Austro-Hungarian Embassy,
18, Belgrave Square, S.W., June 29, 1914.
Dear Sir Edward,

I am deeply touched by your kind words of sympathy and beg you to accept my sincerest and heartfelt thanks for the friendly feeling expressed in your letter for my Emperor, my country and myself.

The Archduke, who has now fallen a victim to this abominable, brutal and stupid murder, was so happy when he visited England last November!

The personal impression he received here had increased his appreciation of Englishmen and his admiration of England and I rejoiced to see him become more and more a sincere friend of this country.

Yours, &c.

(29395) No. 17.
Consul Jones to Sir Edward Grey.
Tel. Confidential
Serajevo, June 29, 1914.
D. 5 P.M.
R. 5:45 P.M.

Violent anti-Servian demonstration has taken place on the part of loyal Croats and Moslem population. I have seen some of (?goods) being destroyed, and I hear that many shops and houses have been ransacked. No personal assaults are reported.

I learn on good authority that martial law has been decided on.

(29388) No. 18.
Sir M. de Bunsen to Sir Edward Grey.
Vienna, June 2, 1914.
D. 7:56 P.M.
R. 11 P.M.
Tel. (No. 80.)

Minister for Foreign Affairs has just informed me and several of my colleagues that Emperor, who returned to Vienna this morning, has expressed hope that no missions of foreign princes will be sent to Archduke's funeral.

I told his Excellency that King had intended to depute Prince Arthur. Minister for Foreign Affairs said that Emperor would be gratified to hear this, but begged that I would explain that it is held to be very important to spare Emperor fatigue and to shorten ceremonies as much as possible. For this reason foreign missions are not desired. I asked whether German Emperor was coming. Minister for Foreign Affairs said he did not know, but that if he persisted in coming it would be as the intimate personal friend of the Archduke, with whom he has just been staying, and that it would not affect question of foreign missions. Requiem service will probably be held in Vienna on 3rd July in the Hofburg Chapel or in Capucin Church, in which Imperial family are usually buried. Actual interment will take place subsequently at Dilastetten, near Amstetten, where Archduke has a vault and always intended that he and his consort should be buried. It is hoped to get Emperor back to Ischl early next week.

No. 19
Sir Arthur Nicolson to Sir G. Buchanan.
Foreign Office, June 30, 1914.
The tragedy which has recently occurred at Sarajevo will, I hope, not lead to any further complications; though it is already fairly evident that the Austrians are attributing the terrible events to Servian intrigues and machinations. As far as the internal situation of Austria-Hungary is concerned though it may seem a little brutal to say so it is possible that the new heir will be more popular than the late Archduke. Of course he is very little more than a mere boy, still he has quite an open mind and is not bound by any hard set prejudices or predilections.

(29488) No. 20
Consul Jones to Sir Edward Grey.
Serajevo, June 30, 1914.
D. 11:20 A.M
R. 12:15 P.M.


Value of Serb property destroyed by the mob yesterday according to one source amounts to 10,000,000 kronen, but another estimate puts it at 1,500,000 only.

(29794) No. 21.
Sir M. de Bunsen to Sir Edward Grey. (Received July 2.)
(No. 129.)
Vienna, June 29, 1914.

The Archduke Franz Ferdinand and the Duchess of Hohenberg were both murdered yesterday morning by a Slav nationalist or anarchist at Sarajevo.

His Imperial Highness had left Vienna on Tuesday evening, 23rd June, on his journey to Bosnia. He embarked on Wednesday morning at Trieste onboard the battleship "Viribus Unitis," proceeded on Thursday morning onboard a smaller vessel up the river Narenta to Metkovitch in Dalmatia, whence he took the train for Mostar, the Herzegovinian capital, and after a drive round the town continued his journey to Ilidze, a small Bosnian watering place near Sarajevo, where the Duchess of Hohenberg was awaiting him. On Friday and Saturday, 26th and 27th June, the Archduke was present at the mountain exercises of portions of the 15th and 16th Army Corps, which took place immediately to the south of Sarajevo.Yesterday, Sunday, 28th June, His Imperial Highness, after attending Mass at Ilidze, proceeded by train, with the Duchess, to Sarajevo, as arranged, for the purpose of making a progress through the town and receiving loyal addresses. On their way from the station to the Town Hall the official account states that a bomb was thrown at them but was warded off by the Archduke, exploding behind the Imperial motor car and wounding slightly the two officers who occupied the next car, and more or less seriously some 20 persons in the crowd of onlookers. At the Town Hall speeches were exchanged between the Burgermeister and the Archduke, the latter expressing his satisfaction at the cordiality of his reception and alluding to the failure of the dastardly attempt on his life. Undeterred, it is said, by suggestions that it would be wiser to abandon the remainder of the programme, His Imperial Highness and the Duchess proceeded in the direction of the Town Museum, or as some accounts have it of the hospital to which the wounded had been carried after the bomb outrage. A man ran in from the crowd and fired rapidly several shots from a Browning pistol into the car. The Archduke's jugular vein was severed and he must have died almost instantaneously. The Duchess of Hohenberg was struck in the side and expired immediately after reaching the Konak to which both were carried. The Governor, General Potiorek, who had also conducted the manoeuvres and was with them in the car, was unhurt. A few steps from the scene of the murders an unexploded bomb was found. It is presumed that it was thrown away by a third conspirator, on perceiving that the second assault had been successful.

From what has hitherto come to light regarding this atrocious crime it is conjectured that the murdered pair were probably the victims of a carefully prepared plot. The Archduke, it is true, is known to have been a sympathiser with the aspirations of the subject nationalities of the Emperor, in so far as these can be regarded as reasonable and capable of realisation without peril to the unity of the Dual Monarchy. He had been given therefore, according to all accounts, an enthusiastic reception at every stage of his journey through Dalmatia, Herzegovina and Bosnia. Even the opposition Press had accorded him a welcome, with the exception of the "Narod," a Servian irredentist organ, which made no allusion to the Archduke's visit, but published instead, on a sheet bearing the Servian colours, a glowing article in commemoration of the battle of Kossovo, which marked the downfall of the Servian Empire before the Turkish onslaught in the 14th century. A telegram from Agram appears this morning in the official "Fremdenblatt," to the effect that since the intention of the Heir Apparent to attend the Bosnian manoeuvres became known a violent Pan-Servian agitation has been raging in the Serbo-Croatian capital. The Archduke is said tohave been warned in vain against undertaking his projected journey,and to have himself endeavoured to dissuade the Duchess from meeting him in Bosnia. Her Highness was however determined to share the danger with her husband. The Agram telegram proceeds to state that since 1908 (the year of the annexation) the revolutionary Servian organisation has displayed an ever increasing activity; that Cabrilovitch and Prinzip, the first of whom threw the bomb and the second fired the pistol, are said to be members of the terrorist Great Servian organisation; and that in Agram no one doubts that a carefully prepared plot had been set on foot against the Archduke.

Those who remember the circumstances of the notorious Agramand Dr. Friedjung trials in 1908 and 1909, when the efforts of theAustro-Hungarian Government to justify the expected war with Servia by publishing proofs of a widespread irredentist Servian plot so woefully broke down, will hesitate to accept without adequate proof wholesale denunciations of the Servian patriotic societies which may now be expected to be made.

Though Vienna is outwardly very calm, all public performances have been stopped, and at Brunn, the capital of Moravia, where a great "Sokol". or Slav nationalist gathering of gymnasts was being held, and some fears prevailed of a conflict with simultaneous German demonstrations, both sides seem to have agreed to stay further proceedings in sign of mourning.

The news of the murders was broken about midday yesterday to the Emperor at Ischl, where His Majesty had arrived only the day before. His Majesty has thus lived to see his nephew and heir added to the list of his nearest relations who have died violent deaths. His Majesty returned to Vienna to-day. He has made a most happy recovery from his recent severe illness.

I have, &c.

(29864) No. 22
Sir H. Rumbold to Sir Edward Grey.--(Received July 2.)
(No. 265.)
Berlin, June 30, 1914.

At his weekly reception to-day the Acting Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs at once began to speak to me of the assassination of the Archduke Francis Ferdinand and his Consort at Serajevo. He had little doubt that this crime was the outcome of a plot hatched by the partisans of a greater Servia. Herr Zimmermann said that he heard that the feeling in Austria-Hungary against Servia and the Servians was very bitter and he could make allowances for this in the circumstances.

The Acting Secretary of State added that he had just told the Russian Ambassador that the Servian Government would be well advised, in their own interests, spontaneously to offer to do all they could to help the Bosnian authorities in their investigations into the origin and ramifications of the plot. In this way the Servian Government, who, he was sure, were not to blame, would give a convincing proof that they dissociated themselves from the motives which had led to the perpetration of this dreadful crime.

I have, &c.

Created: 28 July 1996, 11:27 AM Last Updated: 28 July 1996, 11:27 AM