Alexander Condie Stephen

Sir Alexander Condie Stephen KCMG KCVO CB (20 July 1850 – 10 May 1908) was a British diplomat and translator from Russian and Persian.

Alexander Condie Stephen
Stephen caricatured by Spy for Vanity Fair, 1902
Stephen caricatured by Spy for Vanity Fair, 1902
Born(1850-07-20)20 July 1850
Died10 May 1908(1908-05-10) (aged 57)
OccupationBritish diplomat
Funerary monument, Brompton Cemetery, London

He was the first translator of Lermontov's long poem "The Demon" into English, in 1875. He translated "Fairy Tales of a Parrot" from Persian in 1880.

In 1884-5, he was Assistant Commissioner on the Afghan Boundary Commission. he had the crucial role of keeping communications open between the Commission, in north-west Afghanistan and threatened by a large Russian army, and the British government in London. When the Commission's presence almost triggered a war in the aftermath of the Panjdeh incident, he was sent to London to report to the government in person.[1]

He was knighted KCVO on 24 August 1900, for being HM minister resident in Dresden and Coburg. He was Groom in Waiting to King Edward VII from 1901.[2]

He was caricatured in a Vanity Fair "Spy" print on 18 December 1902, as "Russian, Persian and Turkish".

Stephen is buried in Brompton Cemetery, London.


  1. ^ Salisbury, Robert (2020). William Simpson and the Crisis in Central Asia, 1884-5. ISBN 978-1-5272-7047-3
  2. ^ "No. 27336". The London Gazette. 23 July 1901. p. 4838.

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