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 Anthony Blunt

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Anthony Blunt

  • Birth 26 Sep 1907 Bournemouth, Bournemouth Unitary Authority, Dorset, England
  • Death 26 Mar 1983 Westminster, City of Westminster, Greater London, England
  • Burial Wimbledon, London Borough of Merton, Greater London, England
  • Memorial ID 6821179

Soviet Spy. Receiving a scholarship to Marlborough College. His first position, upon graduating from Trinity College, Cambridge in 1930, was as art critic for the (London) Spectator. He was elected a fellow of the College in 1932. In his early newspaper reviews he was a champion of modern art, by 1934 he would be strongly against it, this in part was due to Marxism. During this period he was recruited by the Soviet agent Guy Burgess, however, that is in speculation of who recruited who. Many suggest that Anthony remained at Cambridge and served as a talent-spotter for the Soviet. With the invasion of Poland by German and Soviet forces, Anthony joined the British Army in 1939. During that same year he was recruited to MI5, the Security Service. By joining M15 he would pass the results of Ultra intelligence from decrypted Enigma intercepts of Wehrmacht radio traffic from the Russian front. He also admitted to passing details of German spy rings, operating in the Soviet Union. Anthony left MI5 in 1945 and accepted appointment as surveyor of the King's Pictures. He maintained this appointment until 1972. In 1947 he succeeded Boase as Director of the Courtauld Institute and professor at the University of London. In 1956 he was made a Knight Commander of the Royal Victorian Order by Queen Elizabeth II. In 1963, MI5 learned of his espionage from an American, Michael Straight, whom he had recruited. Anthony confessed to MI5 on 23 April 1964, and Queen Elizabeth II was informed shortly thereafter. In return for his full confession, the British government agreed to keep his spying career an official secret for fifteen years, and granted him full immunity from prosecution. His role was represented under the name Maurice in Andrew Boyle's book Climate of Treason in 1979. Maurice was taken from the E. M. Forster novel of that name. Anthony tried to prevent the book's publication, which was reported in the magazine Private Eye. This drew attention to himself and in the House of Commons of the United Kingdom, Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher revealed his wartime role, firstly on Thursday 15 November 1979. Some say he resigned his knighthood, other reports say Queen Elizabeth II stripped him of his knighthood, and he was removed as an Honorary Fellow of Trinity College. After his BBC Television confession at the age of 72. His life was an astonishing combination of eminent art history and long-standing espionage. He died of a heart attack.

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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Originally Created by: David Conway
  • Added: 4 Oct 2002
  • Find A Grave Memorial 6821179
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Anthony Blunt (26 Sep 1907–26 Mar 1983), Find A Grave Memorial no. 6821179, citing Putney Vale Cemetery and Crematorium, Wimbledon, London Borough of Merton, Greater London, England ; Maintained by Find A Grave .