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The Ambassador, Ľubomír Rehák, placed an honorary bouquet for Roberta Williama Seton-Watsona

The Ambassador, Ľubomír Rehák, placed an honorary bouquet for Roberta Williama Seton-Watsona

21.8.2019 | Aktivity veľvyslancov | Kultúrna diplomacia | Kultúrna prezentácia | Prezentácia Slovenska v zahraničí | Odbor kultúrnej diplomacie |

London/Abernethy, 20.08.2019.  To commemorate the 140th anniversary of the birth of Robert William Seton Watson, the Slovak Ambassador, Ľubomír Rehák, placed an honorary bouquet for the British historian, also known under the pseudonym Scotus Viator. 


Robert William Seton-Watson was a figure, which significantly contributed to stopping the Magyarisation of Slovak people, protecting their national identity.  The Slovak Embassy in London frequently commemorates this important proponent of the Slovak nation.  To commemorate the 140th anniversary of the birth of Seton-Watson, Ambassador Ľubomír Rehák organised a celebratory event combined with a church service and ceremonial bouquet placing. The ceremony will be held in the Scottish village Abernethy and among other guests, it will be attended by the granddaughter of R. W. Seton-Watson, representative of the Scottish government, Graeme Dey, a member of the Scottish Parliament, Minister for Parliamentary Business and Veterans, as well as General Consul of Romania in Edinburgh and representatives of local authorities. The event was organised in cooperation with Honorary Consul of Slovakia in Glasgow, Craig Murray.


Robert William Seton-Watson was the most acknowledged English-speaking expert on national matters in the Kingdom of Hungary (he is directly quoted in the Encyclopaedia Britannica from the year 1911). Even during his studies, he was already interested in the history of the eastern part of Austria-Hungary. He wanted to personally experience the way that minorities were treated and he visited the parts of the Empire inhabited by the Slovaks. He was introduced to Pavol Orságh Hviezdoslav, Svetozár Hurban Vajanský, M.R. Štefánik and he became a proponent of the Slovak people During the First World War, he was employed as an expert of the British Ministry of Foreign Affairs for Central Europe and the Balkans, and he was in direct support of the Czechoslovak nationalist battle and the programme for creating an independent Czechoslovakia. He founded and later edited the weekly political newspaper, The New Europe, in 1918, which focused on solving the national and political concerns of Central and South-East Europe. From 1922 he lectured on Central European history at the School of Slavonic Studies near London’s King’s College and published the newspaper Slavonic Review, which is still published today. He dedicated studies to Slovaks within Czechoslovakia, including expansive works such as New Slovakia and Slovakia Then and Now. In 1928 he was awarded a commemorative medal and diploma by the Comenius University. Slovak people have revealed his bust at the city hall in Ružomberok in 1937, expressing their gratitude and respect.


As Ambassador Rehák pointed out in his speech, Seton-Watson was instrumental in the recognition of the idea of a new Republic of Czechoslovakia by the British establishment during WW1. And he was advising the leaders of Czechoslovakia right up until his retirement.


The fact that the year 2019, which the Slovak government proclaimed to be the year of M. R. Štefánik, we also will be remembering the 140th anniversary of the birth of R. W. Seton-Watson, gives us the perfect opportunity to commemorate both of these influential figures, that continue to unite Slovakia and Great Britain.