Francis Richard Maunsell (February 14, 1861 - 1936) was a British diplomat, hobbyist archeologist, mapmaker, army officer, and intelligence operative active in the Middle East in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Maunsell was born in Limerick and is of Anglo-Irish descent. He studied at Cheltenham College and attended the Royal Military Academy at Woolwich. Upon graduating, he was commissioned as a junior officer in the Royal Artillery. Having shown an academic proficiency at mapmaking, he was assigned to the mapping of Gibraltar and the adjoining lands in 1885. Impressed with his work, he was reassigned to the Ottoman Empire, where the British were eager to develop a more sophisticated reconnoiter. Posing as a political attaché he traveled throughout Mesopotamia, Kurdistan, Persia, and Luristan, collecting and compiling data on the people and country. It was not until 1892, when he was assigned surveying equipment, that he started mapping in earnest. Maunsell remained in eastern Turkey until 1905, at which time he was sent as a staff officer to Macedonia. From 1907 to 1910, he returned to London, where her served as Director of Military Intelligence. When World War I broke out in 1914, he was an advisor to MI2, the department of Military Intelligence charged with geographical intelligence on the Ottoman Empire. Maunsell's contributions as a cartographer were significant, but most were lost or destroyed in a 1930s cleansing of military documents by the British Intelligence Office. Maunsell appears to have fallen on hard times late in life and died in 1936. There are rumors that he was pushed out of MI after a showdown concerning undefined sexual impropriety in Turkey.

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