The League of Prizren, an Albanian movement which began in 1878 as an initiative to resist the transfer of Albanian-inhabited territory from the Ottoman Empire to Montenegro but gradually acquired an ‘autonomist’ political programme, was one of the most important developments in modern Albanian history. This essay analyses the reports written about it by British diplomats in the region, and the British policy debates which drew on those reports or reacted against them. Challenging the assumption that the ‘men on the ground’ have the most accurate information, it shows how each of the two most relevant British officials, Consul St. John in Prizren and Consul Kirby Green in Shkodër, adopted particular political agendas: the former was heavily influenced by the Russian consul, while the latter followed the line of the Austro-Hungarian one. Other elements in the Foreign Office supported Greek interests; no one was directly supportive of Ottoman ones. Briefly, two senior figures, Lord Edmond Fitzmaurice and George Goschen (who was sent as Special Ambassador to Istanbul) did consider the interests of the Albanians themselves; Goschen argued that the creation of a united Albanian state would both satisfy a principle of justice and contribute to stability in the region. But this remained only an argument, not an official policy.