Stratford de Redcliffe, Sir Stafford Canning, first Viscount

Stratford de Redcliffe, Sir Stafford Canning, first Viscount, a distinguished ambassador, born in London, son of a well-connected merchant, and cousin to Canning the statesman; passed from Cambridge to the Foreign Office in 1807 as a précis-writer to his cousin; in three years had risen to the post of minister-plenipotentiary at Constantinople, where he speedily gave evidence of his remarkable powers as a diplomatist by arranging unaided the treaty of Bucharest (1814) between Russia and Turkey, and so setting free the Russian army to fall upon Napoleon, then retreating from Moscow; as minister to Switzerland aided the Republic in drawing up its constitution, and in the same year (1815) acted as commissioner at the Congress of Vienna; was subsequently employed in the United States and various European capitals, but his unrivalled knowledge of the Turkish question brought him again, in 1842, to Constantinople as ambassador, where his remarkable power and influence over the Turks won him the title of “Great Elchi”; exerted in vain his diplomatic skill to prevent the rupture between Turkey and Russia, which precipitated the Crimean War; resigned his embassy in 1858; was raised to the peerage in 1852; sat in Parliament for several years previous to 1842, but failed to make his mark as a debater; ranks among the great ambassadors of England (1786-1880).

Definition taken from The Nuttall Encyclopædia, edited by the Reverend James Wood (1907)

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Stratford de Redcliffe, Sir Stafford Canning, first Viscount
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