George Hamilton-Gordon

George Hamilton-Gordon

English politician. 34th Prime Minister of Great Britain
Date of Birth: 28.01.1784
Country: Great Britain

  1. Biography of George Hamilton-Gordon
  2. Political Career
  3. The Crimean War and Later Years

Biography of George Hamilton-Gordon

George Hamilton-Gordon, an English political figure, was born into the ancient Scottish noble family of Gordons. He received his initial education at Harrow and in 1801, inherited the title of Earl of Aberdeen from his grandfather.

Political Career

In 1806, George Hamilton-Gordon joined the House of Lords as a Scottish representative peer and aligned himself with the Tory party. However, he did not actively participate in politics and instead focused on scientific research. He authored several works, including "Inquiry into the principles of beauty in Grecian architecture" in 1822.

George Hamilton-Gordon played a significant role in diplomatic negotiations, including the peace negotiations in Amiens. He later embarked on a journey to Italy, Greece, and Asia Minor and returned in 1804 through Russia and the Baltic Sea.

In 1813, he negotiated the Austrian alliance against Napoleon I and participated in the Congress of Châtillon in 1814. For his contributions, he was elevated to the peerage as Viscount Gordon. In 1828, he became Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and then Minister of Foreign Affairs under Prime Minister Wellington.

During his tenure as Foreign Secretary, Gordon followed a policy similar to Metternich's, opposing Greek independence and supporting Don Miguel. However, he also sought to improve relations with France. In 1830, after the dissolution of Wellington's cabinet, he resigned from his position.

Gordon briefly served as Minister of the Colonies in the Tory government from November 1834 to April 1835. In 1841, he was appointed Foreign Secretary again under Prime Minister Peel. He showed more liberal tendencies, supported trading reforms, and aimed to maintain good relations with Austria and Russia.

As the leader of the Peelites, Gordon became the head of the Middle Party in the House of Lords after the resignation of Peel's ministry in June 1846. In 1852, he declined an offer to join the newly formed Derby ministry. However, in December of the same year, he formed a coalition government that included Peelites, Whigs, Radicals, and Irish Liberals.

The Crimean War and Later Years

During the Eastern Crisis in 1854, Aberdeen initially tried to maintain a mediator position. However, after the Battle of Sinop, he was forced to declare war on Russia. He faced criticism for the slow progress of the war, as well as conflicts with Russell and Palmerston, which led to the downfall of his government in 1855.

In February 1855, Aberdeen resigned as Prime Minister, but he continued to be sought after for advice by Queen Victoria in both public and private matters. His long-standing experience and honest character solidified his influence in the House of Lords.

Throughout his life, George Hamilton-Gordon maintained an interest in art and science. He was succeeded by his eldest son, George, who inherited the title of Earl of Aberdeen upon his death on March 22, 1864.