Stratford de Redcliffe, Stratford Canning, Viscount

Stratford de Redcliffe, Stratford Canning, Viscount, 1786–1880, British diplomat. He entered (1807) the foreign office under the aegis of his cousin, George Canning. Sent (1808) to Turkey, he negotiated the Treaty of Bucharest (1812) between Turkey and Russia. He served in Switzerland (1814–18), at the Congress of Vienna, and in Washington (1819–23), where he negotiated concerning disputes arising from the War of 1812. In Turkey again (1825–29, 1831), he helped settle the frontier problem with Greece. After a period in Parliament he returned (1842) to Turkey, remaining with interruptions until 1858. Stratford exercised enormous influence over Sultan Abd al-Majid, but the documentary evidence does not support the belief of his contemporaries that he encouraged Turkish intransigence in the face of Russian demands in 1853 and thus brought on the Crimean War. He appears rather to have counseled moderation and attempted to avert the war. He was created a viscount in 1852.

See his Eastern Question (1881); biography by E. F. Malcolm-Smith (1933); study by L. G. Byrne (1971).

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