Earl of Aberdeen

Earl of Aberdeen

George Hamilton Gordon, was born in Edinburgh in 1784. Educated at Harrow he obtained the title Lord Haddo when his father died in 1793. His joint guardians were William Pitt and Henry Dundas. He became the 4th Earl of Aberdeen on the death of his grandfather in 1801.

In 1813 the Earl of Aberdeen was sent as a special ambassador to Vienna by Lord Liverpool. Aberdeen successfully negotiated the Treaty of Toplitz that created the alliance of Great Powers against Napoleon.

In 1828 the Duke of Wellington appointed Aberdeen as his Foreign Secretary. He also held this position under Sir Robert Peel between 1841 and 1847. Aberdeen was a strong believer in free trade and helped Peel repeal the Corn Laws in 1846. This action split the Conservative Party and Peel and Aberdeen were forced to resign.

The Earl of Aberdeen became Prime Minister after the resignation of the Earl of Derby in 1852. Aberdeen's coalition government was very popular with the public at first. However, attitudes changed when Britain became involved in the Crimean War in 1854. Aberdeen was blamed for the mismanagement of the war and he was forced to resign in February 1855. George Hamilton Gordon died in 1860.

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