Stratford Canning, Viscount Stratford De Redcliffe (1786-1880) diplomat

  • About the work
    Country: Turkey
    City: Ankara
    Place: British Embassy

    Viscount Stratford Canning was British Ambassador to Constantinople during an intermittent period of over twenty years. As a cousin of George Canning, British Prime Minster (1827) Stratford Canning was first enlisted in the Foreign Service in 1807 and travelled to Turkey as deputy to the then British Ambassador, Robert Adair. Two years later he succeeded Adair and was made charge de’affaires and de facto ambassador. In this position he helped to arrange the 1812 Treaty of Bucharest between Turkey and Russia, thereby freeing Russian troops to resist a French invasion force led by Napoleon I.

    From 1814 to 1818 Canning served as British Ambassador to Switzerland where he helped to establish a federal government, and then from 1820 to 1823 as Minister to the United States. Made Ambassador to Constantinople in 1826 (until 1829, and then again in 1831) Canning was involved with the movement for Greek independence from Turkey. On his subsequent embassies to Constantinople (1841 to 1846 and 1848 to 1851) Canning became a close friend of Sultan Abdulmecid I and statesman Mustafa Resid, and encouraged the reorganisation program called Tanzimat, a program of limited Westernising reforms in Turkey. 

    A year after he was made Viscount in 1852, Canning was once again dispatched to the increasingly troubled region around Constantinople, where he supported the Sultan’s resistance to Russia’s attempts to increase its influence over Ottoman affairs. He tried, but failed, to prevent the outbreak of the Crimean War, in which Britain sided with Turkey. 

  • About the artist

    Frederick Christian Lewis senior was born in London; the son of a miniature painter. He was taught by his father and apprenticed to J. C. Stadler. In 1797 he entered the Royal Academy Schools. He married Elizabeth Exton and their children included painters John Frederick and Frederick Christian junior. He engraved Girtin’s illustrations to ‘Twenty of the Most Picturesque Views in Paris and its Environs’ (1803) and exhibited at the Royal Academy, British Institution, Society of British Artists and Old Watercolour Society. He also engraved Old Master drawings for Otley’s ‘The Italian School of Design’ (1808-23) and work by contemporary artists. Lewis served as engraver to several royals including Queen Victoria. He died in Middlesex, aged 77.
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    Canning, Stratford, Viscount Stratford de Redcliffe
    Materials & Techniques
  • Details
    Stratford Canning, Viscount Stratford De Redcliffe (1786-1880) diplomat
    Purchased from F B Daniell & Son, June 1958
    GAC number