ABERDEEN, fourth EARL OF, GEORGE HAM ILTON GORDON (17S4-1800). A British states man. Ile was born at Edinburgh, January 28, 1784. lle was edueated at Harrow, and in 1804 took the M.A. degree at St. John's College. Cam bridge. in 1801 he had succeeded to the earl dom and made a journey through Greece, •hieh is perpetuated by Byron's satirical distieh, He was elected a Scotch representative peer and took his sent as a Tory in December, 1800. In 1813 he was appointed Ambassador Extraordina ry to Austria. where he gained the friendship of Tletternich, whom lie considered a pattern of diplomacy. lie signed the Treaty of Paris, as one of England's representatives, on Slay 30, 1814. He was raised to the peerage as Viscount Gordon. lie was foreign secretary under Wel lington, 1828 to 1830. and under Peel, 1841 to 1840, in 1834 and 1835 acting as Peel's war sec retary. The general principle which guided his policy as secretary of state for foreign affairs was that of non-h iterference in the internal af fairs of foreign states, which, joined to his well known sympathy with such statesmen as Metter nielf, exposed him—not always justly—to the suspicion of being inimical to the cause of popu lar liberty. His gradual abandonment of high
Tory principles was evinced by his support of the bill for the repeal of the test and corporation acts and of the Roman Catholic Emancipation Act, The conclusion of the Chinese War, the Ashburton Treaty, and the Oregon Treaty were the principal services rendered to the country during his administration of foreign alfairs. In 1852, on the resignation of Lord Derby, the extraordinary state of parties necessitated a. coalition, and Lord Aberdeen was selected as the fittest man to head the new ministry. which for some time was extremely popular. The feeble and vacil lating policy displayed in the conduct of the war with Il.ussia gradually undermined its stability, aml the disastrous mismanagement brought to light in the winter of 1834, in all departments of the puldie Imsiness connected with the war, filled up the measure of popular discontent, and led to his resignation in 1855. lie died in London. December 14, 1800. Consult Uordon., Earl of .1 berdeen (London, 1893).