Robert Adair (politician)

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For other people named Robert Adair, see Robert Adair (disambiguation).
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Sir Robert Adair GCB (24 May 1763 – 3 October 1855) was a distinguished English diplomat, and frequently employed on the most important diplomatic missions.

He was the son of Robert Adair, sergeant-surgeon to George III, and Lady Caroline Keppel, daughter of Willem Anne van Keppel, 2nd Earl of Albemarle. He was educated at Westminster School and the University of Göttingen, and then studied law at Lincolns Inn, but hardly practised as a barrister.

He hoped to gain office as Under-secretary of State to Charles James Fox, but he was in opposition. Following the French Revolution, he travelled in Europe, visiting Berlin, Vienna, and St Petersburg to study the effects of the revolution and equip himself for a diplomatic career.

He became Whig Member of Parliament for Appleby (1799–1802) and Camelford (1802–12).

In 1805, he made a disastrous marriage to Angélique Gabrielle, daughter of the marquis de l'Escuyer d'Hazincourt (known as ‘Talleyrand's spy’), but this kept him out of office when Fox returned to government. Instead Fox sent him to Vienna. In June 1808, George Canning transferred him to Constantinople. He was created a KCB in that year for his services there. He was appointed a Privy Counsellor in 1828.

He was employed in Belgium from 1831 to 1835, where he succeeded in preventing a war between the Flemish and Dutch troops. This exploit won for him the rank of GCB and a pension of £2000 per year from 1831. He then visited Prussia. In the 1840s, he published memoirs of his diplomatic activities in the 1800s.

References[edit]

  • W. P. Courtney, ‘Adair, Sir Robert (1763–1855)’, rev. H. C. G. Matthew, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, (Oxford University Press, 2004; online edition, January 2008) [1]
  1. ^ Oxford Dictionary of National Biography , accessed 23 September 2008

External links[edit]

Parliament of Great Britain
Preceded by
John Tufton
John Courtenay
Member of Parliament for Appleby
1799–1800
With: John Courtenay
Succeeded by
Parliament of the United Kingdom
Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Parliament of Great Britain
Member of Parliament for Appleby
18011802
With: John Courtenay
Succeeded by
Sir Philip Francis
John Courtenay
Preceded by
William Joseph Denison
John Angerstein
Member of Parliament for Camelford
18021812
With: John Fonblanque 1802–1806
Viscount Maitland 1806–1807
Lord Henry Petty 1807–1810
Henry Brougham 1810–1812
Succeeded by
William Leader
Samuel Scott
Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Sir Arthur Paget
British Minister to Austria
1806–1807
Succeeded by
The Earl of Pembroke and Montgomery
Preceded by
Sir Arthur Paget
British Ambassador to the Ottoman Empire
1808–1809
Succeeded by
Stratford Canning
Chargé d'Affaires
Preceded by
The Lord Ponsonby
British Ambassador to Belgium
1831–1835
Succeeded by
Henry Lytton Bulwer
Chargé d'Affaires