Abraham Stanyan

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Abraham Stanyan (c. 1669–1732) was a British diplomat and politician who sat in the House of Commons from 1715 to 1717. He was ambassador to Austria and the Ottoman Empire.

Stanyan was the eldest son of Lawrence Stanyan of Monken Hadley, Middlesex and his wife Dorothy Knapp, daughter of Henry Knapp of South Stoke, Oxfordshire. His father was a merchant, farmer and commissioner of the revenue. He was the elder brother of the historian and politician Temple Stanyan.[1]

After becoming a student in the Middle Temple, he served as secretary to Sir William Trumbull as Ambassador to the Ottoman Empire, and later to the Earl of Manchester as Ambassador to the Venice in 1697–1698 and then in France in 1699–1700. He became a Clerk of the Privy Council, briefly between these appointments. After a period out of employment, he appointed as envoy to Switzerland from 1705–1714, Ambassador to Austria from 1716 to 1717. He was appointed Ambassador to the Ottoman Empire in October 1717. He arrived at Adrianople on 24 April 1718. He held these last two posts in a period when England held the role of mediator between the Habsburgs and the Ottomans, and having worked in the capitals of both powers Stanyan was an influential part of those negotiations. He was recalled on 16 May 1729 but did not leave Turkey until 18 July 1730.

On his return to England from Switzerland in 1714, Stanyan was appointed a Commissioner of the Admiralty. At the 1715 general election, he was elected as Member of Parliament for Buckingham on the interest of his cousin, Lord Cobham. He gave up his seat in October 1717 on appointment to office as clerk in ordinary to Privy Council. He was a Whig and member of the Kit Kat Club.[1]

Stanyan died in September 1732.


  • An Account of Switzerland, London, printed for Jacob Tonson, 1714.


  1. ^ a b "STANYAN, Abraham (c.1670-1732), of St. Martin-in-the-Fields, London". History of Parliament Online. Retrieved 29 September 2018.
  • The National Portrait Gallery
  • The English Embassy at Constantinople, 1660–1762, A.C. Wood, The English Historical Review, Vol. 40, No. 160 (Oct., 1925), pp. 533–561
  • Philip Woodfine and Claire Gapper, ‘Stanyan, Abraham (c.1669–1732)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, (Oxford University Press, Sept 2004; online edn, Jan 2008) [1], accessed 18 November 2008.
Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
William Aglionby
British envoy to Switzerland
Succeeded by
James Dayrolle
Preceded by
Luke Schaub
Ambassador to Austria
Succeeded by
Lord Lexinton
Preceded by
Edward Wortley Montagu
British Ambassador to the Ottoman Empire
1718 – 1730
Succeeded by
Earl of Kinnoull
Parliament of Great Britain
Preceded by
Thomas Chapman
John Radcliffe
Member of Parliament for Buckingham
With: Alexander Denton
Succeeded by
Edmund Halsey
Alexander Denton