Georgios Kountouriotis

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Georgios Kountouriotis
Γεώργιος Κουντουριώτης
Georgios Kountouriotis.png
Georgios Kountouriotis
by Dionysios Tsokos
President of the Provisional Administration of Greece
In office
31 December 1823 – 26 April 1826
Preceded byPetros Mavromichalis
Succeeded byAndreas Zaimis
as President of the Governmental Commission
Prime Minister of Greece
In office
4 March 1848 – 15 October 1848
MonarchOtto I
Preceded byKitsos Tzavelas
Succeeded byKonstantinos Kanaris
Personal details
Bornc. 1782
Hydra, Ottoman Empire (now Greece)
Died13 March 1858 (aged 76)
Athens, Kingdom of Greece
Political partyFrench Party
RelationsLazaros Kountouriotis (brother)
Pavlos Kountouriotis (grandson)
Nikolaos Votsis (great-grandson)
Military service
Battles/warsGreek War of Independence

Georgios Kountouriotis (Greek: Γεώργιος Κουντουριώτης) (1782 – 13 March 1858) was a Greek ship-owner and politician who served as prime minister from March to October 1848.


He was born in 1782 on the Saronic island of Hydra to an Arvanite family.[1] The family, apparently the richest in independent Greece, stemmed from the younger son of an Albanian peasant. He settled the island as a boatman after the Venetians left the Peloponnese (1715) but before the island received its permanent colony.[2] The Koundouriotis family used extensively their native Arvanitic dialect of Hydra. The dialect has been documented in two letters of Georgios' private correspondence with Ioannis Orlandos, written in the Greek alphabet.[3] Georgios spoke Greek only with difficulty.[4] He was the brother of Lazaros Kountouriotis, another ship-owner of the Greek War of Independence.

When the War of Independence broke out, Georgios, along with the rest of the Kountouriotis family, supported the effort with generous donations as well as with their ships. He was often at odds with other Hydriot sea captains, but ultimately was the wealthiest. Georgios Kountouriotis became a member of the executive committee of the Greek Revolution and served as its president from 1823 to 1826 during the crucial time of the siege of Missolonghi.

After independence, he became a member of the cabinet of Ioannis Kapodistrias, the first governor of Greece. He was a semi-independent adherent of the French Party mostly due to his antipathy to the Russian Party and his fellow Hydriots of the English Party. During the period of French Party ascendancy in the reign of King Otto, he served as Prime Minister.

He died in 1858.

He was the grandfather of Pavlos Kountouriotis who fought in the First Balkan War and later served as first (1924-1926) President of the Second Hellenic Republic.


  1. ^ Peter Trudgill Sociolinguistic variation and change, Published by Edinburgh University Press, 2002, ISBN 978-0-7486-1515-5
  2. ^ Petropulos, J.A. (2015). Politics and Statecraft in the Kingdom of Greece, 1833-1843. Princeton University Press. p. 70.
  3. ^ Jochalas, Titos (2020). "Lettere di contenuto velenoso inviate da Londra al Primo Ministro greco scritte nel dialetto albanese di Idra (1824)". Shejzat. 3–4: 69. The two letters published here are written in the Albanian dialect of Hydra in London (20 Sept. and 16 Mar. 1824) by Hydriot Ioannis Orlandos, and sent to another Hydriot Gheorgios Cunduriotis, his father-in-law as well as Prime Minister of the Greek Government. In an attempt to get rid of Zaimis who currently was in London, Orlandos sent this bitter letter whose content should not be disclosed to Cunduriotis. In fact, he wrote in the Arvanit language of Hydra, a language that the recipient undoubtedly understood. In his second letter, Orlandos overstepped every mark of courtesy displaying insolence and maliciousness. He did not deem sufficient to simply write una letterra di raccomandazione imbued with venom and bitterness on behalf of youngster Stavros Parthenopulos but he also had the courage to hand it over personally to the young man in order to personally deliver it then to Gheorgios Cunduriotis, Prime Minister of the country. In case Parthenopulos would open and read the letter, Orlandos wrote the section relating to the deliverer in the Arvanit language of Hydra, so as to avoid any personal involvement in the question. The text in Albanian in both letters is written in the Greek alphabet and reverberates the peculiar Albanian dialect of Hydra otherwise known as Arvanitica.
  4. ^ Woodhouse, C.M. (1968). A Short History of Modern Greece. Praeger. p. 139. Koundouriotis was descended from the Albanian invaders of Greece in the 14th century, and spoke Greek only with difficulty.
Political offices
Preceded by President of the Executive
31 December 1823 – 26 April 1826
Succeeded by
Andreas Zaimis
as President of the Governmental Commission
Preceded by Prime Minister of Greece
19 March 1848 – 27 October 1848
Succeeded by