CASTLEREAGH (Viscount, Robert Stewart, 2nd Marquis of Londonderry, 1769-1822, Foreign Minister, Committed suicide and was buried in Westminster Abbey)

Autograph Letter Signed to ‘H.E. The Right Honorable General the Earl of Cathcart K.T.’ (William Schaw CATHCART, 1st Earl, 1755-1843, Soldier and Diplomat) telling him the “J. Thompson Esq who will deliver this letter to your Excellency, intending to visit Constantinople with Mr Halsey of Henley... I beg leave to introduce them to your Acquaintance and to recommend them to your Protection and good Offices...”, 1 side 4to., Foreign Office, 1st September

Castlereagh was Foreign Secretary, 1812-1822, and so during the momentous events of the 1st Restoration, the Congress of Vienna, Napoleon’s Hundred Days and Exile, and the 2nd Restoration of 1815. At the Peace Conference in Paris he managed to prevent punitive measures on France and achieve some kind of ‘equilibrium’, though the Allies continued to occupy France under Wellington till 1819.
Seven years before the date of this letter Castlereagh had brought about peace between Turkey and Russia. Cathcart’s career was greatly affected by Castlereagh. He was a professional soldier who served with distinction in the American war and later served as Commander in Chief in Ireland. Pitt made him ambassador at St Petersburg. After the death of Pitt, Cathcart and his force were recalled and Castlereagh appointed him to command an army in the Baltic and in 1807 he captured Copenhagen. In 1812 he was appointed Ambassador to the court of Russian and British military commission with the army of the Czar. As a result of his success he was created an Earl.
On 9th August 1822 Castlereagh had become very disturbed and overwrought and the King told him to consult a physician. However 3 days later, at the age of 53 he committed suicide. The inquest concluded that the act had been committed while insane, avoiding the harsh strictures of a felo de se verdict. The verdict allowed Lady Londonderry to see her husband buried with honour in Westminster Abbey near his mentor, William Pitt.

Item Date:  1819

Stock No:  41991      £425

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