Person:George Canning (1)

George Canning
b.11 Apr 1770
d.8 Aug 1827
Facts and Events
Name George Canning
Gender Male
Birth[1] 11 Apr 1770
Marriage to Joan Scott
Death[1] 8 Aug 1827
Reference Number? Q219731?

the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

George Canning (11 April 17708 August 1827) was a British Tory statesman who served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from April to August 1827. He occupied various senior cabinet positions under numerous prime ministers, before eventually serving himself as Prime Minister for the final four months of his life.

The son of an actress and a failed businessman and lawyer, Canning was supported financially by his uncle, Stratford Canning, which allowed him to attend Eton College and Christ Church, Oxford. Canning entered politics in 1793 and rose rapidly. He was Paymaster of the Forces (1800–01) and Treasurer of the Navy (1804–06) under William Pitt the Younger. Canning was Foreign Secretary (1807–09) under the Duke of Portland, who was ill. Canning was the dominant figure in the cabinet and directed the seizure of the Danish fleet in 1807 to assure Britain's naval supremacy over Napoleon. In 1809, he was wounded in a duel with his foe Lord Castlereagh and was shortly thereafter passed over as a successor to the Duke of Portland in favour of Spencer Perceval. He remained out of high office until after Perceval was assassinated in 1812.

Canning subsequently served under new Prime Minister the Earl of Liverpool as British Ambassador to Portugal (1814–16), President of the Board of Control (1816–21), and Foreign Secretary and Leader of the House of Commons (1822–27). The King disliked Canning and there were efforts to frustrate his foreign policies. Canning, however, successfully built wide public support for his policies. Historian Paul Hayes argues that he scored major achievements in diplomatic relations regarding Spain and Portugal, by helping to guarantee the independence of the American colonies of Portugal (i.e. Brazil) and Spain. His policies ensured a major trading advantage to British merchants and supported the Americans' Monroe Doctrine.

When Lord Liverpool resigned in April 1827, Canning was chosen to succeed him as Prime Minister ahead of the Duke of Wellington and Sir Robert Peel. They both declined to serve under Canning and the Tories split between Peel and Wellington's Ultra-Tories and the Canningites. Canning then invited several Whigs to join his cabinet. However, his health collapsed and he died in office in August 1827, after just 119 days in office, the shortest tenure of any British Prime Minister.

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  1. 1.0 1.1 George Canning, in Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia.