Robert Stewart Viscount Castlereagh

Castlereagh, Robert Stewart Viscount


(Marquis of Londonderry). Born June 18, 1769, in Dublin; died Aug. 12, 1822, in North Cray, Kent. British statesman.

A member of the Tory Party, he was a leader of the Real Tories, a Tory group that represented mainly the interests of the land-owning aristocracy. He was a graduate of Cambridge University. Chief secretary for Ireland from 1798 to 1801, Cas-tlereagh was instrumental in establishing the colonialist Anglo-Irish union of 1801, which deprived Ireland of parliamentary autonomy. Secretary of state for war from 1807 to 1809, he was one of the organizers of the British attack on Denmark in 1807. Castlereagh was foreign secretary from 1812 to 1822 and exerted a decisive influence on the policy of Liverpool’s Tory cabinet. During Napoleon’s invasion of Russia in 1812 he opposed any aid to Russia. In 1813 he helped to create the Sixth Coalition, trying to use Prussia and Austria against Napoleonic France while at the same time setting them against Russia. One of his major tasks was the strengthening and considerable territorial expansion of militarist Prussia. At the Congress of Vienna (1814—15), on Jan. 3, 1815, he concluded a secret treaty with Austria and France directed mainly against Russia. He supported the Holy Alliance.

Castlereagh’s policy contributed to the triumph of the feudal and absolutist reaction in Europe.


Webster, C. K. The Foreign Policy of Castlereagh, 1812–1815. London, 1931.
Webster, C. K. The Foreign Policy of Castlereagh, 1815–1822. London, 1925.