a Russian noble family, many members of which held high state and diplomatic positions.
Roman Illarionovich Vorontsov. Born July 17 (28), 1707; died Nov. 30 (Dec. 12), 1783. Statesman; senator beginning in 1760. He advocated a policy of gentry monopoly on ownership of land and serfs and the development of gentry enterprise. His reputation for extortion earned him the nickname “Roman Big Pocket.”
Mikhail Illarionovich Vorontsov. Born July 12 (23), 1714; died Feb. 15 (26), 1767. Statesman and diplomat; brother of Roman Illarionovich Vorontsov. He played an active role in the palace revolution of Nov. 25, 1741, which brought Elizaveta Petrovna to the throne. In 1744 he became a count and vice chancellor. He advocated an alliance with France. Serving as chancellor from 1758 to 1762, Vorontsov was forced to retire in 1763 because he was a partisan of the overthrown Peter III.
Aleksandr Romanovich Vorontsov. Born Sept. 4 (15), 1741; died Dec. 2 (14), 1805. Statesman and diplomat; son of Roman Illarionovich Vorontsov. In 1761 he was charge d’affaires in Vienna; during 1762-64 he served as plenipotentiary to England, and from 1764 to 1768, to Holland. From 1773 to 1794, Vorontsov was president of the Collegium of Commerce and a member of the Commerce Commission. He pursued a protectionist policy favorable to the Russian export trade. In 1779 he became a senator, and he took part in the conclusion of very important treaties with France (1786) and Sweden (1790), as well as the Peace of Jassy with Turkey (1791). Vorontsov retired from government service during the reign of Pavel I, but he returned to serve as chancellor from 1802 to 1804. He promoted the break with Napoleon I and the creation of the anti-French coalition, and he favored rapprochement with England. A friend of A. N. Radishchev, Vorontsov helped the latter’s family after his arrest.
Semen Romanovich Vorontsov. Born June 15 (26), 1744; died 1832. Count, diplomat, and statesman; son of Roman Illarionovich Vorontsov and brother of A. R. Vorontsov. In 1782 he became ambassador to Venice, and in 1784, to London. He pursued a policy of strengthening economic and political ties with England. In 1800 the deterioration of relations with England forced Vorontsov’s temporary retirement; however, he returned to government service in 1801 under Alexander I. Vorontsov retired in 1806.
REFERENCESArkhiv kniazia Vorontsova, vols. 1-40. Moscow, 1870-95. (See Rospis’ tomov. St. Petersburg, 1897.)
Bantysh-Kamenskii, D. N. Slovar’ dostopamiatnykh liudei russkoi zemli, part 1. Moscow, 1836.
Riabinin, D. D. “Gr. S. R. Vorontsov [Biografiia].” Russkii arkhiv, 1879, nos. 1-4.
Zaozerskii, A. I. “A. R. Vorontsov: K istorii byta i nravov XVIII v.” In Istoricheskie zapiski, vol. 23. [Moscow] 1947.