4th Earl of Aberdeen, George Hamilton-Gordon

1784-1860

George Hamilton-Gordon was the 4th Earl of Aberdeen. A statesman and scholar, he is remembered most for his political career. His first foray into politics came in 1828 when he was named as Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster in the government of the Duke of Wellington. That same year he became Foreign Secretary, a post he held until 1830.

In 1834-35 he served as Secretary for War and the Colonies under Peel, and in 1841-46 he again served as Foreign Secretary. He resigned his post as a protest against the Corn Laws and eventually succeeded his patron Peel as leader of the 'Peelite' faction in Parliament.

The high point of his political career came in 1852 when he became Prime Minister of a short-lived Whig/Peelite coalition government. After only 3 years he was forced to resign after public outcry over government mismanagement of the Crimean War.

Aberdeen's scholarly career was equally distinguisged, and he served as head of the influential Society of Antiquaries from 1812-46.

Time period(s): Victorian

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