Vorontsov, Semen Romanovich
VORONTSOV, SEMEN ROMANOVICH (1744-1832), Russian diplomatist, brother of Alexander Romano vich, distinguished himself during the first Turkish War of Catherine II. at Larga and Kagula in 1770. In 1783 he was appointed Russian minister at Vienna, but in 1785 was transferred to London, where he lived for the rest of his life. Vorontsov enjoyed great influence and authority in Great Britain. Quickly acquainting himself with the genius of English institutions, their ways and methods, he was able to render important services to his country. Thus during Catherine's second Turkish War he contributed to bring about the disarmament of the auxiliary British fleet which had been fitted out to assist the Turks, and in 1793 obtained a renewal of the commercial treaty between Great Britain and Russia. Subsequently, his extreme advocacy of the exiled Bourbons, his sharp criticism of the Armed Neutrality of the North, which he considered disadvantageous to Russia, and his denunciation of the partitions of Poland as contrary to the first principles of equity and a shock to the conscience of western Europe, profoundly irritated the empress. On the accession of Paul he was raised to the rank of ambassador extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary, and received immense estates in Finland. Neither Vorontsov's detention of the Russian squadron under Makarov in British ports nor his refusal, after the death of Bezborodko, to accept the dignity of imperial chancellor could alienate the favour of Paul. It was only when the emperor himself began to draw nearer to France that he began to consider Vorontsov as incompetent to serve Russia in England, and in February 1800 all the count's estates were confiscated. Alexander I. on his accession at once reinstated him, but ill-health and family affairs induced him to resign his post in 1806. From that time till his death in 1832 he continued to live in London.
Besides his valuable Note on the Russian War (Rus.) and numerous letters, Vorontsov was the author of an autobiography (in Russky Arkhiv, Petersburg, 1881) and " Notes on the Internal Government of Russia " (Rus.) (in Russky Arkhiv, 1881).
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)