The Genesis of Russophobia in Great Britain: A Study of the Interaction of Policy and Opinion

By John Howes Gleason | Go to book overview

CHAPTER VII
DAVID URQUHART -- THE VIXEN

ALTHOUGH the Tory ministry, which followed the sudden fall of the Whigs in November 1834, was short-lived, and in many respects inconsequential, it effected two important changes in Anglo-Russian relations. The Duke of Wellington brought to the foreign office a mind which was free from the passion and prejudice which the quarrels and the chagrin engendered by the affairs of Poland and Turkey had aroused in Palmerston. The Duke made no attempt to reorient the policy of the country. He transmitted to St. Petersburg only three trivial dispatches, and Ponsonby, in Constantinople, complained that for months he had been without instructions. That hiatus was concluded, to the latter's intense disgust, by a revocation of the discretionary power to summon the fleet into the Straits. Although it is probable, as Palmerston thought, that the Duke, had he remained in office, could not have modified British policy significantly, his good sense and native caution convinced him that the probabilities of the Near Eastern situation did not justify an ambassador's possessing the potential authority to precipitate war. Palmerston's failure to renew the order immediately upon his return to office may reflect the calming influence in Anglo-Russian tension of the Duke's brief interlude.1

A more positive accomplishment was the resolution of the impasse with regard to Stratford Canning. For Wellington and for Peel there was no question of pride or prestige, and an alternative nominee, the Marquess of Londonderry, was promptly selected for the post. When the appointment was announced belatedly in March, the immediate public dissatisfaction substantiated the doubts of his fitness which had been

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1
Bulwer, Palmerston, II, 214; Temperley, Near East, pp. 76-77; F. O. 181/117-118, passim.

-164-

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The Genesis of Russophobia in Great Britain: A Study of the Interaction of Policy and Opinion
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Preface vii
  • Contents *
  • Chapter I - Policy and Opinion -- Russophobia 1
  • Chapter II - England and Russia Prior to 1815 9
  • Chapter III - The Aftermath of Vienna 16
  • Chapter IV - The Greek Revolution 57
  • Chapter V - The Polish Revolution 107
  • Chapter VI - The Crisis of 1833 135
  • Chapter VII - David Urquhart -- the Vixen 164
  • Chapter VIII - The Navy -- Afghanistan 205
  • Chapter IX - The Near Eastern Crisis, 1839-1841 226
  • Chapter X - Russophobia 272
  • Bibliography 291
  • Index 307
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