Vorontsov, Mikhail (Illarionovich)

Vorontsov, Mikhail (Illarionovich)
born July 23, 1714
died Feb. 26, 1767, St. Petersburg, Russia

Russian statesman.

A member of a family that became prominent in Russian court circles in the 18th century, he was appointed a page in the court of Yelizaveta Petrovna (later Elizabeth) at the age of 14. In 1742 he helped her overthrow Tsar Ivan VI and become empress. As Elizabeth's vice chancellor (1744–58) and chancellor (1758–62), he played a major role during her reign, especially in his pro-French foreign policy. When Peter III succeeded Elizabeth and abandoned her alliances with France and Austria, Vorontsov made no effort to dissuade the new emperor and even continued to support him when he was deposed by his wife, Catherine II (1762). Vorontsov was consequently placed under house arrest; only after Peter died did he swear allegiance to Catherine and resume his office as chancellor, which he held until he retired in 1763.

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Universalium. 2010.

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