Andrei Budberg (1750-1812)

Author: I. Grigorash

170 INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

Andrei Budberg (1750-1812)

I. Grigorash

ADAM CZARTORYSCY replaced Aleksandr Vorontsov, first foreign minister of Russia in 1802-1804, as head of the Foreign Ministry. He held the post of its manager in 1804-1806. Andrei Budberg became the next foreign minister of Russia.

ANDREI BUDBERG stands apart in Russian history-he was not a career diplomat and reached the very top of Russian diplomacy thanks to his outstanding personal talents and due to certain circumstances.

The name of this Baltic German dedicated to Russia heart and soul was closely associated with Catherine the Great's dynastic diplomacy while his short term as the foreign minister of Russia (from 17 June 1806 to 30 August 1807) was marked by one of the signal events of nineteenth- century European politics-the Peace of Tilsit Aleksandr I and Napoleon signed on 13 June, 1807.

Andrei Budberg was born on 10 July, 1750 into a Lutheran family of Iakov Wilhelm von Budberg, an officer of the fifth musketeer regiment of the Russian army, and his wife Maria Elizaveta, nee von Below. On 20 June, 1759 the nine-year-old boy was registered military service; on 5 July, 1759 he was promoted to a sergeant.

His father, then a colonel, was killed in action on 1 August, 1759 in the battle of Kunersdorf during the Seven Years' War (1756-1763). On 1 January, 1760 in memory of his service Andrei was promoted to an ensign of the Rostov Infantry Regiment of the Livland Division stationed in Riga. His mother had written to Count Zakhar Chernyshev who knew her husband well to ask for this promotion.

In the same year the family which had found itself in dire financial circumstances after the father's death received the Magnushov estate near Riga for eternal lease. One of the lines of the Baron Budberg's family assumed this name.

The young man was excited about ...

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