Our First Ambassador to China
- Publication date:February 2011
- 19 b/w illus.
- Dimensions: 216 x 140 mm
- Weight: 0.68kg
George Macartney (1737–1806) was a British statesman, diplomat and administrator who held a succession of important appointments. In 1764 he was sent as envoy extraordinary to Russia, but described the Russian nobility as 'vain, petulant, inconsequent, indiscreet, and changeable'. After several years as Chief Secretary for Ireland (1767–1772) and a governorship in the West Indies, he served as Governor of Madras in the early 1780s, a difficult role surrounded by controversy and intrigue. In 1792–1794 he travelled to China on behalf of the government and the East India Company on a mission to negotiate a trade agreement, but was unsuccessful. He ended his career as Governor of the Cape Colony. This 1908 biography, which includes extracts from previously unpublished letters by Macartney and other newly-researched archival material, complements the two-volume 1807 account of Macartney's life by Sir John Barrow, also reissued in this series.