Online Encyclopedia


Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V17, Page 918 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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PRINCE ALEXANDER MAVROCORDATO (1791–1865), Greek statesman, a descendant of the hospodars, was horn at Constantinople on the r rth of February 1791. In 1812 he went to the court of his uncle Ioannes Caradja, hospodar of Walachia, with whom he passed into exile in Russia and Italy (1817). He was a member of the Hetairia Philike and was among the Phanariot Greeks who hastened to the Morea on the outbreak of the War of Independence in 1821. He was active in endeavouring to establish a regular government, and in January 1822 presided over the first Greek national assembly at Epidaurus. He commanded the advance of the Greeks into western Hellas the same year, and suffered a defeat at Peta on the 16th of July, but retrieved this disaster somewhat by his successful resistance to the first siege of Missolonghi (Nov. 1822 to Jan. 1823). His English sympathies brought him, in the subsequent strife of factions, into opposition to the " Russian " party headed by Demetrius Ypsilanti and Kolokotrones; and though he held the portfolio of foreign affairs for a short while under the presidency of Petrobey (Petros Mavromichales), he was compelled to with-draw from affairs until February 1825, when he again became a secretary of state. The landing of Ibrahim Pasha followed, and Mavrocordato again joined the army, only escaping capture in the disaster at Sphagia (Spakteria), on the 9th of May 1815, by swimming to Navarino. After the fall of Missolonghi (April 22, 1826) he went into retirement, until President Capo d'Istria made him a member of the committee for the administration of war material, a position he resigned in 1828. After Capo d'Istria's murder (Oct. 9, 1831) and the resignation of his brother and successor, Agostino Capo d'Istria (April 13, 1832), Mavrocordato became minister of finance. He was vice-president of the National Assembly at Argos (July, 1832), and was appointed by King Otto minister of finance, and in 1833 premier. From 1834 onwards he was Greek envoy at Munich, Berlin, London and—after a short interlude as premier in Greece in 1841—Constantinople. In 1843, after the revolution of September, he returned to Athens as minister without portfolio in the Metaxas cabinet, and from April to August 1844 was head of the government formed after the fall of the " Russian " party. Going into opposition, he distinguished himself by his violent attacks on the Kolettis government. In 1854–1855 he was again head of the government for a few months. He died in Aegina on the 18th of August 1865. See E. Legrand, Genealogic des Mavrocardato (Paris, 1886).
PRINCE (Lat. princeps, from primus capio, " I am th...

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