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George Canning

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World Leader

The Resume

    (April 11, 1770-August 8, 1827)
    Born in London, United Kingdom
    Member of Parliament (1793-1827)
    Treasurer of the Navy (1804-06)
    President of the Board of Control (1816-21)
    Foreign Secretary (1807-09,1822-27)
    Prime Minister (April 10-August 8, 1827)

Why he might be annoying:

    He first entered Parliament representing a rotten borough (one with so few voters that it was easy to bribe them all).
    He had a caustic wit that alienated his friends.
    He reduced Lord Liverpool to tears with a satirical poem, then demanded that Liverpool apologize for getting upset.
    After a dispute with Secretary of War Lord Castlereagh about how the British army should be deployed, the two cabinet members fought a duel, resulting in Canning getting shot in the buttocks (September 21, 1809).
    When he was named Prime Minister after Lord Liverpool resigned, half the cabinet, including the Duke of Wellington and Robert Peel, resigned.
    He was the shortest-serving Prime Minister in British history.
    Sir Sydney Smith remarked, 'Canning in office is like a fly in amber. Nobody cares about the fly. The only question is, how the devil did it get there?'

Why he might not be annoying:

    He graduated first in his class from Eton.
    He was considered the Tories' best orator.
    As foreign minister, he arranged for the seizure of the Danish navy to prevent it from falling into Napoleon's hands.
    Despite opposition, he pushed through British recognition of the newly independent nations of Latin America, commenting, 'I resolved that if France had Spain it should not be Spain with the Indies. I called the New World into existence to redress the balance of the Old.'
    He had to overcome class prejudice, with Earl Grey, for instance, saying the Canning should be disqualified from consideration as Prime Minister because his mother was an actress.

Credit: C. Fishel

Featured in the following Annoying Collections:

Year In Review:

    In 2021, Out of 11 Votes: 72.73% Annoying
    In 2020, Out of 1 Votes: 100% Annoying
    In 2018, Out of 6 Votes: 50.0% Annoying
    In 2017, Out of 6 Votes: 66.67% Annoying
    In 2016, Out of 5 Votes: 60.0% Annoying
    In 2015, Out of 7 Votes: 57.14% Annoying
    In 2014, Out of 17 Votes: 52.94% Annoying