Lord Castlereagh: Europe's forgotten father

Early in the morning of 10 August 1822, the British Foreign Secretary rose from his bed and cut his throat.

Robert Stewart, Lord Castlereagh, was one of the most successful and most hated politicians of his day.

Born in Dublin, he grew up in the idyllic family seat of Mount Stewart in County Down, Northern Ireland.

A master diplomat, Castlereagh was the architect of the 1801 Act of Union that brought Ireland under the control of Westminster. He was a key figure in the defeat of Napoleon and was at the heart of the 1814 Congress of Vienna that gave a century of stability to war-torn Europe.

Belfast filmmaker Brian Henry Martin and political cartoonist Ian Knox have collaborated on an inventive new documentary that tries to understand the brutal actions of this flawed and forgotten political colossus.

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Images courtesy of Ian Knox, Getty Images and the National Portrait Gallery. All images are subject to copyright. Music by KPM.

Audio slideshow production by Alison Finch. Publication date 1st October 2013.

Related links:

Groundbreakers: The Extraordinary Life of Lord Castlereagh

Your Paintings: Robert Stewart, 2nd Marquess of Londonderry (Lord Castlereagh)

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