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‘A brighter Hellas’: rediscovering Greece in the 19th century

The London Protocol of 3 February 1830

Protocol no.1Protocol no.1On 3 February 1830 a conference was held at the Foreign Office in London in which the plenipotentiaries of Great Britain, France and Russia signed a protocol declaring Greece an independent, sovereign state.

Protocol no.1 is shown here, published in the parliamentary papers of the House of Commons. The first of the 11 articles proclaimed independence:

Greece shall form an independent State, and shall enjoy all the rights, political, administrative, and commercial, attached to complete independence.

Article two defined the borders of the new state, while article three stated that the Greek government would be ‘monarchical, and … confided to a Prince … who shall bear the title of Sovereign Prince of Greece.’ Article four declared peace between the Ottoman Empire and Greece.

In Protocol no.2 the plenipotentiaries declared their favour for Prince Leopold of Saxe-Coburg as their choice of Sovereign Prince. Leopold declined the offer, however, and at the London Convention in May 1832 the throne was offered to seventeen-year-old Prince Otho, son of King Ludwig I of Bavaria.

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