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Print version. Published on site Rusnet.NL 26 April 2004

Encyclopedia :: B :: Biron

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Updated: 18.12.2003

Ernst Johann von Biron, Duke of Courland, favourite of Anna Ivanovna, Empress of Russia.

A Baltic nobleman, Ernst Johann von Biron rose to an all-powerful position under Anna, through whose influence he was elected Duke of Courland.

After Anna's death in 1740 he was made regent for her grandnephew Ivan VI.

Biron's unscrupulousness had earned him general hatred, and in 1741, shortly after he became regent, a coup ousted and banished him.

In 1743, Augustus III of Poland deprived him of his duchy. Emperor Peter III later recalled him and Catherine II secured the restoration of his title, but Biron never regained his former influence.