Treaty between Great Britain and Russia, respecting the Ionian Islands
In the name of the Most Holy and Undivided Trinity.
His Majesty the King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, his Majesty the Emperor of all the Russias, his Majesty the Emperor of Austria, King of Hungary and Bohemia, and his Majesty the King of Prussia, animated by the desire of prosecuting the Negotiations adjourned at the Congress of Vienna, in order to fix the destiny of the Seven Ionian Islands, and to insure the independence, liberty, and happiness, of the inhabitants of those Islands, by placing them and their Constitution under the immediate protection of one of the Great Powers of Europe, have agreed to settle definitively by a Special Act, whatever relates to this object, which, grounded upon the rights resulting from the Treaty of Paris of the 30th May 1814, and likewise upon the British Declarations at the period when the British arms liberated Cerigo, Zante, Cephalonia, Santa Maura, Ithaca, and Paxo, shall be considered as forming part of the General Treaty concluded at Vienna on the 9th June of the year 1815, on the termination of the Congress: and in order to settle and sign the said Act, the High Contracting Powers have nominated Plenipotentiaries; that is to say, his Majesty the King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, the Right Honourable Robert Stewart Viscount Castlereagh, Knight of the Most Noble Order of the Garter, a Member of his said Majesty's Most Honourable Privy Council, a Member of Parliament, Colonel of the Londonderry Regiment of Militia, and his said Majesty's Principal Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs; and the Most Illustrious and Most Noble Lord Arthur, Duke, Marquees, and Earl of Wellington, Marquess of Douro, Viscount Wellington of Talavera and of Wellington, and Baron Douro of Wellesley, a Member of his said Majesty's Most Honourable Privy Council, a Field Marshal of his Armies, Colonel of the Royal Regiment of Horse Guards, Knight of the Most Noble Order of the Garter, Knight Grand Cross of the Most Honourable Order of the Bath, Prince of Waterloo, Duke of Ciudad Rodrigo, and a Grandee of Spain of the First Class, Duke of Vittoria, Marquess of Torres Vedras, Count of Vimeira in Portugal, Knight of the Most Illustrious Order of the Golden Fleece, of the Spanish Military Order of Saint Ferdinand, Knight Grand Cross of the Imperial Military Order of Maria Theresa, Knight Grand Cross of the Imperial Order of St. George of Russia, Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Black Eagle of Prussia, Knight Grand Cross of the Portuguese Royal and Military Order of the Tower and Sword, Knight Grand Cross of the Royal and Military Order of Sweden of the Sword, Knight Grand Cross of the Orders of the Elephant of Denmark, of William of the Low Countries, of the Annunciade of Sardinia, of Maximilian Joseph of Bavaria, and of several others, and Commander of the Forces of his Britannic Majesty in France, and of the Army of his Majesty the King of the Low Countries; and his Majesty the Emperor of all the Russias, the Sieur Andre Prince of Rasomouffsky, a Member of his Imperial Majesty's Privy Council, a Senator, Knight of the Order of Saint Andrew, of Saint Alexander Newsky, Grand Cross of the Order of St. Wolodimir of the First Class, Grand Cross of the Royal Order of Saint Stephen of Hungary, and of the Orders of the Black Eagle and of the Red Eagle of Prussia; and the Sieur John Count Capo d'Istra, a Member of his Imperial Majesty's Privy Council, Secretary of State, Knight of the Order of Saint Anne of the First Class, Grand Cross of the Order of Saint Wolodimir of the Second Class, Grand Cross of the Order of Leopold of Austria, and of the Red Eagle of Prussia; who, after having exchanged their full powers, found to be in good and due form, have agreed upon the following Articles:
ART. I. The Islands of Corfu, Cephalonia, Zante, Maura, Ithaca, Cerigo, and Paxo, with their dependencies, such as they are described in the Treaty between his Majesty the Emperor of all the Russias and the Ottoman Porte, of the 21st of March 1800, shall form a single, free, and independent State, under the denomination of the United States of the Ionian Islands.
ART. II. This State shall be placed under the immediate and exclusive protection of his Majesty the King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, his heirs and successors. The other Contracting Powers do consequently renounce every right or particular pretension which they might have formed in respect to them, and formally guarantee all the dispositions of the present Treaty.
ART. III. The United States of the Ionian Islands shall, with the approbation of the Protecting Power, regulate their internal organization; and, in order to give to all the parts of this organization the necessary consistency and action, his Britannic Majesty will employ a particular solicitude with regard to the legislation and the general administration of those States, his Majesty will therefore appoint a Lord High Commissioner to reside there, invested with all the necessary power and authorities for this purpose.
ART. IV. In order to carry into execution, without delay, the stipulations mentioned in the Articles preceding, and to ground the political re-organization which is actually in force, the Lord High Commissioner of the Protecting Power shall regulate the forms of convocation of a Legislative Assembly, of which he shall direct the proceedings, in order to draw up a New Constitutional Charter for the States, which his Majesty the King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland shall be requested to ratify. Until such Constitutional Charter shall have been so drawn up, and duly ratified, the existing Constitutions shall remain in force in the different Islands, and no alteration shall be made in them, except by his Britannic Majesty in Council.
ART. V. In order to ensure, without restriction, to the inhabitants of the United States of the Ionian islands, the advantages resulting from the high protection under which these States are placed, as well as for the exercise of the rights inherent in the said protection, his Britannic Majesty shall have the right to occupy the fortresses and places of those States, and to maintain garrisons in the same. The military force of the said United States shall also be under the orders of the Commander in Chief of the troops of his Britannic Majesty.
ART. VI. His Britannic Majesty consents, that a particular Convention with the Government of the said United States shall regulate, according to the revenues of these States, every thing which may relate to the maintenance of the fortresses already existing, as well as to the subsistence and payment of the British garrisons, and to the number of men of which they shall be composed in time of peace. The same Convention shall likewise fix the relations which are to exist between the said armed force and the Ionian Government.
ART. VII. The trading flag of the United States of the Ionian islands shall be acknowledged by all the Contracting Parties as the Flag of a free and independent State. It shall carry with the colours and above the armorial bearings thereon displayed before the year 1807, such other as his Britannic Majesty may think proper to grant, as a mark of the protection under which the said Ionian States are placed; and for the more effectual furtherance of this protection, all the ports and harbours of the said States are hereby declared to be, with respect to honorary and military rights, within British jurisdiction. The commerce between the United Ionian States and the dominions of his Imperial and Royal Apostolic Majesty shall enjoy the same advantages and facilities as that of Great Britain with the said United States. None but commercial agents, or Consuls, charged solely with the carrying on commercial relations, and subject to the regulations to which commercial agents or consuls are subject in other Independent States, shall be accredited to the United States of the Ionian Islands.
ART. VIII All the Powers which signed the Treaty of Paris of the 30th of May 1814, and the Act of the Congress of Vienna of the 9th of June 1815; and also his Majesty the King of the Two Sicilies, and the Ottoman Porte, shall be invited to accede to the present Convention.
ART. IX. The present Act shall be ratified and the ratifications shall be exchanged in two months, or sooner, if possible. In witness whereof the respective Plenipotentiaries have signed it, and have affixed thereunto the teals of their arms.—Done at Paris the 5th day of November, 1815.
- Hansard, The Parliamentary Debates from the Year 1803 to the Present Time ..., Volume 32. 1 February to 6 March 1816, T.C. Hansard, 1816.