Bernstorff. I. Johaun Hartwig Ernst, count, a Danish statesman, born in Hanover, May 13, 1712. died in Hamburg, Feb. 19, 1772. He was educated in Germany, represented the Danish government in 1737 at the diet of Ratisbon, and in 1744 was appointed minister to Paris. In 1750 he became secretary and councillor of state, and in 1751 member of the privy council, with the portfolio of foreign affairs. A war with Russia on the Holstein-Got-torp question was averted by his prudence, and he was ennobled by Christian VII. (1767)„and called by Frederick the Great the "oracle of Denmark." He promoted industry, art, and let-ters, and liberated his serfs. After having been ousted from office by Struensee in 1770, be was recalled in 1772 in the most flattering manner after the hitter's downfall, and died when about, returning to Copenhagen from Hamburg, where be had lived in the interval. II. Andreas Peter, count, a Danish statesman, cousin of the preceding, born at Gartow, near Luneburg, Aug. 28, 1735, died in Copenhagen June 21, 1797. He studied at German universities travelled extensively, entered the Danish service in 1755, became a privy councillor in 1769, and in 1772 minister of foreign affairs He reestablished friendly relations with Great Britain, and in 1778 was the first to propose armed neutrality to Sweden. His views conflicting with those of the dowager queen Juliana and other influential parties, he left office m 1780. After the death of his first wife in 1782, he married in 1783. her sister the countess Augusta Stolberg, whose brothers were the famous German poets.
Rejoining the cabinet in 1784. be prepared for the abolition of serfdom in Sohleswigand Holstein; and by removing all trammels from liberty of the press he enabled German thinkers to express ideas in Denmark which they were not permitted to utter in their own country. See Eggers, Denkwurdigkeiten aus dem Leben des Staats-ministers von Bermtorff (Copenhagen, 1800).