Clemens Wenzel Nepomuk Lothar, prince, an Austrian statesman, born in Coblentz, May 15, 1773, died in Vienna, June 11, 1859. He first appeared in public life as master of ceremonies at the coronation of Leopold II. (1790). Subsequently he studied jurisprudence for a time in Mentz, made a journey to England in 1794, became Austrian ambassador at the Hague, and married in 1795 the granddaughter and heiress of Prince Kaunitz, whose large domains, added to his own patrimony, made him one of the wealthiest landholders of Germany. He attended the congress of Rastadt in 1797-'9, and was ambassador in Dresden in 1801, in Berlin in 1803-'4, and in Paris in 1806, where Napoleon received him with the remark: "You are very young to represent so powerful a monarchy." "Your majesty was not older at Austerlitz," replied Metternich. In 1807 he concluded at Fon-tainebleau the convention by which Braunau was restored to Austria, and the Isonzo river made the boundary of Italy. In 1809, on the outbreak of the war between Austria and France, Metternich joined the emperor Francis in Hungary, and succeeded Count Stadion as minister of foreign affairs.
In 1810 he conducted the negotiations with Champigny in regard to Napoleon's marriage with Maria Louisa, and subsequently escorted the archduchess to Paris. Yet he never ceased to watch the ambitious designs of Napoleon, and kept himself in constant communication with the English and Russian governments. Napoleon, in his interview with him in Dresden, June 27, 1813, accused Metternich of conspiring against him, while professing to conclude with him a treaty of peace. In fact, while Metternich was making proposals of peace to Napoleon, a formal treaty was concluded at Reichenbach, by which Austria engaged to declare war against France in case the conditions which were to be proposed at Prague should not be accepted. This treaty was for a long time kept secret. The formal declaration of war was drawn up by Metternich's order, Aug. 11, and the quadruple alliance was concluded by him at Teplitz, Sept, 9. Metternich's great influence in this war soon became apparent. The kings of Bavaria and Wiirtemberg were induced to forsake Napoleon by a secret provision made through Metternich that they should be protected against popular disturbances, and should receive additional possessions.
He was rewarded by the Austrian emperor with the hereditary dignity of a prince of the empire, conferred on the eve of the battle of Leipsic. He took a leading part in all subsequent conferences and treaties. When the congress of Vienna opened, he was unanimously chosen to preside over its deliberations. He attended the congress of Aix-la-Ohapelle in 1818, was chancellor of state in 1821, attended the congress of Verona in 1822, and until the revolution of 1848 exercised a remarkable ascendancy over the affairs of Austria and Europe, as the leading champion of conservatism. He was strenuously opposed to the policy of France as inaugurated by the revolution of 1830. After the death of "Francis (1835) Metternich remained in office as chancellor and prime minister to his successor Ferdinand. In 1840 and 1841, during the complication of the oriental question, he exerted his influence in favor of the maintenance of peace abroad. At home his iron rule prepared the way for the revolution which terminated his power (March 13, 1848). Barely escaping with his life from the people, he fled through Holland to England, where he remained till November, 1849. He next removed to Brussels, and in 1851 returned to Vienna. On his way thither he visited his estate on the Johannisberg, which had been presented to him by Francis in 1816, but which during the revolutionary movements in Germany in 1848-'9 had been taken from his control, and while there received a visit from Frederick William IV. of Prussia. Without resuming public office, he continued until his death to exercise great influence in political affairs.
The prince was fond of letters and art; and in one of his letters to Alexander von Humboldt he remarks that his inclination would have led him rather to the sphere of science than to that of diplomacy. In addition to his Austrian titles, he was created by the king of Naples duke of Portella, with a pension of 60,000 Neapolitan ducats, and was made a Spanish duke, while honors and presents were showered upon him by all European potentates.
Prince Richard, eldest son of the preceding by his second wife (the baroness of Leykam and countess Beilstein), born in Vienna, Jan. 7, 1829. After officiating as ambassador in Dresden and as attache to the ministry of foreign affairs during the war of 1859, he became soon after the peace of Villa-franca (July 11, 1859) ambassador at Paris, and held the post till December, 1871. He was made hereditary councillor of the Austrian empire in 1861, and privy councillor in 1864. - Ho married in 1856 his niece, the princess Pauline (born Feb. 26, 1836), a daughter of Count Maurice Sandor, and the heiress of vast estates. The princess became an intimate friend of the empress Eugenie and a brilliant leader of society in Paris during the second empire.