- BIREN, DUKE OF COURLAND
- son of a peasant, favourite of the Russian Empress Anne; held the reins of government even after her death; ruled with great cruelty; was banished to Siberia, but recalled, and had his honours restored to him, which in six years after he relinquished in favour of his eldest son (1687-1772).
The Nuttall Encyclopaedia. James Wood. 1907.
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