The emperor Nicholas found that his ambassador at Vienna, Baron Meyendorff, was not a sympathetic instrument for carrying out his schemes in the East.
He was educated at Loretto, Eton and Oriel College, Oxford, and in 1869 was restored by Act of Parliament to the barony of Balfour of Burleigh, to which he was entitled by his descent from the 5th baron, who was attainted after the Jacobite rebellion of 1715.
His graduation thesis, published in 1819, on the history of the Merovingian mayors of the palace, attracted the attention of Baron Stein, by whom he was engaged in 1820 to edit the Carolingian chroniclers for the newly-founded Historical Society of Germany.
"Excuse me!" he added, turning to the baron, "we will finish this conversation elsewhere--at a ball one must dance."