George Macartney, 1st Earl Macartney, was an Irish-born British statesman, colonial administrator and diplomat. He is often remembered for his observation following Britain's success in the Seven Years War and subsequent territorial expansion at the Treaty of Paris that Britain now controlled "a vast Empire, on which the sun never sets".
As envoy extraordinary to Russia in 1764, he succeeded in negotiating with Catherine II an alliance between Great Britain and that country.
Mccartney was the Governor of Madras (now known as Chennai) from 1781 to 1785. He negotiated the Treaty of Mangalore which brought an end to the Second Anglo-Mysore War in 1784.
Mccartney declined the governor-generalship of India (then the British territories administered by the British East India Company) and returned to Britain in 1786.
He led the Macartney Embassy to Beijing in 1792 with a large British delegation. The embassy was ultimately not successful in its primary aim to open trade with China. The Macartney Embassy is historically significant because it marked a missed opportunity by the Chinese to move toward some kind of accommodation with the West. This failure would continue to plague the Qing Dynasty as it encountered increasing foreign pressures and internal unrest during the 19th century.