After spending some years in a hussar regiment, in 1854 he entered the diplomatic service without giving up his connexion with the army, in which he reached the rank of general in 1879.
In 1841 he entered the diplomatic service as secretary of legation in Russia, but resigned his post within three months.
Educated at the universities of Bonn and Heidelberg, he obtained a position in Florence through the influence of an Englishman, William Craufurd, but soon he entered the Prussian diplomatic service and was employed in Florence, in Constantinople and in Rome.
Having spent his youth in the papal diplomatic service - he was nuncio at Brussels from 1843-46 - he had a certain knowledge of the workings of parliamentary institutions, while the years immediately before his accession had been spent as archbishop of Perugia, so that he was not closely identified with any of the Vatican parties.
Educated at the Ecole Normale Superieure, he taught for some years in the lycee at Algiers before he joined the diplomatic service in 1871.
Entering the diplomatic service at an early age, he was appointed successively to the legations of Madrid, Vienna, Berlin and Versailles, but in 1871 returned to Italy, to devote himself to political and social studies.
He entered the diplomatic service and acted as political agent for the army of the Danube and the Balkans during the Russo-Turkish War (1877-8).
Weak health, consequent on over-study, prevented him from obtaining the highest academical honours, but he graduated as doctor in theology at the age of twenty-two, and then entered the Accademia dei Nobili ecclesiastici, a college in which clergy of aristocratic birth are trained for the diplomatic service of the Roman Church.
Other prominent members of the family were: Montgomery Schuyler (1814-1896) and his cousin Anthony (1816-1896), Protestant Episcopal clergymen; George Washington (1810-1888), treasurer of New York State in1863-1865and of Cornell University in1868-1874and author of Colonial New York: Philip Schuyler and his Family (2 vols., 1885); his son Eugene (1840-1890), who was long in the consular and diplomatic service of the United States, and who translated some of the novels of Tourgeniev and Tolstoi and wrote Peter the Great (1884) and American Diplomacy and the Furtherance of Commerce (1886); and Montgomery (b.