Anglo-French Relations The Cloak of Secrecy A personal voyage of detection



An Instrument of French Foreign Policy: The Secret Treaty of Dover

The Letters of Marquis de Ruvigny (his son also Henri, became Earl of Galway) and Courtin concerning four additional secret money treaties with France are also interesting:

Ruvigny writes, in Sept. 1674, that Charles had agreed either to prorogue his parliament till April 1675, in consideration of 500,000 crowns, or if he convened it in November, to dissolve it in case it should refuse to give him money, in consideration of which he was to have a pension of 100,000L from France. Charles afterwards chose the first of these alternatives, got his money, and France was enabled to carry on the war for a year without any fear of an English parliament.

Upon the peace between England and Holland, the Prince of Orange pressed Charles to withdraw the English troops which were in the pay of France. From Ruvigny’s dispatches in the Depot (holding French diplomatic correspondence), it appears that Charles often expressed, in very strong terms, that he thought his own conduct ignominious in deserting France in the war: and with regard to recalling these troops, Ruvigny writes, 19 February, 1674: – “And with regard to the English troops in France, he told me more positively than his minister had done, that he would not recall them, whatever instance should be made to him, either by the Spaniards or Dutch, or even by the parliament.” He was as good as his word, for he afterwards rejected the advice of his parliament upon that head.

It is known that Charles afterwards promised the Prince of Orange not to permit these troops to be recruited; they, however, always were recruited, and the dispatches in the Depot show that Charles assured France it always should be so.

The general train of the French dispatches in the Depot, during the negotiations at Nimeguen, shows, that while Charles was acting as mediator of the peace, he gave France intelligence of the views of her enemies, and acted in concert with her. Sir William Temple’s printed letters show that the unfortunate success of the campaign of the year 1676 had made the Dutch, and even the Prince, anxious for a peace; and that the Prince gave Sir William leave to let his master know it.

 
 

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