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

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

Courtin assigns this very extraordinary reason for urging his court to send money to Charles to be distributed among the members of parliament, to wit, that Spain and the Emperor were sending money to be distributed among them on the other side. On the 13th May, 1677, he writes thus to his court: ‘It is even very important that your Majesty should send here the first payment of the subsidy. Mr. Bergick and the Emperor’s envoy will have two hundred and fifty thousand livres to distribute in the lower House. They will do more with this than could be done on your Majesty’s part with two millions.’ On the 16th May, 1677, he writes to his court thus: ‘Mr. Bergick has not received 50,000 crowns, and the Emperor’s Envoy 10,000 with this design.’

But as the session of parliament rose in its heat, the French rose in their offers to Charles. Courtin’s letter of 21 June 1677, bears, that he had got a power to go as far as 200,000L to be given to Charles for the ensuing year.

On the 12th July, 1677, Courtin writes, that he had offered Charles a pension of 500,000 crowns to prorogue or dissolve his parliament, together with the alliance of Louis’s forces, to maintain Charles’s authority. The words with regard to this last offer are these: ‘His Majesty (that is, Louis) being always ready to employ all his forces for the confirmation and augmentation of his (that is, Charles’s) authority, he will always be master of his subjects, and will never depend upon them.’

On the 18th July, 1677, Courtin writes, that Charles had insisted for 800,000 crowns, in consideration of which, he offered to prorogue the parliament till the end of April, 1678.

In a subsequent letter he writes that he is disputing about the sum – that Lord Danby always raised it, but the Duke of York brought it down again.

At last, on the 5th of August, it was fixed at two millions of livres. The following dispatch will explain the terms on which this money was secretly given by France:



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