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

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

Extract of a letter from Mr. Courtin to Louis dated 8th August, 1677:

‘Charles has agreed to prorogue his parliament till May, 1678, in consideration of two millions of Iivres from France.

Lord Treasurer and I have had great contests these three days; he did everything to persuade the King his master that he could not subsist this year unless your Majesty gave him eight hundred thousand crowns. He even said, in my presence, that your Majesty hazarded nothing but money, whereas the King of England hazarded his crown, by opposing, as he did, the universal desire of his subjects. I remained firm in not exhausting the power your Majesty was pleased to give me. In fine, after many conferences, I have agreed upon all things in such a way as makes me hope your Majesty will not disavow me. The King of England has given me a positive assurance that he will adjourn his parliament from the 13th of December to the end of April, that is, to the 9th or 10th of May according to the French style. I promised that your Majesty would pay him this year two millions of livres. But though the last payment should not be made till three or four months after the month of December, his Britannic Majesty would have no cause to complain. But because I represented to him that it was not less his interest than your Majesty’s to inform the ministers of the confederates in good time of this resolution, in order to remove all the hopes their masters still entertain of England taking part with them ; the King of England acknowledged it was the most efficacious means he could employ to dispose your Majesty’s enemies to a peace, and promised me, that as soon as Mr. de Bergeck takes leave of him (which will be in a few days), he will give him in charge to declare on his part to the King of Spain, that no consideration is capable of making him enter into the present war ; and that in order to his being able to apply himself entirely to procure a peace by his mediation, he had resolved not to assemble his parliament during the winter, but to postpone it till the spring.



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