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



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

28.8.1677 he reports: ‘in case the good nature of our friend has condescended to other terms than what they first proposed, I have ordered matters so that I am confident my first proposition may succeed… as for the person that is and has been so useful in this affair I beg that I may not discontent them’. (Was this Philibert de Gramont?)

12.10.1677 he reports: ‘I had yesterday this answer from the King “M. de Barillon finira cette affaire avec le M. Le Grand Tresoirier”, so that, my Lord, I dare trust you with the little gentleman, whom you need not be so tender of, as I have been of the little one lately come back, who is extremely dissatisfied that his present at coming away proportioned to his stature’. (Was this again a reference to Philibert?)

Danby made few friends and his enemies (Montagu and probably Louis) arranged for some of his correspondence relating to France to be read in Parliament which had no (formal) knowledge of the extent of the negotiations and subsidies. Danby was immediately impeached but received the King’s pardon.

Given that both Danby and Montagu supported King William on his arrival in England, and served him in senior positions, one must assume that full details of treaties and payments, as well as details of those involved, were revealed to William. He can hardly have felt enamoured with those involved.

William Chiffinch was Page of his Majesty’s Bed-Chamber and Keeper of the King’s Private Closet. This made him the closest of all King Charles II’s servants and his influence at court is said to have been incalculable. His rooms at court were termed ‘The Spy Office’ and here Charles met various people about intrigues of all kinds. Informers arrived here by the backstairs. Chiffinch had an immense capacity for drink, and few left sober, and fewer still left without parting with secrets. (‘Memoirs of the court of England during the reign of the Stuarts’  Vol. 4 By John Heneage Jesse (1840))

 
 

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