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

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

As the forgoing letters indicate, it was to him that a great part of the French payments went, to be distributed for various causes as directed by the King. The Calendar of Treasury books records some £689,750 passing through his hands from 1671-77. Of this £143,000 went, between June 1672 to April 1673, to Anthony Stephens, cashier to Thomas Osborne (later Earl of Danby) who at that time was Treasurer to the Navy.

Some of the money that Chiffinch received was in French gold, which was then reminted into English coin. On 2nd February 1672 for example, Sir Thomas Bond (of the Mint) received 750,000 livres tournois making 250,000 crowns which net of costs was £66,235.

Recalling Barillon’s words: ‘and his ministers knew nothing of it, only Mr. Chiffins, his Valet de Chambre and confidant, to whose lodgings the money was carried, and with whom I went to the merchants houses to receive it.’

What were the mechanics for getting the funds into William Chiffinch’s hands? In practice the simplest routing may have been:

Currency exchange chart



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