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

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

In addition to the de Gramont visits already mentioned, the English State Papers and William Perwich dispatches indicate the following:

17.9.1670 de Gramont went to England with Madame de Keroualle among others. King Charles having taken a liking to her, she was to be Louis’ eyes and ears in Charles’ Court – she became the Duchess of Portsmouth.

15.10.1670 de Gramont back to France to King Louis

1671 de Gramont went to Spain as a Special envoy for Louis and 13th May to England returning to France with the Duc de Guise on 25th May. (Evelyn notes in his diary dining on the 16th May at Sir Thomas Clifford’s ‘where dined Monsieur de Gramont and several French noblemen’. At this point Clifford was Comptroller of King Charles’ Household.)

In April 1672 Antoine III, Duc de Gramont, brother of Philibert, purchased the Territory and Lordship of Lesparre from the estate of Bernard d’Epernon (who had died in July 1661) for 422,500 Livres. This included the vineyards and the fortified Chateau north-west of Bordeaux overlooking the Gironde, called ‘L’Honneur de Lesparre’. This was subsequently raised to a Dukedom for the de Gramonts. (The de Gramont base was Bayonne/Bearn, so this was outside their normal territory. It was also a large sum even for a Marshall of France, Lieutenant General of Normandie and Picardie and Governor of Navarre and Bearn.)

On 24.12.1674 a report to Josef Williamson notes that ‘about 8 this morning arrived the Anne yacht from Dieppe, bringing over Lord Duras, Count Hamilton and Count Gramont, who are this afternoon gone for London. These were Louis Durfort Duras, Anthony Hamilton who wrote de Gramont’s ‘Memoirs’, and Philibert himself (Tree 2). Philibert and Hamilton returned to France on 3rd March 1675.



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