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



An Instrument of French Foreign Policy: The Secret Treaty of Dover
  • Philibert’s nephew, Antoine IV, Duc de Gramont (his brother died in 1678) was Viceroy of Navarre and Bearn, and Governor of Bayonne. I note that in 1693 ‘The Duc de Gramont prided himself on being the ‘Director’ of the Basque ‘corsairiat’. A principal promoter, and active investor in this form of economic warfare, was the Marquis de Seignelay during his time as Secretary of State for the Navy, 1683-90
  • Philibert may have had an earlier exposure to the smuggling of wool when Madame de Keroualle, was subsequently given a large grant of Irish wool intended for shipment to England, but was illicitly shipped from Ireland to France.
  • Henry Bennet’s brother, Lord Ossulston had a son who became the Earl of Tankerville, and his descendent Charles married in 1806 in London, Corisande de Gramont

As mentioned above, Evelyn noted in his diary dining on the 16th May 1671 at Sir Thomas Clifford’s ‘where dined Monsieur de Gramont and several French noblemen’. Clifford was Comptroller of the King’s Household from 1666 and Lord High Treasurer from 28 November 1672 to June 1673. Philibert may have had a role in facilitating the flow of money, and his family was certainly well placed to make the necessary merchanting arrangements. You help your friends! Remember Charles’ note to Antoine, Duc de Gramont 1651 ‘Votre bien affectionée amy et cousin, Charles R’. This help would have generated profits for those involved. Philibert himself was constantly in need of money to support his lavish lifestyle, and it is difficult to believe that he would have missed this opportunity. Within the year of grant in 1687, he had sold his Governorship for 220,000 livres. In 1685 he was also, with his wife, in receipt of a pension from King Louis. However, it is not evident that he received a direct reward following his efforts in relation to the Treaty of Dover. This is notable for its absence. Hence one might be justified in thinking that benefits flowed to him and his family indirectly, possibly through the merchanting route.

I must also note that the Duc d’Epernon had in 1644 provided a substantial loan of 460,000 livres to help Henrietta Maria, King Charles II’s mother, and he entertained Charles in Paris in 1654. Henrietta Maria was thrice related to the de Foix-Candalle and d’Epernon’s mother was a Foix-Candalle – and it was Foix-Candalle money that he lent.

 
 

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