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



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

(Cromwell’s view on Charles 1’s actions in entering into the treaty with the Scots was that it was “a more prodigious treason than any that had been perfected before; because the former quarrel was that Englishmen might rule over one another; this to vassalise us to a foreign nation.”)

A second Treaty was completed in December 1670 without some of the compromising clauses and in a form that other members of the government could comfortably sign, which they did. (This second Treaty did not refer to, but did not negate the earlier treaty.) Credit for the success of this second Treaty was claimed by de Gramont who had brought Buckingham around to believing in the merits of an offensive alliance against the United Provinces. Philibert had accompanied him back to France in August to negotiate with Louis – quietly smiling, no doubt, at his own knowledge of the existing Treaty of Dover.

On 25.6.1670 Lord Arlington instructed the Treasury Commissioners: ‘In consideration of the kindness and partiality of his Majesty for the Count de Gramont and to equal the value of the present to Lord Buckhurst, he is willing to gratify the count with 1,000L in ready money, instead of a jewel; as the Count will be gone next week, I beg you if possible to give him a bill of exchange for the amount payable when convenient at Paris.’

On her return to France, Henriette was well received by Louis, less so by her husband. On 24th June she entertained Ralph Montagu, Lord Paulett and Sir Thomas Armstrong. On 26th she was summoned to Court to discuss the Treaty with Louis, but her husband entered the room and Louis refused to continue the discussion, at which Philippe took offence. At dinner there was much discussion of the visit to England and one of the accompanying ladies commented how attentive the Duke of Monmouth had been on Henriette, which further irritated Philippe. Then on 28th Montagu visited her to discuss the Treaty but they were also interrupted by Philippe. Taken ill the following day Henriette died in the early hours of 30th June. Montagu immediately dispatched Sir Thomas Armstrong to London with a report to Arlington and instructions to give the sad news to the King. Distraught, King Charles burst out ‘Monsieur (Philippe) is a villain! But Sir Thomas, I beg you, not a word of this to others’.

 
 

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