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



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

(Part of Mons Colbert’s letter to Louis XlV, July 14, 1671 – The Duke of York’s aversion to Parliaments. His arbitrary views:)

‘Found the Duke of York in the same sentiments with the Duke of Buckingham with regard to the meeting of the parliament, having told me of himself, without my entering upon the subject, that if his advice was followed, they would be very cautious of assembling it; adding, in confidence, that affairs are at present here are in such a situation as to make him believe that a King and a parliament can exist no longer together: That nothing could be any longer thought of than to make war upon Holland, as the only means left without having recourse to parliament, to which they ought no longer to have recourse till the war and the Catholic faith had come to an happy issue, and when they should be in a condition to obtain by force, what they could not obtain by mildness.’

The treaties were helped on by money from France given to the King’s ministers, and for the most part with his knowledge.

On the 25th August, 1670, Colbert writes to Louis XlV that he had offered a pension of 10,000 crowns to Lord Arlington, whose answer was that he could neither take nor refuse it now, but that in case of necessity he would ask the protection of Louis.

On the 28th August, 1670, Colbert writes Mons. de Lyonne that Lord Arlington had proposed the French court should give a pension to Lady Shrewsbury (the Duke of Buckingham’s mistress), in order to fix Buckingham the better.

On the 2nd October, 1670, Colbert writes that Buckingham had told him the Spaniards had offered him 200,000L to bring King Charles to their side. Colbert adds: “I do not believe anything of it; but I am “afraid that the appetite of these new Commissioners is great.”

On the 16th October and 3d November, 1670, Colbert writes, that he had given the presents to the Commissioners of the first treaty, and that King Charles had ordered them to take them.

 
 

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