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

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

On the 1st Jan. 1671, Colbert writes, that he had given Lady Shrewsbury 10,000 livres.

On the 2nd April, 1671, Colbert writes that he had given a present to Lauderdale, that he is soon to do the same to Buckingham and Ashley Cooper, and that King Charles knew it.

On the 9th November, 1671 Colbert writes, that Lady Shrewsbury on receiving her French pension said, she would make Buckingham comply with King Charles in all things.

On the 3rd December, 1671, Colbert writes, that Lady Arlington had in her husband’s presence offered to accept of the present intended for her husband. He adds “The husband reproached her, but very obligingly.”

On the 9th April, 1672, Colbert writes to Louis – My Lord Arlington made me a visit on purpose to let me know how much he is penetrated with the marks of esteem and distinction which your Majesty has given by the magnificent present which your Majesty has made to Lady Arlington. And then proceeds to repeat the strong professions of Lord Arlington to France.

Charles’s ‘Declaration of Indulgence’ has been commonly imputed to the intrigues of France with Charles, for the purpose of serving the interest of Popery. But Colbert’s dispatches show that France had not the least hand in it, that it was a scheme of Buckingham and Shaftesbury to gain the Dissenters, and that France was the cause of Charles recalling it.

Colbert writes to Louis XlV on the 9th March, 1673 that Madame de la Queruaille (a mistress of King Charles, and a spy for Louis) had told him that the remonstrances of parliament about the declaration of indulgence had driven Charles to despair, and that he was to dissolve the parliament, and make a peace with Holland, finding he could do no better.

Upon this intelligence, Louis XlV, whose only object in his connection with Charles seems to have been the success of the Dutch war, wrote to Charles and ordered Colbert to entreat him to drop his Declaration of Indulgence.



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