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58 DESPATCHES FROM PARIS 1788

Mons. de Berthier, Intenclant of Paris, addressed a very civil
Letter last Wednesday to the Greffiers of the Tournelle, in which
he begged they would call upon him the following morning : On
their arrival, he informed them that he had an order to insist upon
their giving him a List of all the Criminal Causes that were
preparing for Tryal, as also of the Prisoners detained at the Con-
ciergerie ; to which the Greffiers returned for answer that the
keeper of the Prison was more competent than they were to satisfy
his enquiries upon that point.

The Dauphin is something better ; Their Majesties go frequently
to see Him.

The Due de Normandie is quite well. The Court will remain at
St. Cloud 'till the 14th of next Month.

The Comte de Chalas His Most Christian Majesty's Ambassador
at Venice is returned home, having obtained leave of absence for a
few months.

32. DORSET TO CARMARTHEN.

29 May 1788.

...In my conversation with Monsr. de Montmorin last Tuesday I
learned from that Minister that it is the intention of this Government
to form three different Encampments this summer, a Measure re-
commended by the Council of War, but the number of Men for
each, and the Places are not yet fixed, nor can the Encampments
well take place sooner than the latter end of July or beginning of
August. Alsace and Flanders will in all probability be occupied
by the Largest Bodies of Troops : however as soon as the whole is
arranged Mons. de Montmorin will without reserve make me
acquainted with all the Particulars in order to my communicating
them to your Lordship for His Majesty's information. The Council
of War have adjourned their sittings for a Month or six weeks.
The Members who compose this Assembly have allotted to them-
selves separate Services. The Due de Guines attends to the
cloathing and accout'ring of the Army : The Comte d'Esterhazy
and the Comte de Jaucourt are to examine into the State of the
Military Hospitals in order to correct the abuses that have been



1788 BEFORE THE REVOLUTION 59

practised in them. The Marquis d'Autichamp, the Comte de
Puysegar and M. de Lambert are occupied in forming a new plan
for exercising and maneuvering the Troops. The conduct of This
Board of General Officers has met with the approbation of His
Majesty. They have a fixed salary of 6000 French Livres each, to
be continued so long as they remain in that capacity...

33. DORSET TO CARMARTHEN.

5 June 1788.

The Guard is still continued at the Palais, where, though no
Violence had been used on either part, the Officers and Soldiers
suffer frequent insults from the populace.

Opportunities have been found for sticking up in different places
Placards and Songs, but they are always taken down immediately,
and the Police is very active in preventing as much as possible all
sorts of incendiary Papers from being dispersed in this City and its
Environs.

By the account from Rennes matters there are become very
serious and alarming : a Body of Gentlemen, some hundreds in
number, have signed a letter to his Majesty, which has been
transmitted by the Comte de Thiard, containing very violent
Protestations against the new Laws, by which they contend that
the States of Brittany would be deprived of their Rights and
Franchises ; They insist also upon the liberty of assembling when-
ever the exigencies of the times may seem to require it.

This address is said to be drawn up in very violent language, and
His Majesty has refused to receive it, which indeed would equally
have been the case, had it been expressed in moderate terms, since
it is contrary to the express commands of the King to offer anything
in the way of remonstrance.

In consequence of the opposition maintained by these Gentlemen,
Government have thought it expedient to order four Regiments of
Infantry (three German and one Swiss) ; one of Chasseurs and one
of Dragoons to march immediately to Rennes : the Horse consist
of Hussars and the Dragoons of Chartres : this Force will join the



60 DESPATCHES FROM PARIS 1788

Regiments of Laforet and Rohan-Soubise which are quartered in
that Town.

The Comte de Thiard's situation becomes more and more un-
pleasant and embarrassing : it is said he will be immediately
recalled and that a Commander-in-Chief of the Army collected
there on this occasion will be appointed.

The Marechal de Vaux, to whom this command has been offered
declines serving on account of his great age, being upwards of
82 years old, and it is thought the Comte de Langeron, Knight of
the Order of the Holy Ghost, will be named : but I have heard it
suggested that if any considerable Body of Troops is sent into
Brittany that M. de Rochambeau will be put at the head of them ;
sans doute on le regards comme egalemenl propre pour soumettre
comme pour aider les Rcbelles.

A Meeting of the States and Parliament was to be held last
Monday at Rennes, which probably cannot have been prevented
by the Military Force in the Town, unless some of the Reinforce-
ments arrived there in time, for it seemed very uncertain whether
the Troops, without some reinforcement, would venture to oppose
the Meeting. Intelligence of the proceedings of that day might
have arrived last night or this morning, but I do not learn that any
accounts from Rennes have yet been received. The Court and
likewise the Public in general are expecting with much anxiety
news from that Quarter ; particularly as the future conduct of the
other Parliaments of the Kingdom will be determined by the result
of what is now passing in Brittany.

The firmness and resolution of His Majesty's Ministers must
now be put to the test.

Your Lordship will receive herewith inclosed the proceedings
of the Parliament of Thoulouse which occasioned the exile of that
Body of Magistrates : It is said that the Comte de Perigord has
permitted each member to choose the place of his retreat on
condition that it be not less than two leagues from Thoulouse.

The Lettres de Cachet were delivered by the Officers of the
Noailles Regiment of Dragoons, and of the Infantry Regiment of
Bresse.



1788 BEFORE THE REVOLUTION 61

I have met with a copy, which I send your Lordship, of a very
extraordinary Arret of the Parliament of Dauphine : it seems too
absurd to be considered as authentic, yet such is the spirit of the
times that nothing of this kind may not be expected : it is even
reported that the States of Brittany in their Letter to the King
before- mentioned, say that, before they can think of entering upon
their functions as Statesmen and Magistrates, the Heads of the
Archbishop of Sens, and Mons. de Lamoignon must be delivered
to them by way of earnest for the security of their liberties, observ-
ing at the same time that they were of opinion that their terms
were very moderate.

The two first Lieutenants of the French Guards, the one a
Breton, Mons. de Bertolet, a gentleman of considerable fortune,
the other a Gentleman of the Province of Lyonnois, have resigned
their commissions in consequence of the present situation of
Affairs. This is the first instance of disaffection that has shewn
itself in His Majesty's Army. It is not likely that these resigna-
tions will have much effect, as both these officers are men of
independent fortunes, and, having sometime since received the
Croix de St. Louis, had no favor to look to from the Court, so that
the sacrifice they have made on this occasion is not very great.

I have heard that very great offers have been made to the
Chancellor Maupeou to induce him to resign his titular dignity in
favor of Mons. de Lamoignon: Liberty, a Dutchy, and other honors
and emoluments it is said have been proposed to this exiled Chief
of the Magistracy, but his answer has been, Je ne donne, ni neprens.

The last Letters from Vienna mention that His Imperial Majesty
has had a fall from His horse by which he had received a slight
hurt a little above the instep. The same letters add that the
preparations for the siege of Belgrade were going on with great
vigor.

It is believed here that His Prussian Majesty intends forming a
Camp this summer at Wesel.

The Absence of Mons. de Montmorin from Paris last Tuesday
prevented the Foreign Ministers from having their audiences.

The sixteen Commissaries of the Clergy who meet every day



62 DESPATCHES FROM PARIS 1878

morning and evening, have not yet completed their business, which
it is imagined will still occupy them to the end of this week.

The Bishop of Orleans died last week ; the Bishoprick is dis-
posed of to the Coadjutor de Tarinte. The late Bishop of Orleans
through his influence in the late King's reign got the present
Principal Minister promoted to the See of Thoulouse. The Bishop-
rick of Autun is not yet disposed of.

The Dauphin continues very poorly.

The Marquis de Montesquieu, first Equerry to Monsieur, was
robbed, either on Tuesday or Wednesday night, of 180,000 Livres
Tournois, part of it in Cash; the rest in Notes of the Caisse d'Es-
compte, and Actions (shares) of the Water Company : the Robbers
entered the House through the Garden by the assistance of false
keys ; His Strong- Box only was forced open.

P.S. La Reclamation du Tiers- Etat, which I have the honor to
send your Lordship inclosed seems to have been authorized by
Government though it is not avowed. It is beyond a doubt that
the intention of Government is to appoint several members of the
Provincial Assemblies to the Cour Pleniere, and perhaps His
Majesty may be advised to extend the composition of this Assembly
to the Tiers- Etat.

I inclose to your Lordship the Proceedings of the Magistrates of
Besanfon subsequent to the Lit de Justice held at that Place. . . .

34. DORSET TO CARMARTHEN.

8 June 1788.

Mr. Swinburne who leaves Paris this day, takes charge of this
Letter.

Since I had last the honor of writing to your Lordship, an
account has been received from Rennes of the Exile of that
Parliament, the Members of which, as well as the Nobility and
Gentry were ordered to repair to their respective Country- Houses
without loss of time. As soon as it was discovered that the
Lettres de Cachet were received by the Governor, the Members
appointed a Meeting at a private House, where they assembled
with a determined Resolution not to admit the delivery of them, but



1788 BEFORE THE REVOLUTION 63

the populace having collected together, upon finding the House
surrounded by the Military, and shewing a strong disposition to
proceed to acts of violence which very much alarmed the Inhabi-
tants, the Magistrates, Members of the Parliament, found it
necessary to interpose their Authority, and it was thought advise-
able, in order to prevent the disagreeable consequences that
seemed likely to ensue, to receive the Lettres de Cachet.

The Officer commanding the Regiment quartered at Rennes,
having been repeatedly insulted in very gross manner, not only
by the lower sort of people but also by several Gentlemen of the
Place, found himself driven to the necessity of seeking reparation
for the affronts that had been offered him, and in an Affaire
d'honneur with one of the Nobility severely wounded his
Antagonist.

When the last Letters left Rennes everything was tolerably
quiet, most of the Members having left the Town, and, which
perhaps still more contributed to keeping the peace, three or four
Regiments having arrived there. Nevertheless there does not
seem, by what I hear, to be the least disposition to admit the new
laws in Britanny without repeated and continued acts of compul-
sion. This spirit of resistance has determined Government to send
a large Body of Troops,about twelve thousand in number, composed
chiefly of foreign Regiments in the service of France, into that
Province, where also a Camp will be formed in the course of the
Summer. The unexpected necessity of having a Camp in that
part of the kingdom, has occasioned changes to be made in the
dispositions that were arranged. The project of a Camp in
Alsace, which was intended, is accordingly laid aside, as well as
that which was fixed to be in Flanders : there will however still be
two Camps on that side of the Country : one near Metz, consisting
of thirty thousand men, to be commanded by the Marechal de
Broglie, the Marquis de Bouille second in command : the other in
Artois commanded by the Prince of Conde; the second in command
under his Serene Highness is not yet named, nor is yet known
what number of men this Camp will consist of. His Majesty has
not yet named a Commander for the Camp of Britanny : it is said



64 DESPATCHES FROM PARIS 1788

that the Marechal de Castries has sollicited to have this appoint-
ment but there is little reason to suppose that his services will be
accepted.

I send your Lordship inclosed a Memoire that was delivered to
the Comte de Thiard by the Nobility at Rennes.

It is not yet known what Resolutions the States have come to,
or whether anything further has been resolved upon at any
Meeting since that period.

Several of the Grands Bailliages which were announced by
authority from Government as having accepted the new Ordonnan-
ces have contradicted the assertion, particularly at Nancy, the
Magistrates of that Bailliwicks having passed an Act declaring the
assertion to be false, and contrary to the tenor of all their former
Resolutions.

35. DORSET TO CARMARTHEN.

12 June 1788.

An account arrived yesterday at St. Cloud of the resistance made
by the populace at Grenoble as soon as it was known there that
the King's orders for the banishment of that Parliament were
received.

This affair, as your Lordship may easily imagine, is differently
related, but the following is the account most credited.

The Members of the Parliament being on the point of departing
to their respective Country-seats, a general alarm was spread
through the Town by the sounding of a Tocsin (an alarm-bell) upon
which the populace, to the number of about 5000, assembled and
forced their way into the Arsenal, seized all the arms they could
find, drove the Military from their posts and obliged the Governor,
the Due de Clermont Tonnerre to deliver up to them the Keys of
the Parliament-House, whither by force they conducted all the
Counsellors and other of the Members they could meet with.
During these violent proceedings there were several killed and
wounded on both sides and the Troops, amounting to two thousand,
were forced to retire. The Governor is much blamed for having
neglected to give the proper orders (it is said he took no precaution



1788 BEFORE THE REVOLUTION 65

of any kind) to prevent a tumult which he might have expected
would take place on the delivery of the Lettres de Cachet, though
the populace had not before been at all disposed to be riotous.

If the Due de Clermont Tonnerre cannot justify his conduct
upon this occasion he will be in the highest disgrace at Court :
His house was entirely pillaged : He will, it is reported, be
replaced by M. de Faucourt (who has the Cordon Bleu and is a
member of the Council of War) and orders will be immediately
given for an additional number of Troops to march into that
Province.

Another account says that the Mountaineers made a descent
upon the Troops and endeavoured but without effect to seize the
Arsenal and to take possession of the Palais ; that several were
killed and wounded on both sides, amongst the rest two or three
Officers, and that the Governor's House was pillaged.

These accounts do not differ materially, and either of them
proves sufficiently that the confusion at Grenoble must have been
truly alarming, and embarrassing to Government in a very great
degree.

The accounts from Rennes mention that everything was quiet
there : the Comte de Thiard, report says, is hourly expected at
Paris.

The Archbishop of Aix and the Marechal de Beauvau, Governor
General of Provence, presented to His Majesty last Sunday a
Memorial from the States, praying redress, in that the privileges of
that Province are affected by the new Laws : His Majesty received
the Deputation very graciously and made answer that he would
pay the greatest attention to their representations.

The States of Britanny also by their Deputies presented Re-
monstrances on Tuesday last to the same effect, but in much
stronger language: His Majesty's answer was as favourable as they
could have expected.

Mons. de Espremesnil informs his Father-in-law in a Letter he
has lately written to him that so far from being allowed the Isle
St. Marguerite at large, as a Place of confinement, he is shut up in a
room in the Castle of not more than fifteen feet square.

5



66 DESPATCHES FROM PARIS 1788

I send your Lordship herewith a Despatch from Sir Robert
Ainslie which I received last Tuesday : it is dated the 15th of
April : Mons. de Montmorin has letters of the 19th of that month,
and the Captan Pacha had not then left Constantinople.

The Emperor has been slightly indisposed but is quite
recovered.

All is quiet here : the Guards still remain in possession of the
avenues leading to the Courts of Justice.

By information received from different Parts, out of sixty-seven
Bailiwickes in the Kingdom seventeen only act under the new
regulations.

The Arrete of the Committee of the Assembly of the Clergy is
drawn up and, as soon as the King's pleasure is known, it will be
presented.

It is said to be conceived in very strong language and to contain
animadversions upon all those points of Government that have of
late been intended to be carried into execution, as well as upon
the State of the Nation in general.

It is said that Marmontel and the Abbe Maury are employed by
Government to draw up a State of Affairs or rather of the disputes
between the Court and the Parliaments.

This Publication it is expected will soon appear and is waited
for with no small degree of impatience.

His Majesty went this morning to visit the Hospital of Invalids
in this City.

A new Cone was sunk at Cherbourg a few days ago.

Their Majesties will return to Versailles next Sunday. the
Dauphin still remains at Meudon ; His Royal Highness's State of
health continues much the same as it was.

The Due de Normandie is perfectly well.

It is said that Monsieur and the Comte d'Artois will visit the
Camp intended to be formed in the autumn.

P.S. The Baron de Breteuil's resignation is still much
talked of.



1788 BEFORE THE REVOLUTION 67

36. DORSET TO CARMARTHEN.

19 June 1788.

The account, which I had the honor to send your Lordship last
week, of the tumults at Grenoble was, as I have since found, much
exaggerated in some particulars, though it is very certain that a
most serious disturbance has taken place in that Capital : no
account of this affair having been given by authority, I know
nothing but by common report which states that Mons. de
Tonnerre, upon receiving the King's Orders for the Banishment of
the Parliament, imprudently signified the same to the Magistrates
in the middle of the day, when the alarm was given by the ringing
of Bells and sounding the Tocsin, upon which the Populace
immediately assembled (it happening to be Market-day the number
of them was greatly increased) and proceeded to the Governor's
House which they afterwards pillaged : Having got possession of
the Keys of the House they took them to the Premier President
and obliged the Magistrates to hold a Parliament there. Mons. de
Tonnerre being present the whole time ; the Military felt them-
selves much scandalized by this insult upon the King's authority ;
however the result of the sitting was nothing more than a formal
Protestation against all innovations in their Constitution, and a
Letter, conceived in very respectfull terms, addressed to the King,
which his Majesty received a few days ago.

It is however by no means the intention of Government to give
way to any Remonstrance but on the contrary to enforce all the
new Regulations without exception. The Populace did certainly
make an attempt upon the Arsenal, but it is not true that they got
possession of it, three or four Peasants lost their lives on the
occasion but none of the Soldiers were killed.

At the first alarm by the ringing of the Bells, the country people
in the neighbourhood attempted to throw themselves into the
Town, but the Commanding Officer had the precaution to take
such measures as frustrated this attempt and thereby prevented the
fatal consequences that in all probability would otherwise have
ensued.



68 DESPATCHES FROM PARIS 1788

Six Regiments, four of Infantry and two of Chasseurs are to be
sent into that Province, and will arrive there the beginning of next
month.

No new Commandant is yet named for Grenoble in the room of
the Due de Clermont Tonnerre, but it is generally believed that
either Mons. de Faucourt or the Baron de Viosmenil will be
appointed to succeed him, the former of these two Officers has
been much indisposed lately.

There has since been a slight affray at Grenoble occasioned by
the refusal on the part of the Populace there to surrender certain
parts of which they had taken possession in the Town and neigh-
bourhood ; they were however forced by the military to abandon
them.

The orders for the Banishment of the Parliament of Besanpon
were executed without the least disturbance.

All is quiet here at present, but the Chatelet persists in not
admitting the new Laws, and the Swiss and French Guards con-
tinue to surround the Palais.

Rennes also is at this time in a state of tranquility, but we hear
from Vannes, a large Town upon the coast in Lower Britanny, that
the Gentry in that neighbourhood are determined to oppose the
King's authority to the last extremity, and the bringing that part
of the country to obedience will be attended with more trouble
and embarrassment to Government than would that of any other
district in France on account of its being divided into small in-
closures, added to which, whereby the difficulty would be still
greater, the Peasants are as little acquainted with the French
language as they are with the English or German.

The Comte de Thiard is to remain at Rennes, several Regiments
are on their march towards that Province in order to form a Camp
there in the autumn.

Report says that the Parliament of Aix, having received advice
of Mons. de Camaran's approach to that City had assembled
extraordinarily and had come to a resolution of rejecting every
offer from Government that should be short of their entire re-
establishment.



1788 BEFORE THE REVOLUTION 69

At Dijon the same principles are adhered to, but I do not hear
of any other act of violence except that of a Cavalier de Mare-
chaussee who had charged the People with his Sabre, but who. to
appeaze them, has since been put into Prison.

Notwithstanding the violences which have taken place at Gre-
noble I do not apprehend that they will be carried to that height
in any other part of the Kingdom, the number of Troops in the
King's Service being sufficient to keep other Places in awe. It
should seem that there exists at present a kind of understanding
between the Gens de Robe and the Nobility and that their object
is to lessen the authority of the King : but the People in general
do not seem inclined to favor the Alliance, by which, it is by no
means clear to them that in any event of the struggles they would
be gainers thereby.

During all this anarchy the Revenues of the Kingdom cannot
but suffer extremely though it must be difficult to make any cal-
culation of the loss to Government.

Three millions and a half are said to have been employed in
keeping up the Funds which however support themselves but feebly.

Some stocks rose a few days ago, but have fallen since.

His Majesty received on Sunday last the Remonstrances of the
Clergy : They were presented by the Archbishop of Narbonne
and the Archbishop of Rheims.

The particular points which were the object of these Remonstran-
ces have not yet transpired, but it is suspected that they contain
expressions little adapted to the present moment, for it is certain
that His Majesty received the Deputies very coolly and said that
He should consider of a proper answer to give them.

An account, which may be depended upon, has been received
here from Vienna that the Emperor has for the present totally
abandoned the design of laying siege to Belgrade : Preparations
had been made and everything was in readiness to begin the attack
upon that Fortress on the 26th of last month, but on the 25th
orders were given for cutting away the temporary Bridges across
the Save, and His Imperial Majesty appears now by this step to be



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