John Russell Russell (Earl) John Russell Bedford (Duke of).

Correspondence of John, fourth Duke of Bedford, Volume 2 online

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His Majesty doth likewise entirely approve the
answer you gave M. Puisieux in relation to his
guaranteeing the last convention made at Brus-
selles ; but as that affair is now entirely at an end,
I shall not trouble you any farther on this subject.

Your conversation with M. Puisieux in relation
to the Pretender's son, and your pressing that
minister to oblige him to repass the Alps, in
virtue of the engagements they are under to his
Majesty, is entirely agreeable to the King ; and it
is his royal pleasure that you should (in case he
stm continues at Avignon) return again to the
charge, and insist in the strongest manner that
proper measures be taken by the French court to
oblige him to repass the Alps.

As the French king gives audience in his closet
to none under the character of minister plenipoten-
tiary, and as his Majesty does always here give
audience in his closet to all ministers who come
accredited to him, you undoubtedly acted very
properly in not producing your letters of credence,
as it would by no means have had a good appeaiA-
ance that more distinction should have been shown
to the French minister at this court, thap -^ild
have been given by the etiquette of the A^ has^; ,
Versailles to his Majesty's minister residing^^^j ^^ ^ Jj[

I am, &c. &c\ ^

Bed}\ i

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[Kespecting John Foster, convicted at the Old
Bailey sessions for stealing 25/. in money, and con-
demned to death.

This letter has the following endorsement.

" If the fact is as it is represented, I think it
very proper this man should be reprieved till one
knows more of the matter.

G. R."]


Madrid, February 25. 1749.

I arrived here the 13th instant, and the
day following visited Don Josef de Carvajal, his
Catholic Majesty's minister of state, and delivered
to him the copies of his credential letters, as his
Majesty's minister plenipotentiary. The King gave
me audience the 1 7th in the most gracious manner

The putting an end to so destructive a war has
been so agreeable to all ranks of people, that here
is not a person of any distinction of one sex, but
what has been to visit me, nor of the other sex
that has not sent me compliments. And even the
lower sort have shown their satisfaction at seeing
me again in this country.

B 3


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1749. The King is grown very healthy and robust

since I left this country ; and by the exercise he

takes, and the regularity of his life, is likely to
make it a long one. His passion is music and hi
chasse; his intentions honest and upright; he wishes
the good and relief of his people; but all his good
qualities will be directed and applied according to
the hands and hearts of those he confides in. He
is excessively fond of his queen, who can sway hiin
as she pleases, with as much power, but much less
difficulty, than ever the Dowager did the late
King, his father.

The reigning queen *, though not increased to
such a size as had been represented to me, has a
good deal more than ennbonpoint The least motion
puts her into a difficulty of breathing, and anxieties,
which deprive her of her two favourite diversions,
singing and dancing; and though both by her
looks and her humour she appears to be in good
health, I am told her physicians imagine she has
tubercula in her lungs, which are the cause of her
complaints, and may finish her days without giving
any warning. She has parts, and is of a frank aiiii
easy conversation ; is reckoned very covetous, ancl
consequently not averse to presents; so fond of
music, that the famous Farinelli is supposed
her sole confidence ; and her ambition seems
to aim at passing her life with the King in traij

* Maria Magdalena Theresa Barbara, daughter of Jo^n the i
Fifth, king of Portugal.

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quillity, and to make provision in the mean time 1749.

against such events as may happen if she should

have the misfortune to lose him.

Here are two ministers, Don Josef de Carvajal,
and the Marquis de la Ensenada, The former is
first in place and birth. He is charged with the
expedition of aU foreign affairs ; but being the son
of a grandee, he, by the turn of this country, thinks
it beneath him to take the title of Secretariat and
is called Ministro del Estado. He is a mild, com-
plaisant man, of a very dry conversation, fiiU of
projects for advancing the Spanish commerce, in
which he has not been successful; seems a little
embarrassed for want of more practice in the world,
and timid fix>m the circumstances of his situation ;
much wedded to his own opinion when he has
declared it, but otherwise he passes for an honest
sincere man ; and from his natural disposition and
his alliances is a much greater favourite with the
King than with her Catholic Majesty. The Marquis
de Ensenada, from a low beginning, which I re-
member, has, by a number of lucky events, raised
himself to a more absolute pitch of power than
ever was known in this country. He was employed
as Secretary to the Finances and Indies in the late
reign, and was in little credit at the commencement
of this. But he soon found his way to Farinelli,
and by his means, and by presents to the Queen,
^iie made himself master of the whole. He turned
•out the Marquis de Villarias, and not thinking
^liimself strong enough to take all the burden of

B 4

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1749. the government upon him, he placed above himseK

in appearance his friend Carvajal, who, finding the

King's inclinations grow strong towards him, made
an attempt to be so in reality. And from hence
arise these jealousies between them, which wiQ
cause the inconveniences and difficulties I must
expect to meet with in my negotiations, both with
regard to the method of proceeding, as well as to
the substance of what I may have to treat upon.
Ensenada is of a diflferent turn from the reserved
manner of Carvajal, aflfects a gaiety and ease, and
is the most profuse man in his way of living that
ever was known here. His rise and preservation
are owing to his art in applying his presents ; and
it is thought that he only permits Carvajal to con-
tinue in his post, because he may possibly have
more to apprehend from a successor than Carvajal
himself, now he has whistled him down to the size
he thinks proper.

The King, they think, must soon be undeceived
in his behalf, that his aflGairs are in the best posture
imaginable ; and though his minister, Ensenada,
flatters his hopes, and frees him from troubles and
difficulties, yet the Grandees in his service^TItt.
daily attempting to leave their employments, 01
account of their dislike of the present proceed

The next material point which, after the stat<
and disposition of the court, will demand most
attention, is inclination and affection towards
France : and I have had the satisfaction, since my

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arrival, to hear from the nobility, the officers who 1749,

have served in Italy, and from all ranks of people,

how tired they have been of the dependence take such
instances to their allies as might induce them to
forbear taking any measures that might in any de-
gree endanger the peace of the north, and conse-
quently the tranquillity of all Europe, have in a
great degree convinced his Majesty that the court
i^ of Versailles is not at all desirous of fomenting the
[\ troubles which have been apprehended ready to
ii^ break out in the north, but on the contrary is de-

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1749. sirous of taking such joint measures with us as
' seem most likely to prevent any mischief of this

sort from arising.

As I informed you in my despatch of the 27th of
last month that his Majesty had given directions
that his ministers at the courts of Vienna and
Moscow should be ordered to make the strongest
instances at those courts against any steps beuig
taken by either of them that might tend to raise
any commotions in those parts, as likewise that his
Majesty had no thoughts of entering into any hos-
tile measures unless his allies should be first at-
tacked, or that an attempt should be made to subvert
the form of government in Sweden, I have nothing
farther to add to this but to inform you, that the
orders are actually sent to Vienna and Moscow
with strong but friendly instances to those courts,
and that the King doth still adhere to those senti-
ments of moderation, in case France, in pursuance
of the declarations she has now lately made, shall
continue to act in that manner which in some
degree has been chalked out by herself, and which
his Majesty doth entirely approve of.

As M. Puisieux seems to found the greatest
jealousy of this court upon these two points, viz.
the coolness showed to M. Durand when he first
touched upon his Majesty's admitting a minister
from Sweden ; and, 2dly, the reports almost univer-
sally spread about of his Majesty's intention to send
a squadron of men-of-war this next summer i^to
the Baltic, I have now the King's orders to W



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form you of his determination upon those points, 1749.

by means of which I flatter myself you will be able

to remove all groundless jealousies that the court
of Versailles may have conceived thereupon.

The behaviour of the Swedish court towards his
Majesty, and the treatment the Bong's late minister,
Colonel Guy Dickens, met with at Stockholm, must
have necessarily been so disagreeable to his Majesty,
that it cannot be wondered at that the first insinu-
ations M. Durand made on that subject were received
by the King's ministers here with an apparent
coolness, especially as the person whom it is sup-
posed the Swedish ministry intended to send hither
is one who cannot possibly be looked upon as agree-»
able to the King, or who can be supposed on account
of his former conduct to be likely to reestablish
that harmony between the two nations which has
been unfortunately interrupted by the late trans-
actions at Stockholm. I have however leave to
inform you, that you may (in case M. Puisieux
shall take upon himself to answer for the court of
Sweden's sending a proper person, and one that
will be acceptable to the King, to his court) assure
that minister that a proper subject will be pitched
upon by his Majesty to go to Stockholm, upon their
making the first step to a reconciliation.

The opinion has so generally prevailed that his
Majesty intended to send a squadron this summer
into the Baltick, that it is not much to be wondered
at that the French ministry have taken umbrage at
it, especially as the additional number of 3000 sea-

VOL. II. c

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1749. men has been lately voted by Parliament. I have

so fully explained myself to you on this head in

my dispatch of the 27th of February last, that I
must refer you to that for the reasons of the preva-
lency of this report ; and I have now only to add
that it his Majesty's pleasure you should inform
M. Puisieux that it is not his intention to send
any such squadron thither, provided his Majesty's
allies are not attacked, nor any attempts made to
destroy the liberties and subvert the form of the
government of Sweden.

The noble and unreserved manner in which the
King explains himself to the most Christian King,
doth doubtless deserve an equal and unlimited con-
fidence in return, and I make no question of your
finding the French court so thoroughly satisfied
by the declarations you are now authorised to make
to them, that all farther suspicions on their part
with regard to our fomenting any future troubles
in the north will vanish of course.

Having now gone through every thing in your
last dispatch, I have nothing to add but my assur-
ances of being, &c. &c.



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Whitehall, March SO. 1748-9.


M. Zohrem, the Empress Queen's minister
at this court, having communicated to his Majesty's
miaisters by special orders fipom Vienna her Impe-
rial Majesty's sentiments with regard to the present
situation of affairs in the North and Germany, and
his Majesty conceiving that the acquainting the
court of France with these just and pacific senti-
ments of the Empress Queen cannot fail of being
agreeable to his most Christian Majesty, as it must
undoubtedly put an end to all jealousies that may
have been conceived at Versailles of his Imperial
Majesty's intentions, has directed me to acquaint
you with the purport of M. Zohrem's conversation
with the Duke of Newcastle and myself.

M. Zohrem begun with saying, that his court
would have been much more surprised at the alarm
taken by France of thebr warlike intentions, were
they not apprised who were the authors of such
reports ; that nothing can be more contrary to her
intentions than the reports given out on her subject,
that she is so far from wishing to raise new trou-
bles, either in the North or in Grermany, that she
wiU, on the contrary, do all in her power to prevent
them; that she will be ever faithful to her friends
and allies, but that she has no offensive engage-
ments with any power whatsoever.

That her treaties are well known, and that she is
c 2

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1749. SO far from making a mystery of her sentiments,

" that she desires they may be known to all who wish

to preserve the tranquillity of Europe, as she be-
lieves the treaties of other princes are agreeable to
her own.

That it seems strange to her that the court of
France (considering the dismal calamities her sub-
jects have suffered during the war, and the impro-
bability there must be of her desiring them in new
troubles) should give any credit to those reports
which, by certain intrigues, are artftdly propagated
to her disadvantage ; that she thinks what has al-
ready passed ought to convince the French court
of the falsity of such ideas ; that it would be very
unfortunate if, upon suppositions absolutely false,
measures equally false, and contrarient to the end
for which it is said they are designed, should be
taken; that the Empress Queen cannot reproach
herself with not having sincerely reconciled herself
with the Powers who formerly declared themselves
her enemies ; that she still persists in the same pa-
cifick system, though she feels that, whilst credit is
given to those who secretly wish her ill, this assur-
ance may possibly fail of the effect she desires from
it. That the court of Dresden is able to undeceive
the court of France with regard to the Empress
Queen's having no joint intention with them to dis
turb the publick tranquillity, and she leaves that
work to them, contenting herself in acting con-
formably in every respect to those sentiments which,
during the negociations at Aix, Count Kaunitz Iiad

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SO often declared her to be inviolably attached to, 1749.

as weU in writing as verbally ; that it will not be "

the fault of the Empress Queen if the French court
is not entirely undeceived by this frank declaration
she has made, nor can any steps the court of Ver-
sailles may take, on the instigation of those whose
interest it is to promote them, and which may tend
to the disturbance of the publick tranquillity, be laid
to her charge ; that, to conclude, the Empress Queen
renews the most positive and sincere assurances
that she wishes to live in the most perfect harmony
with the most Christian King, on the foot of the last
definitive treaty, which she will never infringe on
her part, in the entire confidence that a perfect re-
turn will be made to her on the part of the most
Christian King. Having now given you a very
particular account of M. Zohrem's conversation, I
shall only observe upon it, that it is very plain, by
several parts of it, that the King of Prussia is
plainly marked out as instigating France to pursue
measures, through false suggestions of the ill inten-
tions of other powers, that may tend to the disturb-
ance of the public tranquillity in the North. As
this is the case, I need only remind you of a pas-
sage in your dispatch to me of March ist ^ ^^ which you
inform me of M. Puisieux's declaration to you in
these words : " that if any ally the King his master
had (and he would particularly name the King of
Prussia) should on any account endeavour to engage
them to take part in recommencing the war, they
would not only give him a flat denial, but do some-

C 3

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1749. thing more, and be the first to put a stop to it
in a manner worthy of themselves." This will un-
doubtedly be sufficient ground for you, when you
shall communicate this declaration of M. Zohrem's
to the French minister, which it is the King's plea-
. sure you should immediately do, to insist firmly
with that minister that strong and proper remon-
strances be made to his Prussian Majesty against
his taking any step that may any ways tend towards
raising a flame in the North, conformably to the
assurances that minister had given you in the above
recited conversation. You will likewise observe to
him, that his Majesty has undoubtedly at present a
right to demand this of them, with regard to the
King of Prussia, as the Empress Queen has ex-
plained herself so fully, in order to take off all
groimdless jealousies that may have been conceived
of her.

I am, &c. &c.



Whitehall, AprU 4. 1749-

Dear Sir,

I cannot defer any longer the acknowledging

the receipt of your private letter of the 5 Apri l" ^ ^
returning you my thanks for the very accurate and
full account you have given me therein of the mpst

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ChriHtian King, his family, court, and ministers. 1749.

There needed surely no apology for your transmit-

ting to me your thoughts foimded on observation
with regard to the internal state of the French
court ; a point so necessary to be well understood,
that I may venture to af&rm it would be impossible
for any one here to give proper instructions on the
several points of business that must necessarily arise
between this court and that of Versailles, to the
minister entrusted with the King's business there,
without some previous knowledge of the character
and passions of the French King himself, as well as
of the inclinations and power of his ministers and
favourites. I have the satisfaction to be able to
inform you, that this is not my way of thinking
alone, but is authorised by his Majesty (to whom
I have communicated your letter), who has been
graciously pleased to direct me to signify to you
his approbation of the pains you have taken in
discovering the several springs in the movement of
the French counsels, and how far they are connected
together. I have likewise in charge to recommend
to you to spare no pains towards making yourself
acquainted with all that passes at the court where
you now reside, and discovering as far as possible
the secret causes, as well as the authors, of aU the
steps the French court shall think proper to take
both with regard to the system of Europe in general
as of this country in particular. The King and
his ministers find so happy a disposition in you
towards ftimishing the necessary materials to enable

c 4

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1749. US here to form a certain judgment of the designs
and politics of the French court, that it would be
quite inexcusable in me, not to spur you on (was
that needful) to the completion of that work you
have so well begun. You must certainly imagine
that the account I have now received from you
must give great satisfaction here, as it appears
plainly the French King is desirous of preserving
the peace he has now lately made with his Majesty ;
that his mistress, and the minister in power, M.
Puisieux, are in the same sentiments; and that the
rest of the ministers, though possibly not sincerely
connected with the former, are for different reasons,
such as re-establishing the marine, enmity to the
foreign marshalls, &c., not averse to the pacific
system. The discontent of the people with regard
to the taxes, the distresses France has suffered by
the war, and the consequence of these two, the King
having lost the affections of the nation, together
with the little union that seems to subsist between
the several branches of the Royal family, as likewise
between the ministers themselves, give some ground
to hope that France will neither be in condition
nor inclination to disturb us for some years. Add
to all these the declension of the French interest at
the Court of Madrid (which I believe to be un*
doubtedly the case), and consequently the increase
in proportion of the British influence there (which
I can assure you the King is determined to cultivaj/e
to the utmost of his power), and I believe you v)fill
allow that the above supposition is at least probaWe,

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especially as there is great reason to hope that the 1749.

troubles which have been so much dreaded in the

North, as likely soon to break out, may be prevented
by the prudent measures that have been taken
separately by the courts of London and Versailles,
in talking and enforcing the proper language to
their respective allies.

I will detain you no longer than to assure you
that the King's commands to me, to signify to you
his gracious approbation of your conduct, gave me
great pleasure, being with great regard, &c. &c.


P.S. The King has had within these two or three
days some fits of an ague; but, I thank God, it is
now removed by his having taken the Jesuits' bark.




Paris, May ^. 1749.

My Lord,

After all the reports which had been spread
about in the world, and I believe with some reasons,
that the Bishop of Kennes was ordered to repair
to his diocese without coming to court, he has,
however, at last appeared there on Thursday; it is
thought that Monsieur d'Argenson, who, since
the fall of Monsieur Maurepas, has gained ground

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1749. in the King's &your, has broaght this about in

opposition to M. Piusieux, who is certainly his

enemy. I do not find nevertheless that his stay
here will be very long, as it is said Monsieur d'Ar-
genson persuaded the King to see him to save ap-
pearances only, without which he could not be of
any service in his diocese, where the King has oc-
casion for his influence. However it turns out, it
is certain there has been a good deal of intriguing
to bring it about. We shall see in a short time
what it wiU produce.

Monsieur d'Argenson, to show his zeal and alert-
ness in the department of Paris, has taken up a
gentleman on suspicion of being author of the libels
on the court, which Monsieur Maurapas was blamed
for not discovering. The town says that the person
taken up has certainly had no hand in them; but
be it as it will, he is closely confined in the castle
of Vincennes.*

The edicts for settling the taxes are not publiek;
the Parliament give what trouble they can, and arc
very violent ; we are told every day of the violence
of the remonstrances, and the voice of the people
is for them. The end of the dispute every body

* A great number of persons cage of Btgazet. At all eveots,
were arrested about this time for the arrest of the Pretender at the
libels; among others a Knight of Opera in Norember 1748 made
Malta, and a secretary of the Louis ]e Bien Aimd much de-
Abbe de Broglie. It was said spised, and the people cried out,
that this last was confined in an " II est Koi dans les fers; qu'etes-
iron cage^ where he could neither vous sur le trone?*' — SeeLacft'
lie down nor stand upright. But teUe, Hist, de France pendant ^
this may be as doubtful as the ISme SUde.

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knows, but the parliament will not desist until 1749.


Count Finchenstein leaves this town to-morrow ;
he proposed to make a longer stay, but he has
gained so little ground here, that farther delay is

I am, &c. &c.

Online LibraryJohn Russell Russell (Earl) John Russell Bedford (Duke of)Correspondence of John, fourth Duke of Bedford, Volume 2 → online text (page 3 of 33)