Diplomatic correspondence, 17.


Diplomatic correspondence, 17.

Manuscripts, sometimes extensively revised, of Conway's correspondence, minutes, and drafts to various envoys during his tenure as secretary of state. The entries are often in the hand of William Burke, Conway's undersecretary, whose signature appears on some of the letters. Most of the documents are dated between 1765 and 1767, and although many request the ambassadors to redress the treatment of individual British citizens, especially merchants, abroad, the majority of the letters concern international political issues, and many of the entries are marked for translation into cipher before being sent out. Vol. 1, labeled "Russia drafts and precis" on spine, contains 51 letters and notes to George Macartney in the year 1766. Most of the entries concern the Treaty of Commerce between Great Britain and Russia. Several letters inform Macartney of the King's displeasure with the alteration of key words in the treaty which had been changed without his consent. A letter dated December 19, 1766, marked "most secret," discusses the primary obstacle to an alliance in the North as the Empress of Russia's adherence to the article of the Turkish Casus Foederis; numerous letters also discuss the Casus Foederis. The letters frequently mention Nikita Panin in these negotiations, who insists that a Turkish war must be a casus foederis in the case of a union with Great Britain. Vol. 2, labeled "Prussia drafts and precis" on spine, contains 53 letters and notes of correspondence with Andrew Mitchell in the year 1766, primarily on the subjects of Prussian trade and military preparations with specific eye toward how Great Britain's trade would be affected by Prussia's trade with Russia. Several notes concern Mitchell's puzzlement over a note from Macartney in a French cipher to which he has no key; elsewhere, he reports augmentation of infantry and the building of a new garrison, an expected marriage between the Prince of Orange and Princess Wilhelmina, and, in a note marked "separate & secret," the wish of the hereditary Prince of Brunswick to enter into the Prussian service if he can obtain his father's consent. Vol. 3, labeled "Denmark drafts & precis" on spine, contains 77 letters and notes from the year 1766, mostly addressed to either Gunning or Titley . Many of the entries concern the marriage between Prince Charles of Hesse-Cassel to the King of Denmark's youngest sister, Louisa, and the implications of this union for Great Britain. Other entries discuss the potential alliance between Great Britain and Denmark, and negotiations over whether it should be an offensive alliance and include a subsidy to Denmark. Several letters express doubts concerning Mr. Saldern's sincerity; other letters trace the gradual falling-out between Prince Charles and the King of Denmark. The letters discuss the activities of prominent Danish courtiers and politicians, including Count Danesekiold and Baron Bernsdorff. Vol. 4, labeled "Poland Dresden" on spine, contains 84 letters and notes to Thomas Wroughton and Stanhope in the year 1766. Most of the letters to Wroughton, ambassador to Poland, are on the topic of Polish Protestant dissidents and the impending violence; the actions of important courtiers and politicians, including Nicholas Repnin; the Czartoryski family; and Empress Catherine of Russia. The reports by Stanhope from Dresden recount the actions of the diet there, especially the Prince's insistence on the necessity of augmentation of the army . Vol. 5, labeled "Italian drafts" on spine, contains 50 letters, dated 1765-66, to correspondents in various countries: Edward Hay, Horace Mann, Consul Holford. To Edward Hay, Conway discusses British factories in Portugal, asks Hay to obtain satisfaction for the detention of two vessels at Lisbon, and to investigate the claim of the imprisoned Lt. Macnamara in the British Navy. To Sir Horace Mann, Conway writes about the archduke Peter Leopold. In 1766, Conway congratulates M. Murray, ambassador to Constantinople, on how he handled an "indecent publication in an obscure Venetian gazette," apparently regarding the Pretender. He warns Mr. Norton not to interfere with contending parties at Geneva. To Consul Holford, he writes expressing his disappointment that Langlois and Crisp, merchants whose vessels were detained and cargoes seized, still find delays in payments of demands they made on the state of Genoa. He asks Mr. Dutens to provide commerce reports at the court of Turin, and then insists he return to England to be replaced by Mr. Sherdley, whom he asks to watch what ambassadors at Rome do in the wake of the Pretender's death and his son's endeavor to claim his father's title. He announces to Consul Fraser that regulations for granting Mediterranean passes should remove the excuse the Moors have found at times for not properly respecting British colors, and orders Fraser responsible for enforcing these regulations. Later, Conway chastises him after learning about the complaint the Court of Vienna lodged against him for insulting the Imperial consul, and which Fraser's letters had not mentioned. He tells Major General Irwin about the complaint by a Spanish ambassador that a Spanish priest's letters had been opened at Gibraltar in his passage from Africa to Spain, and warns tells Irwin to handle all letters so as not to leave room for this suspicion in the future; he also asks Irwin to investigate why the entry of tobacco is impeded at Gibraltar, and mentions Moors' disregard of truce between Spain and Morocco. Other correspondents in the volume include Colonel Pictet; Mr. Hamilton; Consul Kinloch; Consul Iamineau; Consul Kirke; and Consul Gordon. Vol. 6, labeled "State letters of Canada, Germany, etc" on spine, contains 19 drafts, notes, and correspondence dated between 1765 and 1767. The volume contains a letter regarding the state of paper currency in the colony of Canada and the problems with converting it to European currency; 2 letters concerning commerce between Britain and Russia, one of which is addressed to the Duke of Grafton; several letters to George Cressener regarding his credentials to the Elector of Triers; and a draft letter to Sir Joseph Yorke dated February 17, 1767, thanking Yorke on his report of the secret conversation between Denmark and Portugal. Another letter from Grafton to Sir George Macartney chastises Macartney for signing a treaty of commerce with Russia without first sending it to King George III for his approval. The volume also includes a summary of the correspondence of the Northern Secretary of State. Vol. 7, labeled "French drafts" on spine, consists of 57 letters, most dated between 1765-1767. Most of the entries are addressed to David Hume and Charles Lennox, 3rd Duke of Richmond, and express Conway's irritation with the French delay in the demolition of the Harbor of Dunkirk; French encroachment on bays, harbors, and land of Newfoundland; and the affair of British children confined in a French convent. To the Duke of Richmond, he writes of the ill state of the Pretender's health and asks him to induce the French court to prove their friendship to the British king by not giving countenance and sanction to the Pretender's claims. A letter dated December 19, 1765 mentions that inclosed are copies of letter from General Gage and Lieutenant Colden, with minutes of the council at New York and accounts from New Jersey that people there did not join in recent violences, and declares that Parliament will find a remedy for this disorder. Vol. 8, labeled "Spanish drafts" on spine, consists of 26 letters, dated 1765-1766. Most of the entries concern the ransom of Manila and Conway's irritation with Spain's delay of those proceedings. Other topics include the transfer of Louisiana from France to Spain and tumults in some parts of North American colonies. Many other entries ask Lord Rochfort to address the petitions of various merchants who believe themselves mistreated, including the imprisonment of Mr. Glass, a British merchant, on pretense of his having been concerned in smuggling in the Canary Islands; the petition of Alexander Campbell, merchant, whose vessel was taken in 1763 by an armed ship under Spanish colors; and the petition of Mr. Bradley, merchant, who suffered losses through the Spanish government in America and the West Indies. Conway also asks Rochfort to investigate the seizure of ten merchants' ships in the West Indies, in violation of the Treaty of Aix. Vol. 9, labeled "American drafts" on spine, consists of 46 letters, dated between 1765-1766, many of which address the unrest in American colonies. The volume contains letters to governors of various colonies and several letters to General Gage. The collection includes a draft letter announcing the Stamp Act to the Governor and Company of Connecticut in 1765; a circular to the governors of Jamaica, Barbados, Grenada, the Bahamas, and numerous Canadian and American colonies which reports on two acts of Parliament just passed: securing the dependency of the colonies on the mother country, and the repeal of the Stamp Act in America. The circular emphasizes the importance of continued obedience in the colonies and stresses Great Britain's generosity and forbearance. A letter to governor George Thomas of the Leeward Islands expresses Conway's sorrow to hear that the disobedience regarding the stamps in North America had also reached some of the islands under his government. Elsewhere, he orders Governor Lyttelton of Jamaica to inform him of what forces the Spaniards may have in any of the settlements in the Leeward Islands, mentioning the affair of Turks Island; orders Governor Murray of Quebec to find out the offenders in the assassination of Thomas Walker of Montreal; and discusses corruption in oversight of the Indian trade in Quebec. Other letters concern personnel issues such as appointments and dismissals; another circular addresses the importation of bullion into the colonies. The letters to General Gage approve Gage's measures for restoring peace after a long hostility with the Indians; commends his progress toward gaining friendship of the Illinois nations; tells him to keep a watchful eye on the Spanish in America; commends his conduct regarding the disorder in New York; and responds to his request to bring military regiments into the middle colonies, especially New York.

9 v. ; 33 cm.


SNAC Resource ID: 8026303

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