Skip to main content
×
×
Home

Lord Bute, Newcastle, Prussia, and the Hague Overtures: A Re-Examination

  • Karl W. Schweizer
Extract

Britain's abortive attempt in January 1762 to conciliate Austria and restore the “Old System”—generally known as the Hague Overture—and its subsequent impact on Frederick II of Prussia (then Britain's ally), has never been investigated in detail. Altogether, only two works have ever focused on the episode directly: a brief, but in some ways useful monograph by A. von Ruville, the biographer of Pitt and a later article by W. L. Dorn. Essentially advancing the same interpretation, both authors agree that: Newcastle, by unduly interfering in the Northern Department (held by the Earl of Bute), stands solely responsible for the misleading proposals transmitted to Vienna; and that Bute, lacking a definite policy of his own, submissively followed Newcastle's lead throughout and finally, Kaunitz divulged the story in its most expansive form to Berlin where, as a result, it irreparably damaged Britain's already tarnished reputation. Though forming the nucleus of what is probably the traditional or standard account, endorsed uncritically by most historians up-to-date (among them D. B. Horn, F. Spencer, and R. Browning), these conclusions are highly questionable if not inaccurate, and clearly require substantial revision and modification when reappraised within a wider framework of documentary evidence. Equally, certain important, inter-related aspects have never been studied at all: for instance, the motive forces behind Newcastle's initial formulation of the scheme; the ambivalent role played by Lord Bute; the views and aims of the chosen mediator, Prince Louis of Brunswick; and the deliberations of Baron Knyphausen and Louis Michell, the Prussian envoys in London. This article by utilizing new material from heretofore unexplored sources, aims not only to rectify these and other vital defects, to provide a more coherent, comprehensive outline of events, but also to assess the significance of this episode for Anglo-Prussian relations during a singularly critical period of diplomatic history.

Copyright
References
Hide All

1 von Ruville, A., Die Auflösung des Preussisch-englischen Bündnisses im Jahre 1762 (Berlin, 1892).

2 Dorn, W. L., “Frederick the Great and Lord Bute,” The Journal of Modern History I (Dec. 1929): 529560, fn. 4.

3 At this time Newcastle had no de jure role in the conduct of foreign affairs. See Thomson, M. A., The Secretaries of State, 1681-1782 (London, 1932).

4 Horn, D. B., Great Britain and Europe in the 18th Century Oxford, 1967), pp. 160161, Spencer, F., “The Anglo-Prussian Breach, 1762: An Historical Revision,” History, (1956k): 106107; Browning, R., The Duke of Newcastle (New Haven, 1975), p. 286.

5 General biographical information about these two men may be found in Lodge, R., Great Britain and Prussia in the 18th Century (New York, 1972), pp. 84, 87–88, 105110; Roterberg, E., Der Freiherr Dodo Heinrich zu Inn und Knyphausen als Gesandter Friedrichs des Grossen am Englischen Hofe, 1758-1763 (Wismar, 1924), pp. 46; Allgemeine Deutsche Biographie (Leipzig, 1882), XVI: 341343.

6 I am indebted to the following institutions and individuals for allowing me to consult the manuscripts in their possession: The Deutsches-Zentralarchiv, Merseburg [hereafter D.Z.A.]; the Haus-Hof und Staatsarchiv, Vienna [hereafter H.H.ST.A]; the Niedersächsisches Staatsarchiv, Wolfenbüttel [hereafter N.S.A.]; the Niedersächsisches Staatsarchiv, Hanover [hereafter N. ST.A.]; the British Museum [B.M.]; the Public Record Office [P.R.O.]; the Central Library, Cardiff; the East-Suffolk Record Office, Ipswich; the Marquis of Bute, Mt. Stuart; His Grace the Duke of Devonshire, Chatsworth (MSS); and the Trustees of the Bedford Estate, (Bedford MSS).

7 Reprinted in Jenkinson, C., A Collection of Treaties (London, 1785), III: 5460 (original in P.R.O./S.P. 108-421).

8 See Jenkinson, , A Collection of Treaties, pp. 6267. For a detailed study of the complex negotiations leading to the ratification of the treaty, see; Schweizer, K. W., “Frederick the Great, William Pitt and Lord Bute: The Origin, Development and Dissolution of the Anglo-Prussian Alliance 1756-1763,” Phd. Dissertation, Cambridge University, 1975, Chs. IV, V.

9 Composed of British, Prussian, Hanoverian and other German contingents, and from late 1757 to 1762, commanded by Prince Ferdinand of Brunswick. The latest and most authoritative study of this army and its campaigns is: SirSavory, R., His Britannic Majesty's Army in Germany during the Seven Years War (Oxford, 1966).

10 A vital North Sea port, Emden was recaptured from the French in 1757. See Corbett, J., England in the Seven Years War: A Study in Combined Strategy (London, 1918), I: 248251; see Hackmann, W. K., English Military Expeditions to the French Coast, 1757-1761, Phd. dissertation, University of Michigan, 1969.

11 For a sound analysis of Britain's strategy objectives throughout the war see Richmond, H. W., Statesmen and Seapower (Oxford, 1946), pp. 123140. The interconnection of colonial and continental policy has been reviewed at length by Marks, E., England's Machtpolitik (Berlin, 1940), pp. 42ff., 73ff, 97104. See also the observations in Bargotsky, W., Der Sinn der Englischen Festland Politik (Munich, 1939), pp. 517.

12 Even the type of war waged by the two allies was fundamentally different. Except for a brief moment in 1762, Frederick was engaged in a status quo defensive war, one to maintain his position against the aggressive, revisionist ambitions of Russia and Austria, while Britain was in turn fighting a war for dominance, for transmaritime supremacy.

13 On the nature, function and importance of alliance ideologies see Liska, G., Nations in Alliance: The Limits of Interdependence (Baltimore, 1962), pp. 6164; Horn, D. B., Great Britain and Europe, pp. 168171.

14 For explicit details see Ward, A. W., Cambridge History of the British Empire (Cambridge, 1929), I: Ch. XVII, and Parry, J. H., Trade and Dominion: European Overseas Empire in the Eighteenth Century (London, 1974), pp. 147174.

15 See Schaefer, A., Geschichte des Siebenjährigen Krieges (Berlin, 1874), II: part I, pp. 89–101, 111–120, 300317; A. Mitchell to Holdernesse, Oct. 22, 1759, Nov. 22, 1759, Nov. 24, 1759, P.R.O./S.P.F. 90/74; same to same, Feb. 12, 1760 (private & very secret), 75.

16 Ferdinand had just checked the French at the battle of Minden. Holdernesse to Mitchell, Dec. 21, 1759, P.R.O./S.P.F. 90/74; Savory, , His Britannic Majesty's Army, pp. 190191.

17 Holdernesse to Mitchell, Apr. 29, 1760, P.R.O./S.P.F. 90/75; Knyphausen to Frederick, June 3, 1760, D.Z.A. Rep. 96.33.C, ff. 280-281.

18 Knyphausen to Frecerick, May 27, 1760, D.Z.A. Rep. 96.33.C, f. 276; same to same, July 29, Sept. 19, 1760 (au Roy seul), D.Z.A. Rep. 96.33.D., ff. 21-22, 47-48.

19 Knyphausen to Frederick, Dec. 5,1760 (au Roy seul), ibid, ff. 135-136; Symmer to Mitchell, Dec. 19, 1760 and Jan. 30, 1761, B. M. Add. MSS 6839, ff. 203-204, ff. 208-209. On Mauduit see Taylor, R. J., “Israel Mauduit,” New England Quarterly, XXIV (1951): 208230; Of Mauduit's pamphlet, Horace Walpole wrote: “It was shrewdly and ably written and had more operation in working a change on the minds of men that perhaps ever fell to the lot of a pamphlet.” Memoirs of the Reign of George III (London, 1894), I: 25. Cf. Symmer to Mitchell, Nov. 28, 1760, B.M. Add. MSS 6839, ff. 201-202.

20 “Colonial” strategists, contrary to the “continental” advocates, maintained that British energies should have been from the first devoted exclusively to the colonial-maritime war. For the controversy and the issues involved see: Pares, R., “American vs. Continental warfare, 1739-1763,” English Historical Review LI (1936): 429465; Mauduit, I., Considerations on the Present German War (4th ed., London, 1761), pp. 128 ff.

21 During a House of Commons Speech shortly after his resignation. See Williams, B., William Pitt, II: 131; Cobbet, W., ed. The Parliamentary History of England, XV: 1266.

22 Namier, L., England in the Age of the American Revolution (2nd ed.; London, 1963), pp. 304307.

23 Walpole, H., Memoirs of George III, pp. 7984; Newcastle to Devonshire, Dec. 9, 1761, B. M. Add. MSS 32932, ff. 78-91; Jenkinson to Bute, Dec. 9 & 17, 1761, Bute MSS/Cardiff, Bundle 3, nrs. 107 & 124.

24 For a detailed account of Anglo-Spanish differences leading to the final rupture see Christelow, A., “The Economic Background of the Anglo-Spanish Warr,” Journal of Modem History, XVIII (1946): 2236; Petrie, C., King Charles III of Spain (London, 1971), pp. 67116; of. B. M. Add. MSS 38334, CXLV, ff. 80-89. On the military setbacks see Schaefer, , Siebenjährigen Krieg, II: 251275; Ranke, L. V., Sämmtliche Werke (Leipzig, 1875), XXX: 364366.

25 By the Methuen Treaty of 1703, England was pledged to assist Portugal against invasion with 20 cruisers, 10,000 infantry and 25,000 cavalry. B. M. Add. MSS 36807, ff. 243-244.

26 Newcastle to Yorke, Dec. 29, 1761, B. M. Add. MSS 32932, ff. 398-399.

27 Barrington to Newcastle, Jan. 3,1762, B. M. Add. MSS 32933, ff. 50-54; Legge to Newcastle, Feb. 15, 1762, B. M. Add. MSS 32934, f. 351.

28 Rigby to Bedford, Dec. 31, 1761, Bedford MSS, XLVI, nr. 8, ff. 300-301; Bedford to Bute, Jan. 31, 1762, ibid, vol. XLV, f. 18; Devonshire Diary/Chatsworth MSS, “entry,” Feb. 1, 1762.

29 Newcastle to Hardwick, Dec. 25, 1761, B. M. Add. MSS 32932, ff. 345-351.

30 Newcastle to Rockingham, Nov. 19, 1761, B. M. Add. MSS 32931, ff. 147-148; Newcastle to Devonshire, Dec. 26, 1761, B. M. Add. MSS 32932, ff. 362-364.

31 Secretary of State for the Northern Department since March 1761.

32 Devonshire Diary/Chatsworth MSS, “entry,” Jan. 6, 1762; Cabinet Minute, Jan. 6, 1762, P.R.O./Egremont MSS, 30/47/21; Newcastle to Hardwicke, Jan. 10, 1762, B. M. Add. MSS 32933, f. 180.

33 Devonshire Diary/Chatsworth MSS, “entry,” Jan. 6, 1762.

34 On Newcastle's diplomacy see R. Browning, The Duke of Newcastle, passim; Horn, D. B., “The Duke of Newcastle and the Origins of the Diplomatic Revolution” in Elliott, J. H., ed., The Diversity of History, Essays in Honour of Sir Herbert Butterfietd (London, 1970), pp. 247268.

35 Newcastle to Hardwicke, Nov. 15, 1761, B. M. Add. MSS 32931, ff. 45-49; Newcastle to Ybrke, Jan. 8, 1762, B. M. Add. MSS 32933, ff. 112-118; cf. B. M. Add. MSS 32999, f. 364. Memd.: “The view of the French is to exclude us from all the ports, by that means ruining our trade.”

36 Pares, , “American vs. Continental Warfare,” p. 438.

37 Papier donne par le Comte de Mello,” Dec. 1, 1761, B. M. Add. MSS 32931, ff. 363-364; Bourguet, A., “Un Ultimatum Franco-Espagnol au Portugal,” Revue d'Histoire Diplomatique (1910), pp. 7778.

38 Coquelle, P., L'alliance Franco-Hollandaise contre l'Angleterre 1735-1788 (Paris, 1902), pp. 140ff.

39 Yorke to Bute, Jan. 19, 1762. (most secret) P.R.O./S.P.R. 84/495; Yorke to Newcastle, Jan. 12, 1762, B. M. Add. MSS 32933, ff. 217-218; Yorke to Hardwicke, Feb. 2, 1762, B. M. Add. MSS 35358, ff. 248-249.

40 Newcastle to Yorke, Jan. 8, 1762, B. M. Add. MSS 32933, ff. 112-118; Coquelle, P., “Les projets de descente en Angleterre,” Revue d'Histoire Diplomatique (Paris, 1901), XV, pp. 618625; Corbett, , England in the Seven Years War, pp. 302307; challenging British sea power, as the failure of Choiseul's Family Compact demonstrated, was no longer a serious danger since France's naval resources were already too dimished. If France meant to press into her service the navies of the smaller powers, it must be done before her own was ruined. Still, Newcastle's anxiety is not surprising since intelligence reports from the Hague and Paris indicated that Choiseul (now naval minister) had launched an extensive reconstruction program. Hence, to give up the continent and so lessen French army expenditures could only further Choiseul's enterprise.

41 B. M. Add. MSS 32931, f. 60.

42 Lewis, W. S., ed., Horace Walpole's Correspondence with Sir Horace Mann (New Haven, 1960), p. 479; Symmer to Mitchell, Dec. 11, 1761, B. M. Add. MSS 6839, ff. 242-243.

43 The Newcastle memoranda have not so far been consulted by any diplomatic historian working in this period. See, B. M. Add. MSS 33024, XX, Diplomatic Papers, 1761-1767; B. M. Add. MSS 32999, Memoranda, April 1760 - March 1762.

44 B. M. Add. MSS 32999, f. 361.

45 Yorke to Newcastle, Dec. 25, 1761, B. M. Add. MSS 32932, ff. 330-332. (The Family Compact violated the existing treaties between Austria and France which specified that neither signatory could enter into new alliances without previously informing the other. Though Choiseul apprized Starhemberg of his Spanish negotiations, he did so only after all the essential points had already been settled, and even then only volunteered vague generalizations.) See von Arneth, A., Geschichte Maria Theresia's (Vienna, 1875), VI: 273275; Starhemberg to Kaunitz, Aug. 16, 1761. Frankreich, H. H. ST. A. Vienna, Berichte, VII. ff. 117–127, 129137.

46 Yorke to Bute, Jan. 1 (sep. & secret) & Jan. 5, 1762, P.R.O./S.P.R. 84/495; Yorke to Royston, Jan. 5, 1762, B. M. Add. MSS 35366, ff. 3-4; Memd., Jan. 7, 1762, B. M. Add. MSS 32999, f. 368v., (By the perpetual treaty of 1703 the Dutch were pledged to join England in the defense of Portugal, ibid, f. 363v.)

47 Newcastle to Yorke, Jan. 8, 1762, printed in von Ruville, A., Auflösung, pp. 4950; Knyphausen to Frederick Jan. 15, 1762, D.Z.A. Rep. 96.33.F., ff. 19-21 (reporting an interview with Newcastle and Bute).

48 Newcastle to Yorke, Dec. 18,1761, B. M. Add. MSS 32932, ff. 226-227; Yorke to Hardwicke, Dec. 29, 1761, B. M. Add. MSS 35358, ff. 226-229; Yorke to Royston, Jan. 5,1762, B. M. Add. MSS 35366, ff. 3-4.

49 von Ruville, A., Auflösung, pp. 4950.

50 B. M. Add. MSS 32999, f. 355v.

51 Prince Louis of Brunswick, brother-in-law of Frederick the Great, former Austrian Fieldmarshal and present guardian and tutor of William, hereditary Staadtholder of the United Provinces. A wise and tactful statesman, well disposed towards England, he was normally chosen for delicate proceedings when a diplomatic go-between was required. See: Schloezer, A. L., Louis Ernest, Due de Brunsvic et Lunebourg (Gotha, 1788), I: 1–10, 17–26, 2934; Bootsma, N. A., De Hertog van Brunswijk 1750-1759 (Assen, 1962). B. M. Add. MSS 32999, f. 364v.

52 ibid, f. 361v. Anson's project for an expedition against Havana was one of the major issues discussed and unanimously accepted by the Cabinet on Jan. 6. cf. Devonshire Diary/Chatsworth MSS, Jan. 6, 1762; Corbett, , England in the Seven Years War, II: 247ff. For an interesting and informative report of the operation written by the “chief engineer,” Col. MacKellar, see Journal of the Siege of Havana, June 6 - August 14, 1762, Barrington MSS/East Suffolk Record Office, HA. 67/A1.

53 Newcastle to Hardwicke, Jan. 10, 1762, B. M. Add. MSS 32933, f. 180r/v.

54 George III to Bute, Dec. 24, 1761, Bute MSS/Mt. Stuart, reprinted in Sedgewick, R. ed., Letters from George III to Lord Bute, 1756-1766 (London, 1940, p. 75.

55 Perhaps the most vital source, Bute's letters to George III, are known to have been destroyed (see: ibid, pp. vii-viii), and neither the Bute Papers in Cardiff, at Mt. Stuart nor in the British Museum have yielded anything significant on this problem. Bute, it seems, had unofficially asked Boreel, the Dutch resident in London, to ascertain whether Prince Louis would agree to work towards an Anglo-Austrian reconciliation. Bute wanted both Newcastle and Yorke to “rester hors de cette affairs qui devoit être traitée uniquement avec Milord Bute et P. Louis.” (Boreel to Pensionary, Dec. 1, 1761 [copy], B. M. Add. MSS 35358, f. 224.) This came to nothing because the Prince, as Yorke explained to his father, “would embark in nothing where he was likely to be left in the lurch after having begun. That he should not choose to embark with anybody exclusive of his old friends and the supporters of this House … and that the Duke of Newcastle had always been a steady friend and supporter of them and therefore, he supposed he must be in the secret.” (Yorke to Hardwicke, Dec. 9, 1761, B. M. Add. MSS 35358, f. 222; Pensionary to Boreel, Dec. 8, 1761. ibid, f. 224r/v; Boreel to Bute, Dec. 14, 1761, Bute MSS/Mt. Stuart.) Yorke, as appears from his private correspondence with Hardwicke and Lord Royston (see Yorke to Royston, Dec. 15, 1761. B. M. Add. MSS 35365, ff. 405-406), was fully informed of this episode by Prince Louis who also permitted him to copy out the relevent documents. It was Hardwicke who, possibly fearing inter-ministerial strife, subsequently urged Yorke to keep the matter entirely confidential. See Yorke to Hardwicke, Dec. 29, 1761, B. M. Add. MSS 35358, ff. 226-227. Since part of Yorke's papers for this period have been destroyed by fire, Hardwicke's precise reasons have remained unknown, though I have found no evidence that Newcastle ever learned of Bute's secret diplomacy.

56 See Richmond, H., The Navy in the War of 1739-1748 (Cambridge, 1920).

57 See von Ruville, A., William Pitt, Earl of Chatham (London, 1907), III: 3537.

58 “You are to insinuate,” Joseph Yorke was ordered, “(tho' in very guarded terms), to Prince Louis, the impossibility this country is under of continuing so expensive a war, against which men's minds seem more and more averse every day.” (Bute to Yorke, Jan. 7, 1762, (tentative draft), B. M. Add. MSS 32933, ff. 82-83.

59 If Bute appeared especially anxious to propitiate and please Newcastle, it was because he wanted the Duke to acknowledge some responsibility for the Spanish war by allowing Lord Kinnoul, his friend and supporter, to move the address in the coming debate. At first, Newcastle flatly refused but at length Bute's show of goodwill worked its effect and he agreed. For further details see Devonshire to Newcastle, Jan. 9, 1762, (misdocketed), B. M. Add. MSS 32917, f. 201; Newcastle to Devonshire, Jan. 10,1762, B. M. Add. MSS 32933, f. 176; Newcastle to Bute, Jan. 12 & 14, 1762, Bute MSS/Cardiff, Bundle 5, nrs. 34 & 35. Bute to Newcastle, Jan. 7, 1762, B. M. Add. MSS 32933, ff. 80v.

60 Newcastle to Bute, Jan. 7, 1762, Bute MSS/Cardiff, Bundle 11, nr. 17.

61 Bute to Newcastle, Jan. 9, 1762, B. M. Add. MSS 32933, f. 144.

62 Newcastle to Bute, Jan. 10, 1762, ibid, f. 173.

63 Though Newcastle recognized this point, he failed to appreciate its importance for Bute's continental policy, cf. Newcastle to Yorke, Jan. 15 & 19, 1762, ibid ff 296299, ff. 399-400.

64 See, Schweizer, K. W., “Frecerick William the Great, William Pitt and Lord Bute …,” pp. 430436.

65 This interpretation is confirmed by the Duke of Bedford, who assured Devonshire “that Lord Bute had wrote to Mr. Yorke to know what the Dutch would do, well knowing they would do nothing, with a view to get the better of the opinions and silence the Dukes of Newcastle and Devonshire.” See Devonshire Diary/Chatsworth MSS, Feb. 5, 1762.

66 Knyphausen to Frederick, Mar. 30 & Apr. 13, 1762. D.Z.A. Rep. 96.33.F., f. 107, ff. 125-126; Newcastle to Yorke, Apr. 6, 1762, B. M. Add. MSS 32936, ff. 387-388; Newcastle to Devonshire, Apr. 10, 1762, B. M. Add. MSS 32937, ff. 11r/v.

67 Newcastle to Yorke, Jan. 8, 1762, B. M. Add. MSS 32933, ff. 114-115.

68 cf. Bachoff to Bernstorff, Dec. 28, 1761, B. M. Add. MSS 32932, f. 381r/v. (Intelligence). B. M. Add. MSS 32933, f. 118; cf. von Ruville, , Auflösung, p. 50.

69 See note 51. Hellen to Frederick, Jan. 26 & Feb. 9, 1762, D.Z.A. Rep. 96.39. C, ff. 11-12, f. 17; Yorke to Newcastle; Mar. 23, 1762, B. M. Add. MSS 32936, ff. 76-77; Yorke to Bute, Jan. 19,1762 (most secret), P.R.O./S.P.F. 84/495. Yorke to Newcastle, Jan. 12, 1762, B.M. Add. MSS 32933, ff. 216-218.

70 “For my part,” he wrote, “as I have hinted before, I would endeavour to bring back the House of Austria to the Old System and enter immediately into engagements with them to divide Italy between the House of Austria and the Kind of Sardinia; Naples and Sicily to be sure to be given to the Empress Queen.” (B. M. Add. MSS 32933, f. 299.) ibid, f. 299.

71 Yorke to Newcastle, Jan. 19, 1762, ibid, ff. 378-379. (Complete copies of Newcastle's letters, of the 8th. and 15th., can be found among the Papers of Prince Louis in the Lower-Saxon State Archive/Wolfenbüttd. See N.S.A. 1, alt. 22, nr. 1061, ff. 22-31 & ff. 40-45.

72 On Austro-Spanish tensions in Italy since Utrecht see Vernon, H. M., Italy from 1649-1790 (Cambridge, 1909), pp. 340387. Bute to Yorke, Jan. 12, 1762 (most secret), P.R.O./S.P.F. 84/495.

73 In Yorke's words: “the affair is delicate for him upon account of his ancient [sic] personal connections at Vienna and his family connections at Berlin …” (Yorke to Bute, Jan. 19, 1762 (private) P.R.O./S.P.F. 84/495. Yorke to Bute, Jan. 26, 1762 (private), ibid; of. Yorke to Newcastle, Jan. 19, 1762, B. M. Add. MSS 32933, ff. 378-379.

74 Prince Louis to J. Yorke, Jan. 19, 1762, B. M. Add. MSS 32933, f. 380; Yorke to Prince Louis, Jan. 21, 1762, N.S.A./Wolfenbuttel, 1, alt. 22, nr. 1961, f. 46.

75 Yorke to Prince Louis, Jan. 26 & Feb. 2, 1762, ibid, ff. 53 & 72. Bute to Yorke, Jan. 12, 1762 (most secret), P.R.O./S.P.F. 84-495.

76 Yorke to Bute, Jan. 19, 1762 (most secret), ibid.

77 ibid; See Butterfield, H., “British Foreign Policy, 1762-1765,” The Historical Journal, VI, 1 (1963): 133.

78 Yorke to Newcastle, Jan. 26, 1762, B. M. Add. MSS 32934, ff. 1-2.

79 Prince Louis to Prince Ferdinand, Jan. 16, 1762. N.ST.A. (Hanover), Hann. 9e, 1116, II, ff. 63-64.

80 See Michael, W., Göttingische Gelehrte Anzeigungen (1864), p. 283.

81 Yorke to Bute, Jan. 19, 1762 (private), P.R.O./S.P.F. 84/495.

82 See Reischach to Kaunitz, Jan. 26, 1762, Holland, H.H.ST.A. Vienna, Berichte, 61, ff. 2732. The exact wording was: “Zu dem weiteren liess der Herzog auch fallen, dass England nichts dawider haben werde, wenn der König in Preussen das ganze Herzogtum Schlesien an ihro Majestät wiederum abtreten werde.”

83 See Reischach to Kaunitz, Mar. 12, 1762, ibid, ff. 74-76.

84 Schnaubelt, I., Die Beziehungen zwischen Osterreich und England, 1756-1780 (Diss., Vienna; 1965), pp. 110112; see Kaunitz to Reischach, P. S. April 19, 1762, H.H.ST.A. (Vienna), Holland, Fasz. 92. Anweisungen, ff. 81-82.

85 Due to the policy reversals of the new Czar, Peter III, an ardent Prusso-phile who upon his accession, not only suspended all hostilities against Prussia but agreed to relinquish, without compensation, Russian wartime conquests. See Dassow, J., Friedrich II von Preussen und Peter III von Russland (Berlin, 1908), pp. 21 ff.

86 Lodge, , Britain and Prussia, p. 125; von Arneth, , Maria Theresa, II: 291292.

87 For Kaunitz' official reply see Yorke to Bute, March 16, 1762, P.R.O./S.P.F. 84/495; cf. Yorke to Newcastle, Mar. 16, 1762, B. M. Add. MSS 32935, ff. 404-406.

88 Dorn, , Frederick the Great and Lord Bute, p. 538; Spencer, , “The Anglo-Prussian Breach,” p. 107.

89 Kaunitz to Starhemberg, Mar. 22, 1762, printed in Forschungen zur Deutschen Geschichte, XVII (1877), pp. 5156.

90 Knyphausen and Michell to Frederick, Mar. 23, 1762 (au Roy seul), D.Z.A. Rep. 96.33.F., f. 93.

91 By making it appear that Kaunitz had grossly violated Britain's trust and confidence, the envoys sought to forestall any future incidents of this sort. “Nôtre but,” they assured Frederick, “devoit être principalement d'accréditer d'une côté que V. M. avoit à Vienna des intelligences sures et secrètes, et de noircir de l'autre côté le Ministère Autrichien de manière que nous n'eussions aucune nouvelle tentative à appréhender qui pût vous allarmer pour l'avenir.” ibid, f. 101 r/v; and Knyphausen to Frederick, Mar. 26, 1762, ibid, ff. 101 v.-102.

92 ibid, f. 102; cf. Newcastle to Yorke, Mar. 26, 1762, B. M. Add. MSS 32936, ff. 138-139.

93 Knyphausen to Frederick, Mar. 26, 1762. D.Z.A. Rep. 96.33.F., f. 102; ef. Memo, Mar. 26, 1762, Chatsworth MSS, 360/366.

94 Bute to Mitchell, Mar. 26, 1762, P.R.O./S.P.F. 90/79; cf. B. M. Add. MSS 6820, ff. 42-43.

95 Bute to Mitchell, Mar. 26, 1762, P.R.O./S.P.F. 90/79.

96 As Bute subsequently elaborated in a private note to Mitchell: “The late complaint made by the Prussians here concerning Vienna, that they pretend to have had from the King their Master, they pick'd up in the factious haunts they frequent. Upon the whole, I will venture to affirm that they hardly ever send over a dispatch, a single communication fairly and without being tainted by the falst impressions they get.” (Bute to Mitchell, April 9, 1762 (private), Bute MSS/Cardiff, Bundle 6, nr. 143.)

97 Bute to Mitchell, Mar. 30th, 1762, P.R.O./S.P.F. 90/79.

98 On the interception of Prussian mail at this time see Ellis, K., The Post Office in the 18th Century (London, 1958), pp. 7376. Even the Prussian post, conveyed through A. P. von Münchhausen by way of Hanover, was not safe from interception, for Bute had obtained Münchhausen's permission to have these packets opened “to get at them.” See “Memd. relating to the Prussian letters,” Mar. 31, 1762, B. M. Add. MSS 32936, f. 229.

99 Knyphausen to Frederick, Mar. 26, 1762 (intercept), B. M. Add. MSS 57832 (unfoliated at time of inspection); Jenkinson to Bute, (March, 1762), Bute MSS/Cardiff, Bundle 3, nr. 123.

100 Evidently, the practice of intercepting correspondence to and from the continent in general greatly increased during Bute's administration. See Rigby to Bedford, Sept. 26, 1762, Bedford MSS, vol. 46, f. 2.

101 See in particular the interesting papers contained in the Bundle marked “Note from Charles Jenkinson,” 1762, Bute MSS/Mt. Stuart and the intercepted letters scattered throughout the Newcastle Papers, B. M. Add. MSS 32925, 32936, & 32937.

102 See Frederick to Knyphausen & Michell, Aug. 7 & Sept. 10, 1762, B. M. Add. MSS 57832, (unfoliated at time of inspection).

103 Hardwicke to Newcastle, M/ar. 31, 1762, B. M. Add. MSS 32935, f. 33.

104 For the praise of Pitt see Newcastle to Hardwicke, Dec. 3, 1760, B. M. Add. MSS 32915, ff. 268-271. Hardwicke to Newcastle, Feb. 23, 1762, Yorke, P. C., Hardwicke, III: 344; cf. Bute to Mitchell, Apr. 9, 1762 (private), Bute MSS/Cardiff, Bundle 6, nr. 143.

105 See Schweizer, K. W., “Lord Bute and William Pitt's Resignation; 1761,” Canadian Journal of History, VIII (Sept., 1973): 120121; Lord Bute and Anti-Scottish Feeling in 18th Century Political Propaganda,” Scottish Colloquium Proceedings (U. of Guelph), vol. 8/9, (1974): 2333.

106 K. W. Schweizer, Frederick the Great, William Pitt and Lord Bute, pp. 374ff.

107 Mitchell to Bute, Apr. 10 & 14, 1762, P.R.O./S.P.F. 90/79.

108 In brief, a controversy arising from a letter drafted by A. Galitzin (Russian minister in London) and subsequently sent by Peter III to Frederick, which (falsely) alleged that Bute wanted the Czar to retain East Prussia, overrun by Russian forces during the war, and was ready to force Prussia to make peace. For full details see my forthcoming article: “Lord Bute and the Galitzin Interview, Feb. 6, 1762: An Episode in Anglo-Prussian Relations,” in The Historical Journal.

109 Knyphausen to Frederick, Jan. 15 & 29, 1762, D.Z.A. Rep. 96.33.F., ff. 19-21 & ff. 37-38; Finckenstein to Frederick, Jan. 20, 1762 (plus enclosures), D.Z.A. Rep. 96.78.H. XLI, ff. 36-37. Finckenstein to Knyphausen, Apr. 14 & 16, 1762, D.Z.A. Rep. XI.73. England. Conv. 104. B, ff. 41r/v & 43.

110 Mitchell to Bute, May 3, 1762 (secret), P.R.O./S.P.F. 90/80.

111 This point has never been properly understood by historians.

112 Mitchell to Bute, May 3, 1762 (secret), P.R.O./S.P.F. 90/80.

113 ibid; cf. Pol. Corr., XXI: 404405.

114 Through a letter (March 29, 1762) from Keith, British minister at St. Petersburg. See B. M. Add. MSS 6825, ff. 252-254.

115 Mitchell to Bute, Apr. 14, 1762. P.R.O./S.P.F. 90/80.

116 As he wrote to Knyphausen on Apr. 9, 1762: Je conviens que le parti que vous avez pris pour expliquer avec les ministres anglais sur l'indigne démarche qu'ils ont faite auprès de la Cour de Vienne est aussi sage que tout-à-fait bien pense …” (Pol. Corr., XXI: 354.)

Frederick to Knyphausen, May 3, 1762, ibid, pp. 414-415.

117 Mitchell to Bute, 1762. (secret) P.R.O./S.P.F. 90/80.

118 Frederick to Knyphausen, Apr. 23, 1762, Pol. Corr., XXI: 384385.

119 Frederick to Knyphausen, Apr. 12, 1762, ibid, pp. 365-366.

120 Knyphausen to Frederick, May 4, 1762 (au Roi seul), D.Z.A. Rep. 96.33.F., ff. 144-146.

121 Mitchell to Bute, May 3, 1762 (private & confidential), P.R.O./S.P.F. 90/80.

122 Mitchell to Bute, May 9, 1762, P.R.O./S.P.F. 90/80. Mitchell to Frederick, May 28, 1762, D.Z.A. Rep. 96.36.N., II, ff. 137-138; Mitchell to Bute, May 19, 1762. P.R.O./S.P.F. 90/80.

123 Frederick to George III, May 2, 1762, Pol. Corr., XXI: 413414.

124 Prined in Collyer, A. D. ed., The Dispatches and Correspondence of John, Second Earl of Buckinghamshire (London, 1900), I: 137148.

125 See Horn, , Great Britain and Europe, pp. 160161; Spencer, ; “The Anglo-Prussian Breach,” pp. 106161; Spen cer; “The Anglo-Prussian Breach”, pp. 106-107; Browning, , Newcastle, p. 286.

126 As he told Reischach on Apr. 19, 1762: “Dass die bewusste Englische Ausserung zur Wissenschaft des Königs in Preussen kommen würde hat man sich hier zum voraus vorgestellet da ihm hierzu genügsame Wege in Engelland und Holland offen stehen . . So vieles aber hat seine ungezweifelte Richtigkeit das der ernannte König die erwehnte Nachricht weder uhnmittelbar von hier noch durch einen freundschaftlichen Hof erhalten habe.” (H.H.ST.A. (Vienna) Anweisungen, Fasz, 92., ff. 78-79.)

127 Lodge, , Britain and Prussia, P. 124.

128 Roterberg, , Knyphausen, pp. 94 ff. Knyphausen to Frederick, March 19 & 30, Apr. 27 & May 4. 1762, D.Z.A. Rep. 96.33.F.. ff. 87-88, 106-107, 136-138, 149-150.

129 Knyphausen to Finckenstein, May 25, 1762, D.Z.A. Rep. XI. England. Conv. 104. B., f. 70; cf. Knyphausen to Frederick, Apr. 13, 1762, D.Z.A. Rep. 96.33.F., f. 129, Finckenstein to Frederick, June 9, 1762, D.Z.A. Rep. 96.199A., ff. 59-60.

130 Knyphausen to Frederick, Apr. 27, 1762, D.Z.A. Rep. 96.33.F., f. 136.

131 “Je m'apercois bien que, tandis que le Lord Bute restera en place, mes liaisóns avec l'Angleterre seront autant que finies ou rompues …” (Frecerick to Knyphausen, May 11, 1762. Pol. Corr., XXI: 426.)

132 Frederick to Knyphausen, May 11, 1762, ibid, pp. 425-426; same to same, July 12, 1762, ibid, XXII: 21.

133 Frederick took a personal and active interest in supplying Knyphausen and Michell with appropriate materials and later ordered Finckenstein to prepare a series of memoranda (intended for publication, see ibid, p. 229 & 319) setting forth in detail Bute's alleged offenses against Prussian interests. All these documents, only a few of which were incorporated in the Pol. Corr., are located in D.Z.A. Rep. 81/77, “Rescripte an Knyphausen und Michell,” 1762. The most important have been reprinted in Marcus, H., Archiv für das Studium der neueren Sprachen und Literaturen, CLI, (1927): 162212.

134 Frederick to Knyphausen, June 2, 10 & 22, 1762. Pol. Corr., XXI, pp. 493495, pp. 523-524, p. 547; see also: Frederick to Knyphausen & Michell, July 24, Aug. 7, Sept. 10, Oct. 5, Nov. 18, 1762. ibid, XXII, p. 70, p. 117, pp. 207-208, pp. 255-256, pp. 327-328.

135 Grenville to Mitchell, Aug. 31, 1762, P.R.O./S.P.F. 90/80; Knyphausen to Frederick, Oct. 12, 1762, D.Z.A.Rep. 96.33.F., ff. 323-324. Frederick to Michell, Feb. 27, March 3 & 14, 1763. Pol. Corr., XXII: 539, 545, 553554.

136 All the more so, since some of Frederick's most inflammatory missives to Knyphausen were once again intercepted and read at the post office.

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Albion
  • ISSN: 0095-1390
  • EISSN: -
  • URL: /core/journals/albion
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Metrics

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed