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Louis XIV and the Origins of the War of the Spanish Succession

  • M. A. Thomson
Extract

On 16 November 1700, Louis XIV publicly announced that his second grandson, Philip, duke of Anjou, was to succeed Charles II of Spain as the ruler of all the latter's dominions. On 15 May 1702, England, the Dutch re-public, and the emperor all declared war on France; England and the Dutch republic then also declared war on Spain, although they had recognized Philip as king; the emperor, however, who had not done so, declared war, not on Spain, but on the duke of Anjou and his adherents. If, then, Louis's action in November 1700 made war inevitable, it is curious that these declarations were so long in coming.

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page 111 note 1 All dates are according to the New Style.

page 111 note 2 Macaulay, T. B., History of England (World's Classics ed.), v. 469–74;Stanhope, Earl, History of England, 1701–1713 (1870), p. 29; Lodge, R., History of England, 1660–1714 (1910), pp. 434–46; Ogg, D., Europe in the Seventeenth Century (1925), p.267; Trevelyan, G. M., England under Queen Anne, i (1930), pp. 134–5; Reddaway, W. F., History of Europe, 1610–1715 (1948), p. 396; Saint-Léger, A. de and Sagnac, P., La preponderance francaise, 1661–1715 (vol. x of ‘Peuples et Civilisations’, Paris, 1935), p. 421, repeating the opinion already expressed by the former in Histoire de France (ed. Lavisse, E., viii, part ii, Paris, 1908); Méhivier, H., Louis XIV (Paris, 1950), P. 78. Preclin, MM. E. and Tapie, V. L. in Le XVII siècle (Paris, 1949) are comparatively mild in their censures of Louis XIV; see pp. 355–6;Bourgeois, E. in his Manuel historique de lapolitique itrangere (vol. i, 4th ed., Paris, 1906)condemns Louis; see pp. 109–12, 232 sqq.

page 112 note 1 Legrelle, A., La diplomatie franfaise et la Succession d'Espagne, iv (Gand, 1892), pp. 5–173; Andre, L., Louis XIV et Europe (Paris, 1950), p. 304; Pinon, R., in vol. ix, Histoire diplomatique (Paris, 1929), of G. Hanotaux, Histoire de la nation franfaise, is on the whole favourable to Louis, though he does not abstain from criticism; see pp. 264–6. SirClark, George, The Later Stuarts (Oxford, 1934), argues that Louis made certain blunders, but that it was not strange that he made them; see pp. 186 sqq.

page 112 note 2 Zeller, M. G. makes some interesting remarks on Louis's character in ‘Politique extèrieure et diplomatie sous Louis XIV’, Revue a”histoire moderne, vi (1931). 124 sqq.

page 112 note 3 Hippeau, C., Avènement des Bourbons au troône d'Espagne (2 vols. Paris, 1875), prints the correspondence with Harcourt; that with Tallard may largely be found in Legrelle, op. cit., vols. ii–iii; in Reynald, H., Louis XIV et Guillaume III (2 vols. Paris, 1883); and, in translation, in Grimblot, P., Letters of William III, Louis XIV, and of their Ministers (2 vols., 1848). Transcripts of Tallard's despatches are in P.R.O., Transcripts 3.

page 114 note 1 Legrelle, , op. cit., ii. 363.

page 115 note 1 For the treaties see Legrelle, , op. cit., vols. ii and iii; Hippeau, op. cit.; Reynald, op. cit.; Klopp, O., Der Fall des Houses Stuart (14 vols. Vienna, 18751888), vols. viii and ix; Gaedeke, A., Die Politik Oesterreicks in der Spanischen Erbfolgfrage (2 vols. Leipzig, 1877); Antal, G. H. van and de Pater, I. C. H., Weensche Gezantschapsberickten van 1670 to 1720 (2 vols. The Hague, 19291934), ii. 27 sqq.; Kramer, F. J. L., Archives de la maison d'Orange-Nassau (3rd series. 3 vols., Leiden, 19071909), vols. ii and iii.

page 115 note 2 The documents printed by Gaedeke amply illustrate this point; see alsoLandau, M., Geschichte Kaiser Karls VI als König von Spanien (Stuttgart, 1889), pp. 58 sqq.;Feldüge des Prinfen Eugen von Savoyen (20 vols. Vienna, 18761892), iii. 358, a pitiful revelation of incompetence.

page 116 note 1 For the making of the will see Adalbert, Prince of Bavaria, , Das Ende der Habsburger in Spanien, ii (Munich, 1929), 198 sqq.

page 116 note 2 Adalbert, Prince of Bavaria, and Gamazo, G. Maura, ‘Documentos referentes a las postrimerias de la Casa de Austria en España’, Boletin de la Real Academia de Historia cvi. 620–1; Relaiioni degli Stati Europei…dagli Ambasciatori Vemti nel Secolo Decimosettimo. Spagna, ii (Venice, 1860), pp. 697703, illustrate feeling in Madrid and confirm French reports.

page 115 note 3 Legrelle, , op. cit., iv. 44 sqq.;Lamberty, G. de, Mémoires pour servir à. l'histoire du xviiie siècle (2nd ed. 14 vols. The Hague, 17241940), i. 221 sqq.;de Closeburn, E. Kirkpatrick, Les renonciations des Bourbons et la Succession d'Espagne (Paris, 1907), pp. 151, 168.

page 116 note 4 Hippeau, , op. cit., ii. 299300

page 116 note 5 Most of the evidence bearing on Louis's decision is collected inLegrelle, , op. cit., iv. chap, i; see also de Dangeau, Marquis, Journal (19 vols. Paris, 18541866), vii. 415–16; Landosle, H. de, Vauban. Lettres intimes (Paris, 1924), pp. 4950; and Peres, D., A Diplomacia Portuguesa e a Successo de Espanha, 1700–1704 (Barcelos, 1931), pp. 32, 33.

page 117 note 1 Legrelle, , op. cit., iv. 8.

page 117 note 2 Kramer, , op. cit. iii. 235, 252.

page 117 note 3 Hippeau, , op. cit., ii. 299. Vauban at first thought the acceptance of the will would avert war; seeLandosle, , op. cit. p. 100.

page 117 note 4 Hippeau, , op. cit. ii. 391, 433, 448, 456;Recueil des Instructions donnies aux Ambassadeurs de France. Hollande, ii (Paris, 1923), 21, 43.de la Tremoille, Due,Madame des Ursins et la Succession d'Espagne, ii (Nantes, 1903),

page 117 note 5 The same view was taken by Fénelon and Vauban. See Fénelon, , Euvres, xxii (Paris, 1824), 486, andLandosle, , op. cit., p. 108. Gualtieri, the nuncio in Paris, held it too; see Add. MSS. 20269, fos. 78V–79r.

page 118 note 1 Reynald, , op. cit., ii. 337.

page 118 note 2 Printed in Hippeau, , op. cit., ii. 404–7.

page 118 note 3 Arneth, A., ‘Hauptbericht des Grafen P. L. von Sinzendorff’, Archhv fur Kunde Oesterreichischer Geschichtsquellen, xiii. 50–1; Kramer, , op. cit., iii. 334.

page 119 note 1 The relevant article of the will is No. 13; see Legrelle, , op. cit., iii. 718–19.

page 119 note 2 Hippeau, , op. cit., ii. 322–4. Shortly afterwards the nuncio was informed of the protest; see Add. MSS. 20268, fo. 122.

page 119 note 3 de Saint-Simon, Duc, Memoires, ed. Boislisle, (41 vols. Paris, 18791928), ix. 33–4; Baudrillart, A., Philippe V et la Cow de France (5 vols. Paris, 18901901), i. 45, and ii. 18 sqq.

page 119 note 4 Lafuente, M., Historia general de España, xii (Barcelona, 1922),330;Saint-Simon, , op. cit., viii. 299300;Hippeau, , op. cit. ii. 310.

page 120 note 1 Legrelle, , op. cit. iv. 103; Byvoegsels en aanmerkingen voor het zeventiende deel der Vaderlandsche Historie van Jan Wagenaar (Amsterdam, 1795), 21–3; Kramer, , op. cit. iii. 300; Riezler, S., Geschichte Bayerns, vii (Gotha, 1913), 413–14; Pirenne, H., Histoire de Belgique, v (Brussels, 1920), 46.

page 120 note 2 de Vault, F. E. and Pelet, J. G., Memoires militaires relatifs à la Succession d'Espagne (11 vols. Paris, 18351864), i. 5 sqq., 433 sqq.; Hippeau, , op. cit., ii. 307, 342, 360–1, 411–12, 469;Legrelle, , op. cit. iv. 100 sqq.

page 120 note 3 Raa, F. J. G. Ten, Het Staatsche Leger, vii (The Hague, 1950), 151 sqq., 208 sqq., 351 sqq.; Jonge, M. J. C. de, Geschiedenis van het Nederlandsche Zeewesen, iii (2nd ed. Haarlem, 1860), 560 sqq.

page 120 note 4 There are accounts in Legrelle, , op. cit., iv. 77 sqq., and inKlopp, , op. cit., ix. 187 sqq.; Krämer prints the correspondence of William and Heinsius, which makes their policy plain. Lamberty, op. cit., reprints some important documents.

page 121 note 5 Picavet, C. G., La Diplomatic franfaise au temps de Louis XIV (Paris, 1930), p. 175: ‘Négocier en tout temps est pour Louis XIV un principe essentiel.’

page 121 note 1 Hippeau, , op. cit., ii. 330 sqq.; La Tremoille, , op. cit., ii. 5665, 79, 107.

page 121 note 2 Klopp, , op. cit., ix. 245–6.

page 121 note 3 Baudrillart, , op. cit., i. 70; Memoires du Marquis de Louville, i (Paris, 1818), 163; Scelle, G., La traite negriere auxlndes de Castille, ii (Paris, 1906), 83 sqq.

page 121 note 4 Saint-Simon, , op. cit., ii. 223, 458–68; Landosle, , op. cit., p. 86.

page 122 note 1 Lamberty, , op. cit., i. 390; Saint-Simon, , op. cit., viii. 246–7 and 595–7; Cole, C., Memoirs of Affairs of State (London, 1733), pp. 279, 333–5. Cole prints the correspondence of Manchester during his embassy in Paris. See alsoCorrespondence des Controleurs Gene'raux avec les Intendants, ed. de Boislisle, A. M., ii (Paris, 1883), 504–8.

page 122 note 2 Lamberty, , op. cit., i. 403 sqq.

page 122 note 3 Krämer, , op. cit., iii. 415 sqq.; Cole, , op. cit., p. 346.

page 122 note 4 de Sourches, Marquis, Mémoires (13 vols. Paris, 18821893), vii. 3940; Dangeau, , op. cit., viii. 67–8; Kramer, , op. cit., iii. 490.

page 123 note 1 Feldzüuge des Prinen Eugen, iii. 63.

page 123 note 2 Hippeau, , op. cit., ii. 485–6.

page 123 note 3 There was a large deficit in 1699; the imminence of war and the consequent expenditure made it much larger. According to a rough calculation, expenditure on the forces rose from 55 million livres in 1700 to 104 million in 1701. See Correspondance des Controleurs Généraux, ii. 472–3, 579 sqq. Saint-Germain, J., Les financiers sous Louis XIV (Paris, 1950), p. 58.

page 123 note 4 P.R.O. Transcripts 3, 187, fo. 333V. Tallard's despatch of 3 March 1701.

page 123 note 6 d'Auriac, J., ‘Le Marquis de Chamlay’, Revue Historique, ixx (1899), 301 sqq.

page 124 note Vault, and Pelet, , op. cit., i. 648 sqq.; Esnault's, G. Michel Chamillan (2 vols. Paris, 1885)contains four memoranda of Chamlay dated February 1702 which embody criticisms of Louis's policy in 1701; see i. 104 sqq.

page 124 note 2 Auerbach, B., La France et le Saint Empire (Paris, 1912), pp. 254 sqq.; Vault, and Pelet, , op. cit., i. 119, 141, 498; La Tre'moille, , op. cit., ii. 24, 25.

page 124 note 3 Ennen, L., Der spanische Erbfolgkrieg und der Churfurst Joseph Clemens von Coin (Jena, 1851), pp. 52 sqq.; Legrelle, , op. cit., iv. 216 sqq.;Riezler, , op. cit., vii. 467 sqq.

page 24 note 4 Felaüge des Prinzen Eugen, iii. 131 sqq.

page 125 ntoe 1 Fenelon deplored the recall of Avaux as unduly provocative; his opinion is all the more interesting because he was opposed to any cession of Spanish territory. See Euvres, xxii. 471–2.

page 125 note 2 Cole, , op. cit., 419. Manchester to Blathwayt, 16 September: 'There is now in the press an edict to prohibit all trade with England, but, that it may not look like a declaration of war, they do permit the bringing in of beer, syder, glass bottles, and wool.' The edict was published in October.

page 125 note 3 Though apparently there were some restraints on Dutch trade; at least the Dutch complained of them in their declaration of war.

page 125 note 4 Langlois, M., Madame de Maintenon. Lettres, v (Paris, 1939), 603. Maintenon to Noailles, 1 September, 1701: ‘II (sc. the King) a rayé ce qu'il croit qu'il vaudrait mieux oster pour ne rien exciter en Angleterre et ne leur donner aucun pretexte de se plaindre.’

page 126 note 1 Grimblot, , op. cit., ii. 277 and 299.

page 126 note 2 William admitted this in a circular sent to foreign courts protesting at the recognition of the Pretender. See de Flassan, Count G. R., Histoire de la diplomatic franfaise, iv (Paris, 1809), 207–8.

page 126 note 3 Sourches, , op. cit., vii. 31, 85, 113, 117.; Dangeau, , op. cit., viii. 139,145. More detailed information about James's health is to be found in Add. MSS. 20268, which contains the despatches of Gualtieri, the nuncio in Paris, to the Cardinal Secretary of State for the year 1701.

page 126 note 4 Dangeau, , op. cit., viii. 174, 186, 222, 226, 232; Sourches, op. cit., vii. 88, no, 137–9, 148, 183,238.

page 126 note 5 Boislisle has collected much of the evidence in his edition of Saint-Simon, ix. 286–92 and 433–5; see also Cole, , op. cit., 415 sqq., and Gualtieri's ‘Relazione della Morte del Re Brittannico’ in Add. MSS. 20268, fos. 337–42. Manchester said Louis's ministers were opposed to recognition, but that the dauphin and Madame de Maintenon were for it. Gualtieri said Louis had gone against the advice of his ministers, or, at least, that of the majority, but that the princes of the blood, especially Burgundy, had been in favour of recognition; of Madame de Maintenon Gualtieri says nothing.

apge 126 note 8 In her letters William is always called ‘le Prince d'Orange’.

page 127 note 1 Add. MSS. 20268, fo. 340r. In his despatch to the pope of 16 September 1701, Gualtieri again stated that Louis had been moved by religious considerations alone; see Add. MSS. 20242, fos. 13–4.

page 127 note 2 Clement's policy is examined in Landau, M., Rom, Wien, Neapel wrend des spanischen Erbfolgkrieges (Leipzig, 1885), and Pometti, F., ‘Studi sul Pontificato di Clemente XI’, Archivio delta reale Societa Romano, di Storia Patria, xxi (1898), 279 sqq.

page 127 note 3 Add. MSS. 20268 contains a good deal about Gualtieri's pacific efforts; see especially fos. 101–2, 257, 405; a curious conversation with Manchester is recorded in fos. 242–3.

page 128 note 1 Landau, , op. cit., pp. 252 sqq.; Hantsch, H., Reichsvizekcuvler Friedrich Karl von Schönborn (Augsburg, 1929), pp. 91–119.

page 128 note 2 Add. MSS. 20268, fos. 2–4, 13 sqq., 28–32, 161, 225, 227V–230V, 2391; Legrelle, , op. cit., iv. 181 sqq.; Pometti, op. cit.

page 128 note 3 Langlois, , op. cit., v. 618 sqq.

page 129 note 1 The evidence is contained in the drafts of Gualtieri's despatches to the pope in Add. MSS. 20242; interesting extracts from these have been printed by Head, F. W., The Fallen Stuarts (Cambridge, 1901), pp. 337–43.

page 129 note 2 Add. MSS. 20268, fos. 369V–370V, 418v–42ir, 428r.

page 129 note 3 Add. MSS. 20268, fo. 383VJ 20269, fo. 5jr.

page 130 note 1 Article IV of the Anglo-French Treaty of Ryswick pledged Louis 'de ne ny troubler ny inquieter en quelque fagon que ce soit le Roy de la Grande Bretagne dans la possession de ses Royaumes'. It is to be noted that Louis never denied William the title of king of England; William was so described in Torcy's letter to Gualtieri of 27 March 1702, in which his death was announced. See Add. MSS. 20318, fo. 42. The Treaty of Ryswick had said nothing about William's successor.

page 130 note 2 Louville, , op. cit., i. 198.

page 130 note 3 Klopp, , op. cit., ix. 325.

page 130 note 4 Jonge, De, op. cit. iii. 566–7;Kramer, , op. cit., iii. 549–55, 566–70. Bonet, the Prussian Resident in London, reported many rumours in London about the movements of the Anglo-Dutch fleets, one of which was that an attack on the Spanish fleet was designed; see Add. MSS. 30000 E., fo. 321, Bonet's despatch of 8-19 August. Louis probably heard of this rumour.

page 130 note 5 Legrelle, , op. cit., iv. 341 sqq.; Baudrillart, , op. cit., i. 90.

page 131 note 1 La Tremollle, ii. 17; Relazioni…Spagna ii. 708.

page 131 note 2 Landosle, , op. cit. pp. 107–9.

page 131 note 3 Vault, and Pelet, , op. cit., i. 115 sqq., 648 sqq.;Lamberty, , op. cit., i. 665 sqq.

page 131 note 4 Klopp, , op. cit., ix. 411.

page 132 note 1 For Louis's plans see the documents printed by Vault and Pelet, vols. i and ii, and Chamlay's memoranda in Esnault, , op. cit., i. 104 sqq.

page 132 note 2 Kramer, , op. cit., iii. 608–9.

page 132 note 3 Dangeau, , op. cit., viii. 366; Sourches, , op. cit., vii. 238; Saint-Simon, , op. cit., ix. 134–6, 421, 497–8.

page 132 note 4 La Tre'moille, , op. cit., ii. 27, 29, 35; Louville, ,op. cit., i. 222.

page 132 noe 5 Legrelle, , op. cit., iv. 259 sqq.; Lamberty, , op. cit., ii. 90 sqq.

page 132 note 6 Vault, and Pelet, , op. cit., ii. 6 sqq.

page 133 note 1 Lamberty, ,op. cit., ii. 107 sqq., prints the declarations of 15 May; the French declaration of war did not follow until July; Ibid., 200–1.

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