European Treaties Bearing on the History of the United States and Its Dependencies to 1648

By Frances Gardiner Davenport | Go to book overview

36.
Treaty concluded between Great Britain and France at St. Germain-en-Laye, March 19/29, 1632. [Ratified by the King of Great Britain, April 13/23, 1632.]

INTRODUCTION.

The treaty of Susa1 was of a very general character, providing for little more than peace and the exchange of ambassadors extraordinary. On June 22/ July 2, 1629, such ambassadors--Charles de l'Aubespine, marquis de Châteauneuf, and Sir Thomas Edmondes--crossed the channel on their respective ways to the courts of England and France. Châateauneuf was instructed2 to inquire into the discriminations made against French merchants engaged in the English trade, to investigate the arrest and search of French ships going to Spain, and to find out means of establishing a "general settlement" for the liberty3 and security of commerce. He was to discover Charles's plans for assisting the Elector Palatine and the other Protestant German princes, whom Richelieu expressed a desire to aid, and to encourage Charles, if still hostile to Spain, to use his ships in attacking its coasts, and in intercepting the fleets from the Indies, "Le seul moyen qui peut plus ruiner et incommoder les Espagnols, comme l'ont fait les Hollandois".4 He was also to treat respecting the queen's household. Probably the most important object of his mission was to try to prevent an accommodation between France and Spain.

Edmondes was instructed5 to get certain legal proceedings relating to the seizure of English merchants' goods stopped and the sentences annulled, and to persuade Louis to make peace with the Huguenots as a preliminary to ratifying the treaty of Susa.

Negotiations dragged, for the English were disinclined to make a general commercial regulation with France so long as their war with Spain--and hence the opportunity of seizing French merchant-ships--continued.6 In

____________________
1
Doc. 34.
2
The instructions are in the archives of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Correspondance Politique, Angleterre, Supplément, vol. I. ( 1326- 1674), ff. 264 ff.
3
That is, freedom from discriminations by one government against the subjects of the other--made, for example, in respect to import and export duties.
4
Probably the reference is particularly to Piet Hein's recent exploit in capturing the entire West India treasure-fleet.
5
The instructions are in the P. R. O., State Papers Foreign, France, vol. 84, ff. 133 ff.
6
Letters from Châateauneuf, Oct. 21 and Dec. 8, 1629, Jan. 20, 1630, in the archives of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Correspondance Politique, Angleterre, vol. 43, ff. 332, 357, vol. 44, ff. 1, 10. The last is printed in Doughty, Report for 1912, pp. 35-36.

-315-

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