Studies in Eighteenth-Century Diplomacy, 1740-1748

By Richard F. Lodge | Go to book overview

CHAPTER V
BREDA AND LISBON (AUGUST, 1746, TO JANUARY,
1747).

Sandwich and his task --His conspiracy with Newcastle --Moots at The Hague the admission of allies to the Conference-- Pensionary Gilles unwillingly promises support--Conference opened with Puyzieulx--Sandwich proposes admission of allies--Consequent delay --Renewed deadlock at second meeting of Conference--Compromise proposed in interval -- Ministerial crisis in England--Weakness of Premier -- Harrington exchanges offices with Chesterfield--Sandwich Minister at The Hague--Compromise accepted at third meeting of Conference--Delay to obtain consent of the allies -- Expulsion of "Gallispans" from Italy--Fall of Genoa -- Invasion of Provence--Quarrels of Austria and Sardinia -- Genoa expels the Austrians--Tabernuiga and Keene at Lisbon--Obstacles to a treaty with Spain --Don Philip -- Attitude of Austria as to Italian problems--Attitude of Sardinia--Proposed Portuguese mediation --All progress blocked at Lisbon by opposition of allies.

THE fourth Earl of Sandwich has a somewhat unsavoury reputation in English history. Without entering into any controversy as to his later career, it may confidently be asserted that at the time he went to Breda be had done nothing to deserve such a reputation. He had already shown marked industry and ability at the Admiralty, where he was regarded, by Anson and others, as the destined successor of Bedford, whenever the Duke, who preferred his cricket and his conifers at Woburn to the public service, should think fit to make room for his protégé by resignation. In spite of his youth and inexperience, his selection for Breda met with general approval. He himself seems to have had no doubt of his being able to grapple with the difficult task entrusted to him, and only hesitated because he feared that during his absence some competitor might intrigue to forestall his claim to succeed to the First Lordship. His task was not made easier by the discord among his employers. His official instructions, drafted by Harrington, were the result of a compromise between jarring

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