Studies in Eighteenth-Century Diplomacy, 1740-1748

By Richard F. Lodge | Go to book overview

CHAPTER II
THE TREATY OF WORMS, 13 SEPTEMBER, 1743

Triangular diplomacy between London, Vienna, and Turin -- Difficulty of tracing it --Importance of the negotiation -- Austria resents English attachment to Sardinia --Italian war between Austria and Spain--Spanish claim to Austrian succession--Establishment for Don Philip --Spanish overtures to Sardinia--Policy of Charles Emmanuel --Austrian overtures to Turin--Terms of the two states --Spanish force lands in Italy--Charles Emmanuel determined to oppose Spain--Convention of Turin --Its unconventional character --Failure of Spanish advance on Lombardy --Carteret undertakes to promote a treaty between Austria and Sardinia-- England pays a subsidy to Sardinia --Communications between Vienna and Turin pass through London--Sardinian demands--Draft treaty drawn up in London --Hostile reception at Vienna--Sardinia refuses aid against Naples -- Spaniards in Savoy --Renewed attack on Lombardy repulsed--English mediation between Austria and Sardinia -- Compromise about Finale --Cessions in Lombardy --Attempt to make them conditional upon conquest of Naples--Wording of relative articles--Proposed exchange of Bavaria for Naples--Sardinian negotiations with France --Signature of treaty--Austria demands supplementary declaration -- Carteret signs it --English Cabinet refuses to ratify -- Subsequent influence of Treaty of Worms .

IT is not altogether easy to trace the course of the triangular diplomacy between London, Vienna, and Turin which led up to the conclusion of the Treaty of Worms. The difficulties have a double source. Communication between England and the Continent in the eighteenth century was very slow, and in time of war very insecure. On the coast dispatches were often held up by adverse winds for days or even for weeks. When they started on their voyage across the North Sea they were exposed not only to the risks of weather, but also to those of capture, either by an enemy ship or by a privateer, and capture might betray the secret of a cipher or even of a policy.1 From Helvoetsluys they

____________________
1
In October, 1745, a packet-boat containing secret dispatches from Trevor to Harrington and from the Pensionary to the Dutch envoy in London was captured by a French privateer.

-31-

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