Studies in Eighteenth-Century Diplomacy, 1740-1748

By Richard F. Lodge | Go to book overview

CHAPTER VI
SANDWICH AND MACANAZ AT BREDA (JANUARY
TO MAY, 1747).

Ascendancy of Newcastle in England --Invasion of Provence -- Continued quarrels between Austria and Sardinia --Evacuation of Provence--Wentworth's mission --Negotiations at Lisbon blocked by Austria--Prospective difficulties of Sandwich--Breda Conference postponed by recall of Puyzieulx --Fall of d'Argenson --Macanaz at The Hague --His extravagant demands--Fourth meeting of Conference --Protest of Macanaz and postponement--Fifth meeting and renewed adjournment--Renewed negotiation with Macanaz --Controversy with Newcastle about cession of Gibraltar-- Chavanne procures withdrawal of demand for Gibraltar -- Alienation of Sandwich from Chesterfield --Draft of treaty with Spain--Difficulty about Savoy --French invade Dutch Flanders--Revolution in United Provinces--Ill-founded jubilation in England--Spain drops Macanaz and adheres to France--Conference at Breda to be transferred to Aixla-Chapelle--Chesterfield sends Dayrolles to The Hague -- Indignation of Sandwich .

By the end of 1746 Newcastle had achieved the object which he had set before himself. He had freed himself, with the aid of the King, from all efficient control in his own department, and had become virtually a joint Prime Minister with his brother. This position he maintained until Henry Pelham's death,1 when he stepped without opposition into the first place in rank as well as in power. But for eight years before that he had usurped supreme control of foreign affairs. The only restraint upon him was the necessity from time to time of getting the consent of the House of Commons to financial grants, which he could not hope to do without his brother's approval. But even in this matter

____________________
1
Waldegrave, Memoirs, p. 11, calls the two brothers "joint Ministers." Newcastle was as supreme in Church affairs as at the Foreign Office. On 27 July (o.s.), 1750, he admitted to his brother that he was called "the ecclesiastical Minister" (Add. MSS. 32,721, fo. 471). And Henry Pelham wrote to a correspondent: "I seldom interfere in Church preferments, especially not in those of so great weight and dignity" (ibid., fo. 502).

-215-

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