Document ReferencePw A 1485
TitleLetter from James Vernon, Whitehall [London], to William Bentinck, 1st Earl of Portland; 23 Sep. 1698
Date23 September 1698
Extent2 ff
Content DescriptionAcknowledges receipt of his letters; hopes Portland has received his of the 2nd [Pw A 1482] which 'will satisfy you what my opinion is about your being one of the commissioners to signe the treaty' [with France re. Spanish succession]; comments that the desire to better the conditions was reasonable, but that this should not discourage proceedings; informs him that 'the nearer that fatall houre approaches of the King of Spain's death, the more I find people amazed and nonplust inexpectation of the confusion, that will ensue',

Informs him that the queen and the German party are beginning to 'grow odious'; states that Spain is not likely to require assistance, and that few would be willing to give it; says that the mood in England is that the country will not be ready for war for another 3 or 4 years, and that people must be given some rest from taxes; refers to the new parliament, saying it is difficult to determine what its temper will be; comments that in these circumstances it will be good to negotiate.

Speculates about the French attitude towards the Spanish crown, and what their aims might be; informs him that it is rumoured amongst the Jacobites that at the King of Spain's death, 'Holland and England are resolved to sitt still'; refers to Portland's observation that troops should be kept up to ensure France sticks to her agreement; outlines his own opinions on the matter, stating that if an accommodation is reached, people will expect forces to be reduced, rather than increased or maintained as they are; mentions Sir Edward Seymour's argument, namely 'why make a treaty, if you do not trust it'.

States that he has not seen Lady Jennings; refers to the need to send back the warrant [for the appointment of negotiators with France]; speculates that Sir Joseph Williamson is to be appointed one of the commissioners.

The letter is dated '13/23 Septbr 1698'.
Termdiplomacy, with France 1698
royalty, succession, Spain
public opinion
parliamentary business, general
armies, troops, provision of
appointments, diplomatic
Conditionfragile - handle with care
Related MaterialN. Japikse, 'Correspondentie van Willem III en van Hans Willem Bentinck, Eersten Graaf van Portland', Rijks Geschiedkundige Publicatiƫn (the Hague, 1928), No. 24, pp 99-101.

Click the links below to view related name indexes

CodePersonNameDates of existence
NA30640Charles II (1661-1700); King of Spain; (succ. 1665)1661-1700
NA29198Seymour; Edward (1633-1708); 4th Baronet; M.P. speaker of the House of Commons; succ. 1685; Lord of the Treasury1633-1708
NA31353Williamson; Joseph (1633-1701); Sir; statesman and diplomat; 1697-98 envoy at the Hague; plenipotentiary at Ryswick peace negotiations1633-1701
NA31343Jennings; - (fl 1698); -fl 1698
NA30381Vernon; James (1646-1727); Mr; traced out Sir John Fenwick's plot 1696; principal secretary of state 1698-17021646-1727
NA1043Bentinck; H. William (1649-1709); 1st Earl of Portland; diplomat and adviser of William of Orange; alias Hans Willem1649-1709
Add to My Items