BUCKINGHAM (GEORGE VILLIERS, FIRST DUKE OF) Autograph letter signed ("Buckingham"), in French, to the French Ambassador at St James's, the Marquis d'Effiat,  "De Neumarquet", 3 February 1624[/25]
Lot 14
BUCKINGHAM (GEORGE VILLIERS, FIRST DUKE OF)
Autograph letter signed ("Buckingham"), in French, to the French Ambassador at St James's, the Marquis d'Effiat, "De Neumarquet", 3 February 1624[/25]
Sold for £1,375 (US$ 2,206) inc. premium

Lot Details
BUCKINGHAM (GEORGE VILLIERS, FIRST DUKE OF)
Autograph letter signed ("Buckingham"), in French, to the French Ambassador at St James's, the Marquis d'Effiat, assuring him that he has shown his letter to the King and Prince, which they have read with great satisfaction and pleasure that they have such a good friend in him; and urging him to come and join them in Newmarket ("...je ne desire rien plus, que de vous embrasser...") where notwithstanding shortcomings in accommodation they will do their utmost to make him comfortable; in a postscript Buckingham wished the Ambassador well in his business he has in hand; with autograph integral address leaf ("A Monsieur/ Monsieur le Marquis d'Effiat/ Ambassad.r du Roy tres Chresti[e]n/ a/ Londres"), fine impression in red wax of Buckingham's seal showing his arms with the Garter surmounted by a ducal coronet, recipient's docket (with the New Style year 1625), 1 page, small seal tear in address leaf, light dust-staining where originally folded for delivery and exposed, very slight dust-staining and creasing elsewhere but overall in fine, fresh and attractive condition, folio, "De Neumarquet", 3 February 1624[/25]

Footnotes

  • BUCKINGHAM WOOS THE FRENCH AMBASSADOR FROM THE RACES AT 'NEUMARQUET', the month before the death of his king and master, James I. Buckingham had, since June 1624, been hand-in-glove with d'Effiat negotiating or the marriage of Prince Charles to the Louis XIII's sister Henrietta Maria. However that month Louis replaced his chief minister with Cardinal Richlieu, who immediately insisted that no marriage could be contemplated without relaxation of the persecution of English Catholics. Unfortunately Buckingham had given an undertaking to the House of Lords that if a French marriage were to come about, this would never be done. He did however persuade James to give a private undertaking to tis effect that would not be included in the treaty: 'In the French negotiations, as with those he had earlier conducted between the king and parliament, Buckingham was working on the assumption that the essential first step was to get the parties committed. Half-truths and ambiguities were part of the price that had to be paid to bring this about, but the pressure of events—or so he hoped—would make these irrelevant by forcing the constituent parts of the anti-Habsburg alliance into ever closer co-operation. This gamble might have paid off had the initial operations been successful. In the event, failure led to accusations of bad faith against Buckingham, who had been the architect of the strategy' (Roger Lockyer, ODNB). One of the first projects of the proposed Anglo-French collaboration was to be Mansfeld's expedition to the Palatinate, which soon went awry. James I, never very keen on the French alliance and the concomitant breach with Spin, was to die on 27 March at Theobalds in Hertfordshire: 'The death of James I in March 1625 could have entailed the end of Buckingham's influence, for history had few examples of favour being transferred from a reigning monarch to his successor. However, during the journey to Spain in 1623 the relationship between Buckingham and the prince of Wales had developed into a deep friendship, and one of Charles's first actions after he ascended the throne was to assure the duke that his favour would continue into the new reign. It might have been better for Charles if he had not done so, for Buckingham was now the object of suspicion and even hatred among the king's subjects, but Charles saw no reason to dispense with the services of a man he trusted and who shared his own views on how to respond to the crisis in Europe. A key element in their strategy was to cement the alliance with France, and Buckingham hoped to do this when he went to Paris in May 1625' (Lockyer, op. cit.).
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