Skip to main content

Full text of "Despatches from Paris, 1784-1790"

See other formats


THE LIBRARY 

OF 

THE UNIVERSITY 

OF CALIFORNIA 
LOS ANGELES 



DESPATCHES 

FROM PARIS 

1784-1790 



DESPATCHES 

FROM PARIS 

1784- 1790 



SELECTED AND EDITED FROM THE 

FOREIGN OFFICE CORRESPONDENCE 

BY 

OSCAR BROWNING 

M.A,, V-P.R.Hi»t.S. 



VOLUME II 

(1788-1790) 



CAMDEN THIRD SERIES 
VOL. XIX 



LONDON 
OFFICES OF THE SOCIETY 

6 & 7 SOUTH SQUARE 

GRAY'S INN 

I 910 



Digitized by the Internet Archive 

in 2007 with funding from 

IVIicrosoft Corporation 



http://www.archive.org/details/despatchesfrompa02greaiala 



PREFACE 



I was unable to write a preface to the first volume of these 
despatches in consequence of a severe illness. I am now writing 
only a very scanty preface for a different reason. The conditions 
for the publication of this series demand that each volume shall 
not contain more than a certain number of pages, and if the whole 
of these despatches had been printed without omission, the allotted 
number of pages would have been exceeded. It, therefore, became 
necessary to leave out some of the less important documents, and, 
for a stronger reason, to reduce the preface and the notes to the 
scantiest dimensions. It is surely more important to give to the 
public as many of these valuable state papers as possible, than to 
print any observations which the Editor might have to make upon 
them. The despatches are, of themselves, of such very high 
interest and importance, that they are likely to receive much 
attention, and there is no call for me to point out to the historical 
scholars, for whose immediate benefit they are published, in what 
direction their attention should be turned. 

These despatches, taken together with those of Lord Gower, 
which were published for me by the Pitt Press, many years ago, at 
the instigation of my friend, M. Hippolyte Taine, form a complete 
account, subject to the above exigencies, of our diplomatic relations 
with France, from the accession of the younger Pitt to power in 
1784, to the rupture of those relations when they had become im- 
possible. To make the story complete, it is necessary to study the 
despatches of William Eden, which concern the Treaty of Com- 
merce in 1786 and the French disclaimer of negotiations for an 



'Da 

H7.I 



V. 



1221035 



viii PREFACE 

alliance with Holland in 1787. These will be found in the " Life 
and Letters of William Eden ", published by the Bishop of Bath 
and Wells, and are also treated of in a volume of my own, entitled 
" The Flight to Varennes and other Essays ". 

The chief interest in the history of these relations lies in the 
attitude of Pitt towards a friendly understanding with France. 
There can, I think, be no doubt that Pitt had, from the very first, 
a strong, and even a passionate desire for a friendship with France, 
and that he disliked and even despised the girding jealousy and 
suspicion which rankled in the mind of his Foreign Secretary, as it 
did in the hearts of most English statesmen. To prove this, and 
it would be possible to prove it, would require the publication of 
many more documents, and the expenditure of considerable labour. 
The subject has been much discussed in America, and some young 
historians from that country are of opinion that Pitt, from the very 
first, desired war with France, a judgement which appears to me 
opposed to all the evidence which we possess on the subject. My 
own views on this question have been fully set forth in the chapter 
on the Foreign Policy of Pitt, which I contributed to the Revolu- 
tion Volume of the Cambridge Modern History, and a fairly 
complete list of Authorities will be found in the bibliography 
attached to it. Other evidence exists in the Windham Papers, 
recently made accessible to students in the British Museum. Our 
conclusion must be that William Pitt was, in dignity, in foresight, 
in breadth of view, and in unflinching courage, if not the greatest, 
at least one of the greatest statesmen, who ever swayed the destin- 
ies of England, and the more closely his career is studied, the more 
clearly will this be shown. That a boy in age should have possess- 
ed and exercised these qualities in such a position, is a unique 
phenomenon in history, and speaks eloquently for the education 
which an English University was able, if not to give at least not to 
hinder, in those days. It is unfortunate that the unsullied splen- 
dour of the first ten years of his ministry should have been dimmed 
by its later course, when he had to deal with a disastrous war, 
which he had done everything to avoid, and nothing to provoke, 
with a sovereign gradually becoming more and more insane, with 



PREFACE ix 

narrow-minded and pedantic colleagues, with an opposition, in 
many ways unscrupulous and unpatriotic, under the influence of a 
Prince of Wales, to whom it is difficult to attribute a single virtue. 
We may infer from the Windham correspondence that Pitt, if left 
to himself, would have listened to Bonaparte's proposals for peace 
in 1800, and would not have violated the treaty of Amiens in 1803. 

These documents have been printed as far as possible word for 
word from the originals in the Record Office, with all their mis- 
spellings and inaccuracies, often the result of carelessness and 
ignorance. It may be a question to what extent documents in the 
handwriting of a subordinate clerk should be treated with the same 
respect as is due to autographs of principals. It might be urged 
that modern state papers may receive from their Editor the correc- 
tions which the original scribe would have made if he had known 
better, or taken more pains, but it is dangerous to tamper with a 
written text, and it has been thought better to reproduce this, 
verbatim, and to make certain corrections in the index. 

Again, it is easy to over-rate the historical importance of such 
documents as these. A conscientious historian is tempted to think 
that if he finds a statement made by a competent person in a con- 
temporary document, it must necessarily be true, or at least of high 
importance. Experience corrects this view. Those who live in 
the midst of events have often far less real understanding of them 
than those who contemplate them from a distance. The murderers 
of Julius Caesar, and those who saw him fall, had little idea that 
they were present at what is, perhaps, the most important event 
which ever took place in the history of the world. The historian 
of to-day will recognize that the truth of history is to be found, not 
so much in the laborious study of documents, as in the skill with 
which he can penetrate the psychology of those who made history. 
The only key to Pitt's political action is the psychology of Pitt, and 
not the words which he may have written or spoken in the succes- 
sive epochs of his career. When the political historian becomes 
weary of the mass of written evidence with which he is encumbered, 
and despairs of cutting his way through a tangled wilderness of 
assertion and denial, he wiU recognize with relief, that his difficulties 



X PREFACE 

will disappear, if he can clearly comprehend the character of the 
man whose actions he is endeavouring to narrate. When this is 
done, everything falls into order. To say that it is difficult to do 
this, is to assert that only a few people are competent to be histo- 
rians. No one is competent to write the history of Napoleon, 
unless he has first formed a clear conception of the psychological 
character of that marvellous man. 

The publication of these despatches will, at least, serve to intro- 
duce us to Daniel Hailes, one of the most competent and far-sighted 
diplomats of the eighteenth century, one of the few men who 
realized the importance, and predicted the results of the momentous 
events which preceded the Revolution. From Paris, he went to 
Poland, and his despatches from that countr}'^, which refer to its 
third partition, are of the highest value, and ought to be published. 

The production of this volume would have been impossible 
without the facilities given to the Editor by the courtesy of the 
Council of the Royal Historical Society, to whom is due whatever 
value these pages may possess. The documents, copied for me 
years ago, when I was contemplating a history of the Foreign 
Policy of Pitt, a book, which the avocations of a University teacher 
would never permit me to write, were offered by me for publication 
to the Cambridge University Press, but were declined by the Syn- 
dicate, on the ground that they were not of sufficient public interest 
to warrajit their acceptance. Hospitality has now been accorded 
to them by the Royal Historical Society, and for this the thanks of 
historical students are due to its Council and its officers. 



DESPATCHES FROM PARIS 
Jan.-Dec. 1788 



1788 



1. Dorset to Carmarthen. 

3 Jan. 1788. 

...The Contents of your Lordship's Despatch of the 18th ult. 
have been frequently a subject of conversation between the 
Minister and me : 

I have not at present any thing further to communicate to your 
Lordship upon that point : — 

I can only repeat, what has already been observed to your 
Lordship, that there is an evident reserve on the part of M. de 
Montmorin whenever the Turkish War is mentioned. 

There are no authentic accounts relative to Belgrade, but it is 
generally believed that the Winter's Campaign will not close 
without another attempt upon that important place. 

Saturday is the day appointed for the conference with M. de 
Montmorin, who is then to give an answer to the points adverted 
to in your Lordship's Letter No. 5, to myself and Mr. Eden. 

I am well informed that the Spanish Ambassador's language is 
upon all occasions uniformly amicable towards England. 

It is now strongly reported that the affair of the Protestants is in 
a manner concluded ; the Parliament being, it is said, unanimous 
upon the expediency of the measure of a civil establishment for 
them ; and that the opposition made to the registr'ing of the Edict 
proceeds merely from the detention of the Due d'Orleans and the 
two exiled members. A Deputation of the Parliament will wait 
upon the King to-morrow at Versailles to present fresh supplica- 
tions in favour of the exiled members... 



4 DESPATCHES FROM PARIS 1788 

2. Dorset to Carmarthen. 

6 Jan. 1788. 

...On Friday Deputies from the States of Brittany had the 
honor of being presented to His Majesty, when the Bishop of Dol 
(de Herce) as Head of the Deputation, addressed His Majesty to 
explain the causes which made it impossible for that Province to 
increase the Subsidies paid to Government, and which were 
owing to the great injury it had sustained by the Commercial 
Treaty with England, and to the permission granted to the 
Americans by the Marechal de Castries, when Minister, to supply 
the Antilles (or French Caribbee Islands) with Stores and provisions 
in their own Bottoms, a commerce that had before been carried 
on solely from the Ports of Brittany, whereby the industrious and 
laborious inhabitants of that Province have been greatly distressed. 
The Bishop having thus performed the immediate object of his 
Mission, proceeded to expostulate with His Majesty, in very familiar 
terms, upon the fatal consequences that might ensue if the Protes- 
tants should, by the Edict now under the consideration of the 
Parliament, obtain a civil establishment. He said that His Majesty, 
by consenting that such a Proposition should be confirmed and 
pass into a Law, would violate His Coronation Oath, and that such 
a measure would infallibly be a source of civil dissensions, and 
commotions in His Kingdom. 

His Majesty heard this extraordinary discourse to the end with 
great seeming composure, but, a few hours after, the Bishop 
received an Order to repair immediately to his Diocese, where it is 
thought not unlikely that he may be obliged to remain for the 
remainder of his Life. 

The Parliament of Paris met yesterday and passed very strong 
resolutions against the abuse of Lettres de Cachet, and their deli- 
berations thereon are to be resumed in the course of a few days... 

8. Dorset and Eden to Carmarthen. 

6 Jan. 1788. 

We had a long conference yesterday by appointment with M. de 



1788 BEFORE THE REVOLUTION 5 

Montmorin at Versailles upon the several subjects of your Lord- 
ship's Dispatch No. 5. 

The French Minister opened the business with expression of 
dissatisfaction : He said that England was in the habit of assum- 
ing a tone of complaint and distrust, and that such a tone was at 
present better suited to France, whether she adverted to the late 
transactions in Holland, or to those in the several German Courts ; 
that the measures of this Country respecting the United Provinces 
had been just and reasonable ; that she had materially assisted 
them in the Pacification with us, that she had nearly risked a War 
for their protection in the disputes with the Emperor, and had 
incurred great expenses on that occasion ; that the Alliance was a 
natural return to such treatment, and that, if it were true, which 
might be disputed, that the influence of France in the United 
Provinces was only useful to Her in furnishing the means of 
annoying Great Britain, the same proposition might be stated in 
some degree respecting the influence of Great Britain in the 
Provinces as tending to injure France : — that the insinuation of the 
French Ministers being engaged in negotiations with other Courts, 
contradictory to the language which they are holding towards us, 
was so vague that it proved nothing but a disposition either to feel 
or to express jealousies. And lastly (which he expressed with a 
tone of good humour) that, when we accused him of reserve on the 
Turkish Business, we ought at least to ask him questions before we 
complained of His not giving answers, and that in the mean time, 
He might with equal justice complain of our reserves. 

When we had maintained our Instructions on these several 
points with such reasonings as occurred to us, the Conference 
went in to some discussions and explanations which we conceive 
to be of considerable importance. 

With respect to the Naval Peace Establishment of France, M. de 
Montmorin said that he was far from thinking with us that the 
Communications which He had made to us on that Subject were 
little calculated to promote the removal of jealousies. 

Instead of maintaining here a force upon an indefinite Establish- 
ment, and which might incessantly afford us grounds of suspicion, 



19r» 



6 DESPATCHES FROM PARIS 1788 

it was His wish to have it precisely understood that France had 
only 12 Ships of the Line in the Ports upon the mouth of the 
Channel and the Atlantic, and four in the Mediterranean : that he 
had made no objection to our statement of 9600 Sailors in employ- 
ment on the 1st January 1787 : that in return He had stated only 
3100 as employed by France, and would tell us now without 
reserve that the number to be maintained would not exceed 1800. 
On this subject He said that He had received accounts of our 
disarming very slowly ; He did not however express any material 
doubts of our good-faith and pacific views ; but He added that 
any very nice discussion of the proportionable Peace- Establishment 
of either Country would be of little utility : whatever system might 
be stated and avowed, the degree of real preparation would be 
according to the probable occasions of calling into action the 
Naval force of the two Powers : the great and essential business 
therefore was to establish a sense of cordiality and confidence 
between them and with that view He would now meet completely 
and specifically the points of uneasiness on which we had confined 
ourselves to general and indefinite insinuations. 

First — as to the late reports which had been circulated not only 
in the English News- papers, but by the English Ministers in every 
Court of Europe, that France is negotiating with other Powers, 
respecting the Turkish business, in a line of Policy contrary to that 
which he holds out to us ; He said that France had long had a 
connection and degree of confidence with the Court of Vienna, and 
for some time has also had a friendly communication with that of 
Petersburg : but that France had used these means of access (such 
as they were) solely for the purpose of arranging a Peace for the 
Turks with as few sacrifices as possible whenever the latter should 
be disposed to listen to terms of accommodation : but further than 
this He positively and repeatedly denied the having taken any 
steps whatever, and as a proof of it He told us that at this hour 
He is ignorant of the views and plans of the Imperial Courts in 
the business, either jointly or separately. 

He took this occasion to revert to the unfriendly conduct res- 
pecting France which he accuses Sir Robert Ainslie of holding at 



1788 BEFORE THE REVOLUTION 7 

the Porte notwithstanding the late disavowal of such conduct 
made by His Majesty's Ministers. 

Before we dismiss this Subject, we think it right to remark that, 
tho' the French Minister was very explicit in denying any concert 
whatever as to the Turkish business with the Imperial Courts, 
He appeared to avoid any expression or intimation of a wish to 
settle any joint line of conduct with His Majesty's Ministers ; and 
even when the probability of the Empress sending a fleet from the 
Baltic to the Mediterranean and the necessity of their seeking 
repairs and refreshments either in English, French or Spanish 
Ports was incidentally mentioned, He declined risquing any 
opinion thereon, and professed not to know with certainty whether 
any Ships were to be sent : He even added that no mention of 
such preparations had yet been made by Mons. de Segur. 

Secondly — With respect to our Interests in the East-Indies, He 
specifically and positively declared that France had no views 
whatever that could give us uneasiness. Some allusion being made 
to the conduct of Persons calling themselves French agents in the 
Courts of the Indian Princes, and to the expected arrival of the 
Embassy for Tippoo Saib, He said that as to the first He knew 
nothing and had heard no particulars : and as to the Mission from 
Tippoo, it might be expected soon to arrive, but that He was 
hitherto quite uninformed of its object. 

Lastly. — As to Holland, in Answer to our expressions that we 
hoped we might inform your Lordship that the System lately 
pursued in that Quarter was completely abandoned, He assured 
us, without ill-humour, and decidedly, that it is — As we had 
nothing further to state, the Conversation closed here : Mons. de 
Montmorin informed us that He should send the substance of it 
to Mons. Barthelemy, by whom it will probably be restated to your 
Lordship. 

P. S. Where mention is made of the Russian fleet, it ought to 
have been added that M. de Montmorin observed there was 
sufficient time to come to a further explanation upon that business, 
as the Ships could not take their departure from the Baltic before 
the beginning of May at soonest. 



4^ 

8 DESPATCHES FROM PARIS 1788 

A Vessel arrived at Brest a few days ago from the Isle of France 
which brought accounts that the Ambassador from Tippoo Saib 
had intended to sail in a very short time. 

4, Dorset to Carmarthen. 

10 Jan. 1788. 

...I cannot help observing to your Lordship upon this occasion 
that, notwithstanding M. de Montmorin has at different times 
maintained a degree of reserve in with-holding a free communi- 
cation of the views of His Most Christian Majesty in regard to the 
Turkish War, that reserve does not seem to be of a nature not to 
be done away provided an explicit explanation was conveyed 
with respect to the foundation of our mistrust that France has been 
employed in forming Alliances with the two Imperial Courts with 
a view to annoy Great Britain and to disturb her late connections 
with Prussia and Holland. 

The proceedings of the different Parliaments in a manner wholly 
engrosses the attention of the Principal Minister. 

It is thought that the Parliaments of Bordeaux will very soon 
feel the effects of the king's displeasure : that Body still continues 
to refuse their assent to the registering of the Edict respecting the 
Establishment of Provincial Assemblies : They are reported also to 
^ have passed some strong resolutions against the abuses attributed 
to the too great facility in obtaining Lettres de Cachet which are 
declared by them to be contrary to the fundamental Laws of the 
Kingdom. 

I send your Lordship herewith the Arret du Parlement de 
Dauphine, the principles of which on the subject of Provincial 
Assemblies, seem to coincide entirely with those of the Parliament 
of Bordeaux. Subjoined to the Arret are the Proceedings of the 
Parliament of Paris respecting the Lettres de Cachet. So long as 
these difficulties continue it is not probable that the Due d'Orleans 
and the two Magistrates will be permitted to return to Paris ; and 
the less likely as the Parliament declares " qu'il ne peut ni nc doit 
recourir a la bonte du Roi pour obtenir la liberte of Monsgr. le Due 
d'Orleans, et de Messrs. Freteau and Sabatien. " 



1788 BEFORE THE REVOLUTION 9 

Many people are of opinion that if His Most Christian Majesty 
should think proper to re-instate the Chancellor Maupeou, whose 
vigorous measures in the last Reign are yet fresh in the minds of 
everybody, it would be the readiest means of quieting the fermen- 
tation which at present distracts the Parliament. 

A Council of Legislation is to be established which will be 
composed of six of the most eminent Lawyers, who are to examine 
into, and to report their observations upon the Code of the Civil 
and Criminal Laws of the Kingdom. 

I am under the necessity of deferring till next week transmitting 
to your Lordship, the French Laws respecting counterfeit Coins etc, 
the person whom I employed to procure copies of this having 
disappointed me. 

No intelligence relative to Belgrade has been received here 
since I last wrote to your Lordship. 

Accounts from Cherbourg, which may be depended on, mention 
that considerable damage had been done to some of the Cones 
there by the late tempestuous weather : — 

P. S. The Pamphlet herewith inclosed proposing a new Plan 
for the Military establishment of France, was printed by permis- 
sion, and meets with great approbation from those who have 
read it. 

I send your Lordship an Extrait du Parlement de Normandie, 
sur I'Edit des Vingtiemes. 

The Affair of the East India Company continues still in a state 
of indecision and a particular commission it is said is or will be 
shortly named for the purpose of enquiring more nearly into the 
merits of the case. 

5. Dorset to Carmarthen. 

17 Jan. 1788. 

I received your Lordship's last Dispatch No. 1. addressed 
jointly to me and Mr. Eden, on Tuesday morning at Versailles, 
when, Mr. Eden not being there, I saw M. de Montmorin alone* 
and as your Lordship expresses a wish that the subject of your 



10 DESPATCHES FROM PARIS 1788 

Letter should be stated to the French Minister without reserve, 
I did not hesitate to read to him the whole of it. 

The first impression that appeared to be excited in him, upon 
hearing the contents of the Letter, was evidently that of dissatis- 
faction, for he expressed a great degree of surprize at the conduct 
of Our Court, which, He observed, shewed itself in continual 
suspicions and jealousies, and that such examples might well justify 
any apparent reserve on the part of the French Court. 

M. de Montmorin however assured me that His Most Christian 
Majesty's Servants had no design nor wish to prejudice our 
Interests in any Part of the World whatever, and that the measures 
that have been pursued and are at this time employed respecting 
the Imperial Courts were adopted and are continued with no other 
view but tirst to preserve and now to restore Peace in that 
Quarter : that all surmises to the contrary, and for such He could 
not feel himself accountable, were therefore totally groundless. 
But, as to the Russian fleet, He had no knowledge, Official nor 
Private, of the degree of forwardness in which it is, nor of the 
time fixed for its departure from Cronstadt, nor even of its destin- 
ation : that of course nothing regarding that fleet can have been in 
agitation here. 

M. de Montmorin in his conversation held nearly the same 
langUtige as before, when I and Mr. Eden entered very fully upon 
these subjects in our conference with him, the result of which we 
communicated to your Lordship, in our despatch No. 6 (see No. 3); 
tho' upon the present occasion he certainly discussed the matter 
with less composure than on the former one. 

He acknowledged that it is the wish as t is the Interest of 
France to preserve the Ottoman Empire in Europe ; which per- 
haps may not be brought about without some sacrifices on the 
part of the Turks, but He trusted that they would not be such as 
could affect the Commercial Interests of France in the Levant 
Trade which he felt and acknowledged to be of very great 
importance to Her : — that under this avowed consideration, added 
tp the general wish o\ His Most Christian Majesty for Peace, He 
conceived there could not remain any shadow of suspicion that the 



1788 BEFORE THE REVOLUTION 11 

measures in which France is now engaged can have any other 
object than what has been already declared. 

M. de Montmorin adverted repeatedly and with much show of 
dissatisfaction to the conduct of Our Minister at the Porte and 
even went so far as to say that, if we are seriously anxious to 
engage the confidence of the French Court, we ought to begin 
with giving some public marks of our disapprobation of Sir Robert 
Ainslie, and of our disavowal of the measures he pursued, by 
which, He (M. de Montmorin) insisted, the Turks have been stirred 
up to engage in a War with Russia : of this He said He was in 
possession of proofs too strong to admit of any doubts of their 
authenticity. The Minister added that, although He was induced 
to observe to me that we could have no right to put any questions 
relative to the negotiations of France with the Two Imperial Courts, 
so long as she shewed no disposition to molest us in our negotiations 
with Russia and the States of Holland, nevertheless, if England has 
any plan to propose, His Court will be found ready to listen to it. 

Such, My Lord, was the general tenor of M. deMontmorin's con- 
versation which as I have before remarked was certainly less con- 
ciliatory than on the previous, and on other former occasions, but, 
as He has requested to have the perusal of your Lordship's last 
Dispatch, an Extract of which I shall accordingly send him, it 
may be hoped that, when I see him next Saturday, I may find 
Him more disposed to give a favourable attention to such amicable 
overtures as we may think proper to propose. — 

I am inclined to suspect that this Court is yet sore in regard to 
the last transactions in Holland, and that a greater length of time 
may be necessary to wear away the impression which they 
occasioned, so that France may have in part forgot or shall be 
better reconciled to that event ; for I am very much of opinion that 
the reserve we are now experiencing in the French Minister, and 
of which we have taken notice, proceeds more from what has 
lately passed in Holland, and from what is known or believed to 
have passed at Constantinople, than from any regular system that 
is adopted by France of connecting herself with the Imperial 
Courts with a view to counteract the Interests of Great Britain. 



12 DESPATCHES FROM PARIS 1788 

6. Dorset to Carmarthen. 

17 Jan. 1788. 

...The Parliament has as yet come to no decision in regard to 
the Edict respecting the Protestants. On Monday last the Court 
came to a resolution to recommend to His Majesty that all non- 
Catholics whatsoever shall be excluded from holding Places under 
Government and Commissioners were named to draw up a remon- 
strance to that effect. 

It is said that the Due d'Orleans has written to the President of 
the Parliament to desire, that the subject of his exile may no longer 
form a part of the Deliberations of the Court. 

Many people imagine that a resolution was taken at one time, 
again to banish the Parliament of Paris on account of its spirited 
resolutions in regard to Lettres de Cachet, and it is even thought 
that His Majesty had really signed the Order, but that the Arch- 
bishop of Thoulouse on maturer deliberation thought it best still 
further to temporize with that Body. 

The Parliament will meet to-morrow upon the further consider- 
ation of the Protestants. 

7. Dorset to Carmarthen. 

24 Jan. 1788. 

...The proceedings of the Parliament are all printed, and I have 
the honor to send them herewith inclosed — Les Remonstrances du 
Parliament concernant les N on-Catholiques is extremely well drawn 
up. The King's answer to them will be given to-morrow, and it is 
expected that they will be agreed to by His Majesty and the 
Ministry, after which this troublesome Business will be immedi- 
ately terminated. 

The Archbishop of Paris with Monsieur d'Epresmenil and five 
others have protested against the passing of the Edict in favor of 
the Protestants on which occasion it is remarked that there are at 
least seven Protestants in the Parliament. 

There are no accounts whatever from Belgrade. The Emperor 



1788 BEFORE THE REVOLUTION 13 

had not left Vienna on the 10th Inst. There is a report that a 
Body of 12,000 Austrians had been attacked in Croatia and totally 
defeated by 20,000 Turks, but Mons. de Merci has not heard 
anything of it by any of his latest Letters ; it is therefore to be 
supposed that the whole is without foundation. 

...The last Letters from Constantinople mention that the Inter- 
nuncio was still at Liberty in that City ; of course no formal 
Declaration of War had taken place between the Porte and His 
Imperial Majesty... 

8. Dorset to Carmarthen. 

31 Jan. 1788. 

...The dismission of the Reis Effendi from his Office is likely to 
create a change of System in the Affairs of the Porte; that Minister 
in conjunction with the Grand Vizier, is supposed to have been 
one of the chief promoters of the present War. His Successor is a 
Creature of the Captain Pacha, who still continues to possess the 
favour and good opinion of the Grand Signor. 

It is no difficult matter to guess by what influence the Captain 
Pacha is guided, and if the same influence should prevail so as to 
effect the deposition of the Grand Vizier, the Divan may easily be 
prevailed upon to listen to terms of accommodation with the 
Empress of Russia. 

The Captain Pacha, on his return from Egypt, was obliged to 
make a shew of approving the violent proceedings of the Divan, 
who acted under the influence of the Grand Vizier and the late 
Reis Effendi ; but the dismission of the latter great Officer of State 
plainly evinces the Pacha's different Sentiments, and it is not 
improbable that in a short time an account will be received of the 
deposition of the Grand Vizier himself, if he persists in his support 
of measures which bid fair to draw on the destruction of the 
Turkish Empire in Europe. 

Mons. de Montmorin's last Letters from Constantinople are dated 
the 28th of December. 

The late disturbance at Brussels is considered here as a matter of 
small importance. 



14 DESPATCHES FROM PARIS 1788 

The affair of the Protestants is at last almost concluded, and I 
send your Lordship the King's Answer to the last Remonstrance of 
the Parliament of Paris, and also the Edict which passed on Tues- 
day last by a Majority of above eighty votes to twenty six ; Six 
members only seceded. 

I had hopes of being able to send your Lordship an exac^ state 
of the proceedings of the Provincial Assemblies, but I find it 
impossible to obtain any correct account of them : it may however 
be relied on that several of the most wealthy Provinces have con- 
sented to pay into the Royal Treasury a larger sum than they have 
hitherto done, in order to get rid of the burthensome Tax of the 
second Vingtieme : the less opulent Provinces have declared their 
inability to pay what is now demanded of them, so that upon the 
whole the Royal Revenue will not be much benefited by this new 
mode : the Administration of those Provinces remains accordingly 
yet to be settled by Government. 

The long banishment of the Parliament of Bordeaux has caused 
a great deal of uneasiness amongst the Inhabitants of that Place, 
owing to the total stop that it has occasioned to all judicial pro- 
ceedings there : the Populace last week expressed their discontents 
in a very clamorous manner, insomuch that M. de Fumel, the 
commanding Officer thought it expedient to apply to Government 
for some Troops to be sent to his assistance. 

I have not learnt what steps Government have taken in con- 
sequence. 

8. Dorset to Carmarthen. 

7 Feb. 1788. 

The result of the Deliberations of the Council of War is expected 
to be made public in the course of a few days. It is reported that 
the Gardes du Corps, and likewise the Gens d'Armerie, are to be 
reduced one half ; the latter, commanded by the Marechal de 
Castries, consists at present of eight Squadrons, and the reduction 
of them will certainly take place, but that of the Gardes du Corps 
is, I understand, not absolutely decided upon, the commanding 
0£Bcers of that Corps, the Prince de Poix, Due de Guiche, Due 



1788 BEFORE THE REVOLUTION 15 

d'Ayien and the Due de Villeroy, endeavouring to have this 
intended innovation set aside. 

It is said that the standing Army of France, for the interior 
Ser\'ice and defence of the Frontiers, is to consist of an hundred 
thousand Infantry, and thirty eight thousand horse, for the Colonies 
and other foreign possessions thirty thousand Men : of these 
several numbers I cannot speak positively, for, so great has been 
the secrecy observed by the Members of the Council-of-War that 
nothing certain is known ; the Statement given above is Collected 
from the hints that at different times have been occasionally 
dropped. 

The connection between this Court and Vienna seems to gain 
ground and I am inclined to suspect that insinuations have been 
thrown out, with a view of their being conveyed to Berlin, of a 
nature to induce that Cabinet to adopt a system of politics less hos- 
tile to the Court of Vienna, than that which His Prussian Majesty 
has lately manifested. 

It is whispered that an offer was made by this Court to the 
Emperor of twelve thousand men in the neighbourhood of Lisle, 
had the late disturbances at Brussels required such assistance. 
The Parliament will meet to morrow to take into consideration ' les 
Lettres de Cachet. ' 

Most of the other principal Parliaments are preparing Remon- 
strances against the Abuse, supposed to have been made, of Lettres 
de Cachet and likewise supplications on behalf of the Due d'Orleans 
and the two Magistrates. 

10. Dorset to Carmarthen. 

14 Feb. 1788. 

It is now understood that the whole of the Gens D'Armerie 
is to be reformed instead of the half of that Corps, as mentioned 
in my Despatch No. 8 (see No 9). No decision has yet taken 
place respecting the Gardes du Corps.... 

The Council of War continues sitting, but must soon break-up as 
the new regulations intended for the Army must be made known 
early in the Spring in order to their being put into execution this 



16 DESPATCHES FROM PARIS 1788 

year, and for that purpose the commanding Officers and Colonels 
will be obliged to join their respective Regiments the beginning of 
April, instead of June, which has been usually the time appointed. 
It is very much credited that there is an intention of assembling 
in the course of this year three separate Bodies of Troops for the 
purpose of forming evolutions, viz. 20,000 men at Valenciennes : 
20,000 at Lisle ; and 20,000 at Givet : the project is now before 
His Majesty for his determination thereon.... 

11, Dorset to Carmarthen. 

21 Feb. 1788. 

...A copy of His Imperial Majesty's Declaration of War against 
the Turks arrived at Versailles last Monday ; and an account was 
at the same time received that the most active measures were in 
consequence carrying on at Vienna to prosecute the War with 
vigour in conjunction with Russiia. 

The Declaration sets out as I am informed (for I have not been 
able to obtain a Copy of it) with lamenting that the determined 
resolution of the Divan to persist in measures so hostile and 
offensive to the Empress of Russia, the Friend and Ally of His 
Imperial Majesty, has obliged him to join His efforts to Her's for 
the purpose of repelling by their united forces the unjustifiable 
attack that is made upon the Russian Dominions. 

This important intelligence is supposed to have reached Con- 
stantinople the 9th of this month. 

The Ministerial language held here upon the subject is, that, 
before any hopes of re-establishing Peace between the contending 
Powers can be entertained, a considerable change both as to men 
and measures must take place at Constantinople, and that the 
dismission of the Grand Vizier, to whom chiefly is attributable the 
rupture with Russia, is the first step to be wished for ; though at 
the same time it is thought that it may be necessary to wait till 
some decisive advantage over the Turks shall favour such a change 
by impressing that People with a desire from necessity of an 
accommodation with the Two Imperial Courts. 

I am inclined to believe that, if the Instructions, with which the 



1788 BEFORE THE REVOLUTION 17 

French Ambassador at the Porte is furnished, should fail of pro- 
ducing a change in the measures at this time pursuing by the 
Ottoman Ministry, this Court would notwithstanding rather prefer 
the waiting for events, than urge its interference any further for 
the present. It may be depended upon that the Emperor's Decla- 
ration was not made without the fullest approbation having been 
signified by the Cabinet of Versailles. 

Upon the whole, from what I have been able to collect, for I 
did not think it right to press M. de Montmorin upon the subject, 
and his language continues to be as usual very general, it may be 
inferred that it is the intention of this Court to remain in a kind of 
neutral reserve, both as to conduct and discourse, with respect to 
the Turkish War ; such a kind of Policy seeming best suited to the 
present situation of the domestic distresses of France, and giving 
opportunity for observing more distinctly what probability may 
appear of the success of the Imperialists. 

His Imperial Majesty will leave Vienna in a few days to join His 
Army, but will return to that Capital before He opens the Campaign. 

The Parliament has not yet waited upon His Majesty: that Body 
is at this moment employed upon two material objects ; the Lettres 
de Cachet, and a reform of the Penal Code : With respect to the 
latter, it has been resolved that, in all capital criminal Cases, a 
delay of thirty days is to take place, to be reckoned from the date 
of the sentence ; and no Execution is to be proceeded to 'till the 
expiration of that time. 

The intention is, no doubt, to give the Sovereign an opportunity 
of taking cognizance of all capital cases of a criminal nature ; 
matters to which he must hitherto have been a stranger ; for 
Execution has in general in the Provinces been used to follow 
immediately upon the Sentences of the Parliament and without any 
signatures of the King. 

The Commissaries, named by the Parliament for the drawing up 
the Remonstrances against the Lettres de Cachet have already met 
two or three times, and in all probability in the course of next 
week they will be ready for presentation at Versailles : — Much 
pains are taking in the digesting them... 

2 



18 DESPATCHES FROM PARIS 1788 

12. Dorset to Carmarthen. 

6 March 1788. 

...The Public are now expecting with much impatience that 
Publication that is to state the Receipts and Expenditures of the 
last year, and also the result of the Deliberations of the Council of 
War : the former will probably from necessity be kept back for 
some time, but the latter must soon appear, perhaps not later than 
the middle of next week, and is a subject which, though much 
discussed at present, seems to be very little understood and indeed 
very partially made known. 

The suppression of the Gens d'Armerie is to take place 
immediately. 

The last accounts from Vienna mention that hostilities had 
actually commenced between the Austrians and Turks, and the 
two Forts in Bosnia had been attacked, one of which was taken, 
but the other missed with the loss of 150 Imperialists. 

Letters will probably arrive in the course of a few days from 
Constantinople with the particulars of the effects that the Emperor's 
Declaration of War produced amongst the Populace there. 

A Messenger is hourly expected from Petersburg with the 
notification to M. de Simolin of the equipment and intended 
departure of the Russian Fleet. 

Reports have been industriously propagated that the Court of 
Spain has signified the necessity there will be of refusing the 
admittance of any Armed Force into Her Ports, by which is meant 
to be conveyed that such refusal applies immediately to the 
Russian Fleet, but it is very well known that Spain has upon all 
occasions refused admittance into her great Ports to any consider- 
able Armament of whatsoever nation, France herself not excepted. 

It may be depended upon that the most perfect harmony sub- 
sists between the Court of Versailles and Madrid, as well as with 
that of Vienna, but however formidable this Alliance, strengthened 
as at this moment it is by Russia, may appear, I have no reason 
whatever to suspect that any plans are in agitation that are likely 
to produce a rupture with England, unless circumstances shall 



1788 BEFORE THE REVOLUTION 19 

arise to awaken the jealousies which have all along been enter- 
tained here of our having been the instigators of the precipitate 
conduct of the Divan in commencing Hostilities with Russia. 

13. Dorset to Carmarthen. 

13 March 1788. 

...Among the various reports to which the Hostilities, that have 
commenced between the Imperialists and the Turks, have given 
rise, there is one, respecting the Regiment of Pellegrini, which had 
gained much credit : several Letters from Vienna, dated the 22nd 
of February, having mentioned that the whole of that Regiment, 
consisting of 3,500 Men, being on its march through the Buceovine 
to join the Emperor's Main Army, which was posted between 
Peterwaradin and Foutac, ' had been surprized in the night and 
massacred by a Body of seven thousand Tarters : I have however 
just now had the perusal of a Letter from Vienna, of the 1st inst., 
and of another from Warsaw of the 23rd of last month, in neither of 
which (though both of them are from Persons of distinction) is any 
mention whatever made of such an event. The intelligence from 
Vienna says that, in the skirmishes which had happened between 
the Emperor's Troops and the Tmks, the former had generally 
had the advantage and that the migrations from the Turkish 
Dominions were very considerable.... 

The Parliament met again yesterday upon the Lettres de Cachet, 
it is confidently said that there is an intention to separate the 
Parliament of Paris into three Bodies, as its jurisdiction extends to 
Lyons and to Poictiers, in consequence of which a Corps of 
Magistrates, competent of themselves, will be obliged to take up 
their residence at these two Places, and that la Grande Chambre, 
to be assisted by the Peers of the Realm, will remain at Paris. 

The idea of this new arrangement, which People imagine is 
submitted to His Majesty by Mons. Lemoignon, gave rise to the 
report of the immediate resignation of the President d'Aligre, as 
by such a measure that Magistrate, as well as the Parharaent, 
would lose the greater part of his consideration and influence. 

• Videk. 



20 DESPATCHES FROM PARIS 1788 

14. Dorset to Carmarthen. 

20 March 1788. 

...Mens, de Montmorin has received no official accounts from 
Turkey of later date than January, but the last private Letters from 
Constantinople of the 8th and 9th of January, mention the outra- 
geous fury of the Populace there, insomuch that none of the 
Foreign Ministers nor any of their Domestics, dared to make their 
appearance in the Streets of that City : These Letters further add 
that the Baron Herbert, the Imperial Internuncio, had left Con- 
stantinople clandestinely the night before the Emperor's Declara- 
tion of War was given in, and that upon the publication of it the 
people became very tuniultuory, surrounded the French Ambassa- 
dor's House and insisted upon being informed what assistance was 
to be expected from France. 

The Court of Russia has not as yet made any formal requisition 
here respecting the Squadron which is to sail from the Baltic as 
early in May as possible. This Fleet is said to consist of fifteen 
Sail of the Line. 

The Venetian Government has informed the Empress of Russia 
that, in compliance with Her Wishes, the Ports of the Republic 
are open to Her Fleets, but in such a manner and under such 
restrictions as may not induce any infraction of subsisting Treaties 
on the part of Venice... 

There are not to be any new Regiments of Cavalry raised to 
supply the place of the Gens d'Armerie. 

The Conseil de la Guerre cannot, it is beheved, remain with its 
present organisation, and the Minister is now taken up with the 
consideration of what is to be substituted in the room of it. 

A Conseil de la Marine is determined on, notwithstanding the 
representation of the Cte. de la Luzerne against such a measure... 

Letters from Li bourne mention that the Parliament of Bordeaux 
having received several Edicts from Versailles, amongst which were 
those of the Non-Catholiques and the Deux-Vingtiemes, in order 
to their being registered, assembled on the occasion, and after 
deliberations which lasted above 6 hours, decided that they could 



1788 BEFORE THE REVOLUTION 21 

not proceed to the registering of any thing whatever on account 
of the state of oppression which the Parliament in general and 
each member in particular still laboured under from Lettres-de- 
Cachet... 

I send your Lordship two short Notes inclosed by which it 
appears that the Manufactories of Lyons and Rouen are in a very 
declining state ; It is a well known fact that the former of those 
great Trading Towns has been wholly supported by Government 
for these last 10 years, and that the latter has been particularly 
affected by the late Treaty of Commerce with Great Britain,... 
Petitions are daily presented to Ministry not only from Rouen but 
from all the trading Towns both of Picardy and Normandy.... 

15. Dorset to Carmarthen. 

27 March 1788. 

...There has not hitherto been any Declaration of opposition 
made by the Spanish Court to that of Petersburg, but it is not to 
be supposed that Spain, with so much to protect in the Mediter- 
ranean, will remain in a defenceless State, without having any 
Ships at Sea, when the Russians have signified their intention of 
sending a Fleet thither. 

I have not been able to learn what Force is meant to be ordered 
out from hence under the Denomination of Escadre iVEvolulioity 
but should Spain also put to Sea a Squadron with the same pretext, 
Great Britain may reasonably take alarm, though I do not apprehend 
that this Court will adopt any plan that, by exciting a jealousy on 
our part, might eventually lead to a great increase of expense. 

The Parliament is to assemble on the eighth of next month, when 
it is expected that the King's answer to the last Remonstrances 
upon the Lettres de Cachet will be taken into consideration.... 

16. Hailes to Carmarthen. 

3 April 1788. 

...Since the arrival of two Couriers from Petersbourg, one to 
M. de Montmorin, and the other to the Russian Minister, within a 
short time, an idea of a nearer connexion between that court and 



22 DESPATCHES FROM PARIS 1788 

this seems to gain ground, although the contents of the several 
dispatches remain hitherto a profound secret... The conduct of 
His Majesty's Ministers in prohibiting British Seamen to serve on 
board the Transports that have been agreed to be furnished for 
the Empress' Service, under an idea that, in the present awakened 
State of Affairs in Europe, they may possibly be wanted at home, 
has created some degree of doubt and alarm here : however the 
language of M. de Montmorin continues to be of a pacific nature, 
and his answer to the questions that have been lately put to him 
on the subject of any naval Force to be sent from hence to the 
Mediterranean, has been, that the conduct of France in that 
respect will be regulated by the Steps taken by England. 

The naval preparations universally understood to be carrying on 
in the ports of Spain, cannot fail however to occasion uneasiness ; 
for, exclusive of the apprehensions that must necessarily arise from 
any powers putting itself in a posture of hostility at this moment, 
France must be assured of the difficulty she will have to persuade 
the rest of Europe that, in the present instance, she has no 
influence in the counsels of His Catholic Majesty, but that Spain is 
acting an entirely independent part. — I have used my best en- 
deavours to draw from M. de Simolin his sentiments upon the subject 
of the Spanish armaments, but in vain ; the ground seemed 
extremely tender, and I could only learn from him that the 
Empress had received the fullest assurances that nothing offensive, 
in any shape, was intended from that quarter. 

The domestic embarrassment of this country does not appear to 
be diminished since the pacification of the last Autumn. 

The Parliaments continue to be extremely refractory: the people 
at large are much dissatisfied and many individuals, reduced by 
the reforms from a state of opulence to necessity, do not fail to 
harrass the Minister with importunities and complaints. 

The last Loan, which may be considered as the criterion of the 
Archbishop's Credit with the public, notwithstanding the very 
extraordinary advantages with which it is offered is, at present, 
below par : — But, in speaking of the influence of these untoward 
circumstances upon the general disposition of the French Ministers 



1788 BEFORE THE REVOLUTION 23 

relative to Foreign Affairs and in particular, respecting the Turkish 
War, I ought not to omit to recommend to your Lordship's 
perusal a Pamphlet lately published by M. de Volney and forwarded 
by the Duke of Dorset. 

The whole tenor of the work strongly indicates its having been 
written, if not by the immediate order of Government, at least with 
its sanction and connivance : indeed there are some passages in it so 
very strong, that they must have exposed the Book (and perhaps 
the Author who has boldly set his name to it) to the most rigorous 
proscription, had not the Doctrine which it contains been, in 
general, approved of by the Ministry. 

If I am not wrong in this notion, your Lordship will allow me to 
observe that, considering the great closeness and reserve which the 
French Cabinet has hitherto shewn concerning the Turkish War, 
nothing could happen more opportunely than this disclosure, tho' 
indirect, of its sentiments upon the subject... 

Although everything tends to make it highly presumable that the 
wishes and principal measures of this Court are at present directed 
towards peace ; yet there can be no doubt of its continuing to 
lend an ear, and that too as favourable as circumstances will 
admit, to the Dutch Refugees of the Patriotic faction in France. 
M. de Brantzen is returned and although no longer the Ambassa- 
dor of his Republic, he may yet perhaps be considered as the 
solicitor of his party here. 

M. de Berkenroode is old, inactive and inattentive to public Affairs, 
and by no means a match for a person whose existence, in a great 
measure,depends upon the utmost exertion of his abilities and address. 

Madame de Champaretz a Dutch woman of an intriguing Spirit, 
and extremely violent against the late Revolution, receives in her 
House all the Refugees of the Patriot party, and it is principally 
there that plans are formed to circumvent the Minister and obtain 
his assistance in their distress : This person certainly enjoys a 
considerable share of credit with the Archbishop, and it is but a 
few days since he made her a long visit, which, from the little 
respect in which she is generally held, it is to be presumed could 
have no other object but the business of the Dutch Faction. 



24 DESPATCHES FROM PARIS 1788 

A Report has been circulated, though I know, not on what 
grounds, that another Seance Royale is to be held in the Parliament 
on the eighth of this month, and that the Stamp-duty with new 
Modifications is to be again brought for registration. 

The Duke of Orleans' visit to the Archbishop of Paris about 
10 days ago, has been variously interpreted and much commented 
upon. Some pretend that the Minister offered, in the King's 
name, to recall him from his exile immediately, upon condition 
that he would make no opposition to the proceedings of Govern- 
ment in the Parliament of the 8th, but it is said that he expressed 
his desire to remain at his Seat 'till that business shall have been 
terminated. 

Some exaggerated accounts have been received here from Vienna 
of the loss sustained by the Imperialists in a Sally from the 
Garrison of Belgrade ; but I was informed by M. de Montmorin on 
Tuesday that only 50 men had been killed, and that afterwards, 
the Turks, amounting to about 600 men, had been repulsed. 

A reform of a very important nature has just taken place in the 
department of the Finances, although everything relative to it is 
not yet settled. — 

The Places of the Garde du Tresor Royal, the Treasurers of the 
Army and Navy, the Treasurers of the Depenses Diverses and 
the Kings's treasurer, have all been suppressed and an entirely new 
and strictly economical constitution has been substituted in the 
room of each. 

All the sums and Money belonging to the King, which, hereto- 
fore, abusively remained for great lengths of time in the hands of 
the several Treasurers, will hereafter be paid directly into the 
Tresor Royal. 

Fifty thousand Livres per annum is the salary given in lieu of all 
Emolument and advantage whatever to each person coming under 
this new regulation. 

17. Hailes to Carmarthen. 

10 April 1788. 

No accounts whatever of a later date than the 25th of January 



1788 BEFORE THE REVOLUTION 25 

last have been received here from Constantinople ; nor are there 
any letters from any of the states of Italy conveying intelligence 
from that quarter. This very extraordinary delay begins to give 
great uneasiness to the Ministers, and M. de Montmorin told me on 
Tuesday, that he was not without a good deal of Anxiety on 
account of M. de Choiseul Gouffier. 

The great object of this Court, ever since the commencement of 
the War, has been to find out the extent of the views of their 
Imperial Majesties with respect to Turkey, and I understand that 
every means have been made use of to induce the Emperor and 
Empress to admit France to a participation of their counsels. As 
far, however, as I can learn, all the steps that have been taken for 
that purpose have proved fruitless, the greatest reserve has con- 
stantly been shewn, and every circumstance that could lead, in 
any degree, to the discoveiy of their designs has been witheld 
with the utmost Secrecy and caution. 

The late Despatches from Mons. de Segur, I understand, have 
not been more satisfactory on that head, as they only make mention 
of the general assurances of the Russian Ministers that the Empress' 
views are entirely guided by justice, and have nothing in them of 
an ambitious nature. 

Monsr. de Montmorin's language is conformable to them and he 
makes no scruple to declare it as his opinion that there exists no 
design of driving the Turks out of Europe. — On Tuesday there 
arrived two Russian Couriers, one from Petersburg who came 
through Denmark, and the other from the Army in the Crimea. 
Nothing has transpired from the Dispatches brought by the 
former ; and we only learn by the latter that the Russian Army 
was in a state of inactivity at the time he left it, and that a strong 
report prevailed there that an insurrection had happened at 
Constantinople. 

Monsr. de St. Priest's return to Holland is, as yet, (or at least 
was a few day's since) undecided upon. There is every reason to 
suppose that the instructions of that Ambassador will be to sup- 
port and keep alive the drooping spirits of the Patriotic party ; 
but there can be but little to apprehend that any open or strenuous 



26 DESPATCHES FROM PARIS 1788 

efforts will be made at present, in their favour. The Domestic 
difficulties of France continue to be so great, and so imperious that 
it is impossible that they should not have the most direct influence 
upon her conduct with respect to Foreign Powers, and that that 
conduct should not have the strongest tendency to the preservation 
of tranquillity in Europe. 

The Parliament of Toulouse having refused to enregester the 
King's Letters Patent concerning the two Vingtiemes, the Avocat 
General., M. de Catalan, was directed by the Court to proceed to 
compulsory measures, and to enforce the registration ; but having 
thought proper to decline the execution of the orders he had 
received, he was arrested by virtue of a Lettre de Cachet, and 
carried to Prison. 

The Procureur General on whom the commission then devolved, 
was, in consequence of his execution of it, ordered to be arrested, 
by a decree of the Parliament. 

These events are much spoken of, and in consequence of the 
riotous manner in which the people of Toulouse conduct them- 
selves, the Regiment of Medoc has received orders to march 
thither. 

The Parliament of this city met on Tuesday, and the result of 
their deliberations was (notwithstanding the King's express order 
to the contrary) to remonstrate again upon the Lettres de Cachet 
in reply to His late Answer, and, in particular, upon the forcible 
abduction and imprisonment of the Avocat General of the Par- 
liament of Toulouse, lately annexed to that of Paris. A small and 
very secret Committee consisting only of the King, the Archbishop 
of Sens and the Garde des Sceaux has sat for some days past (or it is 
believed) entirely upon the affairs of the Parliament, and it is ex- 
pected that some great change will shortly take place in the 
Constitution of those Bodies : an opinion is even entertained that 
nothing less than their suppression is intended. 

The report that has lately been circulated here of certain lan- 
guage held by M. de Calonne in London on the subject of 
Mr. Hastings and in which he is said to have advanced that, 
during his administration, East India Goods to an enormous amount 



1788 BEFORE THE REVOLUTION 27 

had been consigned to France on that Gentleman's account, had 
its origin in M. de Luzerne's Dispatches : — the report|having come 
through so respectable a channel, and having been published by 
the minister himself, has met with great credit here and the 
enemies of M. de Calone have not failed to spread about, as much 
as possible, to his disadvantage. 

It was not 'till Tuesday last that I was enabled to give any 
answer to the numerous applications made to me upon the subject 
but having received the Morning Chronicle of the 2nd instant, in 
which I found an authentic disavowal of the fact, I have not 
scrupled to quote the paper, and I even shewed it on Tuesday to 
M. de Montmorin, who seemed perfectly convinced that the story 
had no foundation in truth. 

All the members of the New Conseil de la Marine were presented 
at Versailles on Sunday, and we are in daily expectation of the 
Reglement that is to fix their establishment. 

Great Preparations are making at Toulon for the reception of 
Tippo Said's Ambassadors. 

The Dauphin has been somewhat better since his residence at 
Meudon. The Archbishop of Bourges has been translated to the 
Archbishoprick of Toulouse. 

18. Hailes to Carmarthen. 

10 April 1788. 

Since I dispatched Lauzun this day at 3 o'clock, I have received 
undoubted information that a resolution was come to in Council 
on Sunday night, (though I understand somewhat suddenly) to 
send a Regiment immediately to the Isle of France. The orders 
of Government have already been issued to the Regiment de Walsh 
(Irish) to prepare for embarkation. 

I shall use my best endeavours to learn if any other troops are 
likely to be sent to the same part of the world, and I shall not fail 
to communicate the particulars, if any, as early as possible. 
Mr. Knight, a Gentleman returning to England in haste has 
obligingly taken charge of this letter. 



28 DESPATCHES FROM PARIS 1788 

19. Hailes to Carmarthen. 

17 April 1788. 

Advices have at last been received from Constantinople, and I 
learn from the Minister that M. de Herbert the Emperor's Inter- 
nuncio had left that city with the permission of the Turkish 
Government. — The reports that have been fabricated of an insurrec- 
tion and the danger to v^'hich M. de Choiseul Gouffier had been 
exposed from the populace, are entirely without foundation. 

The Russian officer who lately arrived here with despatches for 
the Empress's Minister, brings also an invitation to this Court to 
allow French Officers to serve in the Russian Army. I understand 
that the desire of the Empress is complied with in this respect, 
and that leave will be granted to them, under a general permission 
to travel. 

Paul Jones too has, in consequence of the offers that have been 
made to him, engaged to serve in her Imperial Majesty's Fleet. 

Letters from Toulouse mention that the officer who executed 
the orders of the Court, by delivering a Lettre de Cachet to the 
Advocate General of the Parliament of that City, was so ill 
received, on his return by the whole of the Corps to which he 
belongs, that it is thought he will shortly be obliged to give up his 
commission. 

The behavior of the Regiment de Medoc is considered, with 
reason, as having set a very dangerous example ; and indeed the 
most serious consequences are to be apprehended in the present 
disordered state of affairs, should such a spirit diffuse itself through 
the rest of the Army. There are however different accounts of 
this Affair : the one I adopt was given me by a person of credit 
who had just received it from Toulouse. 

A short time since M. de Walsh (proprietor of the Irish Regi- 
ment of his name, now under orders to prepare for embarkation 
for the Isle of France) addressing himself to M. de Brienne at his 
Levee for a majority en Second (the rank lately substituted in the 
room of Colonel en Second) for his Brother, received a positive 
refusal in a very severe and loud tone of voice, before a great 



1788 BEFORE THE REVOLUTION 29 

number of people ; the minister adding at the same time that the 
slightest mark of favor was not to be expected by any one who 
should conduct himself in the manner that he had done at his 
Provincial Assembly. 

This circumstance has been much commented upon, and it is 
concluded from it, as also from other instances of a similar 
nature, that no great freedom of debate will be allowed at their 
meetings. 

The fresh Remonstrances of the Parliament upon the Lettres de 
Cachet have not yet been carried up ; — those upon the late Seance 
Royale were presented on Sunday, and are said to contain Strict- 
ures upon the conduct of Government of a much freer nature than 
any that have been yet drawn up. 

The registration of the last Loan is again represented as entirely 
illegal, and as offering no kind of security to individuals for their 
property. The Parliament has received orders to wait on the 
king this day at Versailles. The princes of the Blood, and with 
them the Duke of Orleans, who returns, as it is generally reported, 
from his exile, have also received orders to attend. 

Amidst all this embarrassment Plans for the liberation of the 
National Debt are said to be under the inspection of people of the 
first reputation in matters of Finance, and with the sanction of the 
Ministers. One, in particular, is spoken of as intended to be sub- 
mitted to the States. That Assembly being convened, it is, accord- 
ing to the project, proposed that it should raise a large sum for the 
purpose of paying off such of the Public Creditors as should 
refuse to consent to a reduction of interest (that is to say, of 
Annuities to eight per cent, and other Stock to five) upon the 
security of the Nation being given in lieu of that of the King's Edicts, 
simply enregistered by the parliament, but I venture to speak of 
this plan merely as a report, and as in a state, at all events, 
extremely crude and undigested. 

After so much that has been said and published upon the subject 
of French Finance in general, and after it has been found that 
even those who have been the nearest to the sources of informa- 
tion have differed widely in their opinions as to the extent and 



30 DESPATCHES FROM PARIS 1788 

origin of that most important point, the deficiency, I conceive that 
it would be both superfluous and impertinent in me to offer any 
thing to your Lordship in addition to so tedious and doubtful an 
enquiry. 

A question of a much more important nature occupies, at present, 
the minds of the thinking part of the nation : — To find out the 
means, not merely of remedying past abuses in the application of 
the public Treasure by transitory expedients ; not merely to 
restrain the frequency of arbitrary imprisonments by remonstrances 
and reclamations of Parliaments without authority ; but to insure 
the country, in future^ against disorders so much and so justly 
complained of is the object to which their attention is now 
directed. Many circumstances have concurred to produce this 
disposition. The example of the very extraordinary and rapid 
recovery of Great Britain from the Wounds she received in the 
late War, has not failed to attract the attention of this people ; and 
the blessings of freedom and justice enjoyed in so eminent a degree 
under his Majesty's paternal Reign have excited an ardent desire 
to attain to similar advantages. 

A sentiment of shame at the impotence betrayed by France in 
the late contest in Holland, and the disgraceful political Defeat 
that followed it, is strongly and generally impressed on men's 
minds, and is accompanied, no doubt, by the conviction that it is 
in vain to attempt to struggle with so vicious a Government against 
a power that possesses an innate and constitutional superiority. 
But in addition to observations and feelings so natural, it ought, 
above all, to be considered that there has grown up, of late years, 
a spirit of enquiry into the measures of Government, an opposition 
(if I may so call it) of Public Opinion of so forcible a nature, that 
it has been respected by Ministers even of the most arbitrary 
Principles. Religion, or rather Superstition of the Church of 
Rome for a long time upheld the Authority of the Sovereign ; but 
that which may be looked upon to have been in a manner, the 
Key Stone of the vast Pile of Absolute Power, is now dropt out, 
or rather worn away from the Building. Human Reason which 
had been fettered and restrained during so many centuries having 



1788 BEFORE THE REVOLUTION 31 

at last shaken off the yoke of Spiritual Tyranny is now, in the 
natural progress of freedom, proceeding to enquire into its Tem- 
poral Rights, and perhaps, to contend for a limitation of those 
powers of Government under which it has been so long oppressed. 

In such a point of view, there appears without doubt much 
ground of apprehension for the interests of Great Britain, for it 
may be reasonably asked, if France, with all the vices of her 
Government, has been for so many ages in a situation to act often 
so brilliant and always so formidable a part in the affairs of 
Europe, what may not be expected from her when those vices 
shall have been eradicated, and when she shall be in possession of 
a constitution (as it is pretended she may) similar to that of her 
neighbour and Rival ? 

So strong is the sense of present disgrace and difficulties that it 
seems to have precluded all ideas of the possibility that a change 
should prove disadvantageous : an entire revolution in the form of 
the Government is therefore looked forward to with the greatest 
eagerness. 

By giving, however, a very little extension to the enquiry into 
the grounds of such expectation, I humbly conceive that it will 
appear most evident that either this country must shortly be 
plunged into the most dreadful state of Anarchy, or an end be put 
to all pretensions to a Constitution. 

The little success of the Minister who is at the head of the 
Finances, in all his operations, owing chiefly to the persevering 
opposition of the Parliaments, makes it believed that the Epoch of 
the Assembly of the States is near at hand. 

As the Archbishop v/as forced into a promise of that Assembly in 
the year 1791, it is not to be expected that he will readily consent 
to its approximation. 

Necessity only will bring forward the measure. But, supposing 
the Representatives of the Nation convened, and even the Majority 
of them to be animated with a desire to do well, and wisely, they 
must still be, as they have hitherto been, composed of the 
Ministers forming a party of the Court, the Clergy, the Nobility, 
and the Third Estate. 



32 DESPATCHES FROM PARIS 1788 

Let it be even supposed (a thing scarcely possible) that the 
nobility and Clergy should make a voluntary surrender of those 
privileges which make them, at present, so much the objects of 
envy and complaint ; there must still, should a constitution be 
attempted to be formed, remain a party to defend the Authority of 
the Sovereign and another to attack and invade it. To draw the 
line between the prerogatives of the Prince and the Rights of the 
people, is a work of such magnitude as could with difficulty be 
perfected by the most enlightened and disinterested Men, all con- 
curring to the same end. To effect it with opposite and jarring 
interests is a task that appears next to impossible. 

Many parts of the English Constitution, it is said, may be 
adopted with great advantage to this kingdom. — I should rather 
think that it must be taken whole and entire, with all its Body of 
Jurisprudence civil and criminal naturally growing out of it, or not 
at all. 

If the abolition of the Lettres de Cachet is to take place, it must 
be followed by a Law of Habeas Corpus. If the Revenues of the 
Court are to be strictly applied to the good Government of it, an 
Annual production of the PubHc Accounts cannot be withheld. 

If the conduct of Ministers is allowed to be enquired into, the 
liberty of the press must of necessity be established. A partial 
assumption of these great features of Freedom would only tend to 
disfigure the French Monarchy, without producing any real 
advantage. 

But, admitting that it were found practicable, by common 
consent, to adopt the whole or at least all the Essential parts of 
the British Government, (an event that the most chimerical and 
sanguine speculation can scarcely look forward to) it would then 
become a great political question how far such a form of Govern- 
ment would be applicable to a Kingdom of such an extent, and 
situated, on the Continent, as this is. The peculiar advantage of 
Great Britain (politically speaking) is its insular situation, by which 
it is exempted from the predicament of a great standing military 
force for its defense : but France placed between two great 
Powers in Europe with immense Armies, and having an extended 



1788 BEFORE THE REVOLUTION 33 

Frontier to guard, is under the most absolute necessity of main- 
taining one also. How far it is possible to reconcile the freedom 
of a nation with a power vested in the Prince (and it can be placed 
no where else) to dispose of one Hundred and sixty three thousand 
men (the number which I understand He has declared his inten- 
tion of completing) I know not ; but in all the conversations that I 
have attended to upon the present fashionable topic of a Revolu- 
tion, I have yet never heard this difficulty, however obvious, 
adverted to. 

It would require much more knowledge of the general disposi- 
tions of the people at large, than I am possessed of, to be able to 
form any judgment of the degree of energy that might be called 
forth, and shewn in support of any demands that might be made 
in their favour : nor would it, I presume, be an easy matter for 
anyone to foresee what might be the consequence of a dissolution 
of an Assembly of the Nation, without any thing having been 
resolved upon (as is most likely to be the case) for the security of 
the Freedom and property of the subject : — should that energy 
prove as great as it is thought to be by some, it might go near to 
the total subversion of the Monarchy ; should it be, on the con- 
trary, as little as it is esteemed to be by others, it would necessarily 
tend to produce a very great exercise of power and authority in 
the hands of the Crown. — All that can at present be foreseen with 
great certainty is a long contest and, of course, as long as it lasts, 
great weakness on the part of Government, as well with respect to 
Foreign as Domestic Affairs. 

These reflections are not offered with a view to the suggestion 
of anything that will not have already occurred to your Lordship's 
wisdom : I have given them a place here to have the opportunity 
of observing to you, that as natural as they may be, they do not 
appear to enter into the calculations of those who are the most 
bent upon a change of Government. 

P.S. Monsr. de Chalons, Ambassador from this Court to the 
State of Venice has received orders to return home to give account 
of his conduct in his late dispute with that Government. I presume 

3 



34 DESPATCHES FROM PARIS 1788 

your Lordship will have received a more particular detail of the 
violent manner in which he is said to have behaved than I am able 
to give you. 

20. Hailes to Carmarthen. 

24 April 1788. 

...The Extract from Sir Robert Ainslie's Letter from Constanti- 
nople dated the 22nd of February, with which I have been 
favored by Mr. Eraser, came to my hands the day after news had 
been received here by the Minister from M. de Choiseul Gouffier. 
His letters were of the 16th of the same month, and, as I understand 
from M. de Montmorin, contained expressions of his hope to be 
able shortly to effect the deliverance of M. de Bulzakow from the 
seven Towers. ' I did not fail to mention to the Minister the 
Substance of the Extract which had been forwarded to me, and to 
endeavor to impress him with the idea that the liberty of the 
Russian Envoy was entirely the work of His Majesty's Ambassador. 
I have also propagated the same Account amongst the foreign 
Ministers as much as possible, and have, in particular, made 
mention of it to M. de Mercy and M. de Simolin, the former of 
whom had just received Dispatches from his Court informing him 
of the enlargement of M. de Bulzakow, but without any kind of 
detail. I ought not however to omit to observe to your Lordship 
that the subject of Sir Robert Ainslie continues to be, as much as 
ever, a tender ground to tread upon, and that many of those to 
whom I have related this instance of the great influence which he 
displays at the Porte are inclined to interpret it as a fresh proof of 
the reality of his having been the cause of the declaration of the 
war, and the consequent detention of the Empress's Servant. 

Your Lordship will be enabled to form a very accurate opinion 
of the State of the disputes between the Court and the Parliament 
(the great object of the public attention at present) from the last 
Remonstrances and the King's Answer, copies of which I have the 

' It was the custom of the Porte, on a declaration of war, to imprison the 
ambassador of the Power against whom it was declared in the Castle of the 
Seven Towers which forms such a conspicuous object on Seraglio Point. 



1788 BEFORE THE REVOLUTION 35 

honor to enclose to you. It is hardly possible that the parties 
should be more adverse than they are in the principles they 
establish, and there does not appear to be any door left open to 
accommodation. 

On Tuesday last the Parliament, after having sent an invitation 
to the Princes of the Blood, which they did not think proper to 
accept, met again, and appointed a Committee to draw up fresh 
Remonstrances, which, it is said, are intended to explain, still more 
at large, the principles of the French Monarchy ; and which at the 
same time that they will acknowledge that the Parliaments have 
no right beyond remonstrance in matters of Government in general 
will (arguing from their own incompetency) also establish, it is 
supposed, in the most positive manner, that the Nation alone, in 
the States assembled, can give its assent to Edicts {Edits Bursaux) 
that go to the imposing of any new Taxes on the Subject. 

A great many reports are circulated about the intentions of the 
Court towards the Parliament. Some pretend that if it does not 
come to terms of accommodation and compliance immediately, it 
will be broke. Such a measure must be attended with great 
inconvenience and even danger to the credit of Government already 
so much reduced. Others believe (and it seems more likely) that 
the result of the long deliberations of the King with the Archbishop 
and the Garde des Sceaux, has been to establish a commission 
inleimediaire, which, taking from the Parliament every faculty but 
that of administr'ing Justice, is to be made competent to the 
authentication of all the Acts of Government, during the inter- 
vening space of one meeting of the States to tinother. 

This project is spoken of by people likely to be well informed, 
but I cannot vouch for the truth of it, any more than for that of 
the assertion that the first meeting of the States is determined 
upon for the month of March 1790. 

In the mean time, orders have been issued to all the Comman- 
dants and Intendants to repair immediately to their respective 
Provinces ; and some degree of apprehension seems to be enter- 
tained for the public tranquility. The Regiment de Medoc now at 
Toulouse has been taken from the Colonel that commands it, on 



36 DESPATCHES FROM PARIS 1788 

account of the favorable manner in which he is said to have 
behaved himself tovi^ards the Parliament of that City. All colonels 
commanding Regiments of Cavalry have orders to join by the 
first of May ; and the Colonels of Infantry by 15th of the same 
month. 

The Duke of Orleans, who returned on Thursday from his Exile, 
was received with the greatest Cordiality by the King, and I hear 
he has declared his resolution of declining to take any part, in 
future, in the Affairs of Parliament. 

It is expected that the Court will remove to St. Cloud for 
6 weeks, some time between the 15th and 25th of May. The 
health of the Dauphin continues to mend and hopes begin to be 
entertained of his entire recovery. 

On Sunday evening. Count Scarnafis, Ambassador from the King 
of Sardinia to this Court, died after a short illness. 

21. Dorset to Carmarthen. 

1 May 1788. 

I brought with me from London your Lordship's Letter, No. 8, 
and the several Papers, respecting India, therewith inclosed : I 
have according to your Lordship's Instructions taken the first 
opportunity of speaking to Monsr. de Montmorin upon those 
particular points upon which you express a wish to have some 
positive information, and it is with satisfaction I can assure your 
Lordship that the Minister disclaims the idea of Instructions 
having ever, during his Administration, been sent to India which 
could either excite the jealousy of the English or in any degree 
tend to annoy their Possessions in that Quarter of the Globe. He 
further added that the Count de Conway has been particularly 
directed to cultivate a good understanding between the subjects of 
England and France, as the only means of promoting the mutual 
Interests of the two countries. 

Monsr. de Montmorin was unwilling to enter into any discussion 
of the conduct of Monsr. de Cossigny, but assured me in the most 
solemn manner that he had no knowledge whatever of any Treaty 
having been signed between this Country and Tippoo Sultan, 



1788 BEFORE THE REVOLUTION 37 

which is so positively spoken of in the several Letters to Mr. Dundas 
from Sir John Macpherson, Sir Archibald Campbell, and one dated 
Permacoil 15th Sept. 1781 ; nor did he guess at the motives of that 
Prince for sending a splendid Embassy to the French Court, but 
that, since he had thought proper to send one, the Ambassador 
would be received with such honors as have usually been shewn in 
France to Representatives of Asiatic Princes. 

I think I may venture to conclude from the tenor of the 
Minister's language during my conversation with him upon this 
subject that the line of conduct which the Count de Conway seems 
disposed to pursue will perfectly coincide with the wishes, and 
have the entire approbation of His Most Christian Majesty and 
His confidential Servants ; nor have I, from anything that fell from 
Monsr. de Montmorin, any reason to doubt the sincerity of that 
Officer's liberal and open professions to Mr. Hippisley. Never- 
theless it must still appear very unaccountable that the Treaty 
referred to in the several Letters from India, without any question 
of the fact, should be wholly unknown to Mons. de Montmorin. 

Your Lordship has already been informed by Mr. Hailes of the 
destination of the Regiment of Walsh for the Isle of France : in 
addition to which Reinforcement the two Regiments of Infantry of 
Rovergue and Auvergne, each consisting of 1216 men, are to be 
sent ; the whole together making 3648 men. 

Monsr. de Montmorin took occasion to say that, if it shall be 
found that any act of hostility was committed in India during the 
Aincertainty of events last year in respect to the Affairs of Holland, 
His Most Christian Majesty would not hesitate to issue immediate 
orders for restitution to be made, in cases of capture, and repara- 
tion for such injuries as a premature zeal upon the occasion may 
possibly have produced. 

I cannot conclude without observing to your Lordship that the 
Minister's language throughout my conference with him was not 
only pacific but amicable in the highest degree and I make no 
doubt that you will hear similar sentiments expressed whenever 
your Lordship shall take occasion to converse with the Marquis 
de la Luzerne upon the same subject.... 



38 DESPATCHES FROM PARIS 1788 

P.S. His Majesty reviews the Regiments of French and Swiss 
Guards upon the Plain de Sablonne on Saturday next. The Queen 
and the Royal Family will be present. 

22. Dorset to Carmarthen. 

1 May 1788. 

A few days after my arrival here I received the Packet, herewith 
enclosed, from Sir Robert Ainslie, in order to its being forwarded 
to your Lordship together with two Packets for the Hon*''^. the 
Court of Directors of the East India Company. 

Sir Robert Ainslie writes me word that every thing was quiet at 
Constantinople ; and that Preparations for War were carrying on 
with the greatest activity and vigor ; it was expected by that 
Minister that the Campaign by Sea and by Land will open early in 
April, and he observes that, if Numbers and Courage can avail 
against discipline, the Turks may possibly maintain the contest 
which is likely to produce much trouble and mischief to all 
Parties. From the language of the Minister here it is very evident 
that the accounts sent by His Most Christian Majesty's Ambassador 
at the Porte differ greatly from the ideas of Sir Robert Ainslie, 
which appears to have the highest opinion of the resources which 
are to be found in the genius and enterprizing spirit i of the Otto- 
mans, while on the other hand... Monsr. de Montmorin is con- 
vinced that, from the want of order and discipline the Turks will 
be forced to listen to terms of accommodation at the end of the 
Campaign. But from the events with which we have hitherto 
been made acquainted it is to be feared that a speedy reconciliation 
is not likely to take place ; the resistance the Imperial Arms have 
met with, have prevented that decisive advantage which was so 
confidently expected. 

The French are now become only Spectators of the important 
contest, but their close connection with Austria makes them leave 
no means untried to induce his Prussian Majesty to presume a 
strict neutrality, of which I understand that the Court of Berlin 
has given assurances. 

Monsr. d'Esterno has received orders to repair to his Post at 



1788 BEFORE THE REVOLUTION 39 

Berlin immediately and will accordingly take leave on Sunday 
next. 

The East India Company will not be suppressed : the Arch- 
bishop of Sens told one of the Directors as much — a few days ago. 

The Company, upon balancing their accounts lately, find that they 
have a Dividend of about seven millions. 

The Rhingrave of Salm has solicited of this Court permission to 
justify his conduct during the transactions last year in Holland, 
and threatens, in case of refusal, to publish a Memorial which it is 
thought the Court of Versailles would be very sorry should make 
its appearance: No answer has as yet been given to the Rhingrave. 

The establishments for Bleaching which were intended to be 
formed by Dutch Emigrants at St. Omers and at Honfleur, for the 
support of which His Most Christian Majesty had allotted a large 
sum annually, meets with no success and most of the workmen are 
already returned home. Many of the Principal Hollanders reside 
in Paris, and those who stand in need of assistance are pensioned 
by the French Government. 

We are daily expecting some fresh Edicts respecting the new- 
modelling the Constitution of the Parliaments of the Kingdom : it 
is said that a Cour Pleniere is to be created which is to be composed 
of the Princes, Peers, and first Magistrates of the Realm, who are 
to decide upon all matters relative to Finance, registr'ing of Loans 
etc. etc. and that the Parliaments are to be considered in future as 
Courts of Judicature, as in fact they are at present for the Con- 
venience of the Country, this remaining Body is to be divided in 
order to take separately its several Jurisdictions so that the Parties 
whose property is in litigation may not in future suffer the incon- 
venience of long journeys and great delays. Next Wednesday is 
mentioned for the publication of this very important measure, 
which I shall lose no time in communicating to your Lordship for 
His Majesty's information. All the Governors of the Principal 
Towns, where the Parliaments are held, are already set out for 
their Residences in order to be ready to receive His Majesty's 
orders and to enforce the immediate execution of them. 

The Colonels of Dragoons have already left Paris to join their 



40 DESPATCHES FROM PARIS 1788 

Regiments and the remainder of that Rank of Officers will be all 
at their respective Quarters in the course of this month. The 
Squadron of Evolutions for this year is preparing for Sea and the 
Command of it is given to Mons. de Mitreul, Chef d'Escadre : it 
will consist of two Ships of the Line, two Frigates, and seven or 
nine Corvettes. 

All we have to look to is that the Declaration be observed, and 
that the Armaments remain, upon the same footing as at the 
beginning of the year 1787. 

I have written to Mons. de Montmorin in behalf of the British 
Mortgage Creditors of the Island of Tobago, and I am persuaded 
the French Ministers have too much candour to refuse them the 
justice to which they are entitled. Whenever I get His Excellency's 
Answer I shall immediately transmit it to your Lordship. 

I congratulate your Lordship upon the conclusion of the Treaty 
of Defensive Alliance between his Majesty and the States General 
of the United Provinces, and I return your Lordship my thanks 
for your early information of so important an event. 

The Complc rendu, which I send your Lordship, presents a favor- 
able Picture, and, supposing the deficiency to be compleatly filled 
up this year, by the Economies, Retrenchments, and Loan of 120 
Millions, offers a surplus of 7 millions : we must however take for 
granted that the Loan is filled, of which we have no moral certainty. 

A Committee of the Parliament met on the 29th ulto. and it was 
unanimously resolved that when they registered the Vingtiemes 
it was only for their prolongation and not their extension. 
Monsr. Despresmenil has denounced the plot forming by Govern- 
ment against the Parliaments. 

The Exile to Auvergne, which happened on Monday last of a 
Person, employed by Parliament, for his abuse of the Ministers on 
account of their having increased the Taxes in Poitou, is to be 
animadverted upon in the next Remonstrances. 

I send your Lordship the several Military Ordonnances which 
were pubHshed this morning. 

The Dauphin is something better : His Royal Highness remains 
at Mendon some time longer.... 



1788 BEFORE THE REVOLUTION 41 

Their Majesties will take up their residence at St. Cloud on the 
16th Inst, for a month or 5 weeks, during which time the Foreign 
Ministers will transact business with Monsr. de Montmorin at his 
House in Paris. 

P.S. I send your Lordship a Letter to the Count Dillon in favor 
of Mr, Orr, for which by your Lordship's desire I had applied to 
the Comte de la Luzerne. 

28. Dorset to Carmarthen. 

5 May 1788. 

I take the earliest opportunity of Communicating to your Lord- 
ship the Resolutions of the Parliament held on Saturday last ; they 
are enclosed herewith. 

The French and Swiss Guards, which were reviewed by the 
King last Saturday, afforded His Majesty great satisfaction. The 
Marechal de Biron attended as usual ; that respectable Veteran is 
in the 87th year of his age, and has had the command of the French 
Guards ever since the year 1745. 

The Archbishop of Lyons died last Friday : besides the Vacancy 
of that See, two Abbeys drop to Government of about fifty thousand 
Livres each. 

24. Dorset to Carmarthen. 

8 May 1788. 

I had the honor of sending to your Lordship, last Monday by 
the post, the Resolution of the Parliament at their sitting on the 
preceeding Saturday. Lest my Letter may not have reached your 
Lordship, I now enclose a printed copy, that has since appeared, of 
those Resolutions, which were on Sunday taken to Versailles to be 
presented to His Majesty, who, however, would not receive the 
Deputation, but signed an Order for arresting Messrs. Despresmenil 
and Golard, two members and Counsellors of the Parliament ; 
these Gentlemen, who had been the principal movers of the 
Resolutions voted on Saturday, having a suspicion that their 
liberty was threatened, found means to convey themselves early on 
Monday morning to the Palais Marchand, where the court of 



42 DESPATCHES FROM PARIS 1788 

Parliament is held, and threw themselves under the protection of 
the Magistracy. The Peers and Magistrates being assembled on 
Monday, several other Resolutions, of which I have not yet been 
able to obtain a Copy, were passed and were that night carried to 
Versailles, the Parliament continuing to sit the whole time unwilling 
to break up 'till the fate of the two Magistrates should be known : 
at twelve o'clock the same night the Palais Marchand was sur- 
rounded and all the avenues leading to it occupied, by two 
Detachments, of 600 men each, from the French and Swiss Guards, 
in such a manner as effectually to prevent any sort of communica- 
tion with the Members, no Person whatever being suffered to go 
in or come out ; in this situation matters continued 'till 3 o'clock on 
Tuesday morning when those only who had been admitted as 
Spectators were permitted to return home. Among these were 
two Ladies of Fashion, the Comtesse de Stavenberg and Madame 
de Sabran : — 

His Majesty having on the Sunday sent a positive order that the 
Resolutions should not, as was directed, be sent to the different 
Districts to be there published and registered, the Premier 
President, at the request of the Chamber on Monday, ordered the 
doors to be thrown open, after which the Resolutions were read 
to such of the Populace as happened to be present. — On Tuesday 
morning the Officer, Mons. d'Agoult, commanding the Detachment, 
entered the Parliament House, and in the King's name demanded 
M. Despresmenil, desiring at the same time to be informed where 
that Gentleman sat as he was unacquainted with his person. No 
answer however being made, M. d'Agoult found himself under the 
necessity of applying to one of the Tipstaffs of the Court upon 
which M. Despresmenil rose from his seat and surrendered himself 
to the Officer, who, at" the request of the former, produced his 
Authority, an Order from the King, for the step he was taking, 
upon which M. Despresmenil in a short but pathetic speech 
addressed the Court, strongly recommending to the Members never 
to abandon the cause for which he had incurred the displeasure of 
His Majesty and at the same time took occasion to solicit their 
protection of his Wife and Children. 



1788 - BEFORE THE REVOLUTION 43 

M. Despiesmenil is said to have made a very eloquent speech 
upon the motion that was made on Monday night to clear the 
Court of the strangers that had got into it : 

" Est-ce done un moment d'observer des formes et des usages, a 
present que le Palais est investe par des Bayonettes ? Non ! Que 
tout le Monde reste, que tons soient temoins de I'exces de Des- 
potisme de la Violation des Loix et du Sanctuaire de la Justice. " 

This spirited Magistrate was conducted to the Hotel of the 
Lt. de la Police, whither M. Golard was soon after conveyed ; and 
the same evening they were sent away ; M. Despresmenil to the 
Isle Ste. Marguerite, and M. Golard to the Castle of Pierre-en-cise 
near Lyons. 

The populace have hitherto been very quiet ; very few of the 
common people having been assembled at any one time. The 
crowd which collected during the time of the sitting of the 
Parliament, which lasted twenty-seven hours, consisted chiefly of 
the better sort of people. Notwithstanding that these violent 
measures have a visible effect, there does not appear to be the 
least disposition in the public to make the slightest resistance to 
the Royal Authority. There were only nine Peers present on 
Saturday ; but, as I am informed, the number w^as increased to 
about twenty before they broke up on Tuesday. None of the 
Princes of the Blood have attended — I send your Lordship a 
Resolution that passed on Tuesday morning after the departure 
of the two Magistrates which is more moderate than the late ones 
have been. 

La Cour des Aides has presented a very spirited Remonstrance 
against all innovations in the Constitution, the Person who drew 
up this Remonstrance is likewise under confinement. 

Yesterday the Parliament met and confirmed the sentiments 
of resistance of Saturday last, and it is said, protested against every 
act of Authority which may be proposed by the King this day. 

The Parliament of Rouen have passed several violent Resolutions 
in opposition to the King's late Edicts relative to the levying of the 
second vingtieme, and the zeal of the people in support of their 
Magistrates had occasioned a great alarm in that City. 



44 DESPATCHES FROM PARIS 1788 

There is also great reason to apprehend a disturbance at Rennes 
if Government should attempt to make any innovation in the Con- 
stitution of that Parliament and the Cte. de Thiard lately named by 
His Majesty to the Government of Britanny has already expressed 
his doubts of being able to enforce the Kings' Commands, in case 
Ministers shall persist in arbitrary Measures. 

It is natural to suppose that, from the exaggerated accounts 
which probably are given of the proceedings here, this Country 
may appear to those who are at a distance to be in a state of 
actual civil war, but I can assure your Lordship that in the Capital 
everything is perfectly quiet and likely to continue so. In the 
Provinces indeed the case may be otherwise, though there is no 
authentic intelligence from any parts of any acts of violence having 
been committed. It is upon the whole imagined that the storm 
which seemed to threaten the internal tranquility of this Kingdom, 
will blow over, and that the examples lately made will have the 
effect of deterring others from shewing that spirit of opposition to 
the will of the sovereign, which, it is seen, does not fail to incur the 
severity of Arbitrary power. 

The only awkward circumstance is how His Majesty will here- 
after find money, if he quarrels with His Parliaments, but it is not 
like that Ministers should not have foreseen such an inconvenience 
and provided a remedy against it. 

I send your Lordship the Arret du Conseil d'Etat du Roi of the 
4th inst. 

M. de Montmorin's last Letters from Constantinople are dated 
the nth of March, the latest letter, which I sent to your Lordship 
from Sir Robert Ainslie was of the 15th March. 

There are no late accounts from the Imperial Armies. 

25. Dorset to Carmarthen. 

8 May 1788. 

At my particular request the Comte de Montmorin has had the 
goodness to send me the enclosed Edicts together with His 
Majesty's Speeches, as also those of the Garde des Sceaux which 
were delivered this morning at the HI de justice held at Versailles. 



1788 BEFORE THE REVOLUTION 45 

To-morrow His Majesty will signify his Royal pleasure respecting 
the powers to be given to la Cour Pleniere, to the Peers, and to 
the Members of the Great Chamber : the result of which and the 
future proceedings in this interesting Business I shall forward to 
your Lordship by the first opportunity. 

26. Dorset to Carmarthen. 

12 May 1788. 

As I have the greatest reason to believe that all Letters sent by 
the Post from hence are scrupulously examined and their contents 
reported to Government ; I have thought proper in order to 
obviate any inconvenience or delay in forwarding an account of 
the Proceedings of the Court and of the Parliament, to dispatch 
Lanyun with the following particulars of what has passed since I 
had last the honor of writing to your Lordship. 

The same day (Thursday) on which His Majesty held the Lit de 
Justice at Versailles, Monsieur and the Comte d'Artois signified, 
the former to the Chambre des Comptes and the Latter to the Cour 
des Aides, His Majesty's pleasure, and registered the same Edicts 
as those which were proposed to the Parliament : — The Edicts 
etc. which I sent to your Lordship last Thursday and of which I 
now send other Copies, put together in the Order in which they 
were delivered fully explain the new regulations intended to be 
made ; I therefore do not think it necessary to enter into any 
explanation of them. 

His Majesty having dismissed the Lit de Justice, the Members of 
the Grande Chambre who had received the king's Orders to 
remain at Versailles 'till the following day and were at the same 
time given to understand that no Remonstrance or Application 
of any kind would be received from that Body, which was 
expressly forbid to assemble, addressed His Majesty separately by 
Letter as follows : — 

Sire, 

Vosfidelles Magistrals, consternes des innovations destructives de la 
Constitution de la Monarchic dont on essayeroit inutilemenl de se 



46 DESPATCHES FROM PARIS 1788 

rendre participans, suppHent Votre Magiste de Icur permettre de Lui 
declarer Vimpossihilite ahsolue ou ils sont d'accepter aucune des 
fonctions qui leur sont altribuees par les Edits dont ils viennent 
d' entendre la lecture ; c'est le zele le plus pur qui dicte a vos Magistrals 
la declaration qu'ils viennent de ddposer au pied du TrSne, 
To this Letter no answer has been given. 

The Peers also met to consult upon an Address to His Majesty 
in the same manner, but as a difference of opinion prevailed in that 
Body, only the six following Noblemen wrote the Letter. 
The Due de Fitz-James. 
Le Due de Rochefoucault. 
Le Due d'Aumont. 
Le Due de Praslin. 
Le Due de Luxembourg. 
Le Due d'Usez. 
Seven or eight others, amongst whom were the Archbishop of 
Paris, and the Due de Coigny, declined taking any further steps. 
I have not yet been able to procure a copy of this Letter, though 
I have of His Majesty's Answer, which was as follows. 

Mon Cousin. 

Pour ne pas vous temoigner trop de deplaisir de votre Lcttre^ Je ne 
peux mietix fairc que de vous la renvoyer ; Vattrihuer a un niouvemenl 
peu reflechi ; Vouhlier. 

On Friday last His Majesty held another Lit de Justice which 
lasted only a few minutes : the following is the purport of His 
Majesty's Speech.— 

Je vous rassemhlerai peut-ctre avant Vepoqtic que favoisfixee si la 
circonstance Vexige. Je compte assez sur mon Parlement pour croire 
qu'il ne s'opposera point a mes intentions ; au reste, je declare que je 
ne me rclacherai en rien de ce que j^ai avance hier. 

Immediately after, the Members of the Grande Chambre as well 
as the Peers, returned to Paris. Orders were given to Mons. 
d'Agoult, the Officer commanding the Troops, to bring away from 
the Greffe (the Registry) all the Rolls. How long the Troops will 
continue upon guard is uncertain, the tranquility and apparent 



1788 BEFORE THE REVOLUTION 47 

indifference of the Populace upon this occasion is very extra- 
ordinary the Soldiers not having experienced the slightest insult. 
Mons. d'Agoult was indeed assaulted one day, but the Agressor 
was taken up and proved to be a very insignificant person, an 
Under-Officer of the Parliament. His Majesty does not intend to 
assemble the Cour Pleniere sooner than September unless some 
unforseen circumstances shall make an earlier summons necessary. 
The Grande Chambre, which was intended by the Court to make so 
large a part of the Cour Pleniere^ have protested against all the 
proceedings of the Lit de Justice as null and illegal, and have 
declared that they took no part in them whatever. Their Protest 
not having been transcribed in due form upon the registers of the 
Parliament, on account of the Palais being shut up, the same has 
been deposited in the hands of a Notary Public. 

Those of the Chambres des Enquetes et Requetes, who have been 
suppressed by the Edict have also protested and will not admit of 
the legality of their suppression. 

In the mean time the Palais continues to be surrounded by the 
French Guards ; no access is allowed to it, and the administration 
of Justice is entirely suspended. At present all the members of 
the Parliament are agreed upon not giving their assent to the new 
Form of Government but, as a great Length of time is allowed 
before their next meeting, it is probable that a change of sentiments 
may take place. 

The accounts from Rouen are favourable the King's commands 
having been carried into execution by the Due de Benoron without 
the smallest murmur or disturbance, though the Parliament of that 
Province had issued some very strong Resolutions against an inno- 
vation in their Constitution : nevertheless it is thought that the 
Parliament of Rouen will adopt the same plea as that of Paris and 
protest against all the new Laws enacted at the Lit de Justice. 

The Parliament of Metz likewise received His Majesty's com- 
mands with the greatest submission as did also the Supreme Court 
of Judication at Clemont en Auvergne.... 

The Accounts from Rennes are different : Mons. le Comte de 
Thiard apprehending a very violent opposition, thought proper to 



48 DESPATCHES FROM PARIS 1788 

suspend His Majesty's Orders, and sent for fresh Instructions : — 

Saturday last having been the day appointed for the Meeting of 
the States and Parliament, accounts are hourly expected from that 
Quarter. Some letters from Rennes mention that the Procureur 
Syndic of the States went to the House of Parliament attended by 
fifty Gentlemen who all protested against any proposal that might 
be made to invade their rights and privileges : there is reason to 
believe that a Coup d'Autorite will meet with in that Country a 
more than ordinary resistance. 

Monsr. de St. Priest, I am just informed, took leave yesterday 
but I do not know from authority that he did. 

Monsr. de Brienne, Ministre de la Guerre, Le Prince de Luxem- 
bourg, Capitaine des Gardes du Corp du Roi, et le Comte de 
Thiard, Gouverneur de Bretagne, were yesterday named by His 
Majesty Knights of the Holy Ghost. There are three Blue Ribbands 
still vacant. 

The last Letters from Constantinople are dated the 22nd March, 
at which period M. de Bulzakow was still a prisoner in the seven 
Towers. The Grand Vizir with His Army had left the Environs 
of that City. It is reported that the Austrians have gained an 
advantage over the Turks at Jassy in Moldavia. 

I send your Lordship enclosed the Resolution of the Parhament 
which I had not been able to procure last week. 

27. Dorset to Carmarthen. 

15 May 1788. 

Since I had last the honour of writing to your Lordship accounts 
have been received from several of the Provincial Capitals which 
mention that no resistance had been offered nor any disturbance 
made upon the Notification of His Majesty's Commands. 

The Comte de Thiard met with little or no difficulty at Rennes, 
though, from an apprehension of much discontent and its conse- 
quences, he had thought it advisable to defer the execution of the 
Orders he had received 'till he should be further instructed how to 
proceed. This delay happened not to be material, but the Ministers 
were rather displeased at this conduct of the Comte de Thiard. 



1788 BEFORE THE REVOLUTION 49 

However the nomination of that Governor to one of the vacant 
Blue Ribbands is sufficient proof that His Majesty was not dis- 
satisfied with him. 

Your Lordship will see by the few following particulars, which 
I have transcribed, of what passed at Rennes, that the States and 
Parliament of that Province have by no means resigned their 
Privileges up to the Power of the Cour Pleniere^ but that on the 
contrary the language of the Nobility is even stronger than that 
held by the Parliament of Paris. 

Discours de la Noblesse a M, le Comte de Thiard. 

Nous nous remettons, Monsieur, la protestation que le Procureur 
Generale Syndic des Etats de Bretagne a deposee au Parliament. 

EUe exprime le voeux de la Noblesse ; nous ne doutons pas, 
Monsieur, que si sa Majeste en etoit instruite, elle ne retira les 
ordres rigoureux que les ennemis de sa Gloire et de la Nation 
ont ose lui surprendre, et qu'un vrai Serviteur du Roi ne sauroit 
executer. 

Arrete de la Noblesse de Bretagne du g Mai. 

Nous soussignes Membres de la Noblesse de la Province de 
Bretagne declarons infames ceux qui pourroient accepter quelques 
Places, soit dans I'Administration des Etats, qui ne seroient pas 
avouees par les loix constitutionelles de la Province. 

Signe de I'Ordre de la Noblesse. 

Reponse du Roi aux Etats de Bretagne du 12 Mai. 

Je ne retirerai pas mes Edits ; la Loi etant generale pour tout le 
Royaume, s'il s'y trouve des objets contraires aux droits, franchises, 
et libertes de la Province, Je recevrai des Representations des 
Etats et aurai egard a celles qui me paroitront fondees. 

S'il est constate que le Nombre de 48 Juges ne soit pas su£(isant 
on pourra I'augmenter. 

Son Impot nouveau qui sera enregistre par la Cour Pleniere, ne 
pourra etre leve en Bretagne sans le consentement prealable des 
Etats et enregistre au Parlement. 

4 



50 DESPATCHES FROM PARIS 1788 

Toute loi particuliere a la Bretagne sera enregistree au Parlement 
comme par le passe. 

The Parliament of Besanfon has also registered the Proceedings 
of the Lit de Justice. A particular circumstance attended that Body 
of Magistrates — viz — since the registering the Re-establishment of 
that Parliament in 1774, no one Law whatever has been registered, 
so that in order to proceed regularly it was necessary that all the 
Laws which had passed since the Accession of His present 
Majesty to the Throne should be registered, which occasioned 
that Assembly to remain sitting for the space of thirty-nine hours 
without intermission. 

The Marechal de Vaux presided. The Parliament of Thoulouse 
made no difficulties, but the Comte de Perigord was under the 
necessity, at the request of the First President, to order two Sentries 
to attend the Members to the Assembly, in order to its appearing 
on the Journals that their obedience to the commands of their 
Sovereign in this instance was an act of compulsion. 

The Parliament of Dijon was quite passive, yet it must be 
observed to your Lordship that not one of these Legislative Bodies 
had admitted the legality of the Proceedings of the Lit de Justice 
nor of the establishment of a Cour Pleniere which, by the new 
Laws, deprives the Parliaments of the principal part of their 
Privileges. — It is not intended to assemble the Cour Pleniere 'till 
the first of December, by which the Ministers will have opportunity 
to determine what Persons shall be found most proper to compose 
that Court, and they may hope that the uneasiness occasioned 
throughout the nation by the exertion of such an Arbitrary 
Stretch of power, may have time to subside. 

The Chatelet is now become the Grand Baillage de Paris. It 
remains to be seen whether it will consent to enter on the Judicial 
Business which is attributed to it by the Edict. Many think it 
will not. The Grands Baillages in the Provinces have the same 
Privileges as that of the Chatelet de Paris : all other matters of 
greater importance are suspended and will remain so 'till the 
Re-establishment of the Parliaments in their judicial capacity. 

The Palais Marchand and the avenues leading to it continue to 



1788 BEFORE THE REVOLUTION 51 

be guarded, though the number of the Soldiers is greatly reduced. 

The Gazette of France of Tuesday last takes notice that His 
Majesty held His Cour Pleniere on Friday, which must be an 
error as it would certainly have been an inconsistency, since His 
Majesty in His Speech on that day which I have the honor to send 
enclosed to your Lordship, together with Copies of other Proceed- 
ings of the Parliament not yet printed, only says, 

" Que lorsque j'aurai determine le choix des Personnes qui 
completteront avec vous Ma Cour Pleniere " for if that Meeting 
was to be considered as a Cour Pleniere why not have made it 
enter upon its Functions on That Day ? The Gazette is herewith 
enclosed. 

The six Advocates, amongst whom was the celebrated Target, 
appointed to examine into and decide upon the Reform of the Civil 
and Criminal Laws have sent in their Resignations to the Garde 
des Sceaux. 

P.S. It is strongly reported that His Majesty has been requested 
by the Principal Ministers and the Garde des Sceaux to dismiss the 
Baron Breteuil : from whence people conclude that Minister's 
resignation will shortly take place. 

28. Dorset to Carmarthen. 

15 May 1788. 

I have the honor to send your Lordship an extraordinary Vienna- 
Gazette, containing accounts of some Skirmishes between the 
Imperial and Turkish Armies and also of the taking of the Village 
and Fortress of Schabacz by the Imperialists. 

These are the last accounts from Vienna and there are none 
from Constantinople later than the 22nd of March. 

I took occasion on Tuesday last to mention to Mons. de Mont- 
morin my surprize at the early departure of the Spanish Squadron 
from Cadiz, consisting of seven Sail of Ships of the Line and other 
armed Vessels : — that Minister assured me that, so far as He 
knew the intention of the Spanish Court went no farther than 
merely a Cruize off Cape St. Vincent for the purpose of exercise 
and evolution : So large a Force, if it was not for the repeated 



52 DESPATCHES FROM PARIS 1788 

assurance of this Court, might be considered as preparatory to 
some hostile measure, and the natural connection between the 
French and Spanish Courts might justify the suspicion ; but on the 
other hand from the situation of this Country at this moment, it 
cannot be supposed that the Cabinet of Versailles would venture 
upon any step that could raise the jealousy of England, embarrassed 
as France now is with Her Parliament and oppressed with an 
enormous Debt. 

It is reported that the Bishop of Autun will be translated to the 
Archbishoprick of Lyons, lately become vacant and that the Abbe 
de Coucy, Chaplain to His Majesty, will be named Bishop of 
Autun. 

The Abbe de Coucy is very nearly related to M. de Barthelemi. 

Monsr. Despresmenil's son has applied for His Majesty's per- 
mission to go and remain with his Father, and it is imagined that 
his request will be complied with. 

Monsr. de Malleville, Intendant de la Bretagne has resigned his 
Place, which he accepted only on condition that he was not to be 
employed in any mission that could in any way tend to give 
offence to the Parliament of Rennes. 

Their Majesties went yesterday to St. Cloud, and His Royal 
Highness the Due de Normandie will be inoculated there immedi- 
ately. The Dauphin has relapsed and His Physicians entertain 
little or no hopes of His recovery. 

The Marquis of Crodon, lately named Ambassador to this Court 
from that of Turin is expected here in about a Month. 

The Baron de Talleyrand is lately returned from that Capital, 
having obtained leave of Absence for twelve Months. 

The Marquis de Bombelle is also hourly expected from Lisbon 
having obtained the like permission from this Court. 

The Comte d'Andlan, Minister from His Most Christian Majesty 
to Brussels has resigned that appointment ; it is not yet determined 
whether a successor to that Gentleman will be named or that — 
only a Resident will be appointed to that Mission. 



1788 BEFORE THE REVOLUTION 53 

20. Dorset to Carmarthen. 

19 May 1788. 

I take the opportunity of Mr. Belz return to England to send 
your Lordship Despatches from Sir Robert Ainslie which I received 
late on Thursday evening : though every sort of inteUigence from 
that Quarter is interesting at this moment, I did not think the 
contents of the enclosed Despatches of importance sufficient to 
forward them to your Lordship by a Messenger Extraordinary, 
nor was I willing to risk the delay to which they might have been 
liable by the Post. 

The Departure of the Grand Vizir with his Army and the 
forwardness of the Captan Pasha's Fleet destined for the Black 
Sea are important circumstances, but the spreading of the Plague 
in some of the Greek Islands and in a part of the Morea seem to 
demand the immediate attention of the European Powers. 

I herewith send your Lordship the Resolutions of the Chatelet 
(one of the Criminal Courts) by which it refuses to act under the 
new Form : — 

The accounts from Bordeaux and Grenoble are much the same 
as those which have been received from other Parts, excepting that 
the Parliament of Bordeaux have entered Protests against the new 
edicts before the Dissolution of its Meeting. 

P.S. Accounts from Vienna mention that a detached Corps 
under the command of Prince Charles of Licthenstein had met 
with a repulse in an attack made upon a Fortress on the Banks of 
the Save: the loss sustained by the Imperial Troops on this occasion 
is thought to be considerable : 

Particulars of this Affair are hourly expected from Vienna. 

30. Dorset to Carmarthen. 

22 May 1788. 

The several Parliaments throughout the Kingdom seem to be 
perfectly agreed in their opinion upon the Resolutions of the Court. 
His Majesty's commands having been received by all of them with 
an equal degree of dissatisfaction, it now remains to be seen 



54 DESPATCHES FROM PARIS 1788 

whether the BaUiwicks (Grands Bailliages) will submit or not to 
act under the new regulations. Most of those Courts in the 
Jurisdiction of the Parliament of Paris have, however, already com- 
plied, but others have refused. The Chatelet still continues to 
hold itself in opposition to the King's commands, notwithstanding 
that they were signified to that Body yesterday by M. de Four- 
queux, Conseiller d'Etat, whose presence did not produce any 
change of sentiments. On the contrary a Protest, of which I send 
your Lordship a Copy, was immediately entered. All the Advocates 
and Attornies refuse to attend, nor do any of them appear at the 
Court of the Chatelet, which necessarily occasions a suspension of 
business. Consequently justice cannot be adminstered, and unless 
His Majesty shall think proper to relax or that of the Chatelet 
finds itself under the necessity of giving way, much confusion will 
ensue. The language of Party runs high : many are persuaded 
that a new Constitution is upon the Eve of being formed, and that 
at the Assembly of the States-General the King's Authority will 
receive a great check ; while others less sanguine are of opinion 
that His Majesty's Power will undergo no diminution beyond what 
He may Himself voluntarily permit. 

The discontent of the Parliaments has not yet reached the 
people at large, indeed the Parliaments do not seem to hold that 
consideration in the eyes of the public which alone could make 
them formidable. 

The last accounts from Rennes represent that Parliament as 
having become much more calmly disposed than it was, but there 
still remains a great degree of discontent amongst the nobility who 
compose the states : — The King's Answer to that Body which I 
had the honor to send your Lordship last Thursday, proves to have 
been spurious. His Majesty not having addressed the States of 
Brittanny upon this late occasion in the manner as was pretended 
at Rennes by the Magistrates. Such was indeed the tenor of the 
language held in the King's name by the Ministers to the Deputies 
of the States at Versailles, that His Majesty's sentiments were not 
delivered in writing. 

The Assembly of the Clergy, which is now holding, join in the 



1788 BEFORE THE REVOLUTION 55 

public requisition for the States-General, and the demand that has 
been made by the Court for Four Millions, in addition to the 
customary grant, has not been complied with. They tell the King 
that a matter of so much importance requires time and deliberation. 

It is said that, as a means of lessening the expenses of the 
Foreign Department, no Ministers, of the rank of Ambassador, will 
in future be named excepting to Crowned Heads, nor will there 
from this time be any other than a Resident appointed to Brussels. 
The Dauphin's state of health is become very alarming and gives 
great uneasiness. The Due de Normandie continues well ; no 
symptoms of the small- Pox have yet appeared. 

The idea of the Baron de Breteuil's dismission, which I 
mentioned in my Despatch No. 33, last week, appears to have had 
no foundation. 

Your Lordship will, I hope, have received a Packet from me, 
containing Despatches from Sir Robert Ainslie, of which Mr. Belz, 
who left Paris last Tuesday, took charge : in my Letter of that day 
I took notice of the repulse which a Body of Austrians had met 
with in an attack upon a Fortress on the Banks of the Save, the 
Particulars of which were hourly expected ; no further accounts of 
that Affair have however yet been received. 

When the last letters left Toulon the Aurora Frigate with the 
ambassadors from Tippo Sultan on Board, was not arrived in that 
Port, but as she had been met with in the Mediterranean she was 
expected every hour : This ship had not put into Carthagena as 
was reported... 

P.S. Monsr. de Montmorin being in the Country last Tuesday 
did not receive the Foreign Ministers. 

I have just heard that at the Assembly of the Clergy, which sate 
yesterday, the Bishop of Blois opposed the granting of the four 
Millions in addition to the usual Donation of that Body and 
proposed that the King should be addressed to convene the States- 
General as soon as possible. 

The Archbishop of Narbonne opposed the Motion, and the Abb^ 
de Montesquiou proposing the measure to be put to the vote, it 
appeared that there were for the address 39 ; against it 33. 



56 DESPATCHES FROM PARIS 1788 

81. Dorset to Carmarthen. 

29 May 1778. 

The Affairs within the Jurisdiction of Paris wear a better aspect 
than when I had last the honor of writing to your Lordship. 
Several of the Bailliages have acceded to the new Laws and have 
consented to act under them. Of these I enclose a List as published 
yesterday by Order of Government : the List contains also the 
names of several other Bailliages which have likewise accepted. 

The Chatelet of Paris remains as it was, but continues its 
functions under the Old form, so that there is no stop to the 
business that falls under its ancient constitution. 

All the new Laws are registered by the different Courts of the 
Parliament, and the Guards, under the command of Mons. d'Agoult, 
still remain in the precincts of the Palais Marchand : the number is 
reduced to two hundred, and the Men and Officers are regularly 
quartered. 

A slight disturbance happened two days ago, owing to some 
Trades-people who wanted to have possession of some of their 
effects, and a Lawyer who was desirous of having access to some 
Papers : admittance being refused them they proceeded to insult the 
Soldiery and made use of some indecent expression against Monsr. 
d'Agoult ; but the matter went no further. 

At Rennes Matters are far from being settled : the States refuse 
in toto to admit the new Laws, and have declared all those 
infamous who accept any Employment under them. I send your 
Lordship inclosed the Resolutions of the Nobility of that Province 
in direct opposition to the commands of His Majesty. The Comte 
de Thiard represented the Illegality of their assembling, and was 
answered by them that they had assembled at the time when the 
English Army was on the Coast near St. Cas in order to defend 
themselves, and that as they conceived their property to be at this 
time in equal danger they thought they had a right to meet 
together for the purpose of consulting upon the best means of 
protecting it. The situation of the Comte de Thiard is peculiarly 
unpleasant, for, besides the embarrassment occasioned by the 



1788 BEFORE THE REVOLUTION 57 

determined opposition of the Nobility and Gentry to the King's 
Commands, the Members of the States have come to a resolution 
not to visit him, and take every means of shewing their discontent 
insomuch that the only Company who frequent the Governor's 
House consists of the Officers who are quartered in the Town. 

An order was sent on Saturday last to Thoulouse exiling that 
Parliament. The reason of this mark of His Majesty's displeasure 
was — that Body assembling at the House of the First President, in 
direct opposition to His Majesty's injunctions, when a violent 
Arrete was passed against all that had been done in the Lit de 
Justice. 

Some people go so far as to say that the Magistrates of that 
Parliament will refuse to submit to the King's Order ; but, what- 
ever resistance His Majesty's Orders may meet with whether in 
Thoulouse or in any other part of the Kingdom, I have reason to 
think that the Cabinet of Versailles will not relax in any respect ; 
and however general the demand may be for the holding the 
States-General sooner than 1792, it is not likely that requisition 
will be complied with, so long as the least opposition shews itself 
in the Parliaments, with respect to the new Regulations. 

The Grand Bailliage is established at Libourne and is now 
invested with its new functions. 

I send your Lordship inclosed a Copy of some Resolutions of 
the Parliament of Paris which were intended to be presented to 
His Majesty prior to those of the third of the Month, which for 
energy and expression do honor to the Author : Monsr. D'Espres- 
menil is said to have drawn them up. 

The Archbishop of Sens has acquainted the Son of Monsr. 
D'Espresmenil that he has laid his Letter requesting leave to join 
his Father, before the King, but that His Majesty, at the same 
time that he approved his intentions, had declared that such 
permission could not yet be granted to him. 

The Commissioners appointed by the Assembly of the Clerg}' to 
draw up Remonstrances to be presented to His Majesty have not 
yet digested them, not has anything respecting their Meeting as yet 
transpired. 



58 DESPATCHES FROM PARIS 1788 

Mons. de Berthier, Intendant of Paris, addressed a very civil 
Letter last Wednesday to the Greffiers of the Tournelle, in which 
he begged they would call upon him the following morning : — On 
their arrival, he informed them that he had an order to insist upon 
their giving him a List of all the Criminal Causes that were 
preparing for Tr>'al, as also of the Prisoners detained at the Con- 
ciergerie ; to which the Greffiers returned for answer that the 
keeper of the Prison was more competent than they were to satisfy 
his enquiries upon that point. 

The Dauphin is something better ; Their Majesties go frequently 
to see Him. 

The Due de Normandie is quite well. The Court will remain at 
St. Cloud 'till the 14th of next Month. 

The Comte de Chalas His Most Christian Majesty's Ambassador 
at Venice is returned home, having obtained leave of absence for a 
few months. 

32. Dorset to Carmarthen. 

29 May 1788. 

...In my conversation with Monsr. de Montmorin last Tuesday I 
learned from that Minister that it is the intention of this Government 
to form three different Encampments this summer, a Measure re- 
commended by the Council of War, but the number of Men for 
each, and the Places are not yet fixed, nor can the Encampments 
well take place sooner than the latter end of July or begiiuiing of 
August. Alsace and Flanders will in all probability be occupied 
by the Largest Bodies of Troops : however as soon as the whole is 
arranged Mons. de Montmorin will without reserve make me 
acquainted with all the Particulars in order to my communicating 
them to your Lordship for His Majesty's information. The Council 
of War have adjourned their sittings for a Month or six weeks. 
The Members who compose this Assembly have allotted to them- 
selves separate Services. The Due de Guines attends to the 
cloathing and accoutring of the Army : The Comte d'Esterhazy 
and the Comte de Jaucourt are to examine into the State of the 
Military Hospitals in order to correct the abuses that have been 



1788 BEFORE THE REVOLUTION 59 

practised in them. The Marquis d'Autichamp, the Comte de 
Puysegar and M. de Lambert are occupied in forming a new plan 
for exercising and manoeuvering the Troops. The conduct of This 
Board of General Officers has met with the approbation of His 
Majesty. They have a iixed salary of 6000 French Livres each, to 
be continued so long as they remain in that capacity... 

33. Dorset to Carmarthen. 

5 June 1788. 

The Guard is still continued at the Palais, where, though no 
Violence had been used on either part, the Officers and Soldiers 
suffer frequent insults from the populace. 

Opportunities have been found for sticking up in different places 
Placards and Songs, but they are always taken down immediately, 
and the Police is very active in preventing as much as possible all 
sorts of incendiary Papers from being dispersed in this City and its 
Environs. 

By the account from Rennes matters there are become very 
serious and alarming : a Body of Gentlemen, some hundreds in 
number, have signed a letter to his Majesty, which has been 
transmitted by the Comte de Thiard, containing very violent 
Protestations against the new Laws, by which they contend that 
the States of Brittany would be deprived of their Rights and 
Franchises ; They insist also upon the liberty of assembling when- 
ever the exigencies of the times may seem to require it. 

This address is said to be drawn up in very violent language, and 
His Majesty has refused to receive it, which indeed would equally 
have been the case, had it been expressed in moderate terms, since 
it is contrary to the express commands of the King to offer anything 
in the way of remonstrance. 

In consequence of the opposition maintained by these Gentlemen, 
Government have thought it expedient to order four Regiments of 
Infantry (three German and one Swiss) ; one of Chasseurs and one 
of Dragoons to march immediately to Rennes : the Horse consist 
of Hussars and the Dragoons of Chartres : this Force will join the 



60 DESPATCHES FROM PARIS 1788 

Regiments of Laforet and Rohan-Soubise which are quartered in 
that Town. 

The Comte de Thiard's situation becomes more and more un- 
pleasant and embarrassing : it is said he will be immediately 
recalled and that a Commander-in-Chief of the Army collected 
there on this occasion will be appointed. 

The Marechal de Vaux, to whom this command has been offered 
declines sei"ving on account of his great age, being upwards of 
82 years old, and it is thought the Comte de Langeron, Knight of 
the Order of the Holy Ghost, will be named : but I have heard it 
suggested that if any considerable Body of Troops is sent into 
Brittany that M. de Rochambeau will be put at the head of them ; 
sans doute on le regarde comme egalement prcypre pour soumettre 
comme pour aider les Rebelles, 

A Meeting of the States and Parliament was to be held last 
Monday at Rennes, which probably cannot have been prevented 
by the Military Force in the Town, unless some of the Reinforce- 
ments arrived there in time, for it seemed very uncertain whether 
the Troops, without some reinforcement, would venture to oppose 
the Meeting. Intelligence of the proceedings of that day might 
have arrived last night or this morning, but I do not learn that any 
accounts from Rennes have yet been received. The Court and 
likewise the Public in general are expecting with much anxiety 
news from that Quarter ; particularly as the future conduct of the 
other Parliaments of the Kingdom will be determined by the result 
of what is now passing in Brittany. 

The firmness and resolution of His Majesty's Ministers must 
now be put to the test. 

Your Lordship will receive herewith inclosed the proceedings 
of the Parliament of Thoulouse which occasioned the exile of that 
Body of Magistrates : It is said that the Comte de Perigord has 
permitted each member to choose the place of his retreat on 
condition that it be not less than two leagues from Thoulouse. 

The Lettres de Cachet were delivered by the Officers of the 
Noailles Regiment of Dragoons, and of the Infantry Regiment of 
Bresse. 



1788 BEFORE THE REVOLUTION 61 

I have met with a copy, which I send your Lordship, of a very 
extraordinary Arret of the Parhament of Dauphine : it seems too 
absurd to be considered as authentic, yet such is the spirit of the 
times that nothing of this kind may not be expected : it is even 
reported that the States of Brittany in their Letter to the King 
before-mentioned, say that, before they can think of entering upon 
their functions as Statesmen and Magistrates, the Heads of the 
Archbishop of Sens, and Mons. de Lamoignon must be delivered 
to them by way of earnest for the security of their Uberties, observ- 
ing at the same time that they were of opinion that their terms 
were very moderate. 

The two first Lieutenants of the French Guards, the one a 
Breton, Mons. de Bertolet, a gentleman of considerable fortune, 
the other a Gentleman of the Province of Lyonnois, have resigned 
their commissions in consequence of the present situation of 
Affairs. This is the first instance of disaffection that has shewn 
itself in His Majesty's Army. It is not hkely that these resigna- 
tions will have much effect, as both these officers are men of 
independent fortunes, and, having sometime since received the 
Croix de St. Louis, had no favor to look to from the Court, so that 
the sacrifice they have made on this occasion is not very great. 

I have heard that very great offers have been made to the 
Chancellor Maupeou to induce him to resign his titular dignity in 
favor of Mons. de Lamoignon: Liberty, a Dutchy, and other honors 
and emoluments it is said have been proposed to this exiled Chief 
of the Magistracy, but his answer has been, ^e ne dotine, ni neprens. 

The last Letters from Vienna mention that His Imperial Majesty 
has had a fall from His horse by which he had received a slight 
hurt a little above the instep. The same letters add that the 
preparations for the siege of Belgrade were going on with great 
vigor. 

It is believed here that His Prussian Majesty intends forming a 
Camp this summer at Wesel. 

The Absence of Mons. de Montmorin from Paris last Tuesday 
prevented the Foreign Ministers from having their audiences. 

The sixteen Commissaries of the Clergy who meet every day 



62 DESPATCHES FROM PARIS 1878 

morning and evening, have not yet completed their business, which 
it is imagined will still occupy them to the end of this week. 

The Bishop of Orleans died last week ; the Bishoprick is dis- 
posed of to the Coadjutor de Tarinte. The late Bishop of Orleans 
through his influence in the late King's reign got the present 
Principal Minister promoted to the See of Thoulouse. — ^The Bishop- 
rick of Autun is not yet disposed of. 

The Dauphin continues very poorly. 

The Marquis de Montesquiou, first Equerry to Monsieur, was 
robbed, either on Tuesday or Wednesday night, of 180,000 Livres 
Tournois, part of it in Cash; the rest in Notes of the Caisse d'Es- 
compte, and Actions (shares) of the Water Company : the Robbers 
entered the House through the Garden by the assistance of false 
keys ; His Strong- Box only was forced open. 

P.S. La Reclamation du Tiers- Etat, which I have the honor to 
send your Lordship inclosed seems to have been authorized by 
Government though it is not avowed. It is beyond a doubt that 
the intention of Government is to appoint several members of the 
Provincial Assemblies to the Cour Pleniere, and perhaps His 
Majesty may be advised to extend the composition of this Assembly 
to the Tiers- Etat. 

I inclose to your Lordship the Proceedings of the Magistrates of 
Besanfon subsequent to the Lit de Justice held at that Place.... 

34. Dorset to Carmarthen. 

8 June 1788. 

Mr. Swinburne who leaves Paris this day, takes charge of this 
Letter. 

Since I had last the honor of writing to your Lordship, an 
account has been received from Rennes of the Exile of that 
Parliament, the Members of which, as well as the Nobility and 
Gentry were ordered to repair to their respective Country- Houses 
without loss of time. As soon as it was discovered that the 
Lettres de Cachet were received by the Governor, the Members 
appointed a Meeting at a private House, where they assembled 
with a determined Resolution not to admit the delivery of them, but 



1788 BEFORE THE REVOLUTION 63 

the populace having collected together, upon finding the House 
surrounded by the Military, and shewing a strong disposition to 
proceed to acts of violence which very much alarmed the Inhabi- 
tants, the Magistrates, Members of the Parliament, found it 
necessary to interpose their Authority, and it was thought advise- 
able, in order to prevent the disagreeable consequences that 
seemed likely to ensue, to receive the Lettres de Cachet. 

The Officer commanding the Regiment quartered at Rennes, 
having been repeatedly insulted in very gross manner, not only 
by the lower sort of people but also by several Gentlemen of the 
Place, found himself driven to the necessity of seeking reparation 
for the affronts that had been offered him, and in an Affaire 
d'honneur with one of the Nobility severely wounded his 
Antagonist. 

When the last Letters left Rennes everything was tolerably 
quiet, most of the Members having left the Town, and, which 
perhaps still more contributed to keeping the peace, three or four 
Regiments having arrived there. Nevertheless there does not 
seem, by what I hear, to be the least disposition to admit the new 
laws in Britanny without repeated and continued acts of compul- 
sion. This spirit of resistance has determined Government to send 
a large Body of Troops,about twelve thousand in number, composed 
chiefly of foreign Regiments in the ser\'ice of France, into that 
Province, where also a Camp will be formed in the course of the 
Summer. The unexpected necessity of having a Camp in that 
part of the kingdom, has occasioned changes to be made in the 
dispositions that were arranged. The project of a Camp in 
Alsace, which was intended, is accordingly laid aside, as well as 
that which was fixed to be in Flanders : there will however still be 
two Camps on that side of the Country : one near Metz, consisting 
of thirty thousand men, to be commanded by the Marechal de 
Broglie, the Marquis de Bouille second in command : the other in 
Artois commanded by the Prince of Conde; the second in command 
under his Serene Highness is not yet named, nor is yet known 
what number of men this Camp will consist of. His Majesty has 
not yet named a Commander for the Camp of Britanny : it is said 



64 DESPATCHES FROM PARIS 1788 

that the Marechal de Castries has soUicited to have this appoint- 
ment but there is Uttle reason to suppose that his services will be 
accepted. 

I send your Lordship inclosed a Memoire that was delivered to 
the Comte de Thiard by the Nobility at Rennes. 

It is not yet known what Resolutions the States have come to, 
or whether anything further has been resolved upon at any 
Meeting since that period. 

Several of the Grands Bailliages which were announced by 
authority from Government as having accepted the new Ordonnan- 
ces have contradicted the assertion, particularly at Nancy, the 
Magistrates of that Bailliwicks having passed an Act declaring the 
assertion to be false, and contrary to the tenor of all their former 
Resolutions. 

85. Dorset to Carmarthen. 

12 June 1788. 

An account arrived yesterday at St. Cloud of the resistance made 
by the populace at Grenoble as soon as it was known there that 
the King's orders for the banishment of that Parliament were 
received. 

This affair, as your Lordship may easily imagine, is differently 
related, but the following is the account most credited. 

The Members of the Parliament being on the point of departing 
to their respective Country-seats, a general alarm was spread 
through the Town by the sounding of a Tocsin (an alarm-bell) upon 
which the populace, to the number of about 5000, assembled and 
forced their way into the Arsenal, seized all the arms they could 
find, drove the Military from their posts and obliged the Governor, 
the Due de Clermont Tonnerre to deliver up to them the Keys of 
the Parliament-House, whither by force they conducted all the 
Counsellors and other of the Members they could meet with. 
During these violent proceedings there were several killed and 
wounded on both sides and the Troops, amounting to two thousand, 
were forced to retire. The Governor is much blamed for having 
neglected to give the proper orders (it is said he took no precaution 



1788 BEFORE THE REVOLUTION 65 

of any kind) to prevent a tumult which he might have expected 
would take place on the dehvery of the Lettres de Cachet, though 
the populace had not before been at all disposed to be riotous. — 

If the Due de Clermont Tonnerre cannot justify his conduct 
upon this occasion he will be in the highest disgrace at Court : 
His house was entirely pillaged : — He will, it is reported, be 
replaced by M. de Faucourt (who has the Cordon Bleu and is a 
member of the Council of War) and orders will be immediately 
given for an additional number of Troops to march into that 
Province. 

Another account says that the Mountaineers made a descent 
upon the Troops and endeavoured but without effect to seize the 
Arsenal and to take possession of the Palais ; that several were 
killed and wounded on both sides, amongst the rest two or three 
Officers, and that the Governor's House was pillaged. 

These accounts do not differ materially, and either of them 
proves sufficiently that the confusion at Grenoble must have been 
truly alarming, and embarrassing to Government in a very great 
degree. 

The accounts from Rennes mention that everything was quiet 
there : the Comte de Thiard, report says, is hourly expected at 
Paris. 

The Archbishop of Aix and the Marechal de Beauvau, Governor 
General of Provence, presented to His Majesty last Sunday a 
Memorial from the States, praying redress, in that the privileges of 
that Province are affected by the new Laws : His Majesty received 
the Deputation very graciously and made answer that he would 
pay the greatest attention to their representations. 

The States of Britanny also by their Deputies presented Re- 
monstrances on Tuesday last to the same effect, but in much 
stronger language: His Majesty's answer was as favourable as they 
could have expected. 

Mons. de Espremesnil informs his Father-in-law in a Letter he 
has lately written to him that so far from being allowed the Isle 
St. Marguerite at large, as a Place of confinement, he is shut up in a 
room in the Castle of not more than fifteen feet square. 

5 



66 DESPATCHES FROM PARIS 1788 

I send your Lordship herewith a Despatch from Sir Robert 
AinsHe which I received last Tuesday : it is dated the 15th of 
April : Mons. de Montmorin has letters of the 19th of that month, 
and the Captan Pacha had not then left Constantinople. 

The Emperor has been slightly indisposed but is quite 
recovered. 

All is quiet here : the Guards still remain in possession of the 
avenues leading to the Courts of Justice. 

By information received from different Parts, out of sixty-seven 
Bailiwickes in the Kingdom seventeen only act under the new 
regulations. 

The Arrete of the Committee of the Assembly of the Clergy is 
drawn up and, as soon as the King's pleasure is known, it will be 
presented. 

It is said to be conceived in very strong language and to contain 
animadversions upon all those points of Government that have of 
late been intended to be carried into execution, as well as upon 
the State of the Nation in general. 

It is said that Marmontel and the Abbe Maury are employed by 
Government to draw up a State of Affairs or rather of the disputes 
between the Court and the Parliaments. 

This Publication it is expected will soon appear and is waited 
for with no small degree of impatience. 

His Majesty went this morning to visit the Hospital of Invalids 
in this City. 

A new Cone was sunk at Cherbourg a few days ago. 

Their Majesties will return to Versailles next Sunday. — the 
Dauphin still remains at Meudon ; His Royal Highness's State of 
health continues much the same as it was. 

The Due de Normandie is perfectly well. 

It is said that Monsieur and the Comte d'Artois will visit the 
Camp intended to be formed in the autumn. 

P.S. The Baron de Breteuil's resignation is still much 
talked of. 



1788 BEFORE THE REVOLUTION • 67 

86. Dorset to Carmarthen. 

19 June 1788. 

The account, which I had the honor to send your Lordship last 
week, of the tumults at Grenoble was, as I have since found, much 
exaggerated in some particulars, though it is very certain that a 
most serious disturbance has taken place in that Capital : no 
account of this affair having been given by authority, I know 
nothing but by common report which states that Mons. de 
Tonnerre, upon receiving the King's Orders for the Banishment of 
the Parliament, imprudently signified the same to the Magistrates 
in the middle of the day, when the alarm was given by the ringing 
of Bells and sounding the Tocsin, upon which the Populace 
immediately assembled (it happening to be Market-day the number 
of them was greatly increased) and proceeded to the Governor's 
House which they afterwards pillaged : Having got possession of 
the Keys of the House they took them to the Premier President 
and obliged the Magistrates to hold a Parliament there. Mons. de 
Tonnerre being present the whole time ; the MiUtary felt them- 
selves much scandalized by this insult upon the King's authority ; 
however the result of the sitting was nothing more than a formal 
Protestation against all innovations in their Constitution, and a 
Letter, conceived in very respectfuU terms, addressed to the King, 
which his Majesty received a few days ago. 

It is however by no means the intention of Government to give 
way to any Remonstrance but on the contrary to enforce all the 
new Regulations without exception. The Populace did certainly 
make an attempt upon the Arsenal, but it is not true that they got 
possession of it, three or four Peasants lost their lives on the 
occasion but none of the Soldiers were killed. 

At the first alarm by the ringing of the Bells, the country people 
in the neighbourhood attempted to throw themselves into the 
Town, but the Commanding Officer had the precaution to take 
such measures as frustrated this attempt and thereby prevented the 
fatal consequences that in all probability would otherwise have 
ensued. 



68 DESPATCHES FROM PARIS 1788 

Six Regiments, four of Infantry and two of Chasseurs are to be 
sent into that Province, and will arrive there the beginning of next 
month. 

No new Commandant is yet named for Grenoble in the room of 
the Due de Clermont Tonnerre, but it is generally believed that 
either Mons. de Faucourt or the Baron de Viosmenil will be 
appointed to succeed him, the former of these two Officers has 
been much indisposed lately. 

There has since been a slight affray at Grenoble occasioned by 
the refusal on the part of the Populace there to surrender certain 
parts of which they had taken possession in the Town and neigh- 
bourhood ; they were however forced by the military to abandon 
them. 

The orders for the Banishment of the Parliament of Besan9on 
were executed without the least disturbance. 

All is quiet here at present, but the Chatelet persists in not 
admitting the new Laws, and the Swiss and French Guards con- 
tinue to surround the Palais. 

Rennes also is at this time in a state of tranquility, but we hear 
from Vannes, a large Town upon the coast in Lower Britanny, that 
the Gentry in that neighbourhood are determined to oppose the 
King's authority to the last extremity, and the bringing that part 
of the country to obedience will be attended with more trouble 
and embarrassment to Government than would that of any other 
district in France on account of its being divided into small in- 
closures, added to which, whereby the difficulty would be still 
greater, the Peasants are as little acquainted with the French 
language as they are with the English or German. 

The Comte de Thiard is to remain at Rennes, several Regiments 
are on their march towards that Province in order to form a Camp 
there in the autumn. 

Report says that the Parliament of Aix, having received advice 
of Mons. de Camaran's approach to that City had assembled 
extraordinarily and had come to a resolution of rejectihg every 
offer from Government that should be short of their entire re- 
estabUshment. 



1788 BEFORE THE REVOLUTION 69 

At Dijon the same principles are adhered to, but I do not hear 
of any other act of violence except that of a Cavalier de Mare- 
chaussee who had charged the People with his Sabre, but who, to 
appeaze them, has since been put into Prison. 

Notwithstanding the violences which have taken place at Gre- 
noble I do not apprehend that they will be carried to that height 
in any other part of the Kingdom, the number of Troops in the 
Kifig's Service being sufficient to keep other Places in awe. It 
should seem that there exists at present a kind of understanding 
between the Gens de Robe and the Nobility and that their object 
is to lessen the authority of the King : but the People in general 
do not seem inclined to favor the Alliance, by which, it is by no 
means clear to them that in any event of the struggles they would 
be gainers thereby. 

During all this anarchy the Revenues of the Kingdom cannot 
but suffer extremely though it must be difficult to make any cal- 
culation of the loss to Government. 

Three millions and a half are said to have been employed in 
keeping up the Funds which however support themselves but feebly. 

Some stocks rose a few days ago, but have fallen since. 

His Majesty received on Sunday last the Remonstrances of the 
Clergy : They were presented by the Archbishop of Narbonne 
and the Archbishop of Rheims. 

The particular points which were the object of these Remonstran- 
ces have not yet transpired, but it is suspected that they contain 
expressions little adapted to the present moment, for it is certain 
that His Majesty received the Deputies very coolly and said that 
He should consider of a proper answer to give them. 

An account, which may be depended upon, has been received 
here from Vienna that the Emperor has for the present totally 
abandoned the design of laying siege to Belgrade : Preparations 
had been made and everything was in readiness to begin the attack 
upon that Fortress on the 26th of last month, but on the 25th 
orders were given for cutting away the temporary Bridges across 
the Save, and His Imperial Majesty appears now by this step to be 
decided on a defensive war. 



70 DESPATCHES FROM PARIS 1788 

The French Court is, I understand, satisfied with the apologies 
that have been offered by the States-General fot the insults that 
Mons. de St. Priest's Attendants had suffered from the populace in 
Holland. 

Letters from Cherbourg mention that a Hurricane equally 
violent, as it was uncommon at such a season of the year, and 
which lasted three days, had, on the 7th inst., forced on shore the 
Cone which was sunk on the 5th, and that that also, which was 
placed on the 20th of May had suffered very considerably. This 
accident will probably stop the progress of two other Cones which 
it was intended should be sunk about the 22nd of this month* 

The Squadron of evolution, commanded by the Marquis de 
Nieuil, consisting of two Ships of the Line (I'lllustre and le 
Leopard) of 74 guns each, some Frigates and Corvettes, were 
expected to sail from Brest the 8th of this month. 

The Ambassadors from Tippo Sultan arrived at Toulon the 9th 
inst. It will be sometime before they can reach Paris, as they are 
to be received with great magnificence at every considerable Town 
in the way hither. This Embassy will probably be a very heavy 
expense to the Court of Versailles. 

I mentioned to your Lordship in my despatch of last week that 
Mons. and the Comte d'Artois would visit the encampments this 
year : it is now said, with some degree of authority, that His 
Majesty has signified the like intention. 

I send your Lordship, inclosed herewith, a Journal de Paris con- 
taining the particulars of His Majesty's reception at the Hospital 
of the Invalids in this City. Louis XV never visited that Establish- 
ment owing to an etiquette ; it being thought not allowable for the. 
King to dispense with the attendance of His Body Guards. His 
Majesty however upon entering the Precincts of the Hospital 
dismissed them and ordered a Guard of Invalids to attend Him 
during the time He staid there. The Queen proposes to visit that 
Hospital soon. 

His Majesty has expressed a desire to see also His Botanical 
Garden and likewise His Library for which purpose some day in 
next week will be appointed. 



1788 BEFORE THE REVOLUTION 71 

Their Majesties returned to Versailles last Sunday, but the 
Foreign Ministers did not go there on Tuesday.... 

Dorset to Carmarthen. 
2 July 1788. 

On the 25th of Last Month the Parliament of Rouen passed some 
very strong resolutions, the purport of which declares all those 
infamous who shall accept of any Place or charge in the new 
Courts of Law. His Majesty is also therein prayed to dismiss 
those Ministers who have been the advisers of the pernicious Edicts 
which have brought the Country into its present state of disorder : 
Mons. de Lamoignon is particularly pointed at and his removal 
required. The same disgrace attends this Parliament as others 
have already experienced, and the Members of it are accordingly 
exiled. I have not heard that any difficulties attended the execu- 
tion of His Majesty's Orders, though the mass of the People in 
Normandy are veiy hostile to the late measures of Government : 
their disaffection however is not likely to shew itself 'till towards 
the latter end of the year, the usual time of collecting the Taxes. 

In Britanny La Commission intermediaire which consists of the 
Nobility, Clergy and Tiers- Etats (Citizens) have voted a very 
spirited Remonstrance to the King, which His Majesty has refused 
to receive. 

The Deputies who are charged with it, and who have sent a 
Copy of it to every one of the Ministers, continue to solicit an 
audience of His Majesty but it is not probable that it will be 
granted to them. 

In these Remonstrances the Archbishop of Sens is treated with 
great severity ; very strong expressions being made use of "to 
mark the danger a King is liable to who admits to His Councils a 
Man, such as the Archbishop is described to be, whose abilities 
never were sufficiently conspicuous in the eyes of the Nation to 
justify his advancement to the Post he fills, but who by mere 
intrigue has so managed to place himself at the head of a great 
Nation while it must ever best suit his private interest to conceal 
from His Sovereign the true State of His Kingdom. " 



72 DESPATCHES FROM PARIS 1788 

Though everything is apparently quiet at Rennes, the Common 
people take every occasion of shewing their disaffection to Govern- 
ment and their abhorrence of the late innovations : a remarkable 
instance of this disposition has very lately appeared. In the 
town of Rennes there is an equestrian Statue of Louis XIV : it has 
been asserted and spread about by some evil-minded Persons there 
that the Scepter with which that Monarch is represented has 
fallen within the last month more than six inches, and it is moreover 
said that one night the horse sweated drops of blood. 

I should not venture to take notice of a story so incredible and 
absurd, had I not been assured by those who have very lately come 
to Paris from that neighbourhood that the people there are so 
enthusiastic, and at the same time so zealous in defense of their 
Privileges, which they consider as invaded by the new Regulations, 
that their credulity upon this occasion seems to have brought them 
to a level with the inhabitants of the most uncivilized Parts of the 
World : it serves at least to shew that no Artifice is left untried to 
inflame the Populace, and more than common exertions will be 
necessary to bring to a right sense of their duty a People in whom 
an extreme degree of ignorance is combined with a sort of principle 
of disaffection. 

It appears to be the plan of Government undoubtedly to curtail 
the power of the Parliament, but by no means its intention to 
invade the Franchises and Privileges of any of the Provinces, a 
proof of which has occurred within these few days in regard to 
the County of Beam, for the Deputies from that Province were 
extremely well received by the Minister and are likely to obtain 
the redress they ask with every assurance, they can wish, that no 
attack whatsoever upon their Constitution is intended ; it is even 
certain that the Due de Guiche, as Seigneur de Gramont, and 
principal Person in that County, is to be sent with full powers to 
reinstate things in their former position with a view to quiet the 
minds of the People. If the like measures were taken in regard to 
the rest of the Provinces the People probably would not interest 
themselves, as they now begin to do, in the fate of the Parliaments: 
some of the new Regulations being very favorable and really 



1788 BEFORE THE REVOLUTION 73 

advantageous to the Community at large, by facilitating the decision 
of petty Law-Suits at much less expense than before, to which may 
be added the abolishing la Sellette and superseding the immediate 
execution of Criminals. It must however be observed that if 
Government has any design to sooth the People into acquiescence, 
no time is to be lost, for the spirit of resistance is making hasty 
strides throughout the Kingdom, the difficulty is daily increasing, 
and, which makes the matter still more serious, it is certain that 
some of the Regiments have already shewn great reluctance to act 
against their Fellow-Citizens. 

As yet no blood has been spilt, excepting at Grenoble : this, at 
Rennes, has been the happy effect of that extreme moderation of 
temper and cautious conduct which the Comte de Thiard displayed 
during a most critical period of two days, while not only his own 
life was in imminent danger but the lives of thousands depended 
upon the measures which his judgement was occasionally to 
dictate. 

The French and Swiss Guards still continue to occupy the 
avenues leading to the Parliament House. The Marechal de Stain- 
ville left Paris last Monday to take possession of his command in 
Alsace. 

Troops are sent into the interiour Parts of Dauphine to keep the 
People in awe there ; they find great difficulty in procuring sub- 
sistence in such a mountainous Country. 

Fresh reinforcements have been sent to all those parts where 
there exists any apprehensions for the public safety. Of the thirteen 
Parliaments, nine are in exile — viz, those of Grenoble, Rennes, 
Pau, Besangon, Metz, Nancy, Dijon, Toulouse and Rouen : those 
of Paris, Bordeaux, Aix and Douay remain, but they have all 
protested against the new Laws. 

The Assembly of the Clergy has finally resolved upon increasing 
their usual supply to Government one tenth, during the two ensuing 
years, which will produce about 900,000 livres each year : the 
Don Graiuit extraordinary will therefore amount to 1800,000 livTes, 
instead of eight miUions, the sum demanded by the King's 
Commissary, 



74 DESPATCHES FROM PARIS 1788 

This Assembly has been occupied for some days past in preparing 
a Memorial in which will be proposed a Revisal of the observations 
and Representations to His Majesty upon the Edict of the Non- 
Catholics. 

The Ambassadors of Tippoo Sultan are daily expected to arrive 
in this City. Great care will, I conclude, be taken to prevent any 
impressions being given to these People that can in any shape 
diminish their ideas of the Power and authority of the Sovereign 
of this Country, as the confidence of Tippoo Sultan might be 
lessened was He to be made acquainted with the real State of 
Affairs in France. The account of the reception of the Ambassadors 
at Toulon is in the Journal de Paris of the 30th of June, which I 
have the honor to send your Lordship, as well as that of the 29th 
which give the particulars of Her Majesty's reception at the 
Hospital of Invalids last Monday sennight. 

The Brother-in-law of the Dey of Tripoli with eight or ten 
Persons belonging to him have been at Paris during the last ten 
days, the object of his mission is to go as Minister to the States- 
General at the Hague. 

Mr. Jefferson, the American Minister, here, says that his last 
Letters from America bring him accounts that Maryland had 
acceded to the new Constitution. Washington informs him that 
there is no doubt as to the six Provinces that have hitherto held 
out, that they will also follow the example of Maryland. 

I have great reason to hope from the tenor of Mons. de Mont- 
morin's language to me last Tuesday that there is a favorable 
disposition in His Most Christian Majesty's servants to accommodate 
matters respecting the commercial inconveniences that have lately 
arisen. It is reported that smuggling is of late very much increased 
in Normandy and Britanny owing to a mistaken idea, which prevails, 
that no Courts of Law whatever will act. 

There are various conjectures of the real situation of the Cones 
at Cherbourg, though it is certain that they have lately sustained 
much damage : it is supposed that Mons. de Brienne is gone thither 
with a view to ascertain the precise state of those works in order 
to enable His Majesty to form some final resolution thereon, by 



1788 BEFORE THE REVOLUTION 75 

determining whether or not it will be adviseable to continue so 
expensive an undertaking. 

No accounts have been received here in confirmation of the 
Victory mentioned by Sir Robert Ainslie in the latter of the two 
Despatches which I had the honor to forward to your Lordship 
last week. 

The Ministers from the two Imperial Courts believe the in- 
telligence to be premature. Mons. de Montmorin has received no 
accounts from Constantinople of later date than the 19th of April. 

The Dauphin's state of health continues much the same. The 
Due de Normandie has been slightly indisposed but is quite well 
again. Their Majesties will go on the 15th of this month to 
Trianon for a month. 

The Marquis de Cordon, Ambassador from His Sardinian 
Majesty, was to have had his audiences of Their Majesties and of 
the Royal Family last Tuesday, but owing to some mistake His 
Excellency was not at Versailles : He will probably therefore be 
received on Sunday next... 

38. Dorset to Camarthen. 

17 July 1788. 

A Storm of Thunder, Lightening and Hail which was experienced 
in the environs of Paris last Sunday morning, was so incommonly 
violent and has done so much mischief in those Parts where its 
full force was felt, that I am induced to give your Lordship such 
particulars of it as have come to my knowledge. 

About 9 o'clock in the morning the darkness at Paris was very 
great and the appearance of the heavens seemed to threaten a 
dreadfuU Storm, the clouds however dispersed in a short time, 
having, by what I have since learned, wasted their force in other 
parts, the accounts from where give a melancholy description of 
the effects of the hurricane which appears to have commenced in 
the Forest of Rambouillet : His Majesty on his return to Versailles 
(having hunted the preceding day in that Country) was obliged to 
stop on the road and to take shelter in a Farm- House. The 
Hail-stones that fell were of a size and weight never heard of 



76 DESPATCHES FROM PARIS 1788 

before in this Country some of them measuring sixteen inches in 
circumference and in some places, it is said, they were even much 
larger. Not far from St. Germains two Men were found dead 
upon the road, and a horse so much bruised that it was determined 
to kill him from a motive of humanity to put an end to his misery : 
it is impossible to give description in detail of the damage that has 
been done : Some of the largest Trees were torn up by the Roots ; 
all the corn and vines destroyed, windows broken and even some 
houses beaten down. 

No computation has yet been made of the losses that have been 
sustained, but it is certain that a Country of at least thirty Leagues 
in circumference is entirely laid waste, and it is confidently said 
that from four to five hundred Villages are reduced to such great 
distress the inhabitants must unavoidably perish without the im- 
mediate assistance of Government : the unfortunate Sufferers not 
only lose the crops of the present year but of three or four years 
to come, the vines being entirely cut up. 

It is remarkable that the Storm separated a little on the other 
side of Versailles, passing on to the right and to the left, so that 
the force of it was not felt at that Place anymore than at Paris, 
where however a few windows in the Faubourg St. Antoine were 
broken by the hail : but Raincy, the Due d'Orleans Country-Seat 
where he passed the latter part of his Exile, about two leagues 
from this Capital, is totally destroyed : the damage done to the 
House alone is 'computed at ;^2000 St«, 

' Chantilly, I'lsle d'Adam, and all the neighbouring Country has 
also suffered very greatly. 

A Place near Paris, called Montreuil famous for its wall-fruit is 
totally demolished. 

There not having appeared any authentic printed account of the 
various damages that were occasioned by this storm, I can 
mention only such few particulars as I have been able to collect 
in addition to the imperfect account given in the Journal de Paris 
of last Tuesday which I have the honor to send your Lordship. 

The order for the Russian Minister to leave Stockholm has not 
failed to create much alarm and uneasiness at this Court, and is 



1788 BEFORE THE REVOLUTION 77 

particularly embarrassing at this moment : there is indeed more 
surprise, not to say dissatisfaction manifested on occasion of the 
conduct of His Swedish Majesty than may perhaps be prudent to 
discover at this juncture. 

The Ambassadors from Tippoo Sultan arrived here last night, 
and are lodged at a House lately occupied by Mons. Neckar in 
the Rue Bergere, Faubourg Montmartre, 

The Dauphin's health continues much in the same state. The 
Due de Normandie is quite well. 

Their Majesties went to Trianon last Tuesday and proposed to 
remain there a month. 

It is almost certain that the Court will not remove to Fontain- 
bleau this Autumn. 

89. Dorset to Carmarthen. 

21 July 1788. 

There is news that the Marechal de Vaux, who has been lately 
appointed to the command of all the Southern Provinces, arrived 
the 14th of this month at Grenoble, but not (as it is said) to super- 
sede the Due de Clermont Tonnerre. 

The Mayor of Grenoble a Person much esteemed on account of 
his moderation and Prudence in the present troubles and on whom 
the Due d'Orleans had prevailed to continue in office at the instance 
of M. de Clermont and the Intendant of Dauphiny was lately 
(according to the last Letters) conducted under a strong Guard to 
a Chateau-fort in the neighbourhood of Grenoble. 

According to late accounts from Thoulouse it is reported that 
about an hundred Persons of the Noblesse of that City had forced 
the Chamhre de Conseil and had driven from thence the Capitoul, 
who had been placed there by the Minister's Order, and that some 
violent resolutions had been entered into by that Body. The 
Account which was received last night from Rennes mentions that 
upon the arrival of the news of the imprisonment of the twelve 
Deputies from the Nobility of that Province the Members of the 
Commission inter medi aire set out immediately for Versailles for the 
purpose of interceding in the name of that Province in behalf of 



78 DESPATCHES FROM PARIS 1788 

the Prisoners. In all probability this- Body of Magistrates will 
arrive either this night or to-morrow, but I cannot think that they 
will venture to present themselves at Versailles so suddenly, but 
will think proper to wait for some assurance from the Minister 
that His Majesty will be graciously pleased to receive them. 

It is confidently reported that private Letters received this day 
by the Post from Rennes mention that the Comte de Thiard has 
left that Place, and has encamped with his Troops in that neigh- 
bourhood. 

There is not, I am inclined to believe, any foundation for the 
report that the Regiment of Bassiguy had been broken. 

M. de Clermont Galleyrande is gone to Rennes as second in 
command, the Due de Luynes being on account of ill health unable 
to attend his duty. 

The damage done by the late Storm is prodigious : Many villages 
have suffered very considerably, and some are totally destroyed. 

I send your Lordship the Journal de Paris of Saturday last which 
contains a short account of the effects of this dreadfuU calamity ; 
nothing authentic relating to it has appeared since : it is computed 
that from twelve to fifteen hundred Villages have suffered more or 
less damage. 

The Prince de Conde set out this day for Flanders to review 
some of the Regiments which are to form the Camp that He is 
to command this autumn : His Majesty will also finally determine 
upon a proper spot for the encampment which it is supposed will 
be in the neighbourhood of St. Omer's 

40. Dorset to Carmarthen. 

24 July 1788. 

Yesterday the Baron de Breteuil resigned his Place of one of 
the Secretaries of State, this resignation is variously spoken of, 
some say that it was altogether voluntary on his part ; others believe 
that the Garde des S^eaux lately displeased with his opposition 
to the great and dangerous steps that have lately been taken, made 
a point of his dismission, this latter opinion seems to be not ill- 
founded, for the Baron de Breteuil has for some time past been 



1788 BEFORE THE REVOLUTION 79 

supposed to differ in opinion upon public affairs from both the 
Archbishop and the Garde des S9eaux. 

Mons. de Berkenroode, Ambassador at this Court from the 
States General, has communicated to me a Note Ministerielle which 
he had received from Their High Mightinesses, and which He 
presented last Tuesday to Mons. de Montmorin : the Note is con- 
ceived, as your Lordship will observe by the inclosed Copy, in 
nearly the same terms as that which your Lordship did me the 
honor to send me. 

M. de Berkenroode expects to receive an answer from the 
Minister the latter end of this week, which He has reason to think 
will be equally satisfactory as that given to me. 

As M. de Montmorin could not, when I first saw Him last 
Saturday upon the business relative to the intelligence that had 
been received from India, call to mind at what time the Corvette 
sailed from France, I now give your Lordship an account of what 
that Minister's recollection enabled him to say upon the subject 
when I was with him on Tuesday : — His Excellency informed me 
that three vessels have been dispatched from Brest to the Comte 
de Conway since the end of August 1787. 

The first sailed by order of the Marechal de Castries : the 
second He Himself sent in September (after the resignation of the 
Marechal de Castries) and the third in the beginning of November, 
which he thinks could not have arrived at Pondicherry so early as 
February. This last Vessel, Mons. de Montmorin assured me 
carried, in consequence of the Declarations which have been signed 
between the two Courts, counter-orders to desist from any opera- 
tions by Sea or by Land, which might have been entered upon in 
pursuance of former Instructions. As your Lordship mentions the 
arrival of only two vessels, I am inclined to believe that the last 
mentioned vessel was not arrived when the accounts left India, and 
that the officer, from whom Sir Arch. Campbell received his 
information, had been mis-informed in regard to the shortness of 
the Passage of the Vessel he speaks of, as well as the date of her 
leaving Brest. 

The Members of the Commission Iniermediairc whom in my 



80 DESPATCHES FROM PARIS 1788 

Despatch, No. 50, 1 mentioned as being on their way from Britanny, 
arrived on Monday at Pontchartrein (within three Leagues of 
Versailles) where it was signified to them from his Majesty that 
they would incur His Royal displeasure if they should take up 
their abode either at Versailles or at Paris, but that they were at 
liberty to remain at St. Germain's, Neuilly, or St. Denis, which last 
Place these Magistrates have fixed upon and yesterday they took 
up their residence there accordingly. They have since been 
given to understand that they must wait His Majesty's further 
commands, but it is generally thought that their Remonstrances 
will be received and that Government will take this opportunity to 
propose some conciliatory terms to Britanny ; in the meanwhile it 
is certain that the Marechal de Stainville, who arrived from Stras- 
bourg on Monday last, will be appointed Commander-in-Chief in 
that Province, in which the Comte de Thiard will of course have 
leave to return to Paris. I had been misinformed in regard to 
the Comte de Thiard's having left the Town of Rennes, and 
encamped with his Troops in that neighbourhood, for I am since 
assured that he has never quitted his Post there from the time of 
his first arrival at that Place. 

In addition to the List I sent your Lordship of those who, by 
signing the Remonstrances from Britanny, have experienced the 
effects of His Majesty's displeasure, the Marquis de Seran, Governor 
to the two sons of the Comte d'Artois, has received notice that he 
must not for the present appear at Court. The Marquis de la 
Fayette is not stnick off the List of General Officers, as I mentioned 
last week by mistake, he is only not to be employed this year as 
Inspector, to which command he had been appointed. Mons. de 
Boisgelin's Place is not yet disposed of, but it is expected that one 
of his nephews will be named to it by His Majesty though not 
immediately. La Marquise de Mailly, Daughter of the Due de 
Fitz-James, is appointed Dame du Palais to Her Majesty in the 
room of the Duchesse de Praslin. 

The Due de Guiche is on his return from Pau, his mission not 
having been attended with any good effect : He has been treated 
with the greatest attention and civility, but the Members of the 



1788 BEFORE THE REVOLUTION 81 

Parliament and the Nobility of that Province declined entering 
into any discussion with him on the object of his mission. 

The high opinion entertained of the Marechal de Vaux induces 
People to conclude that he will soon bring the Southern Provinces 
to obedience, this experienced Officer is a severe disciplinarian, 
one of his first steps has been to forbid the wearing of cockades, 
which had become universal at Grenoble, this Order extends to 
Persons of both Sexes of whatever condition, and some of the lower 
class of women have been punished for persisting to wear cockades 
in defiance of it. In consequence of the Marechal de Vaux's 
taking upon himself so extensive a command most of the Governors 
in those Provinces avail themselves of the opportunity to leave 
their Governments : M. de Clermont Tonnerre has, it is said, left 
Grenoble, and M. de Camaran, (Governor of Provence) is already 
arrived at his Country- House in this neighbourhood. 

There have lately been some warm debates at the assembly of 
the Clergy upon the subject of non-Catholics : the Edict respecting 
them has been discussed and it may perhaps, at a convenient time, 
be recommended to His Majesty to annul the Edict entirely or at 
least to order a revision of this Body, (who) it should seem, have 
a wish to remain some time longer together, but it is expected 
that His Majesty will dismiss them next Sunday. 

The Guard at the Palais is still continued. 

The Ambassadors from Tippoo Sultan have not yet shewn them- 
selves pubhcly, not thinking it right to appear 'till they shall have 
been at Court, which must yet be deferred sometime longer as 
His Majesty does not intend to receive them before He returns 
from Trianon, which will not be 'till the 15th of next month ; in 
the meantime their Excellencies are not very well pleased with 
their situation and the Uttle attention they have hitherto met with 
since their arrival at Paris. 

They are however to be better lodged than they are at Present ; 
a part of the Hotel de Soubise, which is soon to be sold, being 
taken for them and on Tuesday next M. de Luzerne, the Marine 
Minister, is to receive them to Dinner in Paris, when M. de 
Montmorin will also be present. 

6 



82 DESPATCHES FROM PARIS 1788 

When the last Lretters left Brest the Embarkation of the Irish 
Regiment of Walsh, destined for the Isles of France and Bourbon, 
was going on, and it is presumed that the Vessel which takes these 
Troops is actually at sea, unless she has been detained by contrary 
winds. 

The same Letters mention that two vessels are fitting out in that 
Harbour, the destination of which is not known, but it is supposed 
they are intended to watch the English Squadron, 

There is no news of any importance from either Vienna or 
Petersburg. 

The Despatches, herewith inclosed, from Sir Robert Ainslie are 
just come to hand. 

A report prevails that this country has agreed with Spain for a 
considerable Loan, but neither the sum nor the terms are known, 
it is however said that France will pay at least 10 P. Ct. 

The loss sustained by the late Storm is computed at many 
Millions, not less than thirty millions on the King's account. The 
hurricane began in the neighbourhood of Blois and extended 
as far as Douay : the noise which was heard in the air previous to 
the falling of the immense hail-stones is said to have been beyond 
all description dreadfuU. 

P.S. It is said that M. de Brienne and M. de le Luzerne will be 
admitted Members of the Council this evening. I send your 
Lordship an account from Dijon. 

41. Dorset to Carmarthen. 

31 July 1788. 

...The Parliament of Rennes assembled lately at a Chateau in the 
neighbourhood of that Place, and voted a Deputation of twelve of 
their Members to the King to solicit the release of their Fellow- 
Citizens still confined in the Bastile. However, it is not expected 
that His Majesty will receive a Deputation from a Body, which by 
reason of its present state of exile, cannot be allowed to have any 
validity ; nor is it likely that these Deputies will be permitted to 
remain at Paris. The Marechal de Stainville will set out to-morrow 



1788 BEFORE THE REVOLUTION 83 

or next day with full powers for Britanny, having, at a Council of 
State held on Tuesday last, received his final Instructions. 

The Marechal de Vaux could not prevent the Nobility of 
Dauphiny from assembling in the neighbourhood of Grenoble, and 
that in consequence of their meeting, a string of new resolutions 
were entered into, and an Arrete published (which I have not yet 
been able to get) which is said to be from its general tenor more 
dangerous to the authority of the Court than any that has ap- 
peared, declaring in the most positive manner that it is not the 
intention of that Province to demand Redress merely of their own 
private grievances, or the re-establishment of their own Parliament 
alone, but of the general grievances of the Nation and the 
re-establishment of all the Parliaments. This spirit seems to 
have diffused itself through all the Provinces. 

There is every reason to expect from the present complexion of 
affairs, that Government will be obhged to give way, and I am 
induced to think that the Etats Generaux will be assembled early 
in next year: indeed nothing but an absolute promise of assembling 
the Nation at an early period can restore tranquility to this 
country.... 

42. Dorset to Carmarthen. 

7 August 1788. 

I received your Lordship's Dispatch, No. 17, by Major last 
Friday. The sentiments expressed by your Lordship in regard to 
certain expressions contained in M. de Montmorin's answer to the 
Note Ministirielle are such as I expected you would entertain, and 
I was persuaded that at a convenient opportunity those expressions 
would be properly adverted to : it is however a great satisfaction 
to me to know that it is not your Lordship's wish to renew, at this 
moment, a discussion which need not at present be entered into, 
and which therefore could only tend to interrupt the harmony 
which now so happily subsists between the two Countries. 

I have the honor to send your Lordship, inclosed, the King's 
Answer to the Deputies from the Commission Intermediaire, in 
consequence of which they set out on their return home last 



84 DESPATCHES FROM PARIS 1788 

Saturday, without having much reason, from the tenor of His 
Majesty's Answer, to be satisfied with the result of their Mission, — 
The Marechal de Stainville set out last Tuesday morning to take 
upon him the Command of the Troops in that Province. 

Letters from Grenoble mention that the Marechal de Vaux has 
been dangerous ill : late accounts however bring more favourable 
news of him saying that the Physicians had hopes of his recovery. 

Orders have been sent to the Parliament of Pau to repair 
immediately to Paris : It is His Majesty's intention to reprimand 
that Body of Magistrates for having refused to pay obedience to 
the new Regulations, and for having continued to assemble in 
direct opposition to His Majesty's commands. 

We are in daily expectation of an Arret du Conseil to fix the 
Convocation des Rials Generaux for May 1789 : It is become very 
necessary to name a period for that important Assembly, was it 
only to raise the pubUc credit which at present is much on the 
decline ; the Funds continuing to fall every day : The Loan of 
125 millions which was considered as the criterion of the Funds 
is now at 14 pr. ct. discount. 

The Baron de Breteuil is retired to his country-seat about 
20 leagues from Paris. 

The report that the Archbishop of Sens was about to be named 
Premier Minisire was premature. As he is already so in fact, 
though without the name, it is not Ijkely that He should wish to 
give any cause of jealousy to any of the other Cabinet Ministers. 

The Comte de Brienne and M. de la Luzerne were admitted 
Members of the Privy Council last Monday and took their places 
at that Board accordingly. 

The Dauphin still continues in a very weak State. Their 
Majesties will remove from Trianon to Versailles on Friday 
the 15th. 

It seems now to be determined that the King will not visit the 
Camps this autumn as His Majesty had intended.... 



1788 BEFORE THE REVOLUTION 85 

48. Hailes to Carmarthen. 

11 August 1788. 

Yesterday His Majesty received in great form the Ambassadors 
from Tippoo Sultan : The principal Apartments of the Palace of 
Versailles were filled with Spectators, and the Salon d' Hercules 
which was magnificently fitted up upon the occasion was occupied 
by Persons of rank of both Sexes and the foreign Ministers. Her 
Majesty was, during the ceremony, in a private box on one side of 
the Throne, with the Duke of Normandy, Madame her Daughter 
and Madame. 

Madame la Comtesse d'Artois and Madame Elizabeth, His 
Majesty's sister, were in a box on the other side. Monsieur, and 
Mons, le Comte d'Artois and such of the Princes of the Blood as 
were present were with the King on an elevated Platform. 

The Dauphin,' not being well enough to venture being confined 
in a hot room, was not present neither were the Due of Orleans 
nor the Duke Penthievre. — The whole together formed a very fine 
sight. 

The Ambassadors, three in number, approached the King with 
much dignity, when the first in rank, after presenting His Majesty 
with some pieces of gold, addressed Him in a short speech, which 
was repeated in the French language, by the Interpreter but in so 
low a tone of voice as not to be distinctly heard but by those who 
were very near ; the Address as well as His Majesty's Answer, 
both of which I understand were merely complimentary, will, I am 
informed, be published. The presents, intended for Their 
Majesties, will be delivered in the course of a few days. The 
Foreign Ministers paid their respects to His Majesty yesterday, 
their attendance at Court will in consequence be dispensed with 
'till next week. 

The Indian Ambassadors dined yesterday with M, de la Luzerne: 
this day they will dine with the Principal Minister, and to-morrow 
with M. de Montmorin : They will return to Paris either on 
Wednesday or Thursday next: They are lodged during their stay 

' Louis Joseph, eldest son of Louis XVI, died 1789. 



86 DESPATCHES FROM PARIS 1788 

at Court, at the King's Trianon, about an English mile distaht from 
Versailles : It is said that they will certainly set out on their 
return home sometime in next Month. 

On Friday last died the Marechal Due de Richelieu, in the 93rd 
year of his age ; He is succeeded in his Title and Estates by his 
eldest Son the Duo de Fronsac, who has also His Father's Place 
of one of the First Gentlemen of the Chamber to the King, 

The Marechal is to be buried this Evening with great Funeral 
magnificence in this City. 

The first stone of the new Bridge of Louis XV is to be laid this 
day by M. Marfontaine, Prevot des Marchands, who is directed by 
His Majesty to perform that ceremony in His Name. — ... 

44. Dorset to Carmarthen. 

14 August 1788. 

I have the honor to send your Lordship the Edict (published 
last Monday) which fixes the Convocation of the Etats-Generaux 
for the 1st May 1789. 

It might have been expected that this compliance with the 
wishes of the Nation would produce a general satisfaction and 
have a great effect upon the Minds of the People, but hitherto it 
seems to have operated very little in favour of Government, for the 
Funds, which is the only criterion of public faith, rose only two 
pr. ct. on the first day, and have continued sinking ever since, 
hence it is evident that the Principal Minister enjoys but a small 
share of the public confidence and that there still remains an 
apprehension, notwithstanding the solemn engagement conveyed 
by the King's Edict, that the Minister will yet have recourse 
to some subterfuge to postpone the important moment which, 
he thinks, may very likely prove fatal to the power He now 
enjoys. 

It is beyond a doubt that both the Archeveque de Sens and the 
Garde des Sceaux have rendered themselves very obnoxious to a 
great part of the Nation, and that a strong opposition to the 
measures of Government will prevail, as well as every means 



1788 BEFORE THE REVOLUTION 87 

employed to inflame the minds of the people, so long as those 
two ministers are known to possess the confidence of their 
Sovereign. 

The Marechal de Stainville's arrival at Rennes was attended 
with an extraordinary circumstance. He requested that he might 
be lodged at the Hotel de Ville, which was refused him, and he 
has been obliged to remain in the same house with M. de Thiard : 
The States say they will not admit the legality of the Marechal's 
Orders, and accordingly refuse to acknowledge him as Commander- 
in-Chief, alledging that his Commission from the King has not 
been approved and registered by them in due form. 

Such being the situation of things in that Province there seems 
to be no alternative and that force alone is the only means left to 
bring it to a sense of its duty. 

Another Deputation from Britanny arrived here the day before 
yesterday, consisting of 54 Members, having the same object as the 
former ones — viz : to pray for a continuance of their privileges and 
to solicit the release of the twelve Deputies who are still confined 
in the Bastile : it is not however known whether His Majesty will 
receive this Deputation, but it seems to be the determined 
resolution of the States to continue to depute so long as the King 
avoids giving any positive answer to their prayer : 

This perseverance on the part of the States is no small embar- 
rassment to Government and may possibly be followed by very 
serious consequences. 

Two of the most factious Breton Gentlemen have lately made 
their escape and are supposed to be gone to England. 

The Marechal de Vaux has relapsed and very little hopes of his 
recovery are entertained. 

He has gained the greatest respect for his character in the 
Country where he is, by the firmness and steadiness of his conduct 
in the execution of his orders : He has not however been able to 
change the determined resolution of the States to oppose the 
attempts made by Government to infringe their rights and privi- 
leges nor will they adopt in any degree the new System proposed 
for the Courts of Judicature. 



88 DESPATCHES FROM PARIS 1788 

The Ambassadors from Tippoo Sultan return this day from 
Versailles : the Presents which they have delivered to their 
Majesties are very trifling, consisting only of a few Mushns, some 
Diamonds of small value and a few Pearls. 

In my frequent conversations with M. de Montmorin that minister 
has uniformly assured me that these Ambassadors have not offered, 
nor does he believe that they are charged with any proposals 
whatever on the part of their Sovereign, that hitherto their mission 
has been wholly complimentary, and that he himself is persuaded 
there is nothing to be brought forward by them which need 
alarm us or excite our jealousy, nor does he conceive that we can 
have any real ground of suspicion, considering the present state 
of India : by this expression I imagine M. de Montmorin intended 
to convey that since the revolution in Holland, things in that 
quarter of the World wear a very different aspect. 

Upon the whole the Minister wishes it to be understood that 
the System of this Court is to be upon good terms with us, nor 
indeed does there seem to be any reason for doubting the sincerity 
of his professions respecting India, if we are to judge by the 
conduct of the Comte de Conway, and from the accounts which 
your Lordship has received from Madras, by which it appears that 
that Government seems determined to maintain a line of conduct 
very different from that of his Predecessors. M. de Montmorin 
has informed me that the last Letters from Pondicherry are dated 
the 8th of February and that no mention is made of any expedition 
being at that time intended by the Comte de Conway: He further 
added that, as soon as His Court should receive advices from that 
Quarter, he would lose no time in transmitting them to England 
for the information of His Majesty. 

I have not, with all the enquiries I have made, been able to 
discover that there is any place of rendezvous, according to the 
report, of which I took notice to your Lordship last week, for 
engaging people to enter into the service of Tippoo Sultan : 

All that I have as yet been able to learn is that the Ambassadors 
have hired some few to attend them to India in quality of 
Servants, and it is said that they have solicited permission to 



1788 BEFORE THE REVOLUTION 89 

engage some handicraftsmen, which it is not unlikely Government 
will grant so far as to allow them a supply from the different 
Prisons in this Metropolis. 

I send your Lordship the account (though I understand a 
similar one has already appeared in one of the Dutch Gazettes) 
that has been received here of the proceedings of the Russian and 
Turkish Fleets in the Black Sea, as well as the operations of the 
Russian Army against Oczakow which Place, it is expected, will 
soon fall into the Enemy's hands. 

M. de Montmorin has communicated to me an account from 
Vienna, which had been received by Prince de Kaunitz from 
Petersbourg of the action between the Russians and Swedes in the 
Baltic, in which the Russians represent themselves to have had 
greatly the advantage, having taken the Vice-Admiral and obliged 
the rest of the Fleet to take Shelter in the Port of Sveaborg : this 
account differs so much from that given by Mons. de Staal that it 
is difficult to form a precise judgement of the event of that battle. 

I shall avail myself of His Majesty's gracious permission to 
return home for a short time, and I accordingly propose to set out 
for England on Saturday evening or Sunday morning at latest. 

P.S. The Ambassadors will certainly return to India in the 
course of next Month and will take their passage in a Frigate from 
Brest. 

The Government of Guienne vacant by the death of the Marechal 
de Richlieu is not yet disposed of : 

The Marechal de Segur, and the Marechal de Noailles Mouchy 
are mentioned as Candidates for that important command... 

45. Hailes to Carmarthen. 

21 August 1788. 

The step lately taken by the Ministers in fixing the Convocation 
of the States General for the 1st of May next, has not produced 
the effect that was expected, and the subsequent Arret de Conseil 
for the liquidation of the pfifices suppressed in the ParUaments 
having tended to confirm the Public in its opinion that there 
remained no hope of accommodation with the Magistracy, the 



90 DESPATCHES FROM PARIS 1788 

funds, which at first had a momentary rise, fell immediately 
below the point at which they had been before those measures 
took place. 

But if these Acts of the Government have not allayed, in any 
degree, the general fermentation, nor inspired any confidence that 
which was made public on Tuesday last has thrown everybody 
into the greatest alarm. It would be sufficient to inclose the 
Arret which bears date the 16th of this month in order to enable 
your Lordship to judge of its consequences : the failure of the 
engagements of Government they formally announced, although it 
may have been expected by many, yet it seems to have excited 
nearly as much surprise as consternation. 

This operation is considered as a forced Loan, and is supposed 
to be fully adequate to the purpose of the Minister as far as it may 
be regarded as a Substitute for the second part of the gradual and 
successive Loan, established by the Edict of November 1787. 

The suspension alone of the reimbursements for a year, affords 
about fifty two Millions of Livres : the amount of the other sums 
retained by the delivery of the Notes of the Treasury for two fifths 
etc. is not precisely known, but it is supposed that that part 
of the operation secures, at least, a resource of fifty millions more. 

So great was the alarm occasioned by this Arret, on its publica- 
tion at the Exchange, that the Loan of 125 millions which had 
always been considered favourably by the Public was done at 
30 per cent, loss: Annuities were sold at four years purchase, 
and the Shares of the Caisse d'Escompte fell suddenly 200 Livres 
per share. A general panic seized the People with respect to the 
notes of the Caisse d'Escompte themselves, and thousands pressed 
forward to convert their paper into money. 

Some of the Directors of that establishment fearing the conse- 
quences of the sudden discredit of their Notes, applied immediately 
to the Government for its interposition (others pretend that it was 
of the mere motion of the Ministers themselves) and yesterday 
two Arrets de Conseil (copies of which are herewith transmitted 
your Lordship) were obtained and posted up in all the Quarters of 
the Town. 



1788 BEFORE THE REVOLUTION 91 

The evening before the resolution was come to to force the 
circulation of these Notes, a meeting was called of the Principal 
Bankers, and though some of the best heads were of opinion that 
a little courage was only necessary to restore confidence (it being 
well known that the funds of the Caisse were equal to the Paper 
in circulation) they were overruled, and it was agreed to invoke 
that authority which, in such cases, seldom fails to increase the 
suspicions and distrust of the people. 

All these disasters are attributed by the Court (and so much 
indeed is insinuated in the preamble of the Arret of the 16th) to 
the Parliaments ; to their secret practices and their open opposi- 
tion to every reasonable measure of Government : they continue to 
be treated as ambitious usurpers of the King's Authority acting merely 
from interested motives, and covering their views of exemption 
from all contributions to the State, under the pretext of vigilance and 
care for the public safety : — on the other hand dispersed though 
these Bodies are for the most part at present, they do not want 
for Advocates and the tide of popular opinion continues to run 
strongly in their favour : — Every day brings forth some new 
publication either for or against the present measures ; but amongst 
the great variety that have appeared, none have attracted so much 
the attention of people as a Memorial signed by M, Beogasse, in 
answer to one published lately by Beaumarchois. The Author has 
introduced a very strong picture of the calamities occasioned by 
the suspension of justice throughout the Kingdom, and his address 
to the Sovereign, upon this occasion, has been pronounced by 
M. Necker (a partial testimony indeed, at present) to be a Chef- 
d'oeuvre of eloquence and intrepidity. 

But I beg leave to refer your Lordship to the copy of this 
Tract, which, though severely proscribed, I have been able to 
procure, and have forwarded to you by this day's Messenger. 

The negotiations with the Parliaments are supposed however to 
continue, and in the meantime, great offers have been made to the 
Grand Conseil to induce that Tribunal to recognise the new 
Criminal Code, and to proceed to the Trial of the immense 
number of offenders of all descriptions that crowd the Gaols of 



92 DESPATCHES FROM PARIS 1788 

this City : but I am assured that the first President M, de Nicolai, 
has in the name of his whole Company, positively refused to 
accede to the proposals of the Court on any terms whatever. 

Fifty four Deputies are arrived from Britanny, within these few 
days, in detachments, at Paris ; but, although they have been 
expected for some time, it does not appear that any resolution has 
been taken concerning them. 

The distant Provinces have not furnished any news of importance 
lately ; the Assembly of the Nobility of Dauphiny, it is expected 
will meet on the first of September and that new and strong reso- 
lutions will be entered into by them. 

A refusal to pay all taxes is talked of as likely to be the conse- 
quence of so many exertions of authority ; a situation truly alarm- 
ing ! for though the Government may flatter itself with the 
resources it has in retaining from the monied part of the Public that 
which is their due, it unfortunately sets the example to another 
part of the Nation to withhold their contributions ; and it may, in 
the end, prove a more easy operation (as in the present instance) 
to keep back what is owed, than to collect what may be owing ; 
especially at a time when the aid of the Ministers of Justice cannot 
be called in, and when no small degree of disaffection has crept 
into the coercive part of Government. 

Tippoo Saib's Embassy having gratified the public curiosity as a 
Show, and having served the purpose perhaps of diverting in some 
measure the attention of people from objects of a more important 
nature, enquiries are now made into the object and utility of such 
a mission. The speeches of the Ambassadors to the King, at 
their audience, on Sunday Se'nnight, together with his Answer 
were expected to have been made public ; but all that can be 
collected is, that propositions of some kind or other are submitted 
to the examination of the Ministers ; and so much indeed the 
King was distinctly heard to promise in His short reply to the 
addresses that were made to him : — 

This Embassy, set on foot by some interested individuals in 
India, at a moment when the affairs of France were different from 
what they now are, might have passed without censure had it 



1788 BEFORE THE REVOLUTION 93 

arrived at a more prosperous conjuncture ; but in her present state 
of humiliation, such a parade seems rather to excite ridicule than 
respect, and even M. de Montmorin himself cannot forbear speak- 
ing with some degree of contempt of the whole measure. — It is 
nevertheless certain that steps have been taken by these people to 
engage Artisans, of all descriptions, and even soldiers to accompany 
them on their return to India, which, it is said, will take place in 
September next. M. d'Oenhausen a Hessean Gentleman in the 
service of Portugal, and Minister from thence to the Court of 
Vienna, happening lately to be in conversation with one of the 
Ministers here, who was ignorant of the service to which he 
belongs, dropt inconsiderately, that the English in India would 
have found themselves much embarrassed (had the war broke out, 
as was expected last autumn) if the French had got possession of 
Trincomale on one side, and of Goa on the other, through the 
means of Tippoo Saib,... 

This circumstance M. d'Oenhausen mentioned confidentially to 
me a few days ago, and I have not thought it altogether unimpor- 
tant to communicate it to your Lordship, 

Involved as this Court is in a complication of internal distresses, 
it can of necessity pay but a secondary attention to all foreign 
Affairs ; and it will no doubt, esteem itself fortunate to be able to 
preserve that system of Neutrality which can only afford a pros- 
pect of domestic arrangement. 

The Court of Stockholm having, as I am informed, thought 
proper to make application to that of Versailles for the Assistance 
stipulated by Treaty, the answer was, that the fact of aggression 
on the part of Sweden had been so clearly proved to all Europe, 
that the aid of France could not, in any shape, be demanded as 
coming under the Casus foederis... 

46. Hailes to Carmarthen. 

26 August 1788. 

The event which happened yesterday will, I flatter myself, justify 
me in the step I take of forwarding this to you by a messenger 
extraordinary. Immediately after the publication of the Arret of 



94 DESPATCHES FROM PARIS 1788 

the 16th transmitted to your Lordship by the last Messenger, the 
clamor against the Principal Minister increased to a great degree, 
and on Saturday evening last it seemed to be generally the opinion 
that he would be shortly obliged to retire from his Post. 

On Sunday morning (as I am confidently informed) the Imperial 
Ambassador waited upon M. Necker at his own house, and 
remained in conference with him from 9 o'clock till half past one. 
Nothing however appeared to be positively determined upon till 
yesterday, at the King's Levee, when notwitstanding it was the 
King's Saint's day when it is usual for the Ministers to be present 
to compliment him upon the occasion, the Archbishop of Sens was 
observed to be absent: — The Prevot des Marchands at the head of 
the Corporation of the City of Paris, and the Foreign Ministers 
having also been to pay their visit, as is usual, and not having been 
received, it was universally concluded that the Principal Minister 
was no longer in place. It was not, however, till about half past 
four o'clock in the afternoon that his resignation was given in. In 
the evening M. Necker waited upon the Queen, and this morning 
the King, who was to have gone to RambouUet, remained to receive 
him at Versailles as Director General of the Finances and Minister 
of State. This great change has produced an extraordinary effect 
upon the Funds, and the different Stocks have risen in a greater 
proportion than they had lately fallen. The Shares of the Caisse 
d'Escompte have got up this day from 3600 Livres to 4400. The 
Loan of 125 Millions which only three days since lost 30 per cent, 
now loses only 13 per cent. All other Stocks have gained in the 
same proportion. 

The predilection of the Public or rather of the people is so great 
for M. Neckar that he was received on his return from Versailles 
with the loudest acclamations, and it is expected that there will be 
illuminations this evening, in consequence of this coming into 
office. The Archbishop of Sens, as it is generally said, is to have a 
Cardinals' hat and his nephew, the Abbey de Leominie, is to be 
appointed coadjutor to the Diocese of Sens. M. de Brienne, 
Minister of the War Department, offered yesterday to give in his 
resignauon, but it was not accepted. The Garde des Sceaux con- 



1788 BEFORE THE REVOLUTION 95 

tinues (to the surprise of most people) in office. This is, as yet, 
all that is known with certainty respecting the changes that have 
taken place — but I hope to be able to furnish your lordship with 
more particulars concerning them by the messenger of Thursday. 
I have postponed the dispatching Lausun some hours, however, in 
the prospect of learning something more. M. de Montmorin, 
whom I saw yesterday, acquainted me with the news which he had 
lately received from India and of the instructions which he had sent 
to M. de Bartelemy in consequence of it. Count Conway, accord- 
ing to the Minister, was to have proceeded to Trincomale the 27th of 
February with 800 men, but he did not leave the coast till the 
12 of March. M. de Montmorin renewed his assurances of the 
positive order that had been sent to that General to leave things 
on their former footing as soon as peace was known to^be restored. 

47. Hailes to Carmarthen. 

28 August 1788. 

The Resignation of the Archbishop of Sens has been followed 
by some circumstances not flattering to the Administration of that 
Prelate. On his leaving Versailles, on Tuesday, the populace sur- 
rounded his carriage and insulted him with every reproachful 
epithet which they could bestow ; and in the evening he was 
burnt in Effigy at the Place Dauphine in Paris. The public, in 
general, who had been rather licentious in their Comments upon 
the conduct of the Archbishop while in Office, have since let loose 
their whole rage against him, and the mischief under which the 
Nation has groaned of late, is entirely ascribed to his arbitrary 
Counsels, and want of abilities in the management of affairs. 

It must indeed be confessed (as far as reliance can be placed 
upon those who have been chiefly employed of late in matters of 
Finance) that he has betrayed the greatest insufficiency in that 
important branch of administration. But, if people, on the one hand, 
have condemned this Minister with some precipitation, the favor 
shown to the new one seems to be equally premature and exag- 
gerated, a circumstance which perhaps ought not to be considered 



96 DESPATCHES FROM PARIS 1788 

as altogether advantageous, since nothing less than miracles are 
now, daily, expected from him. 

The first moments of enthusiasm have certainly produced a 
great effect with respect to the Funds, and the hopes with which 
every one is buoyed up of the immediate revocation of the Arret 
of the 16th tend much to increase the general exultation. Illumi- 
nations, Bonfires, and mutual felicitations are observed in different 
parts of this City, while some great plan for the entire restoration 
of affairs, is expected to come shortly to light. 

Many, however, less sanguine are apt to consider this elevation 
of the favorite of the people, either as a temporary resource of 
credit, till the Convocation of the States General, or else as an 
expedient to put off, and even perhaps entirely to prevent that 
Assembly's taking place. Should this latter conjecture be founded, 
and it should prove true in the end, that the Court has thought 
proper to make an option between the object of its aversion, and 
that of its apprehension, the embarrassment of the new Minister 
(who has certainly betrayed strong symptoms of eagerness to get 
into place and who will, of course, be desirous of maintaining 
himself there) may prove greater than he at first, in all probability, 
imagined. Certain it is that nothing can equal the fear of the 
Court of the consequences of the Nation's being assembled, and if 
any means can be devised to avoid the measure (the hope of 
which may be inspired by the momentary success of a popular 
Minister) there can be little doubt of its being resorted to. 

In the meantime it is reported, tho' I know not with how much 
truth, that three specific conditions were made by M. Necker 
before he agreed to accept the direction of the Finances : — that is 
to say, the re-establishment of the Parliaments, the suspension of 
the Bailliages, and the forwarding as much as possible the meeting 
of the States. 

It is from good authority that I can venture to assure your 
Lordship, that before M. Necker came into office, overtures had 
been made to him by the Principal Minister through the medium 
of the Duke de Nivernais who informed him that the King wished 
much that he should have a place in the administration. 



1788 BEFORE THE REVOLUTION 97 

M. Necker, without positively rejecting such proposals for a 
Coalition expressed his desire to know the King's pleasure by a 
few lines under his own hand ; that honor having been done him 
upon former occasions. 

The Archbishop, after having impressed His Majesty with the 
necessity of placing M. Necker in the Department of Finances, 
prevailed upon him to signify his wishes to him in a short letter. 
The Answer, substantially was, that it was impossible to be of any 
ser\'ice to His Majesty, as long as the Principal Minister should 
remain in Office : — And this answer I am credibly informed was 
sent without any comment, and simply under cover to the Arch- 
bishop by the King himself. 

The subsequent negotiation, conducted by the Imperial Ambas- 
sador, I mentioned in my last to your Lordship, and the circum- 
stance of snch a person's being employed has, I dare say, struck 
you as forcibly as all those to whose knowledge it has come. 

The Archbishop of Sens does not quit the place he filled without 
great marks of the Royal favor, and, I am even assured of regret. 

At the time of the Cardinal de Rohan's affair the sovereign was 
known to declare that the dignity of the sacred CoUedge should 
never in future be admitted in His Kingdom, but this rule is now 
broken through, and a courier was certainly dispatched, a few 
days ago to Rome, for the purpose of obtaining a Hat. 

I know not whether I may venture to risque a conjecture upon 
this occasion ; but the example of M. de Calonne, and the very 
violent resolutions of the Parliaments, in which this Minister was 
so repeatedly declared to be a Traitor to his country, are circum- 
stances, which, added to apprehensions of the vengeance of the 
States, whose Convocation he has taken so much pains to prevent, 
make it not altogether impossible that he may have thought it 
necessary to shelter himself under a foreign dignity. Nor does the 
instance of the Cardinal de Rohan invalidate, in fact, such a notion; 
that Prelate having expressly waived his privilege as a foreign 
Prince, and having acknowledged the competence of the Parliament 
of Paris in his cause. But, be this as it may, a journey into Italy 
has certainly been determined upon by the Archbishop. 

7 



98 DESPATCHES FROM PARIS 1788 

The Coadjutorship of the Diocese of Sens, bestowed on his 
nephew a very young man, is justly regarded as a singular mark of 
favor, and the place of Dame du Palais which the Queen has 
promised to Madame de Canisy a near relation of the family of 
Brienne makes it strongly presumed that the Principal Minister 
has been sacrificed to the discontent of the Nation, rather than to 
the disapprobation of His Sovereign. 

I do not hear that any other changes have happened, though it 
is expected that the Garde des Sceaux and M. de Brienne cannot 
continue long in office. M. de Malesherbes, who had accepted 
a place in the Council against his inclination originally, and that 
only till the first of September, resigned on Sunday. 

But a few days before this Revolution (for so it may be called) 
every (thing) wore a most alarming aspect. The rise in the price 
of bread having spread the apprehension of a revolt amongst the 
people of Paris, it was thought necessary to double the guards. 

The grand Conseil too, having met to enregister a Declaration 
that relates to the criminal Code that was promulgated in the 
several Edicts that were forcibly received at the last Lit de 
Justice, the populace insulted those Magistrates, on their coming 
out of the Louvre, and severely beat one of the Counsellors. 

This outrage was committed under the mistaken idea that the 
Grand Conseil had consented to receive, from the Court, an 
extension of its criminal jurisdiction, at the expense of the 
privileges of the Parliament of Paris. Nor are the accounts 
received daily from the provinces of a less alarming complexion, — 
At Pau the people have expelled the King's Troops entirely out of 
the Town, and every Citizen is under Arms. 

The Nobility of Burgundy have sent Letters of Convocation to 
every one of its members in order to form a general assembly, and 
many Officers will be obliged to quit their Regiments to avoid 
being disowned by their Brethren. In Dauphiny, and other 
Provinces, no Taxes whatever can be collected, and accounts of 
some fresh act of Revolt and disobedience arrive every day from 
different parts of the Kingdom. 

Amidst all this appearance of Anarchy, the Clergy, who at first, 



1788 BEFORE THE REVOLUTION 99 

from apprehension of an invasion of their Privileges, had presented 
strong remonstrances to the Sovereign, finding themselves secured 
in those privileges, by an Arret de Conseil which confirmed all the 
old ones that had been published in their favor, began to betray 
evident marks of attachment to the late Minister, and to prove in 
how clear a light they saw their Interest to be inseparable from 
that of the Throne, and of consequence, endangered by a National 
Assembly. 

Should therefore the States General take place, it is not difficult 
to foresee what line of conduct will be pursued by that powerful 
part of the Nation.... 

48. Hailes to Carmarthen. 

11 Sept. 1788. 

Since I had last the honor of addressing your Lordship, the 
confusion and embarrassment of the Cabinet of Versailles (as I 
have good reason to believe) has not a little increased. The great 
and known impatience of M. Necker to come into Employment, 
and to arrive at the object of his constant aim and wishes, a 
place in the Council, has deprived him of the advantages, which 
it was expected he would have derived from that extraordinary 
degree of credit and popularity which has hitherto attended him. — 
The public (whose opinion now is of the greatest weight) begins 
already to perceive that he had no plan formed before he came 
into office, and that (although the necessity of the Court's consent 
to place him at the head of the Finances was so imperious as to 
give him an opportunity of making his own terms, and of appoint- 
ing his own coadjutors in Office) he has not availed himself of his 
situation, nor has even been able to effect the removal from the 
Councils of His Most Christian Majesty, of the most obnoxious 
person in the Kingdom, the Garde des Sceaux, with whom a 
coalition could not fail to frustrate the good effects of his own 
personal reputation. M. de Lamoignon continues in Office, and 
everything tends to confirm us in the Opinion that his influence is 
still so great as to prevent the unconditional reinstatement of the 
Parliaments. 



100 DESPATCHES FROM PARIS 1788 

The apprehensions so naturally entertained by this person of the 
vengeance of those bodies, when once reassembled, and of the 
inflammatory resolutions so likely to be taken by them after their 
return, is a sufficient cause of embarrassment and such as tends, 
without doubt, to counteract all the salutary views of the new 
Minister of Finance. 

The reestablishment of some sort of justice throughout the 
country is so intimately connected, indeed, with the collection of 
the Revenues, that no good or order can be expected without it. 

To give your Lordship any detail of the proceedings of Govern- 
ment, at this juncture, with accuracy, would prove a very difficult 
task : plans that were adopted yesterday, are rejected to-day, and 
there is nothing invariable (if I may so say) but a constant change of 
measures and projects. 

The most material object at present, is certainly the recall of the 
Parliaments ; but what was said to have been decided upon at the 
beginning of this week, is now, I understand, not very likely to take 
place.... 

Meetings of all the principal Members have lately been h^d ; 
but as they all (adhering firmly to their original principles) have 
determined upon returning upon no other than their antient footing, 
and with an entire revocation of the late Edicts, all the proposals of 
modification and mutual concession have proved without effect. — 

It continues, notwithstanding, to be said that a Lit de Justice or 
a Seance Royale for the purpose of restoring the Parliaments, is to 
be held on Monday, or early in the next week. 

In the mean time, a plan for a new Department in Government 
has been the subject of conversation : it has been said that the 
Due de Chatelet was to be placed at the head of it, and that he 
was to become a kind of president, a principal Minister at the 
Assembly of the States General. 

This Department, according to report, was to consist of the civil 
administration of all the provinces in the Kingdom, and those 
which, at present, come under other Departments, were to be 
consolidated and comprised under this new one. By others it has 
been circulated with no less confidence, that the Messenger that 



1788 BEFORE THE REVOLUTION 101 

was lately dispatched to M. de Chatelet in the country, carried an 
invitation to him to accept of the War Department. 

I have heard it also affirmed in the most positive manner, that 
offers have been sent to the Cardinal de Bernis at Rome, of the 
place of Principal Minister, and this account, true or false, is built 
upon the known influence of Mesdames Adelaide and Victoria, the 
King's Aunts, and upon the favour which they have constantly 
shewn to that Prelate. 

In proportion as the difficulties of Government have increased, 
the earlier Convocation of the States has been thought necessary ; 
and it is now said that the 7th of January next is absolutely fixed 
for their meeting. — No steps however appear to have been yet 
taken towards the settlement of the Representation of the Kingdom, 
and it must be confessed that the nearer that Assembly comes into 
prospect, the more the difficulties of giving it a direction towards 
the welfare of the country at large, become apparent. 

As yet no Minister, even in the tranquillity of the Closet, has 
been found equal to the Management of this disordered Empire ; 
much less is it to be expected that so consummate a Statesman 
will rise up, as to be able to control the variety of passions, interests 
and factions, of which this national congress will naturally be 
formed. — M. Necker, exclusive of an embarrassed Elocution, has 
also the disadvantage of having lived much in retirement, sur- 
rounded by indulgent friends and flatterers, who receiving all his 
notions and opinions as from an oracle, have, in no shape, ac- 
customed him to that freedom of discussion and contradiction 
which make up so principal a part of the Education of those who 
are fitted for the guidance of popular Assemblies. 

With respect to the representation itself many difficulties (if 
it is to be well and fairly constituted) must necessarily arise. 
We have already heard that the French Colonies in the West- 
Indies have brought forward their claim to be represented : M. de 
la Luzerne to whom application has been made upon the subject, in 
admitting the justice of the demand, has been obliged to oppose 
the impossibility of any choice of representatives before the month 
of January next. To this it has been answered, that, as the 



102 DESPATCHES FROM PARIS 1788 

principal Proprietors of Lands in the Islands are Resident in 
France, the elections may be made amongst themselves upon the 
spot. 

With respect to the Provinces throughout the Kingdom, it may 
in general be remarked that in the present eagerness of all men 
to have a share in public affairs, the Assembly, which is so soon to 
be called, cannot be expected to bear much resemblance to those 
convened formerly in a precipitate manner, upon particular 
emergencies and when great ignorance prevailed with respect to 
all matters of Government. 

Contests everywhere may now be looked for : and complaints of 
injustice and partiahty in the Elections, will in all probability be 
sent up from all parts of the Kingdom. 

But supposing those difficulties to be got over, and the Nation 
once well or ill assembled, there still remains, I should conceive, 
to be settled, all that regards the interior police of the Assembly, 
the Order of Debate, and the Laws by which it is to be governed. — 
These matters do not appear as yet to have come under the con- 
sideration either of the Ministers or the public ; all that hitherto 
seems to be attended to, is the place where it would be most 
advisable to hold the States, and Paris, Versailles, Rheims, Orleans 
and Soissons are all mentioned as likely in their turns. 

The Archbishop of Sens is at his seat at Brienne, and doubts 
begin to be entertained about his leaving the Kingdom, as well as 
of his obtaining the Cardinal's Hat from Rome. In the mean 
time, the provinces continue to shew their enmity towards him by 
illuminations and rejoicings on account of his dismission, and by 
burning him publicly in effigy. No change of importance has 
taken place since his removal and that of M. Lambert the Comp- 
troller General. 

M. de Thiard is arrived from Rennes, but is expected to return 
thither immediately. 

The 54 Deputies from Britanny still continue unmolested here, 
while those sent sometime since to the Bastille are not set at 
liberty. 

With respect to Foreign Affairs, M. de Montmorin has received 



1788 BEFORE THE REVOLUTION 103 

no news of a later date than the 28th of July from Constantinople. — 
All the efforts of this Cabinet to dispose the Porte to peace are 
said to have been ineffectual, and (as heretofore) I am assured that 
the blame continues to be imputed to British Counsels. 

An account has been for some days past extremely current of a 
great advantage gained by the Capitan Pacha with his fleet on the 
Black Sea : and I have some reason to believe that it comes from 
M. de Segar. 

Twenty Thousand Men are said to have been disembarked by 
the Turkish Admiral in the neighbourhood of Ochzakow, and after 
having formed a junction with the Troops of that Garrison, to 
have fallen on the Russians and to have destroyed great numbers 
of them, forcing at the same time Prince Potemkin to retreat 
precipitately. The 15 Turkish ships of the line are also said to 
have destroyed and dispersed the Prince de Nassau's Boats and 
Transports. 

M. de Simolin has certainly no account of this event ; and 
M. de Montmorin does not speak of it as absolutely authentic, 
although, to judge by his conversation, on Tuesday, he did not 
seem altogether to disbelieve it. 

49. Hailes to Carmarthen. 

25 Sept. 1788. 

Your Lordships Dispatch (No. 7) enclosing 4 printed copies of 
the Treaty of Alliance between His Majesty and the King of 
Prussia, signed at Berlin the 13th ult., arrived on Monday night, 
and on Tuesday I presented a written copy of the same to M. de 
Montmorin at Versailles. M. de Goltz having also received, about 
the same time, a communication of that Treaty, took a like oppor- 
tunity of delivering it to the Minister. 

M. de Montmorin expressed himself in similar terms to the 
Prussian Minister and myself, upon the subject of the Treaty, and 
affected to say that he saw nothing in it but what was very natural, 
and that he considered it entirely in the same light as the Provisional 
Treaty signed at Loo. 

What real impression this nearer connexion between the Courts 



104 DESPATCHES FROM PARIS 1788 

of London and Berlin may have occasioned, it will require time and 
some more indirect means to discover : the Minister being extremely 
guarded upon this, as well as upon every political Topic at present. 
The having mentioned M. de Goltz leads me to take notice of 
the instruction which that Minister has lately received by his Court 
for his conduct towards this Embassy, and by a Dispatch which he 
read to me a few days ago, I find them to be precisely the same as 
those which your Lordship did me the honor to convey to me in 
your Letter (No. 2) with respect to my conduct towards the 
Mission from Berlin. I have only farther to observe on this head 
that M. de Goltz has hitherto shewn the greatest cordiality and 
confidence, and I have every reason to believe that he will con- 
tinue to act towards me with as much concert and good under- 
standing as possible. 

For some days past we have been involved in much doubt and 
obscurity with regard to the conduct of Government towards the 
Parliaments. M. de Barentin late first President of the Cour des 
Aides was declared on Sunday to be the successor of M. de 
Lamoignon as Keeper of the Seals : but as M. d'Ormesson was 
known to be favourite of the Parliament, and as M. Barentin was 
suspected to have been appointed through the influence of the 
Archbishop of Sens, the prospect of any reconciliation seemed 
to be extremely distant. After much negotiation which for 
some days past has been carried on, a Declaration was sent 
yesterday Morning from Versailles to the Parliament assembled at 
the Palais, (the Guards which had so long had the custody of it 
having been all withdrawn) and the substance of the Royal 
pleasure therein contained, is as I understand as follows. 
1st That the Assembly of the States General shall take place in 

the month of January next, 
2nd That, in consequence of that disposition, all the magistrates of 
the different Courts of Justice without any exception do 
continue in the exercise of their functions as heretofore. 
3rd That no innovation whatever be made in the order of the 
Jurisdictions, as well ordinary as of attribution and exception, 
and as established before the month of May last. 



1788 BEFORE THE REVOLUTION 105 

4th That, nevertheless, all decisions whether Civil or Criminal that 
may have been pronounced in the Tribunals, created at that 
period, be executed according to their form and tenor. 
5th That the parties, however, be not prevented from prosecuting 

their suits by way of appeal from the said Decisions. 
6th That an absolute silence be observed with respect to everything 
that concerns the execution of the Edicts of the month of May last. 
7th That everything contrary to the present Declaration be con- 
sidered as null and void. 
The Parliament met yesterday to take possession of their antient 
seat of Justice, and to receive the King's Declaration. After 
which they issued an Arret (the Peers being present) to prohibit in 
the most express manner all tumultuory assemblies of the People, 
and to confirm all former laws to that effect. They then appointed 
this day for the taking into consideration the Act of Royal Authority 
which had been sent to them to enregister. 

At the moment I am writing, it is not easy to foresee what will 
be the result of their dehberations and in what manner the 6th 
Article, in particular, will be received. It seems that, if the Court 
had been assured beforehand of the manner in which the Parlia- 
ment would conduct itself, it would not have thought it necessary 
to command an absolute silence with respect to preceding events, 
in an Article which is the only one that can be considered as con- 
ditional for their entire reinstatement in all their functions and 
privileges. 

What degree of moderation will be shewn by them after so 
complete a victory, and at a moment when they see the fate of the 
Kingdom depending (at least till the meeting of the States) upon 
themselves, is a matter of very curious speculation. Certain it 
now is that these Bodies, which the Government has so long 
affected to despise, have at last raised themselves to a degree of 
consequence, from their negative authority, that, if they choose to 
continue to display it, nothing can withstand. 

If the Archbishop of Sens has had reason to be satisfied with the 
extraordinary munificence of his Sovereign, the late Keeper of the 
Seals by all accounts has no less. Four hundred thousand Livres 



106 DESPATCHES FROM PARIS 1788 

are said to have been bestowed on him for the payment of his 
Debts, and a pension of eighty thousand Livres has been settled 
on him for Ufe, with, it is added, a promise of some high post in 
times of less difficulty. Whether this account be really true or not, 
it has been received very generally as authentic, and consequently 
has not failed to create much murmuring and dissatisfaction. 

The Courier that had been dispatched to Rome to apply for 
the Cardinal's Hat for the Archbishop of Sens, returned on Sunday; 
and it is believed with the consent of His Holiness. The Court of 
Rome which had been justly apprehensive of losing a part of its 
influence in this kingdom by the king's late determination to pros- 
cribe the purple in future in his Dominions, has it is thought been 
too well pleased at such a change of sentiment to make any diffi- 
culties in granting His Most Christian Majesty's request. The 
Archbishop remains at his house in the country and it is now said 
that he does not go to Italy. 

Tippoo Sahib's Ambassadors are preparing for their departure 
from hence and I understand they are to carry away with them a 
number of Arts and some Artists and a few soldiers. The honors 
and attentions that have been shewn to these people during their 
residence in this capital have been very remarkable and it is hoped 
no doubt that by conveying an idea of the riches and splendour of 
this country to the Power by whom this mission is deputed, he 
may be inclined still more to strengthen his alliance with it, while 
the views of France continue to be uniformly directed towards the 
civilization and, above all, the improvement in military science of 
their Indian connexion, for the purpose of rendering it more 
formidable to the British Settlements in the East. I know not how 
to give credit to a report which I have heard concerning a second 
and more splendid Embassy from Tippoo Sahib, although I have 
heard a very high authority quoted as its author. The Ambassadors 
that had been sent to Constantinople by Tippoo and a considerable 
number of whose suite perished in their journey, are said to be now 
at Grand Cairo, and preparing to come to France, to compliment 
his most Christian Majesty. There are letters from Spain which 
made mention of a party formed secretly against M. de Florida 



1788 BEFORE THE REVOLUTION 107 

Blanca and of meetings held at M. d'Aranda's ; several of the 
members of this Cabal are said to be arrested and thrown into 
prison and amongst the rest a person who was lately appointed 
Minister to the Court of Berlin. Mons"" de Montmorin assured me 
that he had received no news whatever of importance either from 
Russia or the Porte. His last Letters from Constantinople mention 
indeed that the Capitan Pasha was expected to return there very 
shortly from the Black Sea and that a reinforcement was preparing 
to be sent to his Fleet which still consisted of thirty fine Sail. 
Ockzakow and Choczim still continue to maintain themselves 
according to the last account against all the efforts of the Imperial 
Arms.... 

50. Hailes to Carmarthen. 

9 Oct. 1788. 

The measure of convoking an Assembly of Notables which I had 
the honor of mentioning to your Lordship in my last Dispatch as 
probable, has for some days past been made public ; and, as you 
will see by the printed Copy of the Arret de Conseil inclosed 
herewith, is fixed for the 3rd of November next. 

The whole of this Arret will best explain to your Lordship the 
nature of the difficulties that must attend a legal and proper 
organization of the States General ; and it is under that idea that 
the Court professes to have recourse to the opinions and suggestions 
of an Assembly merely deliberative, and to be composed of the 
same Members as those convened in the month of January 1787. 
But there are many who think that this step has been taken in 
order to gain time, and even, (from the difference of sentiment 
which is likely to divide this preliminary meeting) to retard very 
much, and, perhaps, to get rid altogether of the States. 

But, whether this be the case or not, the enemies of M. Necker 
avail themselves of the circumstance, and the Parliament too, 
having strongly recommended the adoption of the form of the 
convocation of the States in 1614, as the least liable to objection, 
are dissatisfied at their Counsel's not being taken, and readily 
join in circulating the notion to which I have above alluded. 



108 DESPATCHES FROM PARIS 1788 

By considering however the extreme distress to which the 
Government is reduced ; that the confidence of the pubHc, so far 
from being kept ahve by the operations of the new Minister of 
Finance, is now (to judge by the State of the Funds) at a lower 
ebb than even at the moment of the suspension of payments by 
the Archbishop of Sens ; that open opposition and secret intrigues 
(those of the Friends of M. de Calonne on one side, and on the 
other, those of the Adherents of the Archbishop) are in constant 
motion to counteract the plans of M. Necker, it is difficult to 
persuade oneself that the least hope of avoiding any longer the 
assembly of the Nation can exist at Versailles. But if so many 
obstacles and difficulties present themselves respecting the mere 
form of this Meeting, your Lordship will, I dare say, as well as 
many here who now begin to examine the measure more nearly, 
foresee no very favorable result of it to any party. Many years 
of trouble and distress appear to lie in prospect, and since it 
unfortunately so happens that the interests of the two Countries 
must continue divided, and that the prosperity of the one must 
excite the jealousy of the other (a truth evinced at this moment by 
the conduct of this Court towards the Ambassadors of a formidable 
power in the East) it is a matter of great satisfaction to me to be 
able to congratulate your Lordship, on closing my correspondence 
with you here, on a situation of affairs that is so little likely to 'give 
any serious cause of disquiet to His Majesty's Government. 

With respect to foreign Affairs and particularly the late Treaty 
between His Majesty and the King of Prussia, I have learnt 
nothing material. — M. de Montmorin observes a very strict neutra- 
lity both in conversation and in conduct, and I am assured by all 
those who have business to transact with him that he neither 
answers nor finishes any thing ; to say truth, every thing at present 
gives way to the pressure of domestic concerns. 

We have no news of importance from the Provinces, I only hear 
(tho' not positively) that the States of Britanny that were to have 
assembled at the end of this month, are likely to be prorogued for 
some time. Both M. de Thiard and the Marechal de Stainville are 
at Paris. 



1788 BEFORE THE REVOLUTION 109 

The disturbances that have been so frequent of late in this 
capital are now quieted, though there is much cause to apprehend 
that the great number of people without employment, and reduced 
to want by the late reforms, may render Paris a place of some 
danger the ensuing winter. 

51. Dorset to Carmarthen. 

6 Nov. 1788. 

The Notables assemble this day at Versailles : it is supposed 
that, as they are called together solely for the purpose of fixing 
the time and settling the manner of convoking the States-General, 
they will not continue their sittings for any length of time. The 
Princes of the Blood are to hold Committees at their respective 
Apartments at Versailles as was the case in 1787. 

The Due d'Orleans has however, it is confidently said, requested 
the King to dispense with His attendance on this occasion, and it 
is added that His Majesty has been graciously pleased to comply 
with His Highness's request. The Due de Penthievre has also 
excused Himself from attending on account of His precarious state 
of health. 

The Marechal de Biron was interred on Monday evening with 
great magnificence and although the number of Carriages and 
concourse of people was very great the whole of the Procession 
and Ceremony was conducted with the greatest good order. The 
Title de Biron with an estate of about ;^60C)0 St«. per annum, 
devolves to the Due de Gontaut (the late Marechal's next Brother) 
who from his age and infirmities can never be able to attend his 
duty in Parliament, and will therefore, it is thought, petition His 
Majesty to allow his son the Due de Lauzun to take the Title 
of Due de Biron and to permit him to sit as Peer of the Realm in 
his Stead. 

Yesterday morning died, universally regretted, the Comte de 
Talleyrand, by whose death another Blue- Riband is become 
vacant. 

The Abbe de Perigord, formerly Agent-General of the Clergy, 
has just been promoted to the Bishoprick of Autun : it is much 



110 DESPATCHES FROM PARIS 1788 

believed that this nomination was hastened by a Letter written to 
the King by the Comte de Talleyrand, Father of the Abbe, a few 
days before his death, in which he beseeched His Majesty to give 
him the satisfaction, before he should quit the World of seeing 
his Son raised to Episcopal dignity. 

The Due de Chatelet is to be received at the head of the 
French Guards next Monday when His Majesty will present Him 
to that Corps, and will in a short speech enjoin the Officers and 
men to observe a strict obedience to the commands of their new 
Colonel in everything that regards His Royal Service : The Due de 
Chatelet was a great friend and supporter of the late Principal 
Minister. 

Prince Henry arrived at Paris last Saturday and the following 
day paid His respects to Their Majesties at Versailles. 

A Gallery is erected purposely for Him and His Suite at the 
Assembly of Notables, but no other Foreigners were to be allowed 
to be present, though it is very possible that some few will have 
been able to gain admittance. 

The Indian Ambassadors were not sailed from Brest when the 
last Letters left that Port : the oldest of them, whose name I cannot 
recollect, was so ill as to be thought unable to bear the fatigue of a 
voyage to India. 

The last Letters from Vienna mention the retreat of the Turkish 
Army beyond Panczova, but contain no other particulars excepting 
that His Imperial Majesty's health was much mended. 

I had flattered myself that I should have it in my power to send 
your Lordship this week some account of the establishment of the 
new Packets appointed by Government to carry Dispatches from 
Marseilles to the Levant in order to form a communication with 
the East Indies by way of Egypt and Suez, but all that I have 
hitherto been able to learn is that a Vessel will sail every fortnight 
from Marseilles for the purpose above-mentioned ; a matter which 
I conceive to be highly deserving of the attention of His Majesty's 
confidential Servants, as serving to demonstrate how watchful! 
France continues to be over Her Interests in that part of the 
World, by the pains she is taking to secure the earliest intelligence 



1788 BEFORE THE REVOLUTION 111 

possible from thence. The abolition of the Packets which used 
to be employed between this Country and its Colonies was no 
doubt determined on with a view to enable Government the better 
to prosecute, by the saving that expence, the intended communica- 
tion with the East Indies. 

I send your Lordship a Memoire sur I' importance pour la Colonie de 
St. Dominique d' avoir des representans aux Etats Generaux signed by 
most of the principal Proprietors of that Island now in Paris : 
The Marquis Gouy d'Arcy is the chief Promoter of this address, 
which, it is imagined will meet with much opposition from 
Government as that Colony, not contributing its proportion of 
Taxes, but on the contrary costing Government a large sum of 
money annually for its defence, will not be considered as entitled 
to bear a part in the Representation at the National Assembly.... 

... The Public Funds are rather better than they were last week. 

P.S. I am this moment informed that the King's Speech to the 
Notables was short and well delivered that M. Necker spoke for a 
considerable time but so low as not to be well heard. The Arch- 
bishop of Narbonne spoke a few words, and that Monsieur spoke 
exceedingly well. 

52. Dorset to Carmarthen. 

9 Nov. 1788. 

I have the honor to send your Lordship inclosed herewith the 
printed Speeches as they were delivered on Thursday last at the 
opening of the Assembly of the Notables : — On Friday the several 
Committees, six in number, proceeded to business, and will con- 
tinue to sit daily : each of these Committees is presided by a 
Prince of the Blood : — The various and intricate Points proposed 
for investigation and discussion by M. Necker in his speech, as 
necessary to determine the best methods to be pursued in con- 
voking the Etats-Generaux, will, it may be presumed, be a work of 
much difficulty and length of time ; there cannot therefore as yet 
be any guess how long this Assembly will continue. — Besides the 
printed Speech Monsieur spoke a few words, which He delivered 
with much expression and great dignity : The Archbishop of 



112 DESPATCHES FROM PARIS 1788 

Narbonne spoke also, as did likewise the First President of the 
Parliament of Paris (Mons. d'Ormesson) who recommended in very 
strong terms, in the name of the Parliament, the same form of 
convocation for the Etats-Generaux as was observed in 1614. 
Five of the Committees are composed of 24 Members each and 
the other one of 23. 

53. Dorset to Carmarthen. 

13 Nov. 1788. 

It has been with the deepest affliction that I have learned the 
alarming state of His Majesty's health, the unfavourable accounts 
of which having reached Versailles, I think it my duty in justice to 
the feelings of Their Most Christian Majesties, to acquaint your 
Lordship that they have testified to me a very sincere anxiety 
upon the occasion, nor indeed can I omit to mention at the same 
time the very general concern that, in consequence of the alarming 
intelligence which has been received, prevails both at Court and in 
this Capital, and the earnest solicitude that is expressed for 
His Majesty's speedy recovery. 

I have the honor to send your Lordship a Duplicate of my 
Despatch (No. 66) which I sent by the Post last Monday. 

The Speech delivered by the First President of the Parliament 
of Paris, at the opening of the Assembly of Notables, has given no 
small umbrage at Court by too suddenly insisting on the perform- 
ance of His Majesty's former professions and of the late Arrets, 
by exacting the immediate nomination of the day on which les 
Etats-Generaux should meet, requiring at the same time that they 
should be convened exactly with the same formalities and privi- 
leges of those in the year 1614. and protesting beforehand against 
whatever may pass in that Assembly if differently formed. 

However since the commencement of the Committees the 
language of the Members of the Parliament of Paris, as well as of 
those of the Provinces, is much more adapted to the sentiments of 
the Court of Versailles as those Corps have much to apprehend 
from the numerous body of the Etats-Generaux and who, it may 
be expected, will aim some fatal blow at the over-grown authority 



1788 BEFORE THE REVOLUTION 113 

and influence of the Parliaments ; for these Reasons the Magistrates 
will, it is imagined, endeavour to ingratiate themselves with their 
Sovereign and the Nobility as their only support in case they 
should be driven to extremities : but at present neither the King 
nor the Nobility seem inclined to afford them either protection or 
support. 

His Highness the Due d'Orleans, notwithstanding all the reports 
to the contrary, presides His Committee the same as the rest of 
the Princes of the Blood. 

The number of Points proposed for discussion make it improb- 
able that any plan can be thoroughly digested for assembling the 
States-General sooner than the middle of March 1789 : The Com- 
mittees are not likely to finish before the end of this month at 
soonest ; the Letters of Convocation cannot of course be issued 
sooner than the middle of December, and it will be scarcely 
possible, considering the great extent of this Kingdom, to bring 
together so considerable a part of the Nation in less than three 
months. 

It is no longer doubted that M. Necker will have money to go 
on with 'till that period, since it happens fortunately for him that 
the Taxes of the Provinces are all received in this and the three 
succeeding months ; hitherto the collecting of the Taxes has not 
been attended with difficulty but, if any suspicions should arise 
that the States-General will be put off to a more distant period, 
discontents and murmurings would probably again manifest them- 
selves, and might be attended with the most pernicious consequen- 
ces to Government. 

M. Necker, in order to secure to himself money sufficient 'till 
March, pays nothing but what the King's Service immediately 
requires, so that an almost entire stop is put to the payment of the 
Life-rents 'till that period : it is also affirmed that that Minister has 
appropriated a large part of the Funds of the Mont de Piete to the 
discharge of the most pressing demands. 

It may be observed, to the credit of this Country, that the Public 
seem disposed to submit to any inconveniences for the moment, but 
if the Comptroller General should not be able to make good his 

8 



114 DESPATCHES FROM PARIS 1788 

payments in March his situation will be as bad as, if not worse 
than, that of any of his Predecessors. 

M. Despresmenil, who has been so much the object of Public 
attention, both on account of his confinement and the motives 
which occasioned it, returned to Paris last Monday evening. 

As many different accounts of his sufferings have been circulated, 
it may not be unsatisfactory to know the circumstances as given by 
himself, and which were as follows. — At first he was allowed the 
whole of the Isle Ste Marguerite as the Place of his confinement, 
but upon the arrival of the Governor, some correspondence, of 
which he disapproved, being discovered, M. Despresmenil was 
shut up in the Castle under the strictest Guard : this rigour did 
not continue above a fortnight, but gave place to every indulgence 
that the Nature of his situation would admit of : a regular Table 
was kept for him and he had the satisfaction of receiving every 
mark of attention from all descriptions of people who regularly 
came to the Island to visit him : it may be added as a curious 
circumstance, as tending to shew the general esteem in which 
M. Despresmenil was held, as well as the difference between the 
present and former times, that a small French Fleet, passing by 
the Isle Ste Marguerite during his residence there, gave a salute of 
all their Artillery, and sent a Boat on Shore to inform him that 
the compliment was intended solely for him. 

On his departure it was difficult to say whether joy for his 
release or regret at the loss of his Society was most prevalent : 
the event was however celebrated with Illuminations and every 
mark of satisfaction that Justice was at length shewn to one who 
had sacrificed himself entirely from principles of rectitude and love 
of his Country. 

The Parliament met yesterday without any extraordinary cir- 
cumstances attending its resuming its functions ; but it was thought 
expedient from an apprehension that mischief might ensue from 
the great concourse of people that it was expected would assemble 
upon the occasion, to double the Guards in every part of this City, 
which patroled the Streets the whole of the night. 

M. du Bois, late Commandeur du Guet has been removed, on 



1788 BEFORE THE REVOLUTION 115 

account of his having made himself obnoxious to the Parliament 
by the active part he took in the late riots : he has however in 
recompence for his conduct on that occasion, and as a proof of his 
having given satisfaction to the Court, been made Marechal de 
Camp, and has received a small Government with a Pension of 
12,CX)0ff annexed to it. M. du Bois is succeeded by M. de Rhuliere. 

The Due de Lauzun, at the request of his Father the Due de 
Gontaut, is raised to the rank of Due and Pair, by the title of Due 
de Biron. 

The Turks still continue in the Bannat : — during their late 
retreat down the banks of the Danube their rear was much 
harrassed by the Imperial Troops. 

The last Letters from Oczakow dated the 28th of Sep. mention 
that that Fortress was not likely to surrender : it has been 
reported here but I cannot say with any great degree of authority 
that the Russian Troops had shewn a great backwardness to 
attempt a general assault and that Prince Potemkin had in conse- 
quence of this discovery laid aside all thoughts of continuing the 
Siege. 

The Due de Chatelet was received on Monday last at Versailles 
as Colonel of the Regiment of French Guards. The King's own 
Regiment is not yet given away but it is now thought that the Due 
de Liancourt will be named to it. 

The Dauphin is considerably mended of late. 

The Council of war is to meet on the 15th and to continue their 
operations from that period. 

The Marquis de Langeron, Lt. General in the King's Service 
and Knight of the Order of St. Esprit, is appointed commander 
in chief in Franche Comte in the room of the Marechal de Vaux 
deceased. 

The Price of Bread was a French Sol per pound yesterday : that 
necessary article of life has risen four Sols per pound in the course 
of the last four years. 

I forwarded to your Lordship a packet from Mr. Eden which I 
received the day before yesterday by a private Hand. 

The Packet from Sir Robert Ainslie is just arrived... 



116 DESPATCHES FROM PARIS 1788 

54. Dorset to Carmarthen. 

20 Nov. 1788. 

The Notables continue their proceedings by Committees and 
hope to have finished their business by the end of next Month at 
latest : 

Their deUberations have hitherto been carried on with great 
temper, and though the question (a very important one) in regard 
to the proportion that is to be allowed to the Tiers Etat in the 
formation of the Etats-Generaux, has occasioned a great difference 
of opinion, the discussion of it has not been attended with any 
circumstance to interrupt that harmony which is so essential to 
render the present proceedings beneficial to the Country. 

Nevertheless the Committee, at which Monsieur presides, has 
determined (differently from the other five) that the Tiers- Etat 
should be represented more in proportion to the Share it pays of 
the public expences, so as to make it equal in number to the two 
Orders of Clergy and Nobility taken together ; whereas the other 
Committees have resolved that one of the Clergy, one of the 
Nobility, and one only of the Tiers- Etat should be elected in each 
District ; this mode of forming the Etats-Generaux will, with some 
modification, be conformable to the plan adopted in 1614, and will 
of course be very disadvantageous to the Tiers- Etat, which thus 
will be entirely at the mercy of the Clergy and the Nobility. 

The Clergy appear to have managed well for themselves in this 
important discussion since, according to this arrangement, they 
will be able, by means of the immense property and influence they 
possess, to over-awe the Tiers- Etat during the holding of the 
Etats Generaux and to divide the Nobility, who, in case of a 
junction (so much dreaded) of their order with that of the Tiers- 
Etats, might prove very formidable and perhaps fatal to the power 
of the Church. 

How the difference of opinion in Monsieur's Committee will 
terminate I cannot inform your Lordship, the Numbers upon the 
division having been equal viz — 12 to 12 — Monsieur is said to have 
given the casting vote in favor of the Tiers Etat : it is however 



1788 BEFORE THE REVOLUTION 117 

thought probable that this Committee will coincide with the rest 
rather than risk the delay and confusion which a perseverance in its 
decision might produce : 

The Marechal de Beauvau and the Due de Chatelet supported 
Monsieur's opinion. 

The object of the Parliaments is to have the Etats-Generaux 
convened as nearly as possible in the same manner as in 1614 ; in 
this the Clergy and the Magistrates are acting upon similar 
principles it being equally the interest of both to prevent the 
Tiers-Etat from having that share in the National Assembly, to 
which by national right they are entitled. A general dissatis- 
faction prevails among the Tiers Etat in consequence of the 
resolution respecting them which they foresee is likely to be 
passed in the Assembly of Notables: Many Provinces, and parti- 
cularly Normandy, refuse to send Delegates upon those terms, but 
seem determined to present themselves in a body in order to 
insist on their right of voting, and it is imagined that some further 
indulgence will be granted them to prevent a measure, which 
would be productive of very serious disorders. — Amongst the 
difficulties that arise in making the necessary arrangements for the 
Assembly of the States, that on the part of the Barons in those 
Provinces which go under the name of Pays Conquis is not the 
least considerable. From former privileges they claim the right 
of being universally admitted as Noblesse^ which is strongly objected 
to by Les Due and Pairs who contend for being the only Persons 
hereditarily entitled to that distinction. This material point of 
dispute remains still undecided. 

I send your Lordship " Observations sur I'Etat actuel du 
Cardinal de Rohan" containing some very pointed remarks on 
the peculiar hardships that Prelate has undergone. The Publi- 
cation from which the inclosed is copied has been suppressed: it is 
however beyond a doubt that His Eminence will soon be per- 
mitted to return from his banishment, and it is moreover thought 
that He will be one of the Deputies of the Province of Alsace at 
the Assembly of the Etats-Generaux. 

The following is the most authentic inteUigence I have been 



118 DESPATCHES FROM PARIS 1788 

able to procure for your Lordship respecting the newly-estabHshed 
Packets at Marseilles. — 

There are six of these Vessels which sail the 1st and 15th of 
every month from the Port of Marseilles to Smyrna without 
touching at any other Place whatsoever ; these Packets are not 
allowed to take Passengers, Goods of any kind, nor even Parcels ; 
in short nothing but Letters which are forwarded gratis : The 
Vessels are of from 40 to 70 Tons, and have from 8 to 12 men on 
board but during the winter season it is probable that more hands 
will be allowed. 

They are generally dispatched before the time of their Quaran- 
tine is expired, and in case it should happen that none of the 
Packets are at Marseilles on the day appointed, a vessel is to be 
hired for the purpose that there may be no interruption in the 
order of communication ; it is required that the Letters be delivered 
in the morning of the day before the Packet is to sail : the Letters 
are conveyed from Smyrna to Constantinople by Land in six or 
eight days and from thence by way of Aleppo to India. 

The Turks continue to retreat, and will in all probability 
entirely evacuate the Austrian Territories as soon as the winter 
sets in. 

It is strongly reported that the siege of Oczakow is raised. 

The Council of War continues to sit at Versailles; the ordinances 
of last year are now under examination with a view to revise 
whatever may have been found superfluous and unnecessary. The 
Due de Guines, who is a member of this Board, will, it is confi- 
dently asserted, be named by His Most Christian Majesty to the 
command of the Regiment du Rot. 

The Club, commonly known under the name of the Salon,, 
composed of the first Nobility and Gentry of Paris, which was 
suppressed two years ago, is now open again by permission of the 
Court. 

The Pieces Interessantes which I send herewith to your Lord- 
ship, submitted by the Commissaires de I'Isle de Tobago to the 
consideration of the Notables, have not as yet been deliberated 
upon : the whole of that business will in all probability be laid 



1788 BEFORE THE REVOLUTION 119 

before His Majesty in Council, who will decide upon it without the 
advice or opinion of the Notables. 

55. Dorset to Carmarthen. 

27 Nov. 1788. 

I received yonr Lordship's Dispatch No. 26 last Tuesday, and 
have in consequence written to the Count de la Luzerne in order 
to obtain from the Court of Admiralty of Dunkirk Copies of the 
correspondence alluded to in Messrs Gregg's Letter. 

The important discussion respecting the Tiers- Etat is likely to 
be attended with great embarrassment to His Most Christian 
Majesty's Servants, and I have reason to think M. Necker begins 
to repent his having so hastily decided upon the measure of 
assembUng the Notables, finding that he would have done better if 
he had at first adopted the ideas of the Parliament in following 
the precedents which the annals of the Country afforded for a 
National Assembly, for however interested that Body may be 
supposed to have been in recommending the plan which was 
observed in 1614, it was still to be apprehended, as it is now become 
evident that any attempt at variation from that plan, to which its 
precedency must always have given sanction, would necessarily 
occasion such jealousies and discontents throughout the Kingdom 
as must unavoidably frustrate those advantages which the Nation 
might otherwise hope to experience from the assembling of the 
States General. 

If Government, instead of assembling the Notables, had attended 
to the advice contained in the Remonstrances of the Parliament, 
His Majesty would now enjoy the double advantage of being able 
to assemble the States-General so early as January next, and of 
avoiding the unpleasant discussions to which the question respect- 
ing the share to be allowed to the Tiers Etat in the representation 
has given rise, as well as the general discontents which have 
thereby been occasioned in the Provinces ; for the Body of the 
People are by no means disposed in a matter of so much conse- 
quence to them, to submit quietly to the decision of certain 
individuals, styled Notables, assembled by Government and acting 



120 DESPATCHES FROM PARIS 1788 

under its influence, to the great detriment, as the People conceive, 
of their natural rights. 

From the length of the Debates in the several Committees it is 
probable that their deliberations will yet continue eight or ten 
days longer, which will have so far exceeded the time at first 
imagined that the States-General can scarcely be brought together 
sooner than the month of May : what may be the consequence of 
this delay time will discover but it may be presumed that 
M. Necker's popularity will be affected by it, and it will not be 
surprising if he should be disgusted with the management of the 
King's Affairs before this period. 

Monsieur and the Comte d'Artois are indefatigable in their 
attendance at their respective Committees. 

The Due d'Orleans has excused himself from presiding His 
Committee but nevertheless attends it regularly : The Marechal de 
Broglie is chosen President in His Highnesses stead. 

The Prince de Conde, the Due de Bourbon, and the Prince de 
Conti, continue to preside their several Committees and are very 
regular in their attendance. It is now expected, on account of the 
various Remonstrances that have been presented from several 
principal Towns in favor of the Tiers- Etats that the resolutions, 
passed in Monsieur's Committee of which I took notice in my 
Despatch No. 70, will be adopted by all the other Committees. 

The return of the Parliament of Besangon was not received by 
the Inhabitants of that Town with the warmth which might have 
been expected, but their first act of authority being the entire 
abolition of the Main-Morte^ the approbation of this measure was 
expressed by the most general rejoicings. 

Some changes in the French Cabinet are much talked of and it 
is strongly reported that the Secretary at War (M. de Brienne) 
intends to resign at the end of this week, which is very much 
believed as it is known that that Minister has with great reluctance 
remained in Office since the resignation of His Brother the Arch- 
bishop of Sens. It is rather to be imagined that the Archbishop 
of Sens has not found the residence of Nice perfectly agreeable as 
they write from thence that he means to quit immediately and go 



1788 BEFORE THE REVOLUTION 121 

on to Pisa, leaving however his family behind him. It is also said 
that the French at Nice, all of them excepting the French Consul, 
refused to associate with him. 

By the death of the Count de la Touche Treville, Lt. General in 
the French Marine, which happened in the course of the last 
week, a second Cordon Rouge is become vacant. 

His Majesty did not receive the Foreign Ministers last Tuesday, 
nor did M. de Montmorin come to Paris that day, on account of 
indisposition which confined him at Versailles: it is however with no 
small satisfaction that I have it nevertheless in my power to repeat 
to your Lordship the earnest wishes of this Court for His Majesty's 
recovery, and I am persuaded that there is not at this moment the 
least disposition in the Cabinet of Versailles to seek occasion for 
interrupting the harmony and good understanding which so happily 
prevails between the two Courts. 

It is said that M. de St. Priest (who is now in this Capital) and the 
Bishop of Arras are to be immediately summoned to the Privy Council 
with the same privileges as are allowed to Ministers of State. 

The Comte de Puysegur, a very mild and sensible man, will it is 
supposed succeed Mons, de Brienne in the War Department. 

The Ambassadors from Tippoo Sultan sailed from Brest only 
about 10 days ago. 

There has lately been much uneasiness from apprehension for 
the safety of the French Frigate La Mediise which sailed in 
company with another Frigate of the same force, an account of 
whose arrival was received seven weeks ago ; however intelligence 
has at length been received of the safe arrival at Pondicherry of 
La Meduse without touching at the Isle de France. 

The young King of Cochinchine sailed in one of these Frigates 
on his return to his native Country. 

The price of Bread has again been raised a French Sol ; the 
consequence of which has already been felt in the instance of 
above forty Bakers having been obliged to shut up Shop : — 

In the Provinces these discontents have still risen higher ; 
particularly at Pontamouson in Lorrain where the public Magazines 
of Corn have been broken open and pillaged by the populace. 



122 DESPATCHES FROM PARIS 1788 

The Stocks have risen a Httle since last week but are now fallen 
again. 

The Memoire, which I have the honor to send your Lordship, 
presented to the King by Les six Corps de la Ville de Paris^ is 
deserving of your Lordship's perusal. 

A Letter from Calais, received here on Sunday last, mentions the 
following circumstance which is perhaps without example. 

On the 19th of this Month, at the hour of shutting the Gates, 
120 Grenadiers and Chasseurs of the Regiment Royal d'Auvergne, of 
which M. le Vicomte de Rochambeau is Colonel, sallied out of the 
Citadel with their Arms and Baggage, having forced the Guard 
that endeavored to oppose them. 

Being arrived at the Corps- de-garde of the Town the Officer who 
commanded there ordered the Barrier to be shut, but they forced 
it open and pursued their intended plan. M. de Bienassise, the 
Commandant of Calais, who was then at the Play, being informed 
of what had passed, ordered the Garrison to beat to Arms, and to 
hold itself ready to march at a moment's warning, but the night 
being remarkably dark and every one ignorant of the road the 
Deserters had taken no Party was sent after them. The first 
accounts from Calais will probably mention the consequence of 
this unpleasant affair, as well as the motives that induced those 
Soldiers to have recourse to so violent an extremity. 

We hear by Letters from Vienna, received by the last Courier, 
that the Arch- Duke Francis is returned thither from the Army. 

The Emperor is still at His Head Quarters at Semlin : Nothing 
of any consequence has lately happened in that Country, excepting 
that the Turks have evacuated Meadia, after setting fire to it, and 
have fallen back on their own Dominions. 

56. Dorset to Carmarthen. 

4 Dec. 1788. 

I have received your Lordship's letter No. 27 and 28. I am 
deeply concerned that His Majesty's disorder appears not to have 
materially abated : — The same anxiety continues to prevail at this 
Court as manifested itself when His Majesty's illness was first 



1788 BEFORE THE REVOLUTION 123 

known here, and I make no doubt that His Most Christian Majesty's 
Ambassador at London does not omit to express how sincere an 
interest His Royal Master takes in the general concern upon this 
melancholy occasion. 

I had the honor of writing to your Lordship last Monday by the 
Post to acquaint you with the appointment of the Comte de 
Puysegur (Lt. General of His Most Christian Majesty's Army) to 
the War Department in the room of M. de Brienne, who retires 
on a Pension of 10,000 livres Tournois with a present gratuity 
of 100,000ff in recompense for his Services, resigning the com- 
mand of la Guyenne. 

No other changes in Administration are talked of, neither is the 
Bishop of Arras, nor M. de St. Priest as yet named of the Privy 
Council. M. de la Vauguyon, His Most Christian Majesty's 
Ambassador at the Court of Spain, is on his return home, having 
obtained leave of absence on his private Affairs. 

A great degree of fermentation continues to subsist in the 
Committees of Notables ; it is now imagined that they will be 
obliged to agree in adopting the mode which was observed in 1614 
for assembling the States-General, since it seems to be the opinion 
that the Notables are not of themselves competent to determine 
what Persons are qualified, and cannot of course claim any con- 
stitutional right of naming who are to assist at a National Assembly: 
it will therefore remain for such of the Provinces as shall find 
themselves aggrieved by being excluded from any share in the 
representation to petition the States that they may be placed upon 
the same footing as the rest. 

The new Minister of the Finances is supposed to favor the 
pretensions of the third Order, and the Clergy and the Nobility 
entertain a suspicion that the Court is but too much inclined to 
second that System : thus His Majesty and his Ministers are in a 
very embarrassing predicament, for should the Clergy and the 
Nobility take alarm at the too great predilection shewn towards 
the Tiers-Etat, they may very likely, as a last resource, recede from 
their attendance at the States-General while on the other hand the 
Tiers-Etat, if they are dissatisfied with, what they may consider, a 



124 DESPATCHES FROM PARIS 1788 

too great disproportion of their own Order, may on their part 
also refuse to obey their summons to attend the States : it is 
therefore become essentially necessary for Government, in order 
to prevent the confusion which seems to threaten, to form some 
resolutions without delay that may be calculated to draw all 
Parties together. 

The Payments go on very slowly and the Annuities which are 
paid alphabetically and which began in January with the letter A 
are now advanced to letter C only : this retard of payment not 
only occasions great distress to those individuals whose whole 
property consists in those annuities, but at the same time materially 
affects the credit of Government, yet nothwithstanding the embar- 
rassed situation of public Affairs, the Funds have been gradually 
rising during the last 10 days. 

The multiplicity of political Publications, which have lately 
appeared, has not failed to attract the attention of the Notables, 
and especially of the Prince of Conty's Committee : that Prince 
was in consequence prevailed on to present the Letter, which I 
have the honor to send your Lordship inclosed, to Monsieur to be 
by him, as President of the first Committee, communicated to the 
King : annexed to it is His Majesty's Answer, the contents of 
which has occasioned some dissatisfaction being expressed by the 
Notables : No further steps have been taken and the Committees 
continue their Deliberations, which are likely to last 'till towards 
the middle of next week. 

M. Necker really has (or has at least) expressed apprehensions of 
an insurrection on account of the scarcity of Corn, but this pro- 
bably arises more from policy than actual belief of such an event, 
as he imputes the present distress to the Archbishop of Sens whom 
he accuses of having given permission for vast exports of Grain, on 
receiving certain gratuities for such indulgence. 

M. Necker further screens himself from reproach for the present 
calamity, by asserting that at an early period he took the precau- 
tions of sending to England for a quantity of Corn equal to the 
deficiency occasioned by the misconduct of his predecessor, and it 
is said that there are actually now in the River Seine several 



1788 BEFORE THE REVOLUTION 125 

Vessels laden with that commodity which could not proceed to 
Paris for want of water sufficient owing to the uncommonly dry 
season, and which are now stopped by the Frost. 

The number of Grenadiers and Chasseurs who, as I mentioned to 
your Lordship last week, had deserted from the Regiment Royal 
d'Auvergne at Calais, did not amount, according to the last Letters 
from thence, to more than seventy-five, sixty-six of whom had 
returned to their duty. 

The Vicomte de Rochambeau, Colonel of the above-mentioned 
Regiment, upon hearing the circumstance, immediately set out from 
Paris, where he then was, to go to Calais with all expedition. 

Deputies are lately arrived in this Capital from Quimper and 
have joined those of Nantes : It is probable that all the other 
towns of Brittany will follow their example, notwithstanding that 
the Intendant of the Province has written circular Letters to all 
the Corporations strictly forbidding them, in the King's name to 
assemble. 

57. Dorset to Carmarthen. 

11 Dec. 1788. 

The Notables, having finished their Deliberations, will be dis- 
missed by His Majesty either to-morrow or next day, for which 
purpose. His Majesty will, on account of the severity of the 
weather, assemble them dans la Salle des Gardes in the Palace of 
Versailles, when He will return them thanks for their attendance. 

The result of the proceedings of the several Committees will 
shortly appear in print, I therefore do not atempt to give your 
Lordship any detail of them ; I must however observe that the 
present temper of the Nation is such that the Provinces probably 
will not consider themselves as bound to follow any particular 
mode, that may be dictated to them, for the election of Deputies 
to represent them at the Assembly of the States-General, unless it 
shall appear by the records to be conformable to the customs of 
former times on similar occasions ; neither, it is thought, will the 
Tiers- Etat at any rate submit to a representation of their Order 
that shall be judged by them inadequate to the magnitude of the 



126 DESPATCHES FROM PARIS 1788 

proportion they hold in the State ; for, by the calculation which 
has lately been made of the three Orders, it appears that the 
Clergy, not including the Religieux, amounted to 90,000 only : and 
that of Nobility, even with all those who have purchased their 
titles, amounted to no more than 500,000 : the disproportion there- 
fore between the Tiers- Etat and the other two Orders, taken 
together, is very considerable, the whole population of France 
being estimated at 24 millions. Orders have been given for 
issuing the Letters of Convocation for the States General immedi- 
ately, and they are to assemble at Paris (as it is now said) on the 
20th of March, but that being thought a too distant period, the 
King is to be petitioned to call them together, the 1st of February, 
which however it is probable cannot be complied with. 

I sent your Lordship, by the Post of last Monday, the Resolu- 
tions passed by the Parliament on the preceding Friday, and which 
were presented the following day to His Majesty, who returned 
the answer, a copy of which I now send your Lordship together 
with the said Resolutions : — The moderation with which His 
Majesty's sentiments are expressed cannot fail to occasion much 
disappointment to those who were the promoters of a measure so 
ill-timed and so injudiciously concerted. 

M. Necker gains ground in the public opinion of which the 
gradual rise of the Funds is a sure proof. 

On Monday last died at his house in Paris the Bailli de Suffrein, 
a martyr, there is reason for believing, to improper treatment ; the 
Faculty having prescribed frequent bleedings for a gouty complaint 
in his stomach, instead of endeavouring to force the disorder to 
the extremities : He was buried yesterday : This Naval Com- 
mander is considered here as a great loss to the Service. — The 
Nomination of an Ambassador from Malta is usually left to this 
Court, and the present Candidates for that dignity are the 
Chevalier de Coigny, Brother to the Duke of that name, The 
Bailli de Crussol, and the Malthese Ambassador at Rome. 

Bread has again been raised un Sol, and is accordingly now 
at 14 Sols pr lb : — I understand that it is to be gradually 
raised to 16 sols and no higher : the distress of the poor is 



1788 BEFORE THE REVOLUTION 127 

already very great as may be conceived, and the unusual severity 
of the weather is at this moment peculiarly unfortunate for them ; 
nor, on this account, is it very surprising that robberies should be 
frequent, which at present is the case in an alarming degree : it is 
by no means safe to walk the streets late in the Evening, and in 
some of the less frequented parts of the Town Carriages have been 
attempted. 

The Dauphin has continued to mend, and His health is materi- 
ally better... 

58. Dorset to Carmarthen. 

18 Dec. 1788. 

I had the honor to write to your Lordship on Monday last by an 
English gentleman of my acquaintance who left Paris on that day 
and who, I trust, will have faithfully delivered to your Lordship my 
Despatch No. 79, with which were enclosed two Despatches from 
Sir Robert Ainslie. that had come to hand on Friday having been 
forwarded to me via Marseilles. 

The Notables were dismissed on the 12th Inst ; your Lordship 
will already have seen the several Speeches which were delivered 
on that occasion ; I now send another copy of them. 

On Sunday last the Prince de Conde, the Due de Bourbon, the 
Due d'Enghien and the Prince de Conti, met in the apartment of 
the Comte d'Artois at Versailles and agreed to present to His 
Majesty a Memorial, a copy of which is inclosed for your Lord- 
ship's perusal. These Princes in their address to the Throne 
remonstrated strongly in favour of the Nobility in opposition to 
the claims of the Tiers- Etat with respect to the convocation of 
the States-General, but They received no answer from the King, 
when they presented it last Sunday morning at the Levee where 
His Majesty was graciously pleased to receive them, it is supposed 
that the consideration of the contents of this Memorial will be 
referred to the States-General. I have reason to think that the 
King would rather have dispensed with this mark of the zeal of 
His Brother and the other Princes at this critical moment, when 
the fermentation, which is already very great, through all the 



128 DESPATCHES FROM PARIS 1788 

Provinces and in all the Principal Towns of the Kingdom, will 
probably be much augmented by this ill-judged measure : — The 
Funds have sunk 6 pr. Cent in consequence of this Remonstrance 
which is considered as the presage of great embarrassment to the 
State by the difficulties it may occasion in assembling the Nation. 
It was finally determined by the Notables to recommend the same 
form of Convocation as that which was used in 1614, but the 
Court seems to wish that the Tiers-Etat should have a Represen- 
tation more equal to the proportion they bear of the public burthen, 
than was allowed them at that epoch. — In several of the Provinces 
this proportion has been agreed upon and some of the Towns have 
even gone so far as to fix the proportion, viz — three of the Clergy ; 
three of the Nobility, and six of the Tiers-Etat ; Bordeaux is 
mentioned as one of the Places where Resolutions to this effect 
have been passed, and nearly the same are said to have been 
passed at Thoulouse and Grenoble. 

With this disposition in the Provinces it may well be appre- 
hended that the fermentation will increase when the address to 
the King is made known there. 

Monsieur and the Due d'Orleans refused to subscribe their names 
to the Memorial, it is however confidently asserted that the Due 
d'Orleans approved of the sentiments expressed in it, and certainly 
He attended the meeting. 

The States-General cannot be convened sooner than the middle 
of April next : — Versailles is likely to be fixed on for this Assembly 
but that matter is not yet absolutely determined. 

The Letters of Convocation will be issued in the course of next 
week. 

The Due de Penthievre is still in the Country, somewhat mended 
in his health. 

The opening of the States of Britanny being fixed for the 29th 
of this month, the Comte de Thiard, Commandant of that Pro- 
vince, proposes to set out the 23rd, and to repair to Rennes. 

M. Bertrand de Malleville has decidedly resigned his office of 
Intendant of Britanny and is succeeded by M. de Rochefort, 
Maitre des Requetes. 



1788 BEFORE THE REVOLUTION 129 

The States of Languedoc are not to assemble 'till the 15th of 
January. 

The Province of Burgundy has sollicited to have an Assembly 
extraordinary of its States : it is more than probable His Majesty 
will grant this permission, and that their meeting will take place in 
the course of the ensuing month. 

An Assembly des Chambres was held on Saturday, on account of 
the dearness of Corn, when L'Avocat General, Seguier, presented 
a petition which met with much approbation ; the Parliament has 
in consequence nominated Commissioners to receive information 
and examine the matters set forth in the above-mentioned petition. 
Government has, in the mean time, taken the most prudent 
measures to prevent the scarcity of Bread so much apprehended 
from the impossibility of working the Wind-Mills and Water-Mills 
by reason of the present extreme severity of the weather, and at 
the same time to stop a further increase in the price of Corn and 
flour. Six thousand Carriages have been provided in the course 
of the last week for the purpose of furnishing Paris with those 
Articles, and it is coniidently said that many cargoes are already 
arrived at different Ports from Foreign Countries. 

The Courier Extraordinary, whom I mentioned in my last to 
have arrived from Petersburgh, proceeded to Madrid. M. de 
Montmorin assured me that no official Despatches were brought 
for him by this Messenger, who it is thought was charged with 
Letters to the Russian Minister in Spain, instructing him to express 
to His Catholic Majesty the sense Her Imperial Majesty entertains 
of the friendly offers of the Spanish Court to employ its good 
Offices for the purpose of restoring tranquility to the belligerent 
Powers in the North as well as in the Eastern Parts of Europe. 

An authentic Letter from Vienna mentions the arrival of the 
Emperor at that Capital in perfect health — the discontents that 
prevail, particularly in Hungary, on account of the new Levies 
and supplies — the Armistice proposed by the Imperialists and 
acceded to by the Pacha of Ronselie during the winter — and the 
continuation of the siege of Oczakoff, in which the Russians 
persevere notwithstanding the prodigious loss of men they have 

9 



130 DESPATCHES FROM PARIS 1788 

sustained by the inclemency of the weather and in a late fruitless 
assault.... 

59. Dorset to Carmarthen. 

25 Dec. 1788. 

The death of His Catholic Majesty ' is much lamented by this 
Court, and it is considered as an event peculiarly unfortunate at 
this time, coming in addition to the many circumstances of trouble 
under which Europe in general is now labouring : A total change 
in the Administration is expected to take place at Madrid, which 
cannot be looked to but with regret from the apprehension that 
the pacific measures which have been pursued by the present 
Ministers may not be adopted by those who will probably succeed 
them : it is however supposed that the Comte d'Aranda, late 
Ambassador at this Court, will be consulted upon this important 
occasion, and in the formation of the new Ministry, that he will in 
all probability be named to some high Office; should this be the 
case I have no doubt, from the personal knowledge I have of that 
Nobleman, of his using his best endeavours to preserve a perfect 
harmony and a most cordial friendship between the King (His 
Master) and His Most Christian Majesty ; for he always avowed it 
to be his system to cultivate and strengthen the Alliance and Con- 
nection between the two Families as being mutually advantageous 
to the prosperity of both Kingdoms. 

It is at length finally determined to issue, without loss of time, 
the Letters of Convocation for assembling the States-General on 
the 24th of April 1789, and it is the prevailing opinion that the 
Assembly will be held at Versailles. No authentic copy of the 
Letter having as yet been made public I can only give your Lord- 
ship what is mentioned in report with respect to the contents of 
it : the form of Convocation, such as was observed in 1614, will, 
it is said, be principally adopted ; but a modification is talked of in 
favor of the Tiers-Etat, to whom is to be allowed a second Deputy, 
to be chosen by the Bonnes Villes, while for the Districts the 

' Charles III, King of Spain, died 13 December 1788. 



1788 BEFORE THE REVOLUTION 131 

ancient form will be continued : this concession, small in itself, is so 
far short of the requisitions made by the Tiers-Etat, that great 
discontents and probably much confusion will prevail before the 
Convocation takes place : the Resolutions lately passed at Bordeaux, 
Thoulouse, and Grenoble, and which have been echoed from one 
end of the Kingdom to the other, contain so essentially the general 
sentiments of the People as could not fail to make a deep impres- 
sion on the pubhc ; and the instances, that have within a short 
time occurred, wherein the Court has been driven to the necessity 
of giving way in certain points, have encouraged them to believe 
that unanimity and perseverance will force the King to yield to 
their present demands. — The Clergy and the Nobility will however 
for their own sakes support the Crown, and while those two 
Bodies and Government go hand in hand they cannot fail of 
carrying their point whatever be the dissentions which may result 
from a determined obstinacy in the third Order. It is a wise 
measure of Administration to keep the Nobles attached to the 
Sovereign : They are the natural or at least the near supporters 
of the Crown and consequently tenacious of its privileges equally as 
of their own, and jealous of any innovations that might eventually 
affect both the one and the other. 

I send your Lordship a Letter signed by 30 Peers of the Realm, 
which was presented to the King last Sunday by the Dues de 
Mortemart and Luynes : this mark of zeal and affection was 
received by His Majesty with the most flattering assurances of His 
Royal approbation ; it is however said that many of the Nobility 
have expressed great dissatisfaction at this measure, disavowing 
the protestations contained in the Letter and considering them- 
selves as by no means bound to an observance of them : never- 
theless it is known that the majority are in favour of the sentiments 
thus conveyed to the King, and they must therefore be admitted 
as the sense of the Nobility of the Kingdom. The Peers having 
no legal right to assemble in a Body separately, met in a private 
Apartment at the Louvre and there drew up the Letter in the form 
in which it was afterwards presented to His Majesty. 

The Deliberations of the States of Dauphiny of the 9th of this 



132 DESPATCHES FROM PARIS 1788 

month, authorize the Archbishop of Vienna, their President to 
write to M. Necker, for whom they profess much esteem, that in 
the whole extent of Kingdom one Deputy should be chosen for 
the States-General out of 40,000 Souls and that according to this 
proportion Dauphiny should have 30 Deputies, that is to say, 5 
from the Clergy, 10 from the Nobility and 15 from the Tiers- Etat. 

The Parliament sat on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday : the 
following is a Journal of their proceedings. 

Wednesday 17. — Les Gens du Roi being present M. de Seguier 
read the Address, which I have the honor to enclose : the resolu- 
tion of the Court was that the Pamphlet referred to should be 
burnt by the hands of the common Hang-man which has accord- 
ingly been done. 

An accusation against the Petition des Citoyens domicilies a Paris^ 
which I have also sent inclosed, was next entered upon, but 
a decree interposed ordering the Syndic, the Notaries, Les Gardes 
des six Corps and the Printer of the Petition to attend the Parlia- 
ment on the following day. 

Opinions were taken in regard to the Memoire des Princes (here- 
with inclosed) and several Members testified their approbation of it. 

Thursday 18th. The Printer, the Sindic des Notaires, Le 
S. Perrein Notary, and les Gardes des six Corps underwent an 
examination. 

Friday 19th. M. Guillotin,' Physician, Author of the Petition 
was examined : as soon as he was withdrawn, the Court, having 
taken the opinions of the Members, which lasted two hours, gave 
sentence that the Copies of the Petition signed in the presence 
of the Notaries be deposited by them in the course of 24 hours in 
the Rolls, and the said Notaries are expressly forbid to receive in 
future similar signatures as being calculated to injure the confi- 
dence due to their Oflice : the Gardes des six Corps were at the same 
time enjoined not to send any more circular Letters soUiciting 
signatures. 

' In addition to his proposal to double the Tiers Etat, he proposed, in 1789, to 
make capital punishment uniform and to adopt decapitation, hitherto reserved 
for nobles, His name was given to the Guillotine. 



1788 BEFORE THE REVOLUTION 133 

There was not any order given for the suppression of the above- 
mentioned Pamphlet. 

The Guard of Paris is to be augmented, Government having 
decided that 480 men shall be added to the Infantry and 128 to 
the Cavalry. 

The Police of Paris permits the game of Faro to be played in 
private Societies as was the case a few years ago, and it is imagined 
that this species of gambling, disadvantageous and ruinous as it is 
known to be, will be winked at by the Parliament for the sake of 
the considerable annual stipend which the Police will derive from 
the holders of the Banks who are to pay a large sum for this 
indulgence to be appropriated to extraordinary expences : Several 
Persons have already applied for leave to open Banks. 

The great distress of the Poor during the uncommon inclemency 
of the weather excited the attention and compassionate relief of 
many of the Opulent Inhabitants of this City, but their Serene 
Highnesses the Duke and Duchess of Orleans have, far beyond all 
others, eminently distinguished Themselves upon the occasion by 
their very liberal donations ; the particulars of which your Lord- 
ship will see by the enclosed Copy (from the Journal de Paris) of 
the Letter from the Due d'Orleans Intendant to the Curate of the 
Parish of St. Eustache : the distribution therein directed com- 
menced last Sunday.... 



DESPATCHES FROM PARIS 
Jan.-Dec. 1789 



789 



1 Dorset to Carmarthen. 

1 Jan. 1789. 

This day His Majesty and the Royal Family received the 
compliments of the Nobility and Foreign Ministers at Versailles : 
After the usual ceremony of high Mass, which was performed in 
the Royal Chapel, the Prince de Luxemburg and M. de Brienne, 
late Secretary at War, were received Knights of the Holy Ghost, 
and were invested by His Majesty with the Insignia of that Order : 
the other nine vacancies were none of them filled up : it was 
confidently reported that the Due de Chartres, eldest son of the 
Due d'Orleans, would be named, which however did not take 
place, nor would that nomination have been to one of the vacan- 
cies ; Princes of the Blood not being included in the established 
number. 

The Resultat du Conseil (VEtat du Roi -just published is herewith 
enclosed, to which is annexed M. Necker's Rapport vihich is exceed- 
ingly well drawn up, but how far the Clergy and the Nobility will 
approve the innovations thereby attempted in the Constitution time 
will shew : the pretensions of the Tiers- Etat are fully explained in 
M. Necker's PubHcation and if intrigue and cabal can subside upon 
any one important occasion in this country an impartial person may 
conclude that the Minister's plan, which at once appears both 
reasonable and practicable, must tend in a great measure to abate the 
fermentation which has so long subsisted throughout the Kingdom. 
The Letters of Convocation are not yet issued but they will be 
distributed in the course of a very few days. 

Many of the Young Nobility are anxiously desirous of being 



138 DESPATCHES FROM PARIS 1789 

chosen Representatives at the approaching Assembly of the States- 
General, and with the hope of recommending themselves to be 
nominated are preparing to go to their respective Provinces, where 
their several interests give them pretensions to such a distinction. 

The Frost which there was reason to hope the middle of last 
week had effectually given way returned towards the latter end of 
it with increased severity and since yesterday has been attended 
with a very heavy fall of snow : the consequent distress of the 
many poor Families whose support depended wholly on their 
daily labour, of which they are now deprived, is both lamentable 
and alarming ; for the private donations of humane and generous 
Individuals can scarcely be sufficient to alleviate in a material degree 
to the extent of the misery that prevails, nor, it is to be feared, 
do such donations in general reach those objects who are most in 
need and, it may be added, are most worthy of relief ; who cannot 
work to earn a subsistence, and will not condescend to exhibit the 
poverty under which they are suffering. 

I omitted to mention to your Lordship last week that the Due de 
Harcourt had been unamimously chosen a Member of the Academic 
Frangoise in the room of the late Marechal de Richlieu, and that 
M. de Nicolai, Premier President de la Chambre des Comptes had 
been elected a Member of that Society in the room of the Marquis 
de Chatellux lately deceased. A few days since the Chevalier de 
Boufflers, Governor of Senegal, took his seat in that Academy, 
occupied by the late Archbishop of Lyons. The two former have 
not yet been received. 

The Dauphin's health continues in an improving state, and 
though there are little hopes of his recovering from the deformity 
of his Body, there are not at present any apprehensions for his 
life. His Royal Highness did not receive the Foreign Ministers 
this day. 

The States of Languedoc, which were to have assembled in 
November but were deferred on account of the Notables, are to 
meet the middle of this month, and the Archbishop of Narbonne 
(Dillon) will leave Paris next Monday in order to hold them. 

The Due de Guines is at this time presiding the States of Artois. 



1789 BEFORE THE REVOLUTION 139 

Letters from Spain mention that Mons. de Florida Blanca will 
certainly retire from the management of the King's Affairs, and 
Mons. de Fernan Nuney, His Catholic Majesty's Ambassador at this 
Court is said to stand very high in the opinion of the new Monarch 
and therefore not unlikely to be called upon to take some active 
Department in the Spanish Cabinet. 

Mons. de la Vauguyon is much disappointed at not being able to 
take advantage of the leave of absence he had just obtained to 
return home upon his private Affairs : He was preparing to set out 
for Paris a few days previous to His late Catholic Majesty's illness, 
but must now necessarily remain some weeks longer at his Station. 

Mons. Necker has renewed for six months the Arret, which 
expired this day, dispensing the Caisse d'Escompte from paying 
more than a thousand-livre note at a time. The Caisse d'Escompte 
had on the 31st December 1788, thirty-one millions in Specie. 

I have the honor to send your Lordship herewith inclosed a 
Packet from Sir Robert Ainslie which I received last Tuesday. 

P.S. 9 o'clock. P.M. 

Lanyun, the Messenger, is but this moment arrived with your 
Lordship's Despatch No. 30, to which due attention shall be paid : 
this delay was owing to the Packet's not having reached Calais 
'till yesterday morning. 

I have just learned by a Person arrived this Evening from 
Versailles, that His Majesty did nominate the Due de Chartres to 
the Order of the Holy Ghost, after the other ceremony was over. 

The last Letters from Vienna mention the arrival there of the 
Marechal Laudoun. 

2. Dorset to Carmarthen. 

8. Jan. 1789. 

Intelligence from all quarters has of late been much retarded by 
the extreme severity of the weather which renders the roads in 
many places impassable and has occasioned several fatal accidents 
to the Couriers who conduct the Mails, some of whom have been 
lost in the snow and others have perished through the intenseness 
of the cold ; an instance of which occurred last week between 



140 DESPATCHES FROM PARIS 1789 

St. Germains and Paris, the man who was bringing the mail having 
been so benumbed by the cold as to have entirely lost the use of 
his limbs, and, though every means were used upon his arrival at 
the Post Office to restore him, he died a short time after he was 
taken into the house. The wretchedness of the poor people during 
this inclement season surpasses all description, and numbers of 
them must have perished but for the liberal contributions of the 
wealthier Inhabitants of this Capital. 

Their Majesties and all the Royal Family have given largely for 
the relief of the poor in and about Versailles ; but His Majesty's 
bounty is extended to every Province of the Kingdom, a con- 
siderable sum of money having been issued from the Royal Trea- 
sury expressly for this charitable purpose. 

At the late Meeting of the States of Brittanny the Comte de 
Thiard found himself under the necessity on the second day (the 
first had passed off very quietly) of adjourning it on account of the 
turbulent spirit of the populace who assembled and were joined by 
a large body of the Tiers-Etat from Nantes and Quimper, when 
they entered into strong resolutions, and among others, they came 
to an agreement not to pay any Taxes nor to attend the States- 
General unless the Nobility will first advance towards the exigen- 
cies of the State 50 MiUions as an equivalent to the surplus which 
the Tiers-Etat pretend to have already paid : another condition 
insisted on by them is that in future the Officers of His Most Christian 
Majesty's Army shall in future be composed of their Body in an 
equal proportion as of the Nobility ; that they shall also enjoy the 
like priveleges and be admissible to ecclesiastical dignities in 
common with the higher order of His Majesty's subjects : — These 
terms, however preposterous they may appear at the first view, 
serve nevertheless to shew the spirit of resistance which prevails 
and the embarrassments to which Government is exposed. The 
Comte de Thiard adjourned the Assembly of the States at Rennes 
to the 4th of February and in the mean time has required from 
Government Instructions for his future conduct. 

Many of the Nobility will soon leave Paris in order to attend the 
Meetings of the States in the different Provinces to be held in the 



1789 BEFORE THE REVOLUTION 141 

course of this month and the next : The Due de Castries will set 
out to-morrow to be present at the States of Languedoc which are 
to meet the 15th Inst. 

It is not yet known what effect M. Necker's late Publication has 
produced in the Provinces : at Paris it has certainly met with great 
applause. 

The fermentation continues throughout the Kingdom but no- 
where in so violent a degree as at Rennes. 

This Court is expecting with much anxiety news from Spain, no 
authentic advices having been received from Madrid since the 
account of His late Catholic Majesty's death. I am inclined to 
think that it is the object of the Cabinet of Versailles to remain if 
possible quiet spectators of the transactions of the other Parts of 
Europe at this critical moment ; France having too many distresses 
of Her own to admit of Her attempting at present to regain that 
ascendancy in the general balance to which she has before pretend- 
ed ; it may be presumed nevertheless that this Court would wish 
to protect Sweden against the resentment of Russia which is to 
be apprehended from the tone and manner with which Her 
Imperial Majesty has hitherto rejected the offers of mediation that 
have been made to Her. 

There are no Letters of a late date from the Russian Army before 
Oczakow, but as it is understood that the Blockade of that Place 
was to be continued through the winter, it is not improbable that 
the Court of Russia will wait the issue of a renewal of the siege in 
the spring before any terms of accomodation either on the part of 
Sweden or of the Porte will be hstened to : In the mean time I am 
persuaded that this Court would go great lengths to obtain from 
Russia some assurance that a degree of lenity shall be observed 
towards Sweden. 

I have received the following information respecting the works 
at Cherbourg, which corroborates in a great degree the accounts I 
had the honor to transmit to your Lordship some time back : — a 
Person lately arrived from that Port, who has considered the Works 
with attention and whose fidehty may be relied on, says that the 
original idea of forming a Harbour by means of Cones is entirely 



142 DESPATCHES FROM PARIS 1789 

laid aside, so much so, that one which has been some time in 
readiness to be launched, remains still on the shore : that the 
present plan is to construct a Dike to extend live miles merely for 
the purpose of protecting the Vessels, but there is every reason to 
imagine that this scheme will prove ineffectual on account of the 
force of the Sea, when with certain winds it sets into the Harbour 
with such violence as not to be resisted. A few of the Cones still 
remain, about five of them, which it is pretended are of some 
advantage to the shipping, but a proof of the contrary is that two 
Line-of- Battle Ships, now stationed there, have found it necessary 
to lower their Top-Masts and Yards and to take the same precau- 
tions as if exposed to all accidents : the Forts for the protection of 
the Harbour are so strong that no enemy's Ships could possibly 
enter : Fort Artois has three tiers of Guns, the lowest carrying 
48 pounders. 

The Public wait with much impatience the Letters of Convocation 
which will certainly be issued the 15th of this Month, and will no 
doubt appear with all the delicacy in the wording of them that can 
have been devised. 

The Pope has disposed of two Cardinal Hats, one of them to the 
ex-minister the Archbishop of Sens ; the other to the Grand 
Almoner of France, (Montmorency) Bishop of Metz : it is remark- 
able that this is the first instance of any one of that illustrious 
Family receiving this mark of distinction from the Court of Rome. 

The Archbishop of Sens is now Cardinal de Lomesnie, and the 
Grand Almoner of France — Cardinal de Montmorency. 

The Letter of Exile of the Cardinal de Rohan is positively with- 
drawn with this restriction, that he should neither reside at Paris, 
nor at Versailles : He has in consequence quitted the Abbey of Mar- 
montin in order to remove to his Episcopal Palace of Saverne, where 
it is imagined he now is. 

3. Dorset to Carmarthen. 

15 Jan. 1789. 

The severity of the weather has at length relaxed, and the thaw 
which has succeeded having already lasted some days with great 



1789 BEFORE THE REVOLUTION 143 

mildness gives hopes for a continuation of it, and that the poorer 
sort of people have nothing further to apprehend from the 
inclemency of the season. 

The last accounts from Britanny are very alarming, and the 
situation of the Nobility must be exceedingly embarrassing and 
unpleasant to them. 

I mentioned to your Lordship in my Despatch of last week that 
the Comte de Thiard had found himself under the necessity of 
adjourning the States of that Province assembled at Rennes on 
account of the turbulent spirit of the populace in conjunction with 
a large Body of the Tiers- Etat : I have however learned since that 
the confusion which prevailed at the Meeting made it impossible 
for the Comte de Thiard to put his orders into execution, the 
States therefore remained in Assembly for some days : the Nobility 
having possession of the Assembly- House continued their sittings 
by relieving one another without intermission when the last Letters 
came away. 

The demands of the Tiers- Etat are so exorbitant that the 
Nobility, attached as they are to their honours and ancient privi- 
leges, cannot accede to them and the worst consequences are 
accordingly to be apprehended ; a private Letter from Rennes 
goes so far as to say that a second St. Barthelemi is likely to befall 
the Nobles if they persist in refusing their assent to the terms 
proposed, as the people are all armed and seem to wait only for a 
signal to fall upon them : this account it is hoped may be somewhat 
exaggerated, but it is certain that the Nobility keep a regular guard 
among themselves and never appear in the streets without arms : 
various conjectures are formed in regard to this violence of dispo- 
sition amongst the Tiers-Etat, and there are suspicions that the 
Court has employed secret means of encouraging their resentment 
against the Nobility with a view to effectuate a change in the 
constitution of Britanny, which, on account of its peculiar privileges, 
has been long very troublesome to Government and is at last 
become totally unmanageable ; by this division amongst these two 
orders, the King, it may be expected, will be applied to for His 
interference by one or other of them, and thus may possibly 



144 DESPATCHES FROM PARIS 1789 

derive the power of new modelling the Constitution of the 
Province : — if Britanny, after the example of Dauphiny, had 
kept the three Orders united and had preserved a concurrence of 
opinion in regard to the proportions of their Deputies to the 
States-General, Government must have acceded to their plan, but 
having taken a line of conduct so different, that Province, unsup- 
ported by others, will probably find itself in the end the victim of 
its own intemperance and indiscretion : the following account from 
Rennes is an instance in proof of the ill-blood which prevails : — 
At a public Theatrical Representation there one of the Noblesse 
appeared in the Boxes with his hat on : the Parterre, who felt 
themselves insulted by this innovation, insisted on his taking it off, 
with which he immediately compHed, but another person of the 
NobiUty, imagining that the contest was then, between the two 
Orders, purposely shewed himself in the same manner, and on the 
former requisition being made with much clamour, he threw his 
hat into the Parterre desiring that anyone objecting to his conduct 
should step forward and avow his dis-approbation : the conse- 
quence of so violent an act was a tumult throughout the House and 
it was with the utmost difficulty the Parterre were appeased and 
this only by representing to them that the offending person was 
young and wrong-headed, nor would they then have been satisfied 
had he not been taken into immediate custody, a measure since 
authorised by the Comte de Thiard : so slight a circumstance 
would on other occasions be scarcely worth mentioning, but at 
this moment, it serves to shew the discontent which subsists 
between the Orders and consequently the difficulties which must arise 
before the Meeting of the States-General can be finally ascertained. 

— Your Lordship will perceive from this situation of affairs that 
the States of Britanny can have no regular Meeting fixed 'till the 

-^ Governor shall have received fresh Instructions from His Majesty. 

— Twenty four Deputies from the Tiers- Etat arrived at Paris last 
Tuesday and went yesterday to Versailles but I have not yet been 
able to learn what is the object of their mission. The Letters of 
Convocation for the States-General are deferred, and will not, in 
ail probability, be issued 'till the end of next week at soonest. 



1789 BEFORE THE REVOLUTION 145 

I have the honor to send your Lordship inclosed the copy of a 
Letter from Prince Potemkin to the Russian Ambassador at Vienna, 
giving an account of the taking of the fortress of Oczakow by 
assault : it appears by the detail that the Turks held out with a 
determined obstinacy to the last ; this matter may however be 
represented in heightened colours by the Russian General in order 
to throw more credit on his own conduct and on the valour of the 
army under his command. 

I have no doubt this event gives great satisfaction to this Court, 
but it is uncertain whether the loss of this Place of so much import- 
ance will induce the Divan to listen to proposals for an accomoda- 
tion with the Imperial Courts : a total change in the Ottoman 
Cabinet must first take place and it is very possible that the Grand 
Signior if He finds himself much pressed by the populace, will be 
under the necessity of sacrificing the Capitan Pacha, to whom the 
loss of Oczakow is chiefly attributed. 

I mentioned in my Despatch, No 80, that a Courier extraordinary 
who had arrived here from Petersburg, was proceeding with all 
expedition to Madrid ; I have since been informed that two 
Couriers arrived here nearly about the same time, one of whom 
remained here 'till within these few days, when he was dispatched 
back to Petersburg on the arrival of a Courier from the French 
Ambassador at Vienna : the secrecy observed upon this occasion 
does not allow the means of penetrating into the business at present 
upon the Tapis, but I have no doubt that some important negotia- 
tion is agitating which, had not the sudden death of His Catholic 
Majesty occurred to stop its progress, might have been brought by 
this time to some degree of forwardness. 

Letters of a very late date from Vienna mention that the Emperor 
was returned thither in a very dangerous state of health, and that 
He is, on that account, very desirous of having an accomodation 
between the belligerent Powers : His disorder was at first a 
pleurisy, but is now judged to be a Dropsy of the breast : should 
any accident happen to His Imperial Majesty the confusion of 
Europe would he complete. M. de Montmorin has assured me 
that the Emperor, according to the accounts he had received, was 

10 



146 DESPATCHES FROM PARIS 1789 

in no danger, but I am rather inclined to give credit to my private 
intelligence. 

The Bishop of Metz will not receive his Cardinal Hat before 
March 

4. Dorset to Carmarthen. 

22 Jan. 1789. 

I have received your Lordship's Despatch No. I, with the several 
Papers inclosed, to which I shall pay all due attention : — the 
Messenger did not arrive 'till after my return from Versailles on 
Tuesday, but I shall have an opportunity of mentioning to the 
French Minister in the course of a few days the business recom- 
mended in your Lordship's Letter, when I shall endeavour to 
obtain, for the information of the Committee, authorized to act for 
the Mortgagees of Tobago, a copy of the Order which the French 
Minister may send to the Government of that Island. 

The breaking-up of the weather has been attended with little 
if any damage in the environs of the Capital, but in the neighbour- 
hood of Orleans the Loire has overflowed its banks and laid waste 
a very fertile Country of at least three leagues in extent, by which 
several poor Famihes are reduced to the utmost distress : a part 
also of the great Causeway between Orleans and Blois has been 
carried away by the violence of the Torrent and most of the Craft 
upon that River have been dashed to pieces. 

Nothing material respecting the Affairs of Britanny has trans- 
pired since last week, excepting the inclosed printed Proceedings of 
the Nobility of that Province, which confirms the accounts that 
had been received of the great disunion subsisting between the 
Nobihty and the Tiers-Etat : — Notwithstanding the ardent desire 
expressed by the Nobles, in their Declaration conciliating the 
People, very little effect has as yet been produced by this measure, 
and unless some means can be devised of satisfying the Nobility, 
much confusion may be expected if they obstinately persist in the 
same line of conduct. His Majesty has not yet given any answer 
to the Deputation from the Tiers-Etat of Britanny ; the Deputies 
still remaining at Paris. 



1789 BEFORE THE REVOLUTION 147 

The Nobility of France- Comte and Burgundy have protested 
against every measure which tends to give to the Tiers- Etat a 
preponderance at the States General, insisting upon voting by 
Order, and not, as has been proposed, individually. 

Normandy appears at present to be the most favourably disposed 
towards Government and has shewn a readiness to conform to any 
determination His Majesty may think proper to recommend for the 
good of his People and the advantage of the Kingdom: this Province 
has given testimony of its admiration of and respect for the abilities 
and integrity of M. Necker. 

The Letters of Convocation, which have been again delayed, 
are many of them already printed and will be issued, if not this 
week, certainly in the course of the next. 

I have the honor to send your Lordship the Arret du Conseil 
d'Etat du Roi confirming the deliberations of the Stock-holders of 
the Caisse d'Escompte for a Loan of 25 millions at 5 pr Ct. 

A Donation of 53,000 livres was made from this Fund for the 
relief of the Poor of this City during the late severe weather. It 
was said last week that the six Corps de Marchands of the City of 
Paris had offered to Government 12 Millions of livres upon the 
same terms, but I understand that no such proposal has been 
received : — It is beyond a doubt that the Minister of the Finances 
stands very high at this moment in the public opinion, yet many 
people suspect and some go so far as to express a conviction that 
a change in that important Department is meditated, declaring 
that a short time will prove such a conjecture to have been well 
founded : I cannot however for my own part imagine that any 
removal can be in agitation at a moment so critical as the present. 

A late Publication by the Comte de Mirabeau, entitled L'Hisloire 
secretle de la Cour de Berlin has made so much noise here that I am 
induced to send it to your Lordship. 

The Prussian Minister has made a formal complaint to the 
French Minister of the scurrility and abuse exhibited in this work 
highly injurious to the character of His Prussian Majesty as well as 
of several respectable Persons connected with the Court of Berlin : 
That Minister received an assurance from M. de Montmorin that 



148 DESPATCHES FROM PARIS 1789 

public notice would be taken of the Publication by the Court, and 
that he was persuaded that the Parliament of Paris would proceed 
judicially against the author of it. The Comte de Mirabeau is at 
present in Province, for which province he expects to be chosen 
one of the Delegates of the Nobility to the States-General. 

This gentleman has likewise just published a correspondence 
that passed between himself and the Abbe Cerutti, on the subject 
of the Rapport of M. Necker : these Letters are much read and are 
among the reasons given for the removal of that Minister. A letter 
from the Abbe Cerutti in the Journal de Paris, which I have the 
honor to send your Lordship, proves how little he expected that 
his private correspondence with the Comte de Mirabeau would be 
made public. 

A letter from Mr. Hailes, dated Warsaw the 31st of December, 
which I received a few days ago, mentions that the loss sustained 
by the Russians in the assault by which they gained possession of 
Oczakow amounted to six thousand men, amongst whom were three 
General Officers Dolgorucki, Volkonski, and Gorick, and that many 
other Officers of rank perished. 

This account differs widely from that sent hither by the Russian 
Ambassador at Vienna. 

Official letters have been received here from Petersburg mention- 
ing an account having arrived in that Capital of the surrender of 
Oczakow, but without giving any particulars of the losses sustained 
on either side. The system of economy which pervades every 
Department of the State puts a stop to the amusements which have 
usually taken place at Versailles at this season of the year : on this 
account the Balls, which 'till last winter were given at Court by 
Their Majesties are still discontinued. 

On Friday last there was an Assembly of the Parliament, on 
which occasion Letters Patent for the nomination of a Commission, 
composed of Magistrates of the Council and Parliament for the 
reform of the Criminal Laws were registered. 

M. Dupuy, formerly Conseiller au Chalelet is just appointed 
Intendant of the Islands of France and Bourbon with an income of 
40,000 livres. 



1789 BEFORE THE REVOLUTION 149 

The Dauphin is so much better that the Physicians give very 
flattering hopes of His Royal Highness's perfect recovery. 

5. Dorset to Carmarthen. 

29 Jan. 1789. 

The breaking up of the frost has been attended with great 
mischief in the Environs of Lyons, as well as in the Country border- 
ing upon the Loire ; but I understand that no damage whatever 
had been sustained at Bordeaux, nor at any of the Commercial 
Towns in that part of the Kingdom. 

The misery and distress which prevailed so visibly among the 
poorer sort of people in this Capital during the hard weather, is 
no longer observed ; the present succession of mild weather 
enabling them to pursue their several occupations and to provide 
by their industry their usual means of support. 

The long expected Letters of Convocation are not yet issued : 
it is however necessary that they should be sent in the course of 
this week, as the proceedings in the election of Deputies will be 
guided by the form and tenor of these Letters : it is considered as 
certain that all those for Les Pays tVElection will be sent off 
to-morrow, and those for Les Pays d'Etat et les Provinces conquises 
some few days hence : it is said they are addressed to the 
Governors or Commanders of Provinces who will deliver them to 
the Grands Baillifs^ these Baillages will produce 250 Deputations 
at four Members each, amounting to 1000 Deputies exclusive of 
32 who will be elected for Paris : the several Elections will be 
finished the 20th of March, but the convocation is for the 30th of 
April : the Place where the Assembly is to meet is not yet fixed 
upon, but it is generally hoped that it will be at Versailles. 

Sixty Presses have been employed since Sunday last in printing 
the Letters of Convocation in which are inserted rules and instruct- 
ions at large. — Everything is at this moment in a state of suspense, 
attended with no small degree of anxiety, particularly on the part 
of the Nobility, by whom M. Necker is suspected of being at work 
to infringe upon their privileges by endeavoring to give a prepond- 
erance in favor of the Tiers-Etat at the States-General : this 



150 DESPATCHES FROM PARIS 1789 

circumstance is sufficient to raise many enemies against the 
Comptroller-General especially among the Courtiers who, common 
report says, are resolved upon effecting his removal, though it is 
well known that that Minister continues to enjoy the fullest confi- 
dence of his Sovereign. M. Necker having been informed of the 
many abuses that have been committed as well in the collecting as 
in the payment of the Capitation Tax, as also that it was a general 
custom to s'abonner for life to the very great detriment of the 
Revenue, has issued an order at the Tresor Royal, that there will 
be a stoppage of all Donations, Pensions, Wages, and appointments 
to all those who do not produce a dupHcate for their Receipt for 
the payment of their Capitation for the year 1788, as well as for 
preceding years : it is imagined that this measure will produce a 
sum amounting to seven or eight millions. 

The Deputies of the Parliament of Rennes, now at Paris, re- 
ceived on Sunday last the answer to their representations by which 
they are informed that Letters Patent will be sent to that Court, 
strictly forbidding all unlawfull Meetings, for the sure execution of 
which it will be permitted to have recourse to force in case of 
necessity. 

By the last Letters from Rennes it appears that the Parliament 
had confined the Principals of many of the Parishes for having 
permitted the Inhabitants to hold Assemblies. 

About a fortnight ago the Cardinal de Rohan left his residence 
in Touraine and repaired to his Diocese in Alsace : His Eminence 
was forbid to pass through Paris, but he went by way of Charenton, 
near to this City, whither several of his Relations went to meet 
him : a vast concourse of people attended also at the same place 
and testified their satisfaction at seeing him by repeated exclama- 
tions of Vive le Roi el Vive le Cardinal : four Doctors of the Sor- 
bonne attended likewise to compliment His Eminence, but as this 
was a measure of their own, without the consent of the rest of that 
learned Body, it is expected they will receive a severe reprimand 
for their conduct. 

VHistoire Secrette de la Cour de Berlin^ by the Comte de Mira- 
beau, which I had the honor to send your Lordship last week, is 



1789 BEFORE THE REVOLUTION 151 

to be denoncee before the Parliament without delay, and would 
already have been, had not the death of M. d'Ormesson, the lately- 
appointed Premier President, which happened last Tuesday, put a 
stop to all proceedings in the Courts of Parliament : 

M. de Sarron, one of the Presidents a Mortier, will, it is said, 
succeed to that dignity. 

His Majesty sent for a Deputation of the Parliament to attend 
Him last Sunday at Versailles, when He delivered, in a very 
dignified manner, into M. de Seguier, the Attorney General's 
hands, M. de Mirabeau's Book, at the same time recommending 
that a prosecution against the Author of so scandalous a publication 
should be commenced : under these circumstances it is very 
improbable that M. de Mirabeau, unless the spirit of party interferes 
very powerfully in his favor, will be chosen one of the Deputies 
for Provence for the approaching States-General. 

No accounts have been received this week from any of the 
Foreign Courts : the last Letters from Vienna speak of His Imperial 
Majesty as being in a state of convalescence, and that He was so 
far recovered as to have been present at a Drawing- Room. 

His Imperial Majesty is said to be much emaciated but that 
there did not remain any dangerous symptoms in His indisposition. 

In regard to foreign politics there is so much secrecy observed 
as scarcely to leave room for any conjecture at what may be in 
agitation : this reserve may naturally have arisen both from the 
very unsettled state of the internal Affairs of this Country and of 
those of other Powers : it is however sufficiently apparent that the 
disposition of this Court with respect to that of Vienna is always 
the same, and it may be surmised that France is watching a 
favorable op{)ortunity to undermine us if possible in our present 
good understanding with Prussia : nor do I doubt that every 
advantage will be taken of Prince Henry's present residence in 
this Capital to endeavor to weaken our alliance with the Court of 
Berlin. 

His Royal Highness is well known to be favorably disposed 
towards this Country : I trust however that our credit with the 
Prussian Monarch is too firmly established to admit of any 



152 DESPATCHES FROM PARIS 1789 

apprehensions of a change of system that can tend to lessen it. 
The taking of Oczakow is a pleasing event to this Court in as 
much as it may be the means of helping the Emperor out of His 
present difficulties, but on the other hand any advantages gained 
by Her Imperial Majesty over the Turks may render Her less 
disposed to treat with the King of Sweden whose critical situation 
causes much anxiety at Versailles. 

The last Letters from Madrid do not make mention of any 
considerable changes having taken place in the Spanish Cabinet : 
His Catholic Majesty has lately bestowed the Order of the Golden- 
Fleece on H. S. H. the Duke of Bourbon, the Due de Vauguyon 
(Minister at that Court from France) and on the Prince de 
Beaufrement a near Relation of that Minister. 

The Dauphin, notwithstanding the favorable account I sent 
your Lordship last week of His state of health, has relapsed, owing 
it is supposed to the change of weather, and is now in so weak a 
condition as to excite much apprehension in the Physicians who 
attend Him : 

His Royal Highness was something better yesterday, but I 
conceive that little hopes are entertained of His arriving at years 
of maturity.... 

6. Dorset to Carmarthen. 

1 Feb. 1789. 

As your Lordship will probably have heard of a serious dispute 
which has lately happened at Rennes between the Nobility and the 
Tiers- Etat, I think it right to make you acquainted with the real 
cause of it, and with the disagreeable consequences of which an 
account has been received here. 

On the 26th of last month a servant, belonging to one of the 
Nobles, struck at one of the people, upon what provocation I have 
not heard, with a knife and wounded him ; an alarm was immedi- 
ately given and the populace fell upon the Nobility, two of whom 
were in the conflict left dead, and some others wounded. The 
Comte de Thiard took every precaution in his power to prevent 
the further effusion of blood, and has already assembled at Rennes 



1789 BEFORE THE REVOLUTION 153 

two Regiments of Cavalry, but unless more troops be sent thither 
immediately, a repetition of the like disturbances may, it is thought, 
be apprehended. 

What renders this dilemma more unfortunate at this time is the 
circumstance of the States having been fixed to assemble on the 
3rd of this month ; on which occasion no soldiery can, according 
to established rule, advance within a limited distance from the Place 
where such Meeting is held. 

The People of Geneva have mutinied, but the Military have 
driven them from the Upper to the Lower Town : The rise of Bread 
was the pretence for this tumult ; but the real cause was a desire 
of forcing the Magistrates to alter some Laws which were enacted, 
to their prejudice, in 1782. 

Some Soldiers and several of the Citizens lost their lives upon the 
occasion, and others of both parties were much wounded. 

To-morrow, being Candlemas-day, His Serene Highness the Due 
de Chartres will be invested with the Insignia of the Order of the 
Holy Ghost. 

P.S. Letters from Franche-Comte mention that much mischief 
has been done by the overflowing of the several Rivers in the 
neighbourhood of Besan9on since the breaking up of the frost. 

7. Dorset to Carmarthen. 

5 Feb. 1789. 

...Several private accounts from Rennes exaggerate the number 
of persons who are said to have lost their lives since the commen- 
cement of the tumults at that Place, but I hear from better autho- 
rity that no mischief has attended the outrages excepting on the 
first day of them, the 26th. The situation of the Nobles has 
however continued to be truly alarming from the threats and 
actual insults to which they have been exposed whenever they 
have been seen going to the Assembly- House ; and the populace, 
not content with this, have even proceeded to threaten the lives of 
their wives and children if the opposition (o the wishes of the 
Tiers- Etat, for an equal representation at the States-General, is not 
given up. 



154 DESPATCHES FROM PARIS 1789 

The situation of the Comte de Thiard, who has hitherto conduc- 
ted himself with a degree of prudence and moderation that does 
him great honor, is become truly critical from the extreme difficulty 
his endeavors to reconcile the contending Parties must meet with : 
that Governor has only nine-hundred regular Troops in the Town 
of Rennes, and there are at least ten-thousand armed Citizens 
prepared to support the people's cause : these are hourly joined 
by large Parties from the great commercial Towns in that Province 
as Nantes, Quimper, St. Maloes, and Vannes. 

Much mischief it was apprehended would ensue if the States 
should meet, as was fixed, on the 3rd Inst., but it is supposed they 
must have been adjourned and that they would be held at 
St. Brieux, and that the Comte de Langeron will be appointed to 
command at Rennes during the absence of M. de Thiard who 
must attend at the holding of the States. The fermentation which 
has already so strongly manifested itself in Britanny seems to be 
spreading gradually to every Province of the Kingdom in such a 
manner, as to make it urgently necessary for Government to have 
recourse to some serious mode of proceeding against the male- 
contents as the only means now left to prevent the disposition to 
civil discord from becoming universal and unrestrainable. Letters 
from Caen mention that a large Party of the Students of the 
University, attended by a number of the Town- People, left that 
Place a few days ago in order to repair to Rennes, and it is said 
that a numerous Body of the Citizens of Poictiers left that Provincial 
Capital with the same view. The printed Paper herewith 
inclosed, giving a detail of the proceedings at Rennes on the first 
day of the tumult, is allowed to be pretty exact as to facts, and 
has been distributed publicly to passengers in the streets of Paris : 
it must be thought somewhat extraordinary that Government 
should not have endeavored to stop the circulation of an account 
so degrading, as that is, to the Nobility, who, I am persuaded 
would defend their privileges to the last drop of their blood : but 
such is now become? the situation of things in this Country that 
every species of scurrility is indulged without the dread of those 
severe consequences which 'till within a short space of time 



1789 BEFORE THE REVOLUTION 155 

inevitably followed upon discovery : His Majesty does not now 
venture to order the confinement of a Citizen in the Bastile upon 
every frivolous pretext : — There are frequent arrivals of Deputies 
at Versailles from Britanny. 

M. de Mirabcau's Publication, which I mentioned to your 
Lordship in my Despatch No. 5 (see No. 7) has not yet been 
denoncee by M. Seguier, but it will be laid before Parliament in 
the course of a few days. 

The Bookseller who printed it has absconded but the Comte de 
Mirabeau is at Aix en Provence making interest to be elected a 
Member of the States-General. 

The Letters of Convocation for, what is called, Old France 
(L'Ancienne France) are already issued but I have not yet been so 
fortunate as to be able to procure a copy to send to your Lordship; 
those for the Pays (VEiat and, what is called, les Pays conquis will 
be deferred some days longer : the whole number, printed for 
distribution, is 126,000, notwithstanding which it will, I understand, 
be difficult if possible to get a copy of the Letter for some time to 
come. 

The Letters announce the Meeting of the States-General for the 
27th of April next : it is said that M. Necker wished the Assembly 
should be held at Paris, but his opinion was over-ruled by the 
rest of the Ministers who conceived that there might be great 
danger of disturbance from the ungovernable spirit of the populace 
of this City, and Versailles is therefore the Place finally decided 
upon. 

M. Necker, although he has great and many difficulties to 
encounter, seems to stand his ground very well ; the Stocks have 
risen gradually during the last ten days, which is certainly to be 
considered as a favourable circumstance for him, and, which 
perhaps is the best security for that Minister's continuing in Office, 
His Majesty would not easily find a successor to M. Necker, if He 
should be necessitated to dismiss him. 

The troubles at Geneva must, it is natural to suppose, greatly 
interest M. Necker, and he would no doubt employ his present 
influence to induce this Court to take an active part on the present 



156 DESPATCHES FROM PARIS 1789 

occasion, did not the fallen state of the finances of this Country, 
make such a measure impracticable. 

The last Letters from the Republic represent everything there to 
be in the utmost confusion, and that many of the Soldiers, seduced 
by the people, had deserted their posts and joined the popular 
Party ; since which they have jointly paraded the Town to preserve 
order and tranquilHty waiting the decision of the Magistrates which 
if not favourable to the wishes of the people will inevitably induce 
consequences that may be very fatal to the State. These Letters 
are dated the 30th Ult. : and I do not learn that there are any 
accounts of later date. 

Two Couriers passed through this City about five days ago from 
Madrid to Petersburg ; they brought Despatches for this Court but 
the contents of them have not yet transpired. 

Private Letters from Madrid mention that the new Government 
in Spain began and has hitherto been conducted with great mode- 
ration and also with a strict economy. 

We hear from Tours that on the 22nd of last month at 9 o'clock 
at night four arches of the Stone bridge of that Town, which was 
constructed not more than 10 years ago, were destroyed 'by the 
weight of ice to which was added that of the whole woodwork of 
the Bridge of Amboise which had been entirely carried away ; this 
accident is the more to be regretted as, by it, the communication to 
Bordeaux, by the great road, is cut off, and it will require at least 
three years to repair the Bridge. 

The Dauphin's health continues in the same uncertain state, and 
not mended since last week. 

On Monday last after the reception of the Due de Chartres as 
Knight of the Holy-Ghost His Majesty was pleased to name the 
Due de Berri, second son to the Comte d'Artois, and His Royal 
Highness will be invested with the Insignia of that order at Whit- 
suntide. 

M. de Serron succeeds M. d'Ormesson lately deceased, as Premier 
President du Parliament de Paris. 

P.S. I have just heard from undoubted authority that tranquility 
is in some degree restored at Rennes by the States having consent- 



1789 BEFORE THE REVOLUTION 157 

ed to separate : two of the Orders, the Clergy and the Nobility, 
agreed at the same time to pay the Imports as usual : the third 
Order was still assembled when the Courier came away but it was 
hoped thai they would join their assent with that of the other two. 

8. Dorset to Carmarthen. 

12 Feb. 1789. 

I have received your Lordship's Despatch No. 1, informing me 
of the Proceedings of the two Houses of Parliament. 

I had the honor of transmitting to your Lordship by a Person 
who left Paris last Monday, a Packet containing the Despatches 
which I had received from Sir Robert Ainslie, to be forwarded to 
London ; the which I trust will have been faithfully delivered. 

Everything is at present quiet at Rennes, although the Tiers- Etat 
have not as yet consented to the same terms as the Clergy and 
Nobility agreed to when they separated : it therefore remains to be 
seen whether the Tiers- Etat will submit to pay the Taxes as usual 
'till the next Meeting of the States of that Province, which, as 1 have 
informed your Lordship, has been put off, by the King's Order, for 
a twelve-month. 

A great degree of fermentation prevails in many of the Provinces, 
particularly in Languedoc : the Archbishop of Narbonne opened 
the States there with apparent probability of succeeding in what 
he had been directed to undertake ; but as soon as it was perceived 
that all the measures proposed were those of the Court, and that the 
principal part of the Assembly were creatures of the Archbishop, 
an immediate and a general dissatisfaction took place : He himself 
has been on many occasions personally insulted, and though he has 
written to the Ministry for redress and for further Instructions, it 
does not appear probable that they will venture to grant him the one, 
or be able to assist him with respect to the other. 

The Parliament of Besan9on has revoked the Order of the King's 
Council and has invalidated its own Proceedings : a mode somewhat 
similar to that of the Parliament of Paris last year and likely to be 
attended with similar consequences of fermentation in that Provin- 
cial Capital and its Environs. 



158 DESPATCHES FROM PARIS 1789 

It is thought to be almost impossible that the States-General, 
notwithstanding the Assembly of them is announced by the Letter 
of Convocation for the 27th of April, can meet so soon : — Their 
Majesties will it is said reside at Trianon as long as the States 
continue assembled at Versailles. 

On Tuesday last, UHistoire Secrette de la Cour de Berlin was 
denoncee by M, de Seguier in Parliament, and it is generally 
supposed that the Book will be burnt by the Common Hangman. 
Whether or not the Parliament intends to take any further notice 
of the Author of this Publication, is not known, but it is certain 
that, notwithstanding the repeated solicitations of the Prussian 
Envoy, His Majesty is determined not to interpose his authority, 
but will support whatever measures the Parliament may judge 
expedient to adopt. — M. de Mirabeau remains at Aix en Provence. — 

All the Commanders of Provinces have received Orders to repair 
without loss of time to their respective Stations and to remain 
there 'till the Elections of Deputies to the States-General shall be 
completed. 

I understand also that the Field- Officers and all Colonels of 
Regiments will be ordered much earlier this year than usual to the 
several commands. 

The Council of War has been engaged in digesting several new 
Ordinances which are expected to be soon issued ; the cloathing 
of the Troops has undergone several alterations under the inspec- 
tion of the Due de Guenes. 

The Inhabitants of Brabant have made the most abject submission 
to the Emperor and are restored to favor : this example, it may be 
expected, will be followed in this Country if the Measures of the 
Court shall be carried on with success. 

There is much anxiety here about the result of the Diet of Stock- 
holm which was announced to be held on the 26th of January. 

The last Letters from Vienna mention that His Imperial Majesty's 
health continued to mend; and that, if no unforeseen accident should 
arrive. He would join His army the beginning of next month. 

No Letters have been received here from Constantinople of a 
later date than the 15th of December, the same as that of No. 47 of 



1789 BEFORE THE REVOLUTION 159 

Sir Robert Ainslie's Despatches, which I forwarded to your Lord- 
ship as before mentioned. 

The account of the loss of Oczakow must have reached Constan- 
tinople about Christmas and has probably created much commotion 
amongst the people there, which may have been attended with fatal 
consequences to the Capitan Pacha : no conjecture seems to have 
been as yet formed here how far this event may operate towards 
inducing the Turks to listen to overtures from the Imperial Courts 
for an accommodation. 

The Deputies of the Nobility of Britanny at present at Paris, have 
not hitherto been admitted to an audience of the King, and it is 
said that the reception they have met with from M. Necker was in 
no degree favorable to them. The Comte de Boisgelin who is at 
the head of this Deputation is still under the disgrace of the Court 
as the Lcttre de Cachet, which was delivered to him last Summer, 
forbidding that Nobleman to appear at Versailles, has not yet been 
revoked. 

M. de Boisgelin may see the Ministers but cannot present himself 
before His Majesty and of course finds himself in a very awkward 
predicament. 

The fermentation in Burgundy is very great and particularly 
amongst the Order of Nobility, who it is said have sent circular 
Letters to nearly twelve-hundred Gentlemen, inviting them to 
assemble the 12th (or, as other accounts say the 15th) of this month 
at Dijon. 

Letters from Aix mention that the States of that Province have 
granted the don gratuity but that forty Gentlemen have signed a 
Protest, in which they declare that they abide by the sentiments 
contained in the Memoire des Princes. 

P.S. The tumults at Geneva are appeased for the present, and 
the Magistrates and the People have entered into a Negotiation by 
which it is hoped that Matters will be adjusted without the further 
effusion of blood. 



160 DESPATCHES FROM PARIS 1789 

9. Dorset to Carmarthen. 

19 Feb. 1789. 

An express was received at Versailles last Tuesday with the 
interesting and important intelligence that the Tiers-Etat had 
agreed to the resolutions which were adopted by the Clergy and 
Nobility at the last Meeting of the States of Britanny, and had 
consented that everything should remain without further discussion 
'till next year when the States of that Province will be reassembled: 
in the meantime the Taxes will be paid as usual : thus it may be 
expected that there will be no interruption of the tranquility and 
good order during that period. The Populace is much incensed 
against the Parliament of Rennes, conceiving that the misunder- 
standing and fermentation between the Nobility and the Tiers- 
Etat were much aggravated by the Magistrates, and it has been 
with some difficulty that the Government has protected them from 
the fury of the rabble : the Governor however writes word that he 
hoped to be able to calm this violence by degrees, and to restore 
good order in the town of Rennes, in the course of a few days : 
on this account the Comte de Thiard will continue some time 
longer in that Capital : — Their Majesties have conveyed the most 
flattering assurances of their approbation of his conduct upon the 
last occasion, whilst his prudence and firmness through the whole 
of that embarrassing business are much applauded by everybody. 

The affairs of Languedoc, it may be supposed, have taken a 
very serious turn, for an express arrived the beginning of this week 
from the Archbishop of Narbonne (Dillon) who represents in still 
stronger terms than before the necessity of his having some 
assistance. What is the result of the deliberations of the Cabinet 
upon this matter, I have not been able to learn. 

There is, I understand, much fermentation also in Franche-Comte. 

No small uneasiness begins to prevail from an apprehension, in 
consequence of the pains that have been taken by the enemies of 
M. Necker to make it so believed, that the Assembly of the States- 
General will not be held at the time promised, and that pretexts 
will be used by that Minister for deferring the Meeting of them in 



1789 BEFORE THE REVOLUTION 161 

order to gain time for the purpose of reducing the national debt in 
such a degree as to render the Assembly not necessary ; but it is 
nevertheless well known that every measure of Government has 
hitherto been such as must evince a very contrary disposition. 
The last Loan from the Caisse d'Escompte is a great temporary 
relief to Government and, with a view to prevent a too rapid draw 
upon the Caisse for specie which might interfere with the payments 
for which it is engaged to Government, an Order has been issued 
empowering the Caisse to refuse giving cash for more than one 
Note to any individual in the course of the day, by which means, 
on account of the unavoidable delay arising therefrom, no great 
sum of money can be paid by that Bank in a short space of time, 
and, though the holders of Notes may find ways of evading the 
regulation in some degree, it must yet be attended with much 
inconvenience to them, and, as may well be imagined, has created 
great murmurings. 

The Marechal de Stainville will leave Paris next Monday and 
all the other Commanders of Provinces are enjoined to repair to 
their several Stations with all expedition in order to superintend 
the election of Deputies to the States-General : Most of the young 
Nobility are also quitting this Capital, ambitious of being deputed 
to the great National Assembly. 

From all that I have been able to learn there does not appear 
to be any intention of forming Camps this year : the present 
Secretary at War opposed the plan so strongly last year that it is 
not likely he should encourage the same at this particular moment; 
the measure was recommended by the Cardinal de Lomenie and 
so strongly urged by him that, notwithstanding the representation 
made of the impoverished state of the Country and the enormous 
expence of such an undertaking, he was not to be dissuaded from 
his purpose : another objection at this time arises from the many 
new regulations which have been appointed by the Council of War, 
and which require a length of time to be digested and brought 
into use, so that it is not probable that any large Body of Troops 
will be assembled before next year unless some unforeseen exigency 
shall require it sooner. 

11 



162 DESPATCHES FROM PARIS 1789 

A Deputation from the Clergy and Nobility of Britanny, 
composed of one Bishop, two ecclesiastics of the second order 
and two of the Nobility, had the honor of an audience from His 
Majesty last Saturday evening : the Bishop addressed His Majesty 
with much energy and, it is said, imputed all the misfortunes of 
the 26th and 27th of Jan. entirely to the Tiers -Etat. 

The substance of His Majesty's answer was, that He owed 
justice to all ranks of His Subjects ; that He should ever grant his 
particular protection to the Clergy and the Nobility, that it was 
with the greatest concern he had heard of the excesses which had 
been committed at Rennes, and that Orders had been issued to 
proceed against the criminals. 

The King has not yet permitted that the Comte de Boisgelin, 
President of the States of Britanny, should be presented to him. 

His Majesty has nominated a Commission from the Parliament 
of Bordeaux to go immediately to Rennes in order to proceed 
against the authors of the riots committed there on the 26th and 
27th of the last month. 

Since the judgement pronounced and the sentence executed 
upon the Histoire Secrette de ta Cour de Berlin^ which has accord- 
ingly been burnt by the common hangman, the Comte de 
Mirabeau has been very active at Aix en Province where he has 
circulated a Discourse in print which has gained him great credit 
in that Province. 

The Court is very anxious that the Parliament of Paris should 
proceed against this gentleman as the author of the Histoire Secrette 
etc. with the hope of criminating him and thereby rendering him 
ineligible as a Deputy to the States-General, this being considered 
as the only chance of preventing his becoming a Member of that 
Assembly : but however strong and general may be the suspicion 
that M. de Mirabeau is the author of that Book, it seems to be a 
matter of doubt whether or not the Attorney-General will be able 
to bring the charge home to him, so as to answer the purpose 
intended : the general opinion is that he will not. 

No particular intelligence has been received here from the Nor- 
thern Courts during the last week, but private Letters from Con- 



1789 BEFORE THE REVOLUTION 163 

stantinople dated the 22nd of December mention that an account 
of the loss of Oczakow had arrived there the preceding day, in 
consequence of which the Divan assembled at 6 o'clock the following 
morning, but the news not being publickly known, no disturbance 
had then taken place, but it was supposed that measures would be 
immediately taken to guard against the violence to which it was 
apprehended the populace would be disposed upon receiving infor- 
mation of so important and unexpected an event. 

Everything remained quiet at Geneva when the last Letters came 
away and a form of Government more favourable to the rights and 
claims of the people was about to be established which it was hoped 
would effectually secure tranquility there. 

P.S. Much apprehension is entertained for the Dauphin, yet 
although the very weak state of His Royal Highness seems to render 
his existence of very uncertain duration, those who attend Him 
persist in saying there is no immediate danger. 

10. Dorset to Carmarthen. 

26 Feb. 1789. 

...The last week has been productive of very little subject of 
information. Their Majesties have not seen much company, and 
the Ministers have been mostly absent from Court. 

The last Letters from Britanny mention that everything remained 
quiet there and was likely to continue so : His Majesty has not 
however as yet received the Deputation from the Nobility of that 
Province, nor has the Comte de Boisgelin, President of that order, 
as yet been allowed permission to appear at Versailles. 

The Princes of the Blood are in an extraordinary position 
respecting the States-General, as they are to be Members of that 
Assembly by election and not by right. The Nobility of Provence 
have signified in a very respectfull manner to the Comte d'Artois 
their earnest wish that He should be elected President of the 
Nobility of the Kingdom at the great National Assembly, but 
whether this idea will be adopted by all the other Provinces is 
very problematical and it appears somewhat extraordinary that this 
particular County should have made the first offer of this 



164 DESPATCHES FROM PARIS 1789 

distinguishing compliment to the Comte d'Artois in preference to 
Monsieur, His Elder Brother, who, besides his claim of seniority, 
seems to have a still further one in the title He bears of Comte de 
Provence. 

The Due d'Orleans is making every exertion to be chosen 
President of the Nobility for the district of Montargis : — what are 
the objects of the other Princes of the Blood I have not yet heard. 

It is the intention of the Court to prepare every kind of amuse- 
ment for the Members of the States-General during their residence 
at Versailles, and orders have already been given to the directors 
of the public Theatres at Paris to hold themselves in readiness to 
give their attendance during that period. 

A Treaty of Marriage is on foot and, it is supposed, will be 
concluded in the course of the next summer, between the Due 
d'Angouleme, eldest Son to the Comte d'Artois, and Mademoiselle, 
eldest Daughter to the Due d'Orleans : the Due d'Angouleme 
was born on the 6th of August 1775 : Mademoiselle was born 
on the 23rd of August 1777. An income of a million of livres, 
three hundred thousand of which is given by the Due de Penthievre, 
will be settled upon Mademoiselle, who is to come into the 
receipt of four hundred thousand from the day of Her Marriage, 
the remaining six-hundred thousand to be secured to Her at the 
death of the Due d'Orleans, who besides confirms Her right of 
succession to whatever proportion She may be entitled to upon the 
partition of His Estates. 

The Due de Penthievre, in consideration of the importance of 
this marriage, settles also upon His Grand- Daughter, at His 
decease, His House in the Place des Victoires. 

The Due de Berry, second Son to the Comte d'Artois, is to 
succeed to the Office of Grand Prior of France as soon as the 
above-mentioned marriage shall have taken place, when the Due 
d'Angouleme necessarily must vacate it. 

Another Union is much talked of but which is not supposed to 
be in equal forwardness — viz — the Due de Chartres, Eldest son of 
the Due d'Orleans will, it is imagined be proposed to Their 
Sicilian Majesties for one of their Daughters : this marriage in the 



1789 BEFORE THE REVOLUTION 165 

political line may be considered as of great consequence, and will, 
if it takes place, very materially strengthen the Union already sub- 
sisting between the French and Spanish Courts. 

The Emperor, whose health is much mended, sent off all His 
Equipages on the 12th of this month, and proposed to set out for 
Hungary, in order to join the Army there, on the 20th, but of His 
Imperial Majesty's actual departure from Vienna, no account has 
yet been received. 

The Dauphin, though in an almost hopeless state, has never- 
theless had some intermission of the violence of His complaints 
within the last two or three days, but not in such a degree as to 
encourage any sanguine expectations of a recovery. 

A circumstance took place a day or two ago which, as it shews 
in some degree the spirit of the times and the high notion the 
people are disposed to entertain of their own consequence, may not 
be thought unworthy of remark : — the ancient custom of going 
about the Streets in mask is still preserved among the lower sort of 
people during the few last days of the Carnival : on this occasion 
an idea struck some young men, a certain number of whom dressed 
themselves to represent the three Orders of the State, and paraded 
the Streets of this City in a Coach, hired for the purpose : the 
Coachman was habited as an Abbe, to represent the Order of the 
Clergy : the Persons behind the Carriage, in quality of footmen, 
were decorated with the Order of the Holy-Ghost, representing 
the Order of the Nobility, and two Savoyards were seated in the 
inside as Representatives of the Tiers- Etat ; this innocent raillery 
afforded a great deal of mirth without being productive of any 
disorder or unpleasant consequence. 

M. de Mirabeau has publicly and solemnly, by a Letter (a copy 
of which I send your Lordship) that was inserted a few days ago 
in the Journal de Paris, disowned having been the author of the 
Histoire Sccrette de la Cour de Berlin : in consequence of which it is 
imagined that the Parliament will not venture to continue the 
prosecution against him, and Government will thus lose its best, if 
not only, hope of preventing M. de Mirabeau's being deputed to 
the States-General. 



166 DESPATCHES FROM PARIS 1789 

P.S. ...I have just heard that the Marquis de Conflans died 
suddenly this morning. 

11. Dorset to Carmarthen. 

5 March 1789. 

I must not omit to inform your Lordship that the news of His 
Majesty's happy recovery w^as received with the most sincere 
satisfaction of Their Most Christian Majesties, to whom I should 
be wanting in justice, was I to neglect to mention the real anxiety 
They testified during the whole of His Majesty's illness, and their 
earnest desire of being made acquainted with every fresh account 
that arrived from England, as also the probability entertained 
by the Physicians of His Majesty's being restored to His former 
health. 

The Comte de Thiard arrived last night at Versailles from 
Rennes : the object of his journey hither, at this time, must 
certainly be to receive fresh Instructions for his future conduct in 
that Province, since, notwithstanding the favorable reports which 
have been circulated by friends to Government of the situation of 
things there, the fermentation, it is well known, is spreading 
throughout Britanny, insomuch that even the peasants have in many 
parts shewn a disposition to follow the example of the inhabitants 
of Nantes and Rennes. Orders have in consequence been issued 
for the Regiments that are quartered upon the Frontiers of 
Britanny to hold themselves in readiness to march on the shortest 
notice, and it is reported that the Marechal de Broglie will be sent 
into that Province to take the command as soon as a sufficient 
number of Troops can be assembled for that purpose : upon the 
whole it should seem that things are taking a more serious turn 
than ever, for private accounts say that the people were forming 
themselves into corps, with some degree of Military disciphne, and 
that they avow their object is to oppose the Clergy and Nobility in 
every measure whatever : in short a sort of phrenzy seems to have 
seized the body of the people in that part of the Kingdom and 
that nothing but force will be able to subdue it : in the meantime 
the Clergy, Nobility and Gentry are in a most alarming predicament, 



1789 BEFORE THE REVOLUTION 167 

for unless Government sends them relief they must sooner or later 
fall victims to the popular rage. 

Several insidious hand-bills, in the Bretagne language, have been 
distributed about the Country to stir up the Peasants ; to these 
bills the King's name is forged, and they import, among other 
things, that His Majesty's wish is to see them released from the 
bondage under which their Lords oppress them. None of the 
Authors of these inflammatory papers has yet been discovered, 
nor do I understand that Government has taken any measures to 
that effect. 

His Majesty did not receive the Foreign Ministers last Tuesday, 
nor, which was rather extraordinary, did M. de Montmorin come 
to Paris to receive them, and it will have been a month next 
Tuesday since he last gave audiences to the Corps Diplomatique. 

From the delays naturally arising in so complicated a business 
as the assembling the States-General it is not surprizing that the 
meeting of them cannot take place so early as the day announced 
viz, the 26th of next month ; for how long a period it may be 
deferred I have at present no conjecture, but it is reasonable 
to suppose that M. Necker must be anxious to remove all difficulties 
towards the accomplishftient for an event so devoutly wished for 
by the Nation. 

During the meeting of the States-General Their Majesties will 
reside at Marly and at Trianon alternately. The City of Paris will 
shortly receive the Letters of Convocation : Those for Provence 
and Britanny will also be sent without loss of time. 

The Archbishops of Bordeaux and Lyons have each published a 
form of prayer, to be publicly read in their respective Dioceses 
imploring a successfuU issue of the deliberations of the States- 
General, convoqued by the King : The production of the former 
of these Prelates is replete with good sense and principles of 
moderation, recommending the strictest attention to good-order 
and harmony in that Assembly, and consequently meets with the 
most general approbation : on the contrary that of the Archbishop 
of Lyons (who notwithstanding the immense patronage he pos- 
sesses in Church preferment, openly opposes the views of Govern- 



168 DESPATCHES FROM PARIS 1789 

ment) principally consists of quotations from Isaiah and other 
Prophets in the Old Testament predictive of unfortunate events, 
and applies them to the present situation of the Affairs of this 
Kingdom. 

Another Treaty of Marriage is on foot and will shortly be 
concluded betvi^een the Due d'Enghien, Son to the Due de 
Bourbon, and a young Princess of Parma. I am now able to 
confirm to your Lordship the Marriage, of which I made mention 
last week, of the Due de Chartres to one of the Neapolitan 
Princesses : it is also generally believed that Madame, the 
King's Daughter, is betrothed to the eldest son of the King of 
Naples. 

The union of the Due de Chartres with a Princess of Naples, 
though it may have the consent of Their Most Christian Majesties, 
may possibly be not perfectly agreeable to them since, in case the 
Dauphin or the Due de Normandie shall arrive at years of maturity, 
they will necessarily have recourse to the same connection. 

These Marriages tend to cement indissolubly the several Branches 
of the House of Bourbon which must at all times be a matter of 
great importance to the Interests of Great Britain. 

His Most Christian Majesty has expressed great concern at the 
death of the Marquis de Conflans, who was universally allowed to 
be one of the best Officers in the service of his Country : His 
Regiment of Hussars is given to the Comte de Lusace, Uncle by 
his Mother's side to the King, and a General Officer in the French 
Service. The Marquis de Conflans' other military appointments 
are not yet disposed of : All his landed property, supposed to be 
of the yearly value of ;G 12,000 sterling, goes to his widow, and will 
at her death be equally divided between the two Daughters, the 
Duchesse de Montbazon and the Marquise de Coigny. 

P.S. The Queen came to Paris yesterday and supped at the 
Princesse de Lamballe's. Her Majesty returns this morning to 
Versailles. 

The Despatches herewith inclosed from Sir Robert Ainslie, came 
to hand last Saturday. 

The Prince of Nassau arrived in this Capital a few days ago from 



1789 BEFORE THE REVOLUTION 169 

St. Petersburg, and will set out for Madrid next week : it is 
supposed that he is charged with some special commission from 
the Empress of Russia to the Spanish Court. 

Prince Henry of Prussia will set out on his return home the 
16th of this month. 

12. Dorset to Carmarthen. 

12 March 1789. 

...All the Letters of Convocation for the States-General are issued 
excepting those destined for Britanny and the generality of Paris : 
the latter will suffer no delay, but those for the former will yet 
take some days to disgest. 

I send your Lordship the Instructions which His Serene High- 
ness the Due d'Orleans has transmitted to His Representatives at 
the several Bailiwicks where His Highness presides, in which not 
only His patriotic principles are displayed, but the strongest proof 
is given of His disinterestedness by His proposing to resign the 
Office of Ranger (Capitainerie) of different Districts, which to 
His Serene Highness is an object of at least ;^30,000 Stg. per 
annum. 

A number of persons leave Paris every day to go to their several 
Estates in order to assist at the Elections : the most satisfactory 
accounts have been received from many of the Bailliages, mention- 
ing that the utmost harmony subsists there amongst the three 
Orders. 

According to the accounts from Rennes the fermentation during 
the last week had much subsided, which had rendered the rein- 
forcement of troops, intended to be sent into that Province, 
unnecessary for the present. The Comte de Thiard will return 
to his Station in a few days, and flatters himself that the late 
outrages will soon be forgotten, but the causes of the differences 
still subsisting and the same animosity still continuing in full 
force, there is little reason to doubt that on the first occasion 
the effects of resentment will be displayed in every manner 
they can possibly be shewn, and indeed those who pretend to 
be better acquainted with the disposition of the people of 



170 DESPATCHES FROM PARIS 1789 

Britanny, are of opinion that nothing will effectually restore 
tranquility but the consent on the part of the Nobility to allow 
to the Tiers-Etat a greater preponderance in the States of that 
Province. 

Hitherto the Court has certainly shewn a disposition to favor 
the requisitions of the people, it therefore remains only to know 
how far the Nobility will be disposed to give way to the joint 
wishes of the Government and the Tiers-Etat. The Deputies from 
both Orders are still in this Capital waiting His Majesty's answer to 
their respective remonstrances. 

The Dutch Ambassador having communicated to me the reply 
of Their High Mightinesses to the answer received from His 
Most Christian Majesty's servants, I have the honor to send your 
Lordship a copy of it : to this reply His Excellency has not yet 
obtained any answer. 

M. de St. Priest, late Ambassador at the Hague, takes a very 
active part in the Cabinet, and seems to gain ground in the public 
opinion : his principle* have not yet been marked by any public 
transaction, but he has always professed a disapprobation of every 
measure that was pursued by the late Comte de Vergennes whom 
he conceived to be disposed to temporize. 

Some changes are decided on in the Diplomatic Line : The 
Comte de Chalons, Ambassador from France to Venice, removes to 
Lisbon with the same rank in the room of the Marquis de Bom- 
belles, who succeeds him at Venice : this exchange is said to be 
made in consequence of the unpleasant circumstances which the 
Comte de Chalons experienced on account of the contraband 
trade which had been carried on by some Persons in his suite : 
The Marquis de Bombelles has also expressed a wish to change 
his station as the climate of Lisbon very much disagreed 
with him. 

The Due de la Vauguyon, Ambassador at the Court of Madrid is 
expected home very shortly. Although he is coming home on 
leave of absence only many people think that he will not return to 
Spain. It is also said that the Comte d'Osmont who has hitherto 
had the direction of the pensions paid to the Dutch Refugees will 



1789 BEFORE THE REVOLUTION 171 

be named Minister to the Hague, but this nomination which might 
possibly give umbrage to the States-General is not finally con- 
cluded on. 
Extract sent to I have been informed from undoubted authority 

the Board'of ^^^^ *^^ French Garrison at Pondicherry is ordered 

Contract. from that Factory to the Isle of France, and that in 
future no military Force is to be kept up in that Fort except what 
be necessary for the preservation of good-order and for the support 
of the Police of the place. 

The Comte de Conway has in consequence received orders to 
repair with his Garrison to the Isle of France which will here- 
after be considered as the chief residence of the French Govern- 
ment in India : by this plan a great annual expence will be spared 
to the State, and if it had been adopted at the conclusion of the 
last War, there would have been a saving of at least a Million of 
livres tournois, which have been expended on the Fortifications of 
Pondicherry. 

I can now with confidence assure your Lordship that no Force 
of any consequence has sailed from this Country for India within 
these last six months : it has been reported indeed that one if 
not two Ships of the Line and a Frigate had sailed for that part 
of the World the latter end of last year from Toulon, but I have 
very good reason for assuring your Lordship that such reports are 
totally void of foundation : it is very well known that this Govern- 
ment loses no opportunity of throwing supplies of all sorts of 
Naval Stores into the Isle of France, where there is always sufficient 
for refitting Ships of the largest size and His Most Christian 
Majesty's store houses in that Quarter, independent of the supplies 
with which they are furnished from the Mother-Country, receive 
great quantities of those Articles from the Americans whose com- 
merce with that Settlement increases greatly every year. 

The Minister from Geneva has transmitted a circumstantial 
account, which I send inclosed, of the late transactions in that 
Republic, by which your Lordship will see that tranquility is 
perfectly restored in that Capital and that a new form of Govern- 
ment has been established to the satisfaction of all Parties, but 



172 DESPATCHES FROM PARIS 1789 

which waits the sanction of the States who are Guarantees for the 
observance of the Regulations of 1782. 

Various conjectures are formed on occasion of the sudden 
journey of the Prince of Nassau from Petersburg to Madrid : it is 
not improbable that Her Imperial Majesty may have charged him 
to sound the Court of Spain in regard to the destination of Her 
Fleet for the Mediterranean. 

The Prince of Nassau, who set out from hence last week for 
Madrid, is to be back at Petersburg by the end of April, and it is 
said he will have the command of the Russian Fleet in the Baltic. 
From the frequent journies of this active Officer on the continent 
he has acquired the appellation of Le Courier de VEurope. 

The Council of War continues to be held at Versailles, and the 
closest application to business is observed; it is at present occupied 
in settling the expenses of the Army: the sum allotted for the Peace 
establishment is 96 millions with which 1 64 thousand effective Men 
are to be constantly kept up : it is said that the expences of the 
last year amounted 113 millions. 

The Dauphin still continues in a very dangerous and precarious 
state of health : His Royal Highness was exceedingly ill on 
Sunday last and has been since that attack much weaker than 
ever... 

13. Dorset to Carmarthen. 

19 March 1789. 

I had the honor of receiving your Lordship's Despatch No. 7, by 
the Post, with the Speech that had been delivered by the Lord 
Chancellor, in virtue of His Majesty's Commission, to both Houses 
of Parliament, and I have since received from Your Lordship's 
Office Copies of the Addresses of the two Houses to His Majesty 
in consequence thereof, with His Majesty's most gracious 
answer. 

The Letters of Convocation for the States-General are not yet 
issued for Britanny. 

His Majesty received the Deputation from the Tiers- Etat of 
that Province last Saturday in His Cabinet at Versailles ; a mark of 



1789 BEFORE THE REVOLUTION 173 

distinction which has given much umbrage to the Breton Nobility; — 
that such peculiar attention was shewn upon this occasion with 
any such view I cannot say positively, but it is well known that 
the Court has in various instances appeared indifferent as to the 
effect that any preference in favor of the Tiers-Etat might have 
upon the Nobility, who have, by their pretensions in that Province, 
rendered themselves very troublesome and occasioned much em- 
barrassment to Government, His Majesty's answer to the Deputies 
was very gracious, and they returned ^ Rennes perfectly satisfied 
with their reception. 

The Comte de Thiard is set out for Rennes. 

The Deputies from the Nobitity of Britanny have not yet been 
admitted to the King's presence, but are still at Paris waiting His 
Majesty's pleasure. 

A Deputation from Bearne is arrived at the head of which is 
the Comte de Grammon, Brother to the Due de Guiche ; the 
object of this Mission is to obtain His Majesty's leave for the 
States of that Province to elect their own Deputies and not to be 
obliged to follow the directions given by the Letters of Convoca- 
tion, this request is said to be couched in terms most respectfuU, 
and as no immediate inconvenience considering the great distance 
of Bearne from the Capital, appears likely to arise from the mode 
proposed, it is imagined that His Majesty will give his consent, 
unless it may be thought impolitic to allow of any deviation from 
the general rule : Should this Petition meet with a refusal it is 
very probable that the States of Bearne will altogether refuse to 
depute to the General Assembly of the Kingdom. 

An apprehension of the like inconvenience has occasioned the 
difficulty which retards the Letters of Convocation for Britanny. 
Several of the Elections are already over. The Due d'Orleans 
is chosen Representative of the Nobility for the District of 
Soissons (or Villars Coterets) and M. de Liman (His Highness's 
Chief Agent) Representative of the Tiers-Etat of the same 
District. 

The Due de Liancourt is returned Representative of the NobiUty 
of Clermont in Beauvoisois, though the Prince de Conde was his 



174 DESPATCHES FROM PARIS 1789 

opponent. The Due de Liancourt had a majority of more than 
three to one in his favor. 

It was currently reported the day before yesterday that the 
Comte de Mirabeau was returned Representative of the Tiers- Etat 
of Aix but no authentic accounts of that Election had been received 
at Versailles on Tuesday last : it is however thought to be not very 
improbable. 

Letters from Besangon mention that a Meeting at which 
140 Gentlemen were present, it was agreed that, out of respect for 
the King's commands, they should go to their respective Bailliages 
and attend the Elections there ; but this form of convocation being 
contrary to the Privileges of the Province, and especially to the 
Letters Patent of last November by which their States were 
established, they reserve to themselves the right of submitting the 
Privileges of the Province to the decision of the States General. 
The same accounts say that the Parliament is come to a similar 
Resolution and that it was expected the Clergy would follow their 
example, consequently the apprehensions that were entertained 
from the opposition of the two first Orders have now entirely 
subsided. 

The Elections have in general been carried on more quietly 
than might have been expected though the demands of the 
Tiers- Etat are extraordinary beyond measure, not to say ridiculous: 
at Tours in particular the People went so far as to require an equal 
partition of property : the last Letters however from that Province 
mention that the fermentation was not likely to be carried any 
greater lengths. 

It is now positively asserted that the States-General will take 
place at the time appointed : a great deal of intrigue is employed 
in the different Bailliages to make the Elections as favorable as 
possible to the wishes of Government and no pains have been 
spared to endeavor to secure a Majority in its favor. 

Prince Henry of Prussia is at present on a visit to the Due and 
Duchesse d'Orleans at Rainey, and proposes setting out on his 
return home on Saturday or Sunday next. I have not any reason 
to suppose that His Highness's residence at Paris has been 



1789 BEFORE THE REVOLUTION 175 

attended with any advantage to the system he has so much at 
heart of establishing a friendly understanding between this Court 
and that of Berlin to the prejudice of the Alliance lately entered 
into by Great Britain and Prussia, which is certainly an object of 
His Highness's disapprobation and even displeasure. 

The late measures of His Swedish Majesty have created no 
small degree of anxiety here and seem to have placed that Country 
out of the reach of any further good offices on the part of this 
Court. An Officer of distinction passed through this City last 
week charged with a particular and secret Commission from the 
King of Sweden to the Porte : the object of this Mission is con- 
jectured to be to engage the Divan not to listen to any overtures for 
Peace from the Imperial Courts unless Sweden be included therein. 

No further steps have been taken by Government to discover 
the author of the Histoire secrelte de la Cour de Berlin. The sup- 
posed author (M. de Mirabeau) has been at Paris since the 
impeachment of that work before the Parliament, and requested 
an audience of the Comte de Montmorin which was refused : The 
Prussian Envoy's Representations upon the Subject of this Publi- 
cation remain unnoticed and of course he has as yet obtained no 
satisfaction. 

M. de Virieux, Lieutenant General, is appointed Inspector of 
His Most Christian Majesty's Forces in Corsica, and that Officer 
took leave of His Majesty last Sunday in order to repair immediately 
to that Island where he will remain 'till the Month of May. 

The high price of Corn has occasioned many insurrections in 
some of the Provincial Towns, and particularly at Rheims and 
Vendome : at St. Quentin a barge laden with 2000 sacks of the 
above-mentioned commodity belonging to a very rich Individual of 
that place, who was accused in the neighbouring Villages of having 
made his fortune by entirely engrossing that Article, was seized upon 
by the populace, and the whole of the cargo was thrown into the 
River. 

I send your Lordship M. Panchaud's Address to the Tiers-Etat 
at Blois : this Gentleman was born in England, is not naturahzed a 
Frenchman, and is a Protestant. 



176 DESPATCHES FROM PARIS 1789 

P.S. I have just heard that the Due de Bourbon has been 
chosen Representative of the Nobihty for Provence, and the 
Vicomte de Noailles, Son of the Marechal de Mouchy, Represen- 
tative of the Nobihty of Nemours... 

14. Dorset to Carmarthen. 

26 March 1789. 

I have the honor to send your Lordship herewith the several 
Letters of Convocation which have been issued since last week, 
amongst which is that for the Province of Britanny. The Comte 
de Thiard's departure for Rennes is deferred to the beginning of 
next month : the late accounts from that Province are so far favorable 
that no disturbance nor any act of violence has happened since the 
separation of the States, though the fermentation is by no means 
subsided : it is not easy to foretell what effect the Reglement for the 
Convocation will have upon the minds of the people, amongst 
whom there still remains a spirit of resentment against the dignified 
Clergy and the Nobility on account of their leaguing together, as 
the people conceive, against their interests. The Bailliage holding 
at Caen is attended with no small degree of fermentation, the con- 
sequence of the extreme distress to which the lower sort of the 
Clergy have been exposed : the Bishop of Bayeux, who presides 
[over] the Clergy for that District has been loaded with abuse by 
them and they have, since the Meeting, chosen a Monk for their 
President, at the same time obliging the Bishop to resign the 
Chair : they have likewise resolved upon chusing one of their own 
Body for their Representative at the States-General : a similar 
spirit of opposition to the dignified Clergy prevails throughout the 
Kingdom. 

The Nobility of Lower Normandy have testified their disappro- 
bation of electing any one holding an Office or who is otherwise 
connected at Court, and have even gone so far as to declare that no 
one having a Commission in the Army shall be considered as 
eligible : on this account the Due de Coigny, who presides [over] 
the Assembly of the Nobility will, it is imagined, be disappointed 
in his expectation of being returned their Representative at the 



1789 BEFORE THE REVOLUTION 177 

States-General. The Tiers- Etat at Caen have been tolerably quiet, 
and it is supposed that the Elections in that District will be 
finished the latter end of this or the beginning of next week. 

Several returns have been made within these few days but I 
cannot attempt to send your Lordship a correct list of the persons 
returned, as scarcely any of them have been printed. 

The Baron de Montboissier is returned by the Nobility for 
Chartres, and the Bishop of that place for the Clergy. 

M. de Freteau who was exiled during the Administration of the 
Archbishop of Sens has been chosen at Melun in opposition to the 
Due de Chatelet, who lost his election by one vote only, the 
numbers having been 29 against 28. A Cure of that District is 
returned for the Clergy and the Abbe de Calonne, brother to M. de 
Calonne is chosen as supplemental in case of the illness or other 
inability on the part of the Cure, who it is said, is of a great age 
and very infirm. 

The Prince of Conde has been elected Representative of the 
Nobility for a District of Burgundy but His Serene Highness 
declines this mark of distinction as does also His Son, the Due de 
Bourbon. The Due d' Orleans is as yet the only Prince of the Blood 
as yet deputed to the States General. M. de la Borde the younger 
is returned by the Tiers-Etats for Etampes after much difficulty on 
account of his holding a lucrative place in the Finance as Keeper 
of the Royal Treasury. M. de Guibert who was appointed Secretary 
to the Council of War in the late Administration, which Office he 
has continued to hold ever since, met with an ungracious reception at 
the Assembly of the Nobility at Bourges, owing, as it is supposed, 
to the general disapprobation entertained by that Order of the 
New Military Ordinances, and that Gentleman's over zeal, expres- 
sed by his eagerness to deliver a speech he had prepared for the 
occasion, determined the Members of the Assembly to object to his 
remaining in the Room and in the end obhged him to retire : M. de 
Guibert after remaining two days in that Provincial Capital, without 
receiving any invitation to attend the deliberations, returned to 
Paris. 

If M. de Guibert, who has but a small landed property in that 

12 



178 DESPATCHES FROM PARIS 1789 

Province, had conducted himself with a becoming moderation, 
it is probable that no notice would have been taken of him, but 
his forwardness to take an active part in the business disgusted 
those, to whom he was already in some degree obnoxious, and 
furnished a pretext for excluding him altogether from the seat to 
which he certainly has a right in that Assembly. 

The Bishop of Sisteron, Brother to the late Bailli de Suffrein, at 
his Visitation in his Diocese has been roughly treated by the 
populace : the circumstances of this affair have been exaggerated 
to little less than a revolt, but the real fact was, I am assured, as 
follows : — An occasional dearness of corn had excited the murmurs 
of the people in a small town of Provence : the Bishop happening 
to pass by at the time, his Carriage was surrounded by a number 
of Peasants who represented to him that the grain of the Country 
had been forestalled very much to their prejudice, and begged that 
he would employ his influence to procure them Corn at the Market 
price : the Bishop, in order to get rid of their importunities, paid a 
visit to a Convent in the Town and took the opportunity to send 
to the Officer, commanding the Marechaussee there, mentioning 
his situation and requiring his assistance, which was immediately 
afforded : with this protection the Prelate ventured forth and 
passed through the Town unmolested, but the Servants having 
been sent to wait with the Carriage in readiness at a small distance 
on the road, that circumstance occasioned a number of persons to 
assemble at the place : here at the approach of the Bishop some 
of the young men became rather disorderly and began throwing 
snow-balls at each other, which soon produced a general commo- 
tion, this, under the show of amusement at first, grew to be serious, 
for Stones succeeded to snow-balls, and the Bishop received a 
blow from one of the former just as he was stepping into his car- 
riage ; fortunately the mischief was not material, and as the 
Marechaussee prudently did not attempt to seize the perpetrator 
of this outrage the disturbance subsided entirely soon after the 
Bishop was gone, nor, can I venture to assure your Lordship, had 
this affair, as some would have it believed, any relation whatever 
to the business of the Election of Deputies to the States-General. 



1789 BEFORE THE REVOLUTION 179 

This great National Assembly, it is now said, cannot possibly be 
convened before the Middle of May, and even then much difficulty 
and altercation is to be apprehended, for the grand point, whether 
the Votes are to be given individually or by Order, is not yet 
decided, nor is it conceivable that it can be settled amicably. 
Government has hitherto shown itself favourably disposed in every 
respect to the claims of the people. 

I send your Lordship two extracts of the proceedings at Bourges 
and Chartres, in the former of which you will see the patriotic 
sentiments of the Comte d'Artois, whose example seems to have 
animated the three orders of the State : hitherto indeed the Meet- 
ings in general have testified much zeal for the good of the 
Country but a great deal must be done before any solid advantage 
can be derived. 

The Letter of Convocation for Paris will shortly be issued, the 
form of it having been agreed to by the King in Council last 
Tuesday. 

The Deputation from the Nobility of Bearne has received no 
answer as yet. 

A few days ago an order was sent to Marseilles to suppress the 
Packet-Boats which sailed from that Port to Smyrna, so that all 
Letters for the Levant will for the future be forwarded by Merchant 
Vessels, which is a very uncertain conveyance : as the establishment 
of Packet-Boats was so necessary for the speedy conveyance of 
intelligence and particularly for the communication with the East 
Indies, nothing but that rigorous attention to economy which 
pervades all M. Necker's imdertakings can have induced Govern- 
ment to suppress them : to such a degree does that Minister carry 
his saving system that I have good reason to believe that on this 
account there will be no Squadron of evolution this year, and that 
it is not the intention of this Court to assemble any large Body of 
Troops during the summer. 

The Comte de Puysegur, Minister of the War Department is 
much indisposed with a flying gout : his situation last Tuesday 
caused great uneasiness, but I have since heard that he is much 
better. 



180 DESPATCHES FROM PARIS 1789 

M. de Montmorin has not received any fresh accounts from 
Constantinople. His last letters from M. de Choiseuil were dated 
the 8th of January ; his private accounts are of the 22nd of that 
month at which period the loss of Oczakow was not publicly 
known in that Capital, and your Lordship will have observed that 
Sir Robert Ainslie's Despatch, dated so late as the 1st February 
does not make any mention of that important event. 

Prince Henry of Prussia left Raincy last Saturday to proceed to 
Rheinsberg. 

M. de la Vauguyon is daily expected from Madrid. 

The Vicomte de la Rochefaucauld, Marechal des Camps and 
Knight of the Holy Ghost died here a few days ago. 

15. Dorset to the Duke of Leeds. 

2 April 1789. 

As far as any judgement can be formed from present appear- 
ances and from what has passed in those Provinces where the Elec- 
tions are terminated there is every reason to expect that the 
operations of the States-General will turn out favourably for the 
Country, notwithstanding the opposition and fermentation which 
still continue in some parts of the Kingdom. 

It is supposed that the immediate objects of the general plan to 
be proposed will be, that the Country shall engage for the whole 
of the National Debt : — that a universal Land Tax shall be estab- 
lished on the most equal principles and that the King, over and 
above his annual Revenue, shall be furnished with 80 millions in 
case of the breaking out of a war, that sum being thought sufficient 
for the first necessary preparations, and at the same time not 
enough to admit of His dispensing with the assistance of the 
States-General to which assembly it is intended that His Majesty 
should have recourse on occasion of such an exigency. 

In Britanny every thing is apparently tranquil, but there still 
remains so much jealousy and suspicion amongst the Tiers-Etat, 
that the people keep themselves armed in readiness to support 
their rights in case of any attempt to invade them : a circumstance 
which gives no small degree of uneasiness to the Court. The 



1789 BEFORE THE REVOLUTION 181 

Comte de Thiard will set out for Rennes in a few days with unlim- 
ited discretionary powers to act in any manner that emergencies 
may seem to him to require : there is a large Army in that Province 
consisting of at least thirty Regiments all under Marching Orders, 
a precaution which it may be supposed will ensure tranquility 
there. 

I send your Grace a Precis, published by M. Guibert, of the 
proceedings of the Assembly of the Nobility at Bourges, which I 
am told is a very faithfuU account of what passed in regard to 
himself upon that occasion : there has since appeared, which I also 
send, a Letter in answer to the Precis, addressed to that Gentleman. 

The treatment of M. de Guibert at Bourges proves in some 
degree the extreme unpopularity of the late principal Minister by 
whom he was named Secretary to the Council of War, and with 
whom he was much connected. 

Similar circumstances in proof of the national dislike, which 
rather increases than abates, of that Minister, on account of the 
arbitrary measures he adopted, have manifested themselves in 
many places. 

No alteration of the day that was fixed for the Meeting of the 
States-General has as yet been announced by Government, but it is 
the general opinion that it cannot take place sooner than the 
middle of next Month. 

The Letters of Convocation for Paris were issued yesterday. 
Your Grace will receive them herewith, and also those for Corsica, 
Versailles, etc. 

A Deputation from St. Domingo is daily expected to arrive and 
though the question of right to representation at the great national 
Assembly, advanced by the Proprietors in that Island, has not yet 
been decided by His Majesty in Council : the Deputation is instruct- 
ed to lay before His Majesty their claims which, it is thought 
probable, may meet with success at so important a juncture. 

The Nobility at Caen has chosen the Due de Coigny their 
Representative, notwithstanding the determined opposition of a 
party of Country Gentlemen against him ; since this Election all 
has been quiet in Lower-Normandy. 



182 DESPATCHES FROM PARIS 1789 

The King has given the following answer to the Deputies from 
the States of Beam with which they are returned perfectly well 
satisfied to Pau. 

" J'eprouve une grande satisfaction d'avoir prevenu vos voeux 
sur I'objet de votre deputation. J'en gouterai encore une plus sen- 
sible lorsqu'au milieu de la France assemblee je verrai se reunir, 
pour la premiere fois, mes fidelles sujets de Beam ". 

" Retournez promptement aupres d'eux ; maintenez par votre zele 
cette harmonic et cette union si necessaires au bonheur de mes 
peuples qui fait I'Object de tons mes soins ". 

It is thought that the Cardinal de Rohan will be elected by the 
Clergy of Alsace : His Eminence has been refused permission to 
return to Paris on his private affairs. 

The last Letters from Marseilles seem to infer that the Comte de 
Mirabeau will undoubtedly be chosen Deputy of the Tiers- Etat for 
that Place. His Brother, the Chevalier de Mirabeau, is elected for 
Limoges : the Lists of such Elections as are finished are given in 
the Journals de Paris which I accordingly send to your Grace, as 
being the most correct hitherto published. 

The dearness of corn has occasioned some disturbances in differ- 
rent parts of this Kingdom, and the populace in some places have 
seized upon the flour in the Market- Places and have distributed it 
at their own price : it is said that one or two persons have lost 
their lives in an affray at Rheims. In the neighbourhood of Senlis 
and Pontoise the people have shewn a disposition to be very 
riotous, and several barges laden with com have been seized on 
the River Oise, which were destined for the Capital. 

The Magistrates have applied for assistance and in all probabil- 
ity the Marechaussee Guard will be doubled in that quarter to 
prevent the Assembling together of persons in large bodies. 

At Marseilles, where there have also been disturbances on the 
same account, there was no other means of appeasing the tumults 
than by reducing the price of corn, which had been raised by the 
Magistrates some days before. 

At Nancy about twenty of the principal insurgents were taken 
up and put into confinement. 



1789 BEFORE THE REVOLUTION 183 

The last Letters from Vienna give a very unfavorable account of 
the Emperor's health, and mention that His Imperial Majesty's 
Physicians had advised him not to expose Himself to the fatigues 
of another Campaign. 

The Dauphin's health continues much the same as it has been 
for some time past. 

His Royal Highness will remove to Meudon in a few days where 
He will remain during the summer. 

The Comte de Puysegur is much better. The Baron de Wurm- 
ser, Lieutenant General in the French Service, and one of the 
great military Order of merit, died last Tuesday in the 77th year of 
his age : by his death a Pension of 80,000 livres Tournois reverts 
to Government. 

I send your Grace, herewith inclosed, the answer I have received 
from M. de Montmorin respecting the Papers required by the 
Insurers of the Ship the Queen of Portugal : I am sorry that it is 
not more favorable to the wishes of those who are concerned in 
that Insurance... 

16. Dorset to the Duke of Leeds. 

9 April, 1789. 

A few days ago the King narrowly escaped an accident which 
might have proved fatal to Him : His Majesty was walking upon 
the leads of the Chateau which look upon a Marble Court, and was 
desirous of entering his Observatory, but not being able to pass 
the Stair-case on account of the Workmen who were repairing it, 
attempted to mount by means of a ladder which happened to have 
been placed there ; when His Majesty had however ascended five 
or six of the rounds, the ladder, not being made fast, began to slip 
sideways at its top towards the Marble Court, into which he would 
in all probability have fallen the depth of at least 40 feet, had not 
one of the Workmen, who observed the King's situation, with great 
presence of mind seized the King in his arms and by that means 
saved Him from the danger to which he was exposed : His 
Majesty has settled out ot his privy-purse an annuity of 1200 livres 
upon the Workman. 



184 DESPATCHES FROM PARIS 1789 

The fermentation which has manifested itself lately in different 
parts of this Kingdom has been carried to a very serious and alarm- 
ing length, particularly at Marseilles, where the most daring and 
it may be added cruel outrages have been committed. Amongst 
the various accounts that are given of this affair the following I 
have reason to think comes nearest to the truth. On the day 
appointed for the Meeting of the Nobility for the Election of 
Deputies to the States-General the populace assembled under 
pretence of the distress they were suffering on account of the 
dearness of bread, and surrounded the Assembly-House in a very 
tumultuous manner ; their violence increasing and every effort to 
appease them proving ineffectual, the Meeting was broken up, and 
the Members retired to their several homes in the most private 
manner possible : — this served but to increase the tumult, for the 
populace then proceeded to pillage the houses of those of the 
Nobility who were most obnoxious to them ; amongst others that 
of the Bishop of Toulon was a marked object of their fury : the 
Bishop found means to escape in disguise out of the Town, and, 
as soon as his flight was discovered, the mob, after destroying all 
the furniture etc. threw his carriage and horses into the sea : a 
Gentleman of the place (some accounts say the Mayor, and that he 
drew upon himself the rage of the Populace by firing at and 
killing one of them upon the spot) fell a Victim and was butchered 
in a manner too shocking to be related with all the circumstances 
of savage cruelty that were exercised upon the body. The Comte 
de Caraman assembled the Troops, but they were soon overpower- 
ed by Numbers, for the populace were provided with Arms, and 
he, seeing no other chance of restraining the fury of the moment, 
had recourse to the Comte de Mirabeau for his influence with the 
people, and his interference succeeded so far as to obtain a tem- 
porary cessation of the outrages. 

I send your Grace the Comte de Caraman's Letter on the occa- 
sion to M. de Mirabeau with that Gentleman's answer, to which is 
annexed a most extraordinary Letter entitled Lettve iVun Ciloyen de 
Marseilles a un de ses amis etc., which is believed to have been 
fabricated by M. de Mirabeau with a view to secure to himself his 



1789 BEFORE THE REVOLUTION 185 

election for the Tiers- Etat to the States-General. The Letters 
from Marseilles also mention that several Gentlemen's Houses in 
that neighbourhood have been totally destroyed and that the 
utmost confusion prevailed throughout the whole Province : Another 
account which comes from creditable authority, says that a 
resolution had been entered into by a society of young men to 
estabhsh a form of Government independent of the King, and that 
they were actually forming and arming a body of men to the num- 
ber of 1200 — with the determined view of carrying their designs 
into execution ; if this intelligence should be confirmed very fatal 
consequences must be expected. In the commencement of the 
tumult excited the Comte de Caraman had the hilt of his sword 
broken by a stone ; his youngest son received a slight contusion on 
his arm, and one of his Aid-de-Camps was dangerously wounded. 
The Bishop of Sisteron, whose ill-treatment I mentioned in my 
Despatch No. 16, (see No. 20) ; lay so dangerously ill of the hurt 
he received upon that occasion that it was thought he could not 
recover. 

In Britanny nothing has as yet been done, the people not being 
at all disposed to proceed to the Election of their Deputies : their 
object seems to be to obtain redress from their own Nobility before 
they will comply with the King's directions respecting the form to 
be observed at their elections. The Comte de Thiard will set out 
this day or tomorrow for Rennes. 

An entire suspension of the proceedings relative to the form of 
convocation for the Capital and its Environs has been occasioned 
by the difficulties which have arisen between the Prevot de la 
Ville de Paris and the Prevot des Marchands. The Parliament 
debated thereon yesterday and have condemned the method pres- 
cribed by His Majesty's Edict as unconstitutional. A Deputation 
is appointed to wait upon the King with this report to-day, praying 
His Majesty to alter the form of convocation ; in the course of the 
Debate M. Necker's conduct was much commented on. 

Accounts from France-Comte speak of a riot that had taken 
place at Besanfon, in which the House of a Conseiller de Parle- 
ment was pillaged and burnt : the cause of this violence is not 



186 DESPATCHES FROM PARIS 1789 

mentioned ; however no lives were lost although the Troops were 
under Arms for several hours. 

M. de Calonne came over to offer himself as Representative for 
the Tiers Etat of a small Town, Bailleul, near Douay in Flanders, 
but it appears that he either presumed too much upon the impres- 
sion which he conceived his late publication must have made on 
the minds of the people at large or that he had been ill-informed 
in that respect, for he was almost unanimously rejected, and found 
himself in so great danger of being insulted by the populace, that 
he judged it expedient to take immediate refuge in Austrian Flan- 
ders, from whence it is supposed he returned to England. 

The Cardinal de Rohan had declined the choice which the 
Electors of Alsace were desirous of making of him to represent the 
Clergy of that Province. 

The celebrated M. Bergasse is nominated for the Town of Lyons 
Deputy to the States-General in the room of M. de Basset, who 
has given in his resignation. 

Great preparations are making in the Hall at Versailles for the 
reception of the States General. 

Accounts from Vienna mention the Emperor as again much 
indisposed, but the late symptoms of his disorder are different from 
those which formerly appeared and which were supposed to indi- 
cate water in his Chest ; at present it is the opinion that His 
Majesty's Lungs are affected. His departure for the Army is 
accordingly postponed, but had His health been better, the un- 
common backwardness of the season would have alone been 
sufficient to retard all Military operations. 

The Prince of Nassau is returned hither from Madrid and will 
proceed on his way to Petersburg next Wednesday. 

The Bishop of Nevers, lately elected Representative of the 
Clergy of his Diocese, died a few days ago 

17. Dorset to the Duke of Leeds. 

30 April 1789. 

This City has for some days past been alarmed by a very serious 
tumult, which began about six o'Clock on Monday evening when 



1789 BEFdRE THE REVOLUTION 187 

a number of workmen employed by a considerable manufacturer 
of painted paper assembled in a riotous manner for the purpose of 
burning in Effigy their Master, whose name is Reveillon, of whom 
they had demanded an increase of wages on account of the advan- 
ced }irice of bread, and who, as they had been designedly made 
to believe, had declared in a public Assembly that 15 Sols a-day 
were wages sufficient for workmen to subsist on : however the 
appearance of some French and Swiss Guards deterred the mob 
from committing any material outrage at that time, but on the fol- 
lowing morning (Tuesday) the rioters assembled again in much 
greater force, a considerable number of them having furnished 
themselves with bludgeons, and thus paraded the Faubourg 
St. Antoine menacing everybody who should attempt to obstruct 
their proceedings ; it happened that on that day there were Races 
in the Bois de Vincennes which drew together a large company of 
persons of rank and fashion, many of whom in their road thither 
through the Faubourg St. Antoine were prevented passing that 
way by the vast concourse of people who were collected and who 
insisted on their declaring themselves in favor of the Tiers-Etat : 
the Military was called out, and about 2 o'clock the Troops were 
under the necessity of firing upon the mob, by which some few of 
them were killed and several wounded : this however did not 
prevent the people from getting possession of the house of 
Mons. Henriot, a manufacturer of salt-petre, the friend and neigh- 
bour of M. Reveillon which they compleatly stripped of every 
article and having piled up all the effects in the Street set fire to 
and burned them before the door of the house ; most of the per- 
sons employed on this business were either killed in the house by 
the soldiers or taken ; the few who were fortunate to escape got 
away upon the tops of the buildings, which they unroofed, and 
severely wounded some of the Soldiers with the tiles etc, which 
they threw down upon them. 

Reinforcements of troops were in the mean time continually 
arriving, both Cavalry and infantry, and there was occasional firing 
upon the mob from six o'clock in the evening 'till 10 o'Clock at 
night by which time the streets were entirely cleared and tranquil- 



188 DESPATCHES FROM PARIS 1789 

ity thereby obtained : some accounts say that from three to four 
hundred of the people were destroyed. Twelve of the rioters 
were taken into custody, two of whom were executed yesterday 
evening without any attempt being made to rescue them. 

Several houses have been threatened with destruction and 
particularly that of M. du Chatelet, Colonel of the French 
Guards. 

The Hotel Dieu is filled with the wounded, and many more it is 
imagined must have been conveyed away by their own party. 
The Boulevards, from the Chaussee d'Autin to the Porte St. Antoine 
was guarded by detachments of Cavalry posted at certain distances 
and the Arsenal was protected by a considerable body of Grena- 
diers from both Regiments, an apprehension having arisen that the 
mob intended to make themselves Masters of that place with a 
view to get possession of the Arms : four pieces of Cannon were 
placed opposite to the Opera -House in readiness to be removed to 
any Quarter of the Town where a disturbance might arise. 

Such was the position yesterday and in all probability the same 
will be observed for some days to come. No other motive than 
the dearness of bread has been assigned by the unhappy wretches 
who were engaged in these excesses, most of whom were intoxi- 
cated to a very great degree ; though some are disposed to suspect 
that the friends and supporters of the Parliament have secretly 
fermented the disturbance. 

Reinforcements of Troops have arrived from the environs of 
this City, and orders have been sent for all the Regiments at a 
certain distance to approach near to the Capital. The scene of 
tumult has been confined to the Faubourg St. Antoine tho' some 
detached parties of vagabonds have paraded parts of the Faubourg 
St. Germains and laid several carriages under contributions, urging 
in their behalf the extreme dearness of bread, but it does not 
appear that they belonged to the principal Mob, nor did they 
commit any further excesses. Bread is getting dearer every day : 
a great quantity of flour was brought in from the Country yester- 
day, but that can be only as a temporary supply and unless Govern- 
ment finds some means of effectually preventing the scarcity that 



1789 BEFORE THE REVOLUTION 189 

is apprehended, the distress of the people must necessarily become 
insupportable. 

The accounts from Marseilles are still very alarming, scarcely a 
day having passed without the loss of some lives : At Cette in 
Languedoc the populace have risen : at Orleans a great disturbance 
has taken place and several Magazines of corn have been seized by 
the mob ; and in the attempts that were made to protect and 
rescue the property of individuals from plunder some lives have 
been lost : however when the last Letters came away tranquility 
was nearly restored. 

At Caen also a disturbance has happened but without any 
consequent mischief : here too as well as in many of the Provinces 
the origin of the discontents is the great scarcity of corn. 

The Meeting of the States-General is deferred to Tuesday next 
the 5th of May, when His Majesty will deliver a speech, signifying 
His Royal intentions and declaring the motives which have induced 
Him to assemble the Nation. Owing to many unforeseen delays 
it is doubtful whether the Elections for Paris can be completed 
against that time, but though that should not be the case, the 
opening of the States-General will not be put off on that account. 
The Elections in this City have not caused much external sensation 
but the Debates have, I hear, been warm, though upon the whole 
the three Orders are united upon the principal object, that of 
sacrificing their property and interests for the good and prosperity 
of the Nation. 

The three Orders of the Prevote and Vicomte of Paris continue 
to meet separately at the Archbishop's Palace and are occupied 
with the arrangement of their Cahiers^ after which they will 
proceed to the Election of their Deputies ; the three Orders of the 
City of Paris are emploj'ed in the same manner and unanimity 
begins to prevail. 

The Meeting of the Nobility at St. Brieux in Britanny is broken 
up, it having been resolved by them not to depute to the States- 
General according to the form prescribed by the King ; the con- 
sequence of which will be that neither the dignified Clergy nor the 
Nobility of that Province will be represented at the States-General 



b 



190 DESPATCHES FROM PARIS 1789 

as they absolutely refuse to depute otherwise than as from the 
united Body of the States of Britanny and not by separate Bodies. 
The inferiour Clergy as well as the Tiers- Etat have deputed, and 
what is somewhat extraordinary there has not been the least 
disturbance in any part of the Province during the Elections. 
The Comte de Thiard who has resided lately at St. Brieux is 
expected daily to return to Paris. 

The Due d'Orleans has experienced repeated marks of popular 
favor lately and particularly on Tuesday last. As He was return- 
ing through the Faubourg St. Antoine the people frequently cried 
out " Vive la niaison d'Orleans. " His Serene Highness the next 
day moved in the Assembly of the Nobility that it was the duty of 
every member of the Community to endeavor to discover the 
Authors and Abettors of the outrages that had been committed 
and He expressed His hope that every good citizen would exert 
his best endeavors to restore and preserve good order. 

The Dauphin had a very alarming crisis a few days ago which 
has however terminated favorably, for since that attack the situation 
of His Royal Highness has appeared to be somewhat less desperate. 

The last accounts from Vienna speak more favorably of the state 
of the Emperor's health, and tho' His Majesty was still thought 
to be in danger, hopes were entertained of His recovery ; the 
Letters mention that His Imperial Majesty had dispatched Orders 
to stop the Grand Duke's arrival at Vienna, and that He had 
dictated several Letters upon business. 

I find it has been strongly insinuated to the French Ministry 
that it is the intention of Great Britain in conjunction with Holland 
to send a powerful! Fleet into the Baltic this summer : and the 
possibility even of such a measure being in agitation creates no 
small degree of uneasiness in the French Cabinet. I think it right 
to mention this circumstance to Your Grace and to observe to you 
that as the Ministers of this Country will henceforward be con- 
sidered as responsible to their Country for whatever measures are 
pursued the confidential Servants of the Crown may be induced to 
make some extraordinary Naval exertions which otherwise they 
might be inclined to avoid. 



1789 BEFORE THE REVOLUTION 191 

The Comte de Mirabeau is now at Paris, or in the neighbour- 
hood, but does not appear in Pubhc 

18. Dorset to the duke of Leeds. 

7th May 1789. 

Nothing has happened to disturb the tranquility of this Capital 
since I had last the honor of writing to Your Grace ; reinforcements 
of Troops continue to arrive daily, and the utmost attention is 
given to check the slightest appearance of commotion among the 
people. The number of unhappy victims who were killed by the 
Military on the day of the principal tumult was somewhat exagger- 
ated at first, yet, according to what has been ascertained, it is 
believed that not less than 200 persons lost their lives upon that 
occasion. Disturbances in the neighbouring Villages increase, and 
are likely to become still more alarming, for the scarcity of corn is 
general throughout the Kingdom. Government formed large 
Magazines of corn in this City the beginning of last Winter, but the 
Stock has proved insufficient to answer the demands. Several 
Regiments are ordered to Provence to march into their Quarters 
with their Cannon, and the Governor, Intendant, and Magistrates of 
that Province are directed to proceed against delinquents in the 
same manner as was observed here, viz, to execute upon the spot 
such as shall be found guilty. 

In lower Normandy the discontents still prevail, and at Caen 
the people seized upon a large quantity of flour which they threw 
into the River or otherwise destroyed. 

Private Letters from that Country mention the extreme distress 
that is felt there and that in some particular districts the people are 
actually starving. 

The great scarcity of corn in particular parts is owing to the 
vast quantities that were bought up by Government last autumn to 
supply the Capital from an apprehension that the violent hail-storm 
in last July might occasion a deficiency of that article in the Paris 
Markets without such a precaution. 

On Saturday last the Members of the States-General had the 
honor of being presented to His Majesty ; and on Monday Their 



192 DESPATCHES FROM PARIS 1789 

Majesties and all the Royal Family, excepting their Majesties' 
Children, attended by the Members went in procession to the 
Parish Church of Versailles, where a Sermon, suitable to the 
solemn occasion, was preached by the Bishop of Nancy : a great 
concourse of people attended and gave repeated marks of loyalty 
and affection to Their Majesties, who about 2 o'clock returned to 
the Palace. The Sermon delivered by the Bishop was generally 
much approved, and a particular passage in it addressed to the 
Members was received with clapping of hands which, as may well 
be imagined from the novelty of the circumstance, interrupted for 
some time the devotion of the congregation. 

On the following day (Tuesday) His Majesty opened the Assembly 
of the States-General about 12 o'clock at noon, by a speech from 
the Throne, which was received with repeated marks of applause 
evidently manifesting the feelings of that august Assembly in such 
a manner as could not but be highly flattering and satisfactory to 
His Majesty. 

His Majesty delivered His Speech with great dignity though He 
was interrupted in the course of it by the repeated acclamation of 
Vive le Rot accompanied by clapping of hands. Her Majesty was 
seated near to the King on His left-hand: Monsieur and the Comte 
d'Artois at a small distance on the right : Madame, Madame 
Elizabeth, (His Majesty's Sister) together with Mesdames Victoire 
and Adelaide (His Majesty's Aunts) on the left-hand behind the 
Queen. The Comtesse d'Artois was prevented by a slight indis- 
position, nor were any of Their Majesties' Children present. 

The other Princes of the Blood with some Dukes and peers were 
also on the right : the Marechal of France with others of the same 
rank were on the left : the Garde des Sceaux on the left, and the 
other great Officers of state on the right of the Throne. The Due 
d'Orleans who is the only Prince of the Blood chosen Deputy to 
the States-General took his seat as such among the Nobility. 

The Ministers were seated close under the platform on which 
the Throne was placed. As soon as His Majesty had finished His 
Speech, the Garde des Sceaux delivered a set speech which he 
read in so low a tone of voice that it was impossible to collect a 



1789 BEFORE THE REVOLUTION 193 

single sentence of it. M. Necker afterwards addressed His Majesty 
and the Assembly in a written speech, the whole of which lasted 
three hours, but M. Necker, after reading a part of it, found 
himself obliged, on account of hoarseness, the effect of a cold, to 
crave His Majesty's indulgence in permitting one of the Clerks to 
read the remainder. 

I will not attempt to enter into a full detail of the variety of 
matter contained in this laborious discourse which was received 
with bursts of applause. I had flattered myself that the speeches 
would be published in time for me to send them to Your Grace 
this day, but I hear that it will be yet some days before they will 
appear. 

M. Necker declared the present annual Deficit to be no more 
than 56 Millions, and pointed out means of supplying it without 
any extraordinary burthens upon the people : he gave the States- 
General to understand that His Majesty had been graciously 
pleased to call them together more from a desire of fulfilling the 
promise He had made and of meeting the wishes of His people 
than from any exigencies of the State, and, if I did not misunder- 
stand the expression, implied that, in case the present assembly of 
the Nation should manifest a disposition to act in opposition to 
His Majesty's principles, the King might be induced to dissolve 
the States-General and have recourse to those methods for supply- 
ing the Deficit which the Director General of the Finances engages 
to provide. 

The Establishment of an East India Company, and of a National 
Bank, consolidating the national debt, and in short whatever may 
contribute towards securing a national credit, were the principal 
subjects of the Minister's speech, for which he claimed the sanc- 
tion of the States-General. He also slightly touched upon the 
Slave-Trade, observing that an enlightened and distinguished 
Nation had already set the example of bringing the abuses of that 
commerce to a thorough investigation. 

No mention was made of His Majesty's prerogatives, so as to 
raise an expectation that any of them would be abandoned. His 
Majesty only pledged himself to assemble the Nation periodically. 

13 



194 DESPATCHES FROM PARIS 1789 

M. Necker's speech being finished about 4 o'clock, His Majesty 
rose from His seat and adjourned the meeting to the following day 
(yesterday); Their Majesties on Their way back from the Assembly- 
House received separately very flattering marks of the respect of 
the public. 

The Elections for Paris will not be finished before next week. 
M. d'Espremesnil is chosen representative of the Nobility : a cir- 
cumstance a little remarkable is that on the same day twelvemonth 
he was banished and sent to a State-prison by order of the King. 

The States-General are at present and will be for some time to 
come occupied in verifying the qualifications of the several Depu- 
ties, after which it is imagined they will be divided into Commit- 
tees ; hitherto the grand question of voting par ordre ou par tele 
remains undecided. M. Necker in his speech seemed rather 
inclined towards the former, but referred the discussion of that 
point to some other opportunity. M. de Mirabeau was present 
and upon taking his seat was received with hissings and other 
marks of disapprobation. 

The Due d'Orleans was received with great applause as was 
also the Bishop of Nancy as a further testimony of approbation of 
his sermon. 

Monsieur has retrenched five hundred thousand livres and the 
Comte d'Artois four hundred thousand on their respective establish- 
ments in order to cover the Deficit : these sacrifices, being com- 
municated were received with great applause. 

The King having given orders that a part of the Game in the 
Plains of St. Denis should be destroyed, in consideration of the 
vast consumption of grain occasioned by the increased quantity of 
hares and partridges, to the detriment of the crops, fifty game- 
keepers with assistants assembled for that purpose on Saturday last 
and killed a considerable number of both kinds. 

In the Capitainerie of Brunoy, Monsieur has only 3000 acres in 
order to form a forest for His hunting amusements : this spot is 
to be surrounded by a wall, which is already begun, for the purpose 
of confining the game. 

The Opening of the States-General last Tuesday having prevent- 



1789 BEFORE THE REVOLUTION 195 

ed His Majesty from receiving the Foreign Ministers as usual on 
that day I shall not have had an opportunity of presenting Lord 
Robert Fitzgerald to Their Majesties and the Royal Family before 
Tuesday next. 

19. Dorset to the duke of Leeds. 

14th May 1789. 

The attention of the public being wholly engrossed by the 
States-General, nothing that has not some relation to that Assembly 
is at present the subject of conversation : the affairs of the Nation 
are not at ail advanced since last week owing to the differences 
subsisting between the Nobility and the Tiers-Etat ; the former 
having gone through the business of verifying their qualifications 
par ordre, while the latter refused to adopt that mode and protest 
against it, resolving that the whole Body of the States-General 
ought to verify their qualifications indiscriminately by choosing 
Commissioners from each order in common for that purpose. The 
Clergy have hitherto avoided taking any part in this delicate 
question, though there is reason to think that the majority of that 
Body are inclined to support the pretensions of the Tiers-Etat, for 
a fifth part of the ecclesiastical Deputies is composed of the lower 
class of Canons and Curates. 

The Bishop of Langres has just pubhshed a Pamphlet in which 
he recommends that the dignified Clergy should incorporate with 
the Nobility and the inferior Clergy with the Tiers-Etat, forming 
as it were two Houses, in the same manner as the Upper and 
Lower Houses of the British Parliament, it is not however likely 
that Government will adopt a plan, by which the Commons would 
gain too great a preponderance by so considerable an addition in 
the number of ecclesiastical members, yet it is become very neces- 
sary to put an end to the disunion and jealousies at present 
subsisting by some method or other, since it is utterly impossible in 
the present situation of things for the States-General to proceed 
upon business. M. de Mirabeau who was considered by many 
people as the leader of the Tiers-Etat has lost much of his conse- 
quence, and though he has at times been heard with attention, he 



196 DESPATCHES FROM PARIS 1789 

has at others been obUged to desist from delivering his sentiments 
by the great outcry which his rising so often to speak has occasioned. 
It is not in my power to give your Grace a correct idea of the 
proceedings, as different Assembhes are held in Rooms, allotted for 
Committees, contiguous to the great Chamber of the States where 
the Debates pass. 

The confusion and disorder that have prevailed are scarcely to 
be imagined ; one day in particular (I think it was on Monday last) 
in the Committee-Room of the Nobility nobody could obtain a 
hearing ; everyone who attempted to speak being received with 
hissing and groaning, so that it was found absolutely necessary to 
adjourn : since that day however the Meetings have been some- 
what more peaceable, but the pretensions of the Tiers-Etat are 
very high, an instance of which manifested itself the other day 
when some of the members of that Body took offence at the 
Clergy and Nobility being styled the two first Orders, and pretended 
that they had no right to that distinction, observing that the only 
one which was due to them is the simple Appellation of Clergy and 
Nobility, and that in no other light would they in future be 
acknowledged by the Tiers-Etat. 

I have the honor to send your Grace the printed Speeches as 
they were delivered by the King, the Garde des Sceaux, and 
M. Necker at the opening of the States-General ; that of M. Necker 
it is thought upon closer inspection does not appear so calculated 
in favor of the Tiers-Etat as was at first conceived, and many of 
that Order are said to be very clamorous against the Minister upon 
the occasion. The mode of voting is another grand question as yet 
undecided. 

M. Necker has not appeared to give any bias on this point, but 
unless His Majesty shall interpose and has influence enough to 
obtain a greater degree of harmony than at present prevails, the 
question is likely to remain without being brought to an issue, and 
the King may find Himself obliged to have recourse to those 
resources which the Director General of Finances has pointed out 
in his Discourse, as being in His Majesty's power without laying 
additional burthens on His People. 



1789 BEFORE THE REVOLUTION 197 

Such is the situation of this Country that much time will be 
necessary, even with the best turn that affairs may take, to relieve it 
from its embarrassments ; the Metropolis remains free from tumult, 
but the military force still continues and the Patroles of both 
Infantry and Cavalry are as numerous as they were during the 
time of the riots. 

The Journal of the Etats-Generaux (of which I sent your Grace 
the second number last week) so much calculated to inflame the 
minds of the People, was suppressed on Friday last by an Order 
from Council. M. de Mirabeau is universally acknowledged to be 
the Author, and it is supposed that the Bookseller who published it 
has already received 12000 Subscriptions. 

I send your Grace a resolution of the Tiers- Etat of this City in 
consequence of the above Edict, which shews a spirit to resist 
every measure that appears to have an arbitrary tendency. 

The Elections of the Nobility for Paris and the Vicomte are 
finished and your Grace will receive a List of the Deputies chosen. 
The Due d'Orleans is returned for this city but chooses to sit for 
Crepy where His Highness had already been chosen. A question 
arose about the legality of His Election at Crepy but it has been 
confirmed as legal and valid. 

The Vicomte de Clermont Tonnerre is a young Nobleman who 
stands first on the list of those distinguished for the abilities, and has 
shewn great moderation and propriety of conduct since his nomina- 
tion as President of the Nobility of this City ; great expectations 
arc formed of him, and it is probable that he will make a great 
figure having a peculiar facility of disposition for public speaking. 

The accounts from the Provinces are rather more favorable : 
the last Letters from Marseilles mention that tranquility was 
beginning to be restored and that a reinforcement of Troops was 
daily expected in that City, which it was expected would insure 
the public security. 

Preparations are making at Marly for the reception of Their 
Majesties who propose going to reside there at the end of this 
month for a fortnight or 3 weeks. Their Majesties will pass the 
remainder of the summer at Trianon and Versailles. 



198 DESPATCHES FROM PARIS 1789 

I understand that there will not be any Review of the French 
and Swiss Regiments this year as usual on the Plains of Sablons. 

The Abbe Roy, Censeur Royal, who was taken up on Sunday 
the 3rd Inst, upon suspicion of having encouraged the depredations 
committed in the house of M. Reveillon, by whom he was pro- 
secuted for forging a Bill of Exchange, was consigned the ensuing 
day to the Jurisdiction of the Prevote (which Court had been 
charged by an Order from Council with the enquiries respecting 
the insurrection in the Faubourg St. Antoine of the 27 and 28th of 
April) and has already undergone several examinations. 

On Monday evening another person was taken up in the Rue 
Geoffrey Lasniers, who had been observed on one of the above 
mentioned days to take an active part in exciting the populace to 
continue their outrages, and having a Ribbon at his button-hole of 
the same colour and appearance as that of the Croix de St. Louis, 
he was mistaken for one of that order but on enquiring he was 
found to be Knight of St. Jean Latran. He was banished from 
Paris in the year 1776 at which time he went by the name of 
Chevalier de Hormeville, but he has since changed his name two 
or three times and is now known by that of the Chevalier Piozzi : 
it clearly appears from the best informations respecting him that 
he has no decided profession, nor any fortune whatsoever, and 
that he depends upon accident or play for his livelyhood. 

It is confidently asserted that the Parliament of Britanny has 
issued an Order declaring that whatever the Deputies of the 
Inferior Clergy and Tiers- Etat may do in the States-General, 
relative to that province shall be void and illegal. 

I send your Grace inclosed a Copy of the Declaration and 
Protestation de I'Ordre de I'Eglise Assemble a St. Brieux. 

Lord Robert Fitzgerald had his Audiences of Their Majesties and 
of the Royal Family last Tuesday as Minister Plenipotentiary from 
His Majesty : His Lordship was most graciously received 

20, Dorset to the Duke of Leeds. 

21st May 1789. 

The original question, the subject of controversy between the 



1789 BEFORE THE REVOLUTION 199 

Clergy and Nobility on one part and the Tiers- Etat on the other, 
remains yet undecided, but your Grace will see by the inclosed 
Bulletins that there is some progress at length obtained towards a 
union of the Orders by the nomination of Commissaries from each 
Order as the only probable means of bringing about an accomoda- 
tion. N** 1, (intitled Bulletin des Etats Generaux) promises to be the 
most faithful and therefore most interesting account of the future 
proceedings of that Assembly. 

The Elections at Paris being finally closed the Deputies are 
removed to Versailles and the celebrated M. Target is already 
chosen one of the Commissaires for the Tiers- Etat extra wuros, 
from whose abilities as a Man of business great expectations are 
formed : he is considered as an enemy to the pretensions of the 
two higher Orders, having manifested his sentiments during the 
meeting of the Tiers- Etat at Paris where he presided. Indepen- 
dant of the contents of the Bulletin above-mentioned I know that 
the greatest animosity prevails, both individually and collectively 
between the Nobility and the Tiers- Etat ; the dignified Clergy is 
rather inclined to support the former, but the numerous Body of 
Vicars and Curates who are much connected with the Tiers-Etat 
makes it difficult to foresee what line of conduct they may resolve 
upon : during this situation of things, Government is much embar- 
rassed how to act. The Provincial Nobility in particular are very 
high-spirited and exceedingly jealous of certain privileges which 
they have hitherto enjoyed and which they consider as indepen- 
dant of the Crown, nor, it is supposed, would they hesitate to 
secede from the National Assembly rather than relinquish them : 
they are already much dissatisfied with the conduct of the Court 
Nobles, by whom they find themselves abandoned upon a division 
relative to the verifications of their qualifications, 46 or 47 having 
consented to the proposals made by the Tiers-Etat, 180 against 
them : the Deputies for Paris were not then chosen : the Majority 
consisted principally of those who have experienced the greatest 
favors from the King. The Stocks have fallen since the meeting of 
the States-General and public credit will sink entirely unless some 
measures be taken for proceeding on business in a regular manner. 



200 DESPATCHES FROM PARIS 1789 

The Comte de Montboissier President^ pro tempore, de la Chambre 
de la Noblesse, was the person fixed upon to express to the Comte 
d'Artois the sincere regrets that (the) Assembly felt upon His 
Royal Highness's declining to accept the Deputation d'Albret. 

After M. de Montboissier, attended by 50 or 60 Gentlemen, had 
acquitted himself of this commission, the Prince made him the 
following answer. 

" J'essayerois en vain. Monsieur, de vous exprimer toute la 
reconnoissance que m'inspire la demarche honorable pour moi dont 
la Chambre de la Noblesse vous a charge et le regret qu'elle veut 
bien eprouver : ils augmenteroient ceux que ressent mon coeur si 
cela etoit possible, mais M. Veuilly parlera encore en mon nom a 
la Chambre et lui donnera la firme et certaine assurance que le sang 
de mon ayeul * m'a ete transmis dans toute sa purete, et que, tant 
il m'en restera une goutte dans les veines, Je scaurai prouver a 
rUnivers entier que je suis digne d'etre ne Gentilhomme Franfois." 

The Abbe le Roy is released from the Prison of the Grand 
Chatelet and set at liberty ; the Provost's jurisdiction (by which he 
was tryed) not having been able to find sufficient proofs to convict 
him. M, Reveillon however has just published a Memoire against 
him which gives the strongest presumptions that he has forged a 
Bill of Exchange payable to Bearer for 7000 livres tournois, and 
for this has instituted a criminal Process against him. 

M. Reveillon has also published a Memoire (which, with the 
other one, I send your Grace) for his own justification respecting 
the transactions of the Faubourg St. Antoine. 

M. de Lamoignon, whose death I mentioned in the Letter I had 
the honor to send to Your Grace by the Post last Monday, lost his 
life by the accidental discharge of his fowling piece, as far as can 
be judged by the following circumstances. 

M. de Lamoignon usually when at his Country-seat took the 
diversion of shooting, and on Saturday morning last went out with 
his Gun having appointed Madame de Lamoignon and the rest of 
his Family to meet him, at a Place called le Pavilion du Caffe, 
where they had agreed to breakfast : a report of a gun was heard 

• Henri IV. 



1789 BEFORE THE REVOLUTION 201 

by a workman in the garden who immediately went to the spot 
and found M. de Lamoignon upon one of the benches in the Park, 
dead and covered with blood, his whole face from the chin to 
above the eyes having been torn by the shot. 

He had with him a Pamphlet of the Bishop of Langres which 
that Prelate had given him the evening before and which, from the 
circumstance of its lying by him, it is supposed he was reading 
when by some accident, as is imagined, the gun was discharged, 
having been carelessly placed in such a direction as to produce the 
fatal consequence of his death. 

The Swiss Regiment of Salis Samade, lately quartered at Arras, 
passed through Paris on Wednesday last in its way to Vaugirard, 
Issy, Meudon and Clamard, in which Cantonments it will remain 
'till further orders. This Regiment is very justly esteemed the 
finest and best disciplined in the French Service. 

During the sittings of the States-General there will be three 
theatrical Representations a week at the Palace of Versailles : the 
French Comedy on Tuesdays and Thursdays and the Italian one 
upon Fridays. 

M. Marquet, Receiver General for the Generalite de Bordeaux 
absconded last week. 

It is not yet known to what sum this Bankruptcy amounts tho' 
there is great reason to think it is very considerable. He left 
behind him but 2500 livres in ready money, and one Bill of the 
Caisse d'Escompte for 1000 Uvres. 

This Person married the Sister of M. de Calonne's former wife. 

Another Bankruptcy not less fraudulent, which has taken place, 
is that of a certain Dubois who, from being a servant in livery, was 
become one of the greatest Diamond Brokers in this Capital : just 
before his failure he took up upon credit all the Diamonds, and 
valuable trinkets he could procure and has disappeared with them : 
it is said the amount of his debts cannot be less than 1 ,200,000 livres. 

By the last accounts we learn that the Emperor has had a slight 
attack of a fever which occasioned fresh uneasiness, considering the 
previous weak state of His health. 

The Dauphin, who was thought to be on Saturday and Sunday 



202 DESPATCHES FROM PARIS 1789 

last in the most imminent danger is much mended since that period. 

I send your Grace a copy of a Letter I received this day from 
Sir Robert AinsHe giving an account of the death of the Grand 
Signior. 

The last Letters from Marseilles mention that tranquility was 
re-established in that Town and neighbourhood. 

The Comte de Thiard is daily expected from Britanny. 

21, Dorset to the duke of Leeds. 

28th May 1789. 

It is scarcely possible to give your Grace an adequate idea of the 
confusion that prevails at present at Versailles owing to the discus- 
sions, hitherto fruitlessly, carried on by the several Orders with 
little if any progress, as your Grace will see by the printed accounts 
(which are authentic) towards an agreement upon a regular form of 
proceeding. 

The Tiers- Etat seem to conduct themselves with a determined 
firmness, and not at all disposed to give way to the Nobility on any 
point, while on the other hand the Nobility cannot brook the idea 
of being dictated to by those whom they have ever been used to 
consider so much their inferiors in point of birth and consider- 
ation : the Clergy have evidently shewn a desire to conciliate 
matters, the nature of their Order forming two interests which on 
this occasion are incompatible, but the extreme inveteracy of the 
other two Orders against each other has not admitted of any good 
effect from their efforts. 

In the mean time the public is dissatisfied and becoming very 
impatient of delay occasioned by the disunion of the Orders at a 
time the Nation had flattered itself that some salutary measures 
would have been adopted for its relief : under these circumstances 
too the Government is placed in a very awkward predicament, for, 
which appears somewhat extraordinary, none of the Ministers has 
a seat in the great National Assembly, not one of the Cabinet 
having been deputed to the States-General, so that whenever the 
present disputes shall be adjusted in such a manner as to establish 
a quiet and regular mode of proceeding on business, there will not 



1789 BEFORE THE REVOLUTION 203 

be a Minister to join in discussing the several Propositions as they 
are brought forward : it may indeed be urged that the presence of 
the Officers at the head of the different Departments will be 
necessary rather to satisfy the States-General in regard to what is 
past than to assist in providing for the future, and that their 
attendance in the Assembly will be required for that purpose as 
shall be occasionally found requisite. 

There is every reason to believe that M. Necker is extremely 
embarrassed at this moment, for as his popularity has hitherto 
been his chief support, the decline of that Minister's credit, which 
is already wavering, will unavoidably be attended with a National 
bankruptcy : and perhaps Government, if it foresees the impos- 
sibility of going on, would prefer stopping payment at a moment 
when the calamity may be attributed to the want of unanimity in 
the States to whom the Nation is referred for a remedy in its 
distress. 

Stocks have continued to fall since the opening of the Assembly, 
and the Shares of the Caisse d'Escomte are daily losing in no 
small proportion. 

The following is a pretty exact account, as I have reason to 
believe, of what passed yesterday at Versailles. The Tiers- Etat, 
much incensed at the refusal of the Nobility to accede to the 
proposal that was made to them " de trailer de la verification des 
pouvoirs en commun ", and (to use their own expression) the door 
to conciliation being thereby shut, seemed resolved yesterday to 
take determined steps and to come to some final decision : in 
consequence therefore of a motion made by M. de Mirabeau 
several members were deputed to the Clergy with the following 
Propositions : 

" Les Deputes des Communes invitent Mess, du Clerge au nom du 
Dieu de Paix et de VInteret national a se reunir a eux dans la Salle 
d^Assemblee generale pour operer de concert a V etablissement de 
Vunion et de la concorde. " 

Reponse du Clerge : 

*' La motion etant infiniment essentielle merite une mure delibe- 
ration. " 



204 DESPATCHES FROM PARIS 1789 

The Clergy having discussed the matter a considerable time 
without coming to any determination, the Tiers- Etat grew im- 
patient and dispatched a second message informing them that 
they had come to a resolution not to quit their House untill the 
Clergy had given them a linal answer : this hasty and precipitate 
step so far from adding speed to the deliberations of the Clergy 
seemed only to embarrass and retard them ; for all further con- 
sideration on the subject ceased, and they deputed two Bishops 
and other inferior Members of their order to signify to the Tiers- 
Etat the resolution they had come to of postponing the further 
discussion of that important question 'till the next day. The 
opinion is that the question will be carried in favor of the Tiers- 
Etat as the inferior Clergy are mostly for a union of their order 
with that. 

The last accounts from Provence mention that Marseilles is 
comparatively quiet to what it has been, though that Body of Men, 
consisting of about five thousand, which went under the title of 
les Jeunes Gens^ still remain armed : they have put themselves 
under the command of a Person (whose name, I understand, is 
Lambertin) who was an old Officer, and who has sufficient in- 
fluence over them to prevent their committing outrages ; they have 
even exerted themselves through his means to quell some other 
appearances of insurrection occasioned by the scarcity of corn. 

The Bailli de la Brilliane lately arrived from Rome, where he 
had been several years in the character of Ambassador from 
Malta, being promoted by His Most Christian Majesty to be 
Ambassador to this Court from the same Place, had his audience 
on Tuesday last in that capacity. The forms attending his Pre- 
sentation are the same as those for other Ambassadors excepting 
that he wears a peculiar dress with the Insignia of the order of 
Malta, and that he is attended by his Friends and other Knights 
of Malta during the Ceremony. 

On Friday last, strong detachments of the French and Swiss 
Guards, the Regiment of Cavalry Royal Cravattes, and that of 
Royal Dragoons with the Swiss Regiment of Lalis Samade and 
Esterhazy's Hussards were posted in different districts of this 



1789 BEFORE THE REVOLUTION • 205 

Capital, particularly near the Place de la Porte St. Antoine^ to pre- 
serve Order and tranquility during the execution of a sentence of 
the Prevote de Paris, which condemned an Ecrivain and a woman 
to be hanged at the above-mentioned Place, for the active part 
they took in the late seditions, as also five other Persons to the 
Galleys for life, for the disorders committed by them in the house 
of the Sieur Reveillon on the 28th of April. All these Criminals 
have had judgement executed upon them excepting the woman, for 
whom the Gibbet was actually prepared but who upon her decla- 
ring herself to be pregnant was respited. 

On Saturday a Declaration du Roi, registered in Parliament, was 
published, authorising the Prevots de la Marechaussee, to examine 
and give final judgment against all Persons accused of popular 
insurrections, unlawfuU meetings, violences or vexations of any kind 
which may arise in the different Provinces. This concise mode of 
distributing punishment will no doubt effectually put a stop to 
those disorders which, under pretence of a scarcity of corn, have 
become so general over all parts of the Kingdom. 

The friends of M. le Comte D'Ossun, Marechal de Camp, had 
for some time remarked with much concern that his dealings in 
the Stocks, added to considerable losses at play, and a general 
train of expence, must terminate in his ruin : these apprehensions 
have been but too justly verified, since, in order to avoid the pur- 
suits of his Creditors he has suddenly absconded. He is said to 
have informed his Wife, who is Dame d'Atour to the Queen, that 
neither she nor any other Person of his acquaintance would ever 
again hear of him. 

It is supposed that his intention is to establish himself in North 
America on the Banks of the Ohio, where the United States grant as 
much Land as required at an easy rate : his debts are said to amount 
to one million of livres Tournois. The Comte d'Ossun is son of the 
late Marquis d'Ossun who was Ambassador at the Court of Madrid. 

M. le Comte de Gand, Colonel of the Regiment de Royale Infan- 
terie, whose affairs are also much deranged, has followed the same 
example of putting himself out of reach of his creditors, by a 
sudden retreat from this Capital. 



206 ♦ DESPATCHES FROM PARIS 1789 

Within these few days an Order from the King has appeared 
commanding all Colonels attached to Corps and Majors en second 
to join their respective Regiments on the 1st of June instead of the 
15th. Those Officers who have been chosen substitutes for the 
States-General and had therefore imagined they would have been 
exempted from duty are equally included in this order. 

The accounts of the Dauphin's health are so contradictory that 
it is difficult to know the real state he is in: I am however inclined 
to believe He is upon the whole better though not so considerably 
so as has been said. 

The Emperor is said to have had a relapse, with a confirmed 
abscess on his Lungs, and that He is again supposed to be in very 
imminent danger. 

P.S. The King loses 1,800,000 livres by the Bankruptcy of 
M. Marquet, whom I mentioned to your Grace in my Despatch of 
last week. 

22. Dorset to the Duke of Leeds. 

4th June, 1789. 

The difficulties and confusion arising therefrom, which, as I 
mentioned to your Grace last week, prevailed at that time at Ver- 
sailles amongst the different Orders have continued since with 
increasing animosity so that at present there is less probability than 
ever of any adjustment taking place. I have the honor to send 
your Grace the Bulletins of what has passed from the 27th of last 
month to the 2nd of the present : it is not yet known authentically 
what were the deliberations of yesterday but there is no reason to 
believe that any progress was made towards conciliating the diffe- 
rent dispositions. I have been informed that the Nobility came to 
a resolution yesterday not to sign the Minute of the proceedings 
during the conference held by the Deputies of the three Orders in 
presence of His Most Christian Majesty's confidential Servants, 
alleging in vindication of their refusal that they could not subscribe 
their names to any act which admits the appellation of Commons to 
the Representatives of the Tiers- Etat: this Resolution will infallibly 
produce much discontent and probably heighten the resentment 



1789 BEFORE THE REVOLUTION 207 

which has already shewn itself between the second and third 
Orders of the State. 

It is not easy to foresee how these difficulties will terminate, the 
Nobility having manifested their determination not to deliberate 
par tele even though the present point in dispute, viz : — that of 
verifying the returns, should be amicably adjusted, which is 
scarcely to be expected, nearly connected as it is with what will 
be the next question on which the Nobility have, as I before 
mentioned, declared their unalterable resolution: the Tiers- Etat 
on the other hand are equally determined to force the Nobility to 
accede to their terms, so that unless the King, supported by the 
Clergy, shall have influence sufficient to effect an accomodation 
between the contending parties, the dismission of the States- 
General appears to be inevitable. 

The Minister is much blamed for having permitted the opening 
of the Assembly before the returns of the Deputies were verified, 
which, I am informed, might have been done either in the presence 
of His Majesty or of a Commission appointed by Him for that 
special purpose : thus indeed one difficulty might have been 
avoided, but the grand stumbling-block to subsequent proceedings 
would still have existed viz, the question of voting par tele ou par 
Ordre. 

The Tiers-Etat meet regularly every day in the grand Assembly 
Hall and admit strangers to hear the Debates, from which much 
inconvenience has arisen and their deliberations much prolonged. 
I am told that the most extravagant and disrespectfull language 
against Government has been held, and that upon all such occasions 
the greatest approbation is expressed by the Audience by clapping 
of hands and other demonstrations of satisfaction ; in short the 
encouragement is such as to have led some of the Speakers on to 
say things little short of treason. 

The Nobility, as may be supposed, are roughly treated in these 
debates and their conduct does not escape being represented in 
the most odious light possible. The Clerg)' and the Nobility hold 
their meetings in separate Chambers and neither of them admit 
strangers to be present at their deliberations. 



208 DESPATCHES FROM PARIS 1789 

It has been suggested by some of the Members of the Tiers- 
Etat that if the majority of the Clergy consisting of Curates who 
are favorable to the j^rinciples of the Tiers- Etat, and the small 
number of the Nobility who profess themselves attached also to 
the same principles, would join the Deputies of the Tiers-Etat, in 
that case the business of the Nation might be proceeded on, since 
an Assembly of States-General would thus be formally and con- 
stitutionally formed, but it is not to be imagined that a high-spirited 
Nobility, jealous of its privileges, or that the dignified Clergy would 
quietly submit to a measure which, if permitted, would inevitably 
exclude them from any future share in the Government of the 
Kingdom : a system which, in the attempt to establish it, could not 
fail to produce a civil war. 

It does not seem to be well ascertained what part M. Necker is 
now disposed to take : some time ago it was evidently his wish 
that the voting should be par tete on some particular questions as 
stated in his speech, but since he has discovered that the Nobility 
continue firm upon that important question and that they will by 
no means submit to a regulation which would leave them at the 
mercy of the Representatives of the people, he is, I suspect endea- 
voring to hit upon some medium that may satisfy both Orders : 
this is certainly an arduous if not a fruitless attempt : in the mean- 
time this Minister is preparing to conduct the King's Affairs at all 
events, for, whatever shall be the result of the present disputes in 
the States-General, there is money in the Royal Treasury sufficient 
to answer the demands of the State for the next six months : how 
M. Necker has been able to obtain this supply is known to only a 
few individuals, but Your Grace may depend upon the fact, and, 
considering the enormous demands upon Government, it must be 
allowed that the Minister at the head of the Finances has in this 
instance no small degree of merit. 

The Kingdom in general is resuming a state of tranquility, and 
the prospect of a plentiful! harvest will probably prevent any 
disturbances on account of the scarcity of grain : yet a report 
prevailed yesterday that in the neighbourhood of the Baron de 
Breteuil's Country- House at Lagny the peasants had assembled 



1789 BEFORE THE REVOLUTION 209 

and destroyed great quantities of standing corn. There has also 
been a kind of revolt in the Environs of Fontainbleau, but it was 
soon checked by the arrival of a detachment of Dragoons. 

The Country people threatened to destroy the Deer and Game 
in the Forest, and two of the Game- Keepers lost their lives before 
the Troops arrived : at present all is quiet in that quarter. 

At Marseilles tranquility seems to be quite re-established for the 
present, as your Grace will judge by the inclosed copy of a 
Placard ; yet the people there are, I understand, still ripe for 
disobedience and revolt upon any slight pretext. 

On Sunday last (being Whitsunday) the Due de Berry (second 
son to the Comte d'Artois), and the Comte de Thiard, were receiv- 
ed Knights of the Holy Ghost in the Royal Chapel at Versailles : 
His Majesty has not signified his intention with respect to His 
Nominations to the other vacancies of which there still remain 
fourteen. 

The Abbe Roy who is supposed (as I have mentioned in a 
former Despach) to have committed a forgery to defraud Reveillon, 
has absconded : he had appealed to the Parliament to judge his 
cause and the result was an order to take him into custody. 

The situation of the Dauphin is truly deplorable : His Royal 
Highness has been in the most imminent danger at several periods 
during the last fortnight and every day his dissolution has been 
expected : the affliction of Their Majesties is very great notwith- 
standing the long preparation they must have had for the 
melancholy event which They now consider as very near, for it is 
the opinion of the Physicians that His Royal Highness's present 
situation does not admit of a hope that He can hold out many days. 

The mourning fixed upon is to last two months : the first 
fortnight — weepers. 

The last accounts from Vienna mention the state of the Em- 
peror's health to be so much improved as to admit of His going 
to the Chateau de Luxembourg, where His Imperial Majesty 
proposes to remain a considerable part of the summer. 

Two Frigates are lately arrived at Brest from St. Domingo, after 
a passage of 36 days : several Deputies from the Colonies are come 

14 



210 DESPATCHES FROM PARIS 1789 

over in them, directed by their Constituents to make every effort 
to be admitted as members of the Assembly of the States-General. 

Their Majesties have postponed going to Marly 'till the 12th Inst. 

I send Your Grace a Packet containing Despatches from Sir 
Robert Ainslie, which I did not receive in time to forward it by 
any earlier conveyance. 

P.S. — 6 o'clock. P.M. 

I have this moment received information of the death of the 
Dauphin which happened between the hours of 12 and 1 this 
morning. 

23. Dorset to the Duke of Leeds. 

11th June, 1789. 

The proceedings of the Assembly of the Representatives of the 
Tiers- Etat go on slowly but regularly, as your Grace will perceive 
by the printed accounts which I have the honour to send you. 
There is as little prospect as ever of harmony between that Body 
and the Nobility : indeed to such a pitch is the animosity arisen 
that there is scarcely any hope entertained of a reconciliation ; it 
is therefore the intention of the Tiers-Etat to verify their powers 
and thus in the course of a few days to constitute themselves, after 
which they will consider themselves as representatives of the 
Nation, and qualified to act as such independant of the other 
Orders, whatever measures these last may take to counteract their 
proceedings ; this determined and extraordinary resolution will, it 
may be presumed from the present complexion of affairs, be 
productive of infinite confusion and of insurmountable embarrass- 
ment to the Ministers, who nevertheless seem to be waiting for 
some decisive step of one or other of the contending Parties, by 
which the conduct of Government may be regulated : this supine- 
ness in the Cabinet may however prove fatal to their plans, if they 
have formed any, and may reduce the King to a necessity, which 
He must wish to avoid if possible, that of having recourse to very 
violent measures to maintain His authority against the efforts 
manifestly exerted by the Tiers-Etat, to lessen it as much as may 
be in their power to do. The Nobility have conducted themselves 



1789 BEFORE THE REVOLUTION 211 

towards His Majesty in a much more respectfull manner, in 
matters of form, than the Tiers- Etats, though both have shewn 
themselves over tenacious of their rights, considering the un- 
reserved manner with which His Majesty has professed His 
readiness to make every reasonable sacrifice that may be necessary 
to the welfare and future prosperity of His Kingdom. 

The Clergy seem to be pursuing the same line of conduct with 
which they set out and continue to temporize with a view perhaps 
of becoming sooner or later the arbitrators in the contest between 
the other two Orders. 

I inclose for your Grace's perusal the address of the Tiers- Etat, 
which is the language of complaint of the other Orders, without 
binding themselves to any deviation from their former Resolutions, 
nor does the King in His answer seem to exact anything more 
than what they had conditionally promised. 

It is worthy of remark that they style themselves Les Communes^ 
an appellation which His Majesty does not acknowledge and 
designedly addresses their Deputation comme Ripresenians du 
Tiers-Etat. 

It may easily be imagined that, in the present posture of affairs, 
so different from what was expected, and so unparallelled in former 
ages, many doubts must arise in the minds of almost all descriptions 
of Persons, as to the success of the Assembly of the States-General 
in its present mutilated form. One of the first Propositions to be 
brought forward is, I understand, a Loan of eighty-millions for the 
present urgent demands of Government : the terms on which this 
sum is to be borrowed have not yet transpired and will naturally 
require some deliberation. 

The Tiers-Etat continue to admit strangers to hear their Debates 
and have moreover allotted places for their accomodation. 

France never experienced a more critical moment than the pre- 
sent, and whatever may be the result of the troubles with which 
this Country is now agitated, it can scarcely be such as will enable 
Her to support the preponderance which she has so long held in 
the scale of Europe. 

On Tuesday last, in the Assembly of the Nobility the Question 



212 DESPATCHES FROM PARIS 1789 

" for sending back the Deputation from Dauphine by the Commis- 
saries of the three Orders to have their Powers verified by them ", 
was carried by a majority of 128 to 82 ; this gave rise to a very 
violent debate between the Comte de la Blache, one of the Depu- 
ties of the above-mentioned Province, and the Marquis d'Haracourt, 
his Brother, one of the principal persons who opposed that 
Deputation. 

Nothing very interesting was transacted upon that occasion in 
either of the other two Assembhes ; the Clergy only signified by a 
Deputation to the Tiers- Etat that they thought " it necessary to 
defer all consideration upon the distresses of the common people 
to some other occasion ". 

The fourth, and in all probability the last conference of the 
Commissaires Conciliateurs in presence of the Grande des Sceaux and 
of the Commissaries appointed by His Majesty was to have been 
held yesterday. 

The Deputies from St. Domingo and the other French West- 
India Islands, whom I mentioned to your Grace in my Despatch of 
last week, are arrived at Versailles : this Deputation consists of six 
persons who have petitioned to take their seats as Members of the 
States-General, and it is thought that their prayer will be granted, 
tho' the King's Letter (which I send your Grace herewith inclosed) 
to the Governor and Intendant of St. Domingo only promises them 
the privilege of deputing, provided the States-General should 
approve the same and be after regularly held. 

I inclose an Edit du Roi, which was issued last year but which it 
is found expedient to revive at present ; it was cried about the 
Streets yesterday. I believe it is the only act of the late principal 
Minister for which the public feel any obligation to him : it is 
perhaps thought as well to recall at this time to the minds of the 
Nation the great sacrifices the King has made, though there is no 
doubt of his Majesty possessing the hearts of His people which is 
His firm and certain security. 

Their Majesties have been sensibly affected at the death of the 
Dauphin : the marks of tenderness which His Royal Highness 
manifested in a very particular manner towards His August Parents 



1789 BEFORE THE REVOLUTION 213 

during his last hours could not but heighten those sentiments of 
affection which have ever characterised Their Majesties with 
regard to their Children and were so justly bestowed on the late 
Dauphin, whose existence for these last fifteen months has been a 
continued series of bodily sufferings. 

Notwithstanding that His Body was opened and examined I do 
not find that the cause of his disorder is ascertained, nor that 
sufficient discoveries are made to appease the apprehensions for 
the other Royal Children in case either of them should have a 
similar attack : before His death He was, I am told, covered with 
pustules which is an unusual symptom, and since the corpse was 
embalmed it has shrunk to less than the size of a new-born infant. 

He is to continue to lie in State at Mendon 'till Saturday night 
when He will be conveyed to St. Denis for interment. 

The Foreign Ministers paid their compliments of condolence to 
Their Majesties on Tuesday last, when the Maltese Ambassador 
had his first audience of the Queen, The Dauphin, and Madame, 
His Sister, received also the Foreign Ministers on the same day. 

Their Majesties do not put on mourning on occasion of the 
death of Their Son, since, according to the etiquette of this Country, 
Parents never wear mourning for their children. 

Their Majesties will go to Marly next Sunday for 10 days or a 
fortnight. 

It was apprehended that the shutting up of all Places of amuse- 
ment on occasion of the death of the Dauphin might be attended 
with disagreeable consequences at this moment of public fermen- 
tation ; nothing unpleasant has however happened, and all the 
Theatres will be permitted to open on Sunday next. 

The perfect quiet in which this Capital remains may perhaps be 
owing to the number of Troops which are quartered in the suburbs 
and Environs of Paris: it is confidently asserted that at least 
40,000 men could be assembled in the course of two or three days; 
the price of bread remains the same and the importation of corn 
continues to be prodigious, especially at all the Ports of Normandy. 

M. de Montmorin has received accounts from Vienna of so late 
a date as the 30th of last month, mentioning the Emperor's health 



214 DESPATCHES FROM PARIS 1789 

to be as bad as possible : His Majesty had frequent faintingfits and 
constant night-sweats, and from every appearance it was thought 
He could not hold out for many days. 

On Monday the 1st of this Month died at Strasbourg very much 
regretted the Marechal de Stain ville in the 61st year of his age : 
He was Brother to the late Due de Choiseuil : by the death of this 
Nobleman His Majesty loses a most zealous and faithfull Servant : 
the Government a steady supporter ; the Country an Officer of 
distinguished merit, and his Family a most affectionate Parent. 

The last twelve months have been fatal to the Marechals of 
France for no less than 7 of 17 have died in that space of time. 

It is thought that His Majesty will immediately name two 
General Officers to that dignity, as twelve properly form that 
Tribunal though seven are sufficient to make a board. The Due 
de Harcourt and the Comte d'Egmont are the two Noblemen most 
likely to be honored with that distinction. 

By the death of the Marechal de Stainville the command as well 
as the Government of Alsace become vacant : the Government of 
Epinal and the reversion of the BaiUiwick d'Aguenau in Alsace, 
which was given in M. de Maurepas's time, in failure of male issue 
of the Marechal de Stainville, go to the Prince de Montbarey 
formerly Secretary at War : This BaiUiwick is of a most agreeable 
tenure, going by succession from Father to Son, and produces at 
least sixty thousand livres Tonrnois annually. 

La Duchesse de Grammont, the Marechal de Stainville's sister, 
has a rent charge of 20,000 livres Tournois during her life which 
is the only incumbrance upon the succession. 

The Vessel La Necessaire^ armed enflute^ arrived the 27th of last 
month at Orient from the Isle of France, brings the disagreeable 
intelligence that two of the King's Frigates, La Resolution of 
44 Guns and La Venus of 40 which had sailed the beginning of last 
January from the Isle of France for the Isle of Bourbon, in order 
to take on board provisions for their passage to Europe, met 
with such a violent hurricane just after they had stood out to sea, 
that the Resolution Frigate was under a necessity of returning to 
the Isle of France entirely dis-masted, and in the most shattered 



1789 BEFORE THE REVOLUTION 215 

condition, and there is every reason to think that the Venus with 
her whole Crew perished, no accounts of her having been received 
at the time of the departure of La Necessaire. 

The Abbe Roy who was sentenced by the Parliament to be 
taken into custody has not yet been found, but last week his 
House-keeper was seized and conducted to the Prison of the 
Hotel de la Force at the very time that she was privately con- 
veying away the effects of her Master : finding herself in all 
probability likely to be involved in his guilt she took the desperate 
resolution of putting herself to death which she effected by cutting 
her throat in the place of her confinement. 

Le Marquis de Vaubecourt was appointed about a fortnight ago 
Lieutenant General Divisionaire to the Troops dispersed in the 
different Cantonments of the Basse-Alsace in the room of the late 
Marquis de Conflans. M. de Vaubecourt, prior to this nomination, 
had acted in the same capacity in the Province of Picardy. 

24. Dorset to the Duke of Leeds. 

18th June, 1789. 

The Tiers-Etat finding that there remained no longer any hopes 
of conciliation between their Order and that of the Nobihty 
resolved the latter end of last week upon proceeding in a regular 
way to verify the returns of its Deputies which was accordingly 
done and the whole completed on Monday last : in consequence 
of an invitation to the two first Orders on the part of the Tiers- 
Etat to assemble in common with them, a few of the lower Clergy 
appeared amongst them, but have since retired to their own Order. 
On Tuesday the Tiers-Etat passed a vote constituting themselves 
the Representatives of the Nation ; in the course of the debate 
upon this occasion very violent language was held against the 
Clergy and the Nobihty, aud the Strangers who were present 
testified their approbation to such a degree, that those members 
who were known to be desirous of moderating the animosity that 
prevailed found it expedient to remove from their places to avoid 
the insults which seemed to threaten them. The Assembly on 
that day did not break up 'till past 12 o'clock at night. 



216 DESPATCHES FROM PARIS 1789 

They met again yesterday when the Resolutions (Arrete National) 
herewith enclosed were passed by a very great majority, by which, 
as your Grace will perceive, that Body assume the title of 
VAssemblee Nationale. 

Previous to the above Resolution His Majesty, in a Letter to the 
Nobility written in his own hand, expresses his concern at the 
differences which still subsisted amongst the Order, and rather 
reproaches the Nobles for their too stubborn resistance to the 
proposals that have been made to them : this reproof on the part 
of the King, though conveyed in very gentle terms, has been 
sufficient to alarm the Nobles very much, and their apprehensions 
are still further increased by the late Resolution of the Tiers-Etat, 
for should His Majesty think proper to give it the sanction of His 
Royal authority all opposition from the other two Orders would be 
of no avail, and the business of the Nation would go on without 
the assistance of either of them. 

His Majesty at the time when He wrote to the Nobility wrote 
also to the President of the Deputies of the Tiers-Etat, but that 
Body agreed not to open the Letter during their deliberations ; 
whether or not his Majesty's Letter has been taken into con- 
sideration this day I am not able to inform Your Grace : the 
reason for deferring to read the contents was an apprehension 
that some proposal might be made which would put a stop to 
their proceedings, which they were determined to finish before 
they were called upon to separate. 

The Resolutions of yesterday, which I have the honor to send 
Your Grace, make no mention of others which have been passed, 
but care has been taken to make known, by Expresses sent for the 
purpose, to all parts of the Kingdom the particulars of the whole 
that has been doing, which will no doubt very much inflame the 
minds of the people. 

The Assembly resolved that the Representatives of the Nation 
do take upon themselves the public debt, and accordingly voted a 
Loan of at least 80 millions to answer the present exigencies of 
the State, directing at the same time that any attempt to collect 
Taxes without their authority should be resisted ; they declared 



1789 BEFORE THE REVOLUTION 217 

also that in case the present Assembly should be dissolved, the 
people would be justified in refusing to pay any Taxes whatever 
till such time as that Assembly should be again convoked in a 
regular and constitutional manner. One of the Members expressed 
an earnest wish that something might be done immediately to 
relieve the necessities of the poor. 

Such I understand, to be the substance of what passed yesterday 
(the 17th). Matters are every day growing exceedingly critical 
yet the King's Authority is still paramount, but if His Majesty once 
gives His decided approbation of the proceedings, such as they 
have hitherto been, of the Tiers- Etat, it will be little short of laying 
His Crown at their feet. The two first Orders, it may be expected, 
would in case of so marked a preference to their detriment secede: 
if however His Majesty on the other hand should espouse the cause 
of the Clergy and Nobility the people, tenacious of the footing to 
which they find themselves already advanced, and encouraged by 
the further advantages they have in view, would, if one may judge 
by the present temper of the times, be ready to support their cause 
by force, in which case the contest might at the outset be strongly 
disputed, but the Army whose zeal and activity are derived wholly 
from the Nobility, must soon throw the balance into the King's 
hands. The Army last year was certainly lukewarm in the King's 
interest, but the disposition of both Officers and Men is much 
changed, and they have upon all the late occasions shewn them- 
selves to be entirely devoted to the Royal authority. 

The Due d'Orleans made a motion yesterday for the Nobility to 
accede to the proposal made to them by the Tiers-Etat so far as to 
join that Body in the great Assembly-Room and to deliberate with 
them in common, but to vote only, par Ordre : the Motion being in 
itself quite nugatory, as tending to no salutary end, was rejected by 
a majority of upwards of 50 votes. 

The Clergy have not lately done anything of consequence, but 
they seem to be of a somewhat less inflexible disposition than the 
Nobility, and many of the inferior Clerg)' want very little encoura- 
gement to act in conjunction with the Tiers-Etat. 

It was agitated in the Assembly of the Nobles whether a Depu- 



218 DESPATCHES FROM PARIS 1789 

tation should be sent to the King to entreat His Majesty to take 
the affairs of the Nation entirely into his own hands ; this, after a 
very long debate, was rejected by a very considerable majority : 
though it appeared that their concurrence was withheld only by 
the necessity, that it was conceived there would be, of calling forth 
the assistance of the Army in case their proposal should be accep- 
ted, which it was supposed must inevitably occasion an immediate 
civil war. 

Amongst the various printed accounts of the proceedings at 
Versailles the journal des Provinces appears to be the most accu- 
rate : the further publication of it has been prohibited but I am in 
hopes the Editor will not be prevented altogether from fullfilling 
his engagement to the subscribers. 

M. de Mirabeau's Letters to his constituents are well worthy of 
your Grace's perusal; Your Grace will have received them compleat 
to the present time (eight in number) excepting the 7th Letter 
which was suppressed immediately on its appearance and I have 
not been able to procure one of the few that got into circulation. 

The rest of the accounts you will, I fear, find a little mutilated, 
but they have not yet been given to the Public in a better form. 

Your Grace will receive also une Requite presentee aux Etats- 
Generaux du Royaume le 8 Juin lySg pour les Deputes de la Colonie 
de St. Dominigue which is very well drawn up : this petition will be 
laid before the States-General whenever they shall be legally 
constituted. 

The Dauphin's Funeral was conducted with as little pomp as the 
situation of so great a Person could admit of : None of the atten- 
dant coaches nor servants were in mourning, and but barely a 
sufficient number of torches to light the procession to St. Denis. 

All the public Places of amusement opened last Sunday. 

The residence of Their Majesties at Marly is upon principles of 
retirement and strict economy, one Lady only attending in waiting 
upon Her Majesty, and no table is kept at the King's expense for 
any but the Royal Family. 

On Sunday last the Comte d'Artois reviewed in the Champ de 
Mars the Swiss Regiment of Salis at present quartered in this 



1789 BEFORE THE REVOLUTION 219 

Capital : His Royal Highness bestowed the greatest encomiums on 
this fine body of men. 

I omitted to acquaint Your Grace in my Despatch of last week 
that M. d'Osmont, who was appointed to regulate the affairs of the 
Dutch Refugees, is named His Most Christian Majesty's Envoy 
Extraordinary to the Hague. 

Several Letters from the Country mention the extreme scarcity 
of corn, particularly in parts of Picardy, where the poor people 
are suffering the utmost distress. The supplies of grain which 
were expected from America are not yet arrived, the orders not 
having been sent to that Country earlier than December last. 

His Majesty has not yet disposed of the Government of Alsace. 

I send Your Grace a Packet containing Despatches etc., from 
Sir Robert Ainslie. 

P. S. — I have this moment obtained a copy of the King's Letter 
to the Tiers- Etat, which I send herewith inclosed. 

25 Dorset to the Duke of Leeds. 

25th June, 1789. 

I have the honor to send your Grace all the different printed 
accounts of the proceedings of the several Orders of the States- 
General, from the 17th of this month to the 23rd. Your Grace 
will see in them the progress the Tiers- Etat have made towards 
effecting a complete Revolution in this Empire : these accounts 
have erred in giving proceedings of the 18th no Assemblies having 
been held on that day, being the Fete Dieu : on the 19th the Tiers 
Etat continued their deliberations and the Clergy passed a vote, by 
a majority of only eight, that they should verify their own returns. 

On Saturday His Majesty, finding that the Tiers-Etat persisted 
in their resolutions, sent an order to shut the doors of the House of 
Assembly, and an Officer's Guard was posted at the entrance with 
an express order to prevent all persons whomsoever from entering: 
the printed accounts state very accurately the measures which were 
in consequence taken by the Tiers-Etat, headed by their President, 
and the Resolutions which were passed unanimously by them on 
the same day in a Tennis Court at Versailles : what appears some- 



220 DESPATCHES FROM PARIS 1789 

what extraordinary is that the Deputies from St. Domingo, whose 
claim to be admitted to sit as members of the States-General has 
not yet been taken into consideration, as also the substitutes, were 
permitted to take the oaths. 

On Sunday last only the Nobility assembled in their own Court : 
Monday had been fixed for a Seance Royale, which for particular 
reasons was put off 'till the next day : in the meantime, M. Necker, 
it having been apprehended that the people in this Capital might 
be alarmed at such an appearance of arbitrary exertion on the part 
of the King, wrote the following Letter to M. de Crosne, the 
Lieutenant General of the Police. 

" du 20 Juin a 5 heures du soir " 

'' La Salle des Etats Generaux ayant ete fermee par un absolu 
besoin les Deputes de Tiers- Etat s'etant assembles en un autre 
endroit le public pourroit croire que I'intention du Roi fut de 
dissoudre les Etat-Generaux. 

'* II est essentiel, Monsieur, que vous fassiez assurer dans tout 
Paris que Sa Majeste s'occupe toujours de retablir I'union et la 
Concorde pour le bonheur de sa peuple et que les seances repren- 
dront Lundi prochain." 

Everything has been perfectly quiet in this City, but the con- 
sternation which visibly prevails and the number of persons who 
assemble daily in the Coffee-Houses, and all places of public resort 
especially in the garden of the Palais Royal, where they discuss 
with a marked anxiety and interest the important business of the 
moment, far exceeds anything of the kind I have ever seen in this 
Country. 

Their Majesties returned to Versailles from Marly on Sunday 
last, induced no doubt by the critical situation of affairs to fix 
themselves at the place of their usual residence, where they would 
be less exposed than at so retired a situation as Marly to any 
surprize or sudden insult from the populace in its present state of 
fermentation. The Peasants in the neighbourhood of the Court 
have committed great outrages in the King's Forests in defiance of 
the Game- Keepers who, for want of sufficient support from 
Government, do not dare to oppose them ; some of the Keepers 



1789 BEFORE THE REVOLUTION . 221 

ha'. 3 already fallen victims to these depredators, and one was 
shockingly butchered a few evenings since by three poachers not 
a league from Versailles. On Monday nothing material passed at 
Versailles : the Guards continued to occupy the avenues leading to 
the House of Assembly. 

On Tuesday morning (the 23rd Inst.) His Majesty attended by 
the Princes of the Blood (the Due d'Orleans, who sat as Deputy, 
excepted) the Marechals of France and the Peers of the Realm, 
opened the meeting with the speeches from the Throne, which, 
with His Majesty's declarations respecting His future intentions 
and a kind of recapitulation of the different Cahiers, Your Grace 
will receive herewith. The King was received by the populace, 
both going and on His return with great acclamations : when His 
Majesty entered the House of Assembly He was much applauded 
by all the three Orders, but on His retiring only the Clergy and 
Nobihty testified marks of satisfaction and loyalty. 

The Tiers- Etat proceeded to deliberate and continued their 
debates notwithstanding repeated messages from the King re- 
quiring them to break up the Assembly : they not only confirmed 
all their former resolutions but passed others of a very violent 
tendency. 

M. Camus and M. de Mirabeau were the principal leaders in 
these proceedings : in the evening of Tuesday the Nobility with 
their President the Due de Luxembourg waited in a Body on 
Their Majesties and the Royal Family to express the sense they 
entertained of their obUgations to His Majesty, for His declared 
intention of supporting their Rights, and the true principles of the 
Constitution : their example was not followed by either of the 
other two Orders. 

On the following day (Wednesday) the three Orders assembled 
in their respective Chambers, when nearly two hundred of the 
inferiour Clergy quitted their own Body and joined the Tiers-Etat 
which must have materially strengthened that Order : the rest of 
the Clergy separated under no small degree of consternation. 

The Archbishop of Paris was much insulted on his way to 
Versailles last Tuesday, and on his return home afterwards, although 



222 DESPATCHES FROM PARIS 1789 

he was escorted by a strong Detachment of Guards, he was hissed 
by the populace as he passed and suffered other marks of dis- 
approbation from them. 

The Due d'Orleans was on the contrary greatly applauded out 
of doors. 

It is beyond a doubt that the greatest want of harmony exists in 
the Cabinet, and no stronger proof can be given of it than the 
absence of M. Necker on Tuesday last from the Seance Royale, 
all the rest of the Ministers being present. A Cabinet Extra- 
ordinary was held on the preceding Sunday at which the King's 
two Brothers, Monsieur and the Comte d'Artois, assisted, when 
M. Necker produced a speech which he had drawn up for the 
King, but which His Majesty disapproved and rejected altogether, 
and at the same time ordered two Counsellors of State, M. de 
Gallisiere and M. Videau de la Tour, both very able men, to 
express what His Majesty made them understand that He wished 
to convey to His people, and which those two Gentlemen drew up 
in the form delivered by His Majesty, two copies of which I send 
Your Grace. Owing to this defeat of the Director-General of the 
Finances, in the Cabinet, it was the general opinion that he would 
be dismissed immediately from His Majesty's service, but the 
anxiety and regret that was manifested by the people upon that 
supposition is probably his security for being continued in Office, 
as that Minister's removal would certainly be attended with the 
most fatal consequences, and there is little doubt that a National 
Bankruptcy would be an immediate consequence : while on the 
other hand it seems to be probable that M. Necker's continuance 
in his present situation will be the means of producing a complete 
Revolution in the Government. This Minister's popularity was 
strongly marked on Tuesday last when the Populace assembled in 
great number before his house at Versailles where they played off 
a fire-work and carried at the end of a long pole a transparent 
paper lanthorn on which was written : Vive Necker, le sauveur d'un 
Pays opprimiy expressing at the same time, by loud acclamations, 
their extreme anxiety that he should remain in Office : M. Necker 
desirous of preserving tranquility, went out to the people and 



1789 BEFORE THE REVOLUTION 223 

prevailed upon them to disperse by repeatedly assuring them that 
His Majesty had not any intention of dismissing him from His 
service. From what I am able to learn M. de Montmorin is the 
chief if not the only supporter of M. Necker in the Cabinet, and 
M. Barentin, the Garde des Sceaux, his chief opposer : it is very 
probable that this chief Magistrate will be obliged to resign as it 
seems hardly possible that he can act with M. Necker. The 
Cabinet in general are zealous supporters of the King's authority. 
The Comte d'Artois has given the most unequivocal proofs of His 
zeal in the same cause and is a strenuous advocate in favor of the 
rights of the Nobility. 

Such is the distracted State of this Country at present : a few 
hours even may possibly decide everything : if the King (whose 
conduct throughout has been marked with the most unfeigned 
desire of contributing to the happiness of his People) gives way in 
this moment of contest, a complete Revolution will have been 
effected in this powerfull and extensive Kingdom without recourse 
being had to violence, but if His Majesty decided to support the 
principles He advanced no later than Tuesday, a civil war is, in my 
opinion, inevitable. 

A duel was fought last Saturday morning between the Prince de 
Poix and the Comte Lamberti, in consequence of a dispute about 
their powers over their respective Regiments in case of an open 
rupture, which lead to a discussion of M. Necker's conduct ; the 
Prince de Poix having espoused the cause of the Tiers- Etat sup- 
ported the measures of that Minister. The Comte Lamberti receiv- 
ed two wounds supposed not to be dangerous: the Prince de Poix 
was slightly hurt in the side. 

The Archeveque de Narbonne (Dillon), Brother to the late Lord, 
has declared himself a Bankrupt for two millions, reserving to 
himself a considerable annuity ; every one acquainted with his 
mode of living and his general character for irregularity in his 
payments is only surprised that this event did not take place 
long ago. 

The last Letters from Vienna, dated the 16"» Ins*., mention that 
His Imperial Majesty was much mended having remained eight 



224 DESPATCHES FROM PARIS 1789 

days free from fever : but a Gentleman, who is just arrived from 
that Capital and who left it about the same time informs me that 
His Majesty's death was expected every day; that He does not see 
any one of His Ministers, transacting what business He was capa- 
ble of attending to, in writing. 

I send Your Grace inclosed the answer I have received from 
M. de Montmorin together with the copy of M. de la Luzerne's 
Letter to that Minister respecting M. Lesage and other English 
prisoners detained by Tipoo-Saib : Your Grace will observe how 
desirous His Most Christian Majesty's servants are of contributing 
all in their power to the release of these unhappy sufferers. 

An Arret du Conseil d'Etat du Roi accompanies also this 
Despatch for prolonging the dispensation allowed by a former 
Arret to the Caisse d'Escompte from payment of their notes to the 
31st of next December. 

The public Places of amusement at Versailles have not been 
opened since the death of the Dauphin. 

The reports concerning the scarcity of corn in the neighbourhood 
of Paris have but too much foundation : the deficiency of this 
material article extends to the distance of 15 leagues round the 
City and is so severely felt that Administration has been obliged to 
supply the different great Markets, by sending corn from the 
Magazines of the Ecole Militaire originally intended for the con- 
sumption of the Capital : in regard to the other Provinces of the 
Kingdom there is no further apprehension, as they are sufficiently 
supplied ' till the ensuing harvest which has every appearance of 
being very plentifull. 

P.S. I have this moment heard from Versailles that the Due 
d'Orleans with 48 members of the Nobility went and joined the 
Tiers-Etat in the great Assembly-Room : this important event has 
been received out of doors with the greatest demonstrations of joy; 
the rest of the Nobility continued sitting. 

It is impossible to foresee what measures the King will adopt in 
consequence of this event. 

The French Guards have, in some few instances within these 
few days, shewn a great reluctance to act and some of the men 



1789 BEFORE THE REVOLUTION 225 

have declared that if they should be called upon to quell any 
disturbance they will, if compelled to fire, take care not to do any 
mischief. The Archbishop of Paris was very ill-treated last night 
by the mob at Versailles : his coach was broke to pieces and his 
horses much bruised : if the Guards had not protected him he must 
himself have been inevitably destroyed. 

The people now are disposed to any desperate act of violence in 
support of the Assemblee Nationale. I shall not fail to send Your 
Grace immediate intelligence of any momentous occurrence during 
this critical state of affairs 

26. Dorset to the Duke of Leeds. 

28th June 1789. 

I lose no time in communicating to Your Grace the important 
occurrences of yesterday at Versailles, and the sudden change 
effected thereby in the Constitution of this Kingdom. 

The greater part of the Clergy having already joined the Tiers- 
Etat it remained only to be seen whether or not the Nobility 
would follow the example of that Order, as well as of a certain 
number of their own Members, headed by the Due d'Orleans. 

The whole day of Friday was passed in deUberating upon this 
important question, and yesterday, in consequence of the final 
resolution, the remainder of the Clergy and the whole of the 
NobiUty (excepting three, whose names I have not hitherto been 
able to learn) went and joined the Tiers-Etat forming by this 
means a regular National Assembly, which will be confirmed by 
the King in due form on Tuesday next. 

Your Grace may easily imagine what was really the case, that 
nothing but the pressing urgency of the moment could have 
induced the Nobility to relinquish at once all further design of 
persevering in their original determination ; but when it was seen 
that the King's personal safety was actually endangered, that was 
a motive for giving way which could not be resisted : the ferment- 
ation of the people, from the moment when the Tiers-Etat had so 
far gained their point as to bring over to their Body a part of the 
other two Orders, for the purpose of verifying their returns in 

15 



226 DESPATCHES FROM PARIS 1789 

common, became very alarming, added to which some of the 
Mihtary joined in the popular cry, and the French Guards had 
even been wrought upon to bind themselves by oath not to support 
the King under the present circumstances : many of these paraded 
the capital in small bodies, openly boasting of the engagement 
they had entered into not to obey their Officers : it may well be 
conceived the effect this had upon the populace who now became 
quite ungovernable at Versailles, as well as at Paris, insomuch 
that the King and the Royal Family were no longer secure from 
outrage even in the Palace : in this situation of things His Majesty, 
after consulting with the Presidents of the two first Orders on 
Friday evening, decided upon writing the Letter, which I have 
the honor of sending Your Grace herewith inclosed, and which 
was addressed to the Due de Luxembourg, President of the 
Nobility, at that time assembled : this Letter occasioned a very 
warm and interesting debate, and there is reason to think would 
not after all have produced the desired effect, had it not been 
followed by one from the Comte d'Artois whereby His Royal 
Highness earnestly entreats that Assembly to comply with the 
King's wishes, representing the extreme danger to which His 
Majesty's person would be exposed, if that Body continued any 
longer to persist in their refusal to join the Tiers-Etat. No sooner 
was this Letter read than most of the Members started from 
their seats and declared themselves ready to give every proof 
in their power of their zealous affection for His Majesty, and 
tender regard for the safety of his person ; immediately after 
which they proceeded to join the rest of the Deputies in the 
Common-Hall. 

As soon as this event was known out of doors the greatest 
demonstrations of joy were manifested by the people, who 
assembled in great numbers under the windows of Their Majesties, 
crying : Vivent le Roi el la Reinc. The King and Queen appeared 
for some minutes at the balcony, and upon their retiring, the 
people went in the same manner to the several apartments of the 
Royal Family. 

They afterwards proceeded to M. Necker's House, where they 



1789 BEFORE THE REVOLUTION 227 

remained a considerable time testifying their approbation of that 
Minister's conduct. 

M. de Montmorin had also a share of the popular applause, but 
none of the rest of the Ministers were noticed : this circumstance 
gives room for suspicion that the mob had been properly instructed 
and perhaps influenced, probably by pecuniary consideration, to 
take the part they did. 

Nothing can equal the despondency of the Nobility upon this 
occasion, forced as they have been by an extraordinary and un- 
expected impulse to sacrifice in one moment every hope they had 
formed and the very principles from which they had resolved and 
flattered themselves that no consideration whatever should obhge 
them to depart. 

I send Your Grace the printed accounts of all the proceedings 
since last Wednesday. 

Some late advices from India mention the extreme discontent of 
Tipoo Saib at our having taken possession of the Province of 
Guntoor, and that He entertained hopes of engaging the Marhattas 
to join Him in opposing the English and their Allies. 

P.S. The Marechal de Segur is named Governor of Alsace, and 
the Comte de Rochambeau to the command of that Province ; both 
in the room of the late Marechal de Stainville. 

I send Your Grace the Journal de Paris of this day containing a 
full account of the proceedings in the AssembUe Naiionale on 
Friday last. 

27. Dorset to the Duke of Leeds. 

2nd July 1789. 

....The important event of Saturday last has been followed by the 
greatest demonstrations of joy both at Versailles and at Paris, 
which have continued ever since ; I may add to a degree of licen- 
tiousness to which the defection of the French Guards has greatly 
contributed : notwithstanding which the excesses of the populace 
in manifesting their zeal for the cause of the Tiers- Etat have not 
hitherto been attended with any fatal consequences : an Abbe 



228 DESPATCHES FROM PARIS 1789 

however, who was indiscreet enough to deHver his sentiments of 
M. Necker, not favorable to that Minister, narrowly escaped being 
torn to pieces by the mob in the Garden of the Palais Royal, where 
Persons of all descriptions assemble every evening in great num- 
bers, particularly at a noted Coffee- House (le Caffe de Foix) where 
neither Ministers nor any who are distinguished by favors of the 
Court are spared. The King, the Due d'Orleans and M. Necker 
have the popular cry, and of the last mentioned (the only one of 
the three whose conduct comes under discussion in that place) no 
one is allowed to speak in terms of censure. 

Tuesday evening exhibited a very extraordinary scene in the 
Gardens of the Palais Royal ; — some few days before fifteen of 
the French Guards had been taken up for various misdemeanours 
which they had committed and were confined in a prison, called 
VAbbaye^ in the Faubourg St. Germains, from whence it was intend- 
ed to send them privately to Bicetre in order to their being punish- 
ed according to their deserts : they contrived however to get a 
Letter conveyed to the Caffe de Foix making known their situation, 
upon which a mob to an amazing amount, proceeded immediately 
to the prison and rescued the Soldiers, whom they carried in 
triumph to the Palais Royal where they paraded them amidst the 
acclamations of a prodigious Number of people : the following 
morning a man with a basket in his hand made a collection, to 
which everyone who passed, contributed for the benefit of the 
Soldiers who had been thus taken under the protection of the 
populace. 

Yesterday a numerous body of citizens signed a petition in favor 
of these delinquents and presented it to the Assemblee Nalionale 
with a view of obtaining their pardon ; in the mean time they are 
at liberty. The mutinous spirit which has shewn itself pervades 
the whole Regiment of French Guards, and at Versailles the men 
who have been ordered upon duty at the entrance of the avenues 
leading to the House of Assembly have gone so far as to lay aside 
their fire-locks while at their posts. The Swiss Guards as well as 
two other Swiss Regiments have been extremely attentive to their 



1789 BEFORE THE REVOLUTION 229 

duty, as have likewise been the Dragoons and other Cavalry which 
have lately been quartered in this City and the environs. 

The disturbances which have continued in the Capital, ever since 
the day of the Seance Roiale have extended to almost all the neigh- 
bouring parts of the Country, and to so alarming a degree as to 
make it necessary to take away the fire-arms from all the inhabi- 
tants : this measure was put in execution at Monthery and all the 
adjacent villages, by the Marechausee of the Place, assisted by 
detachments from the Regiment of Chasseurs de Lorraine, and the 
arms seized upon were deposited at Monthery. 

His Majesty has appointed the Marechal de Broglie Commander 
in-Chief of the Troops both at Versailles and Paris. Several 
Regiments are on their march from different parts which are to be 
encamped in the neighbourhood of the Capital during the summer. 
Orders have been given to erect Batteries on the heights above 
Seve and St, Cloud, and many hundred men are now employed on 
the declivity of Montmartre preparing a spot for the same purpose. 

Government has also directed that employment be found for as 
many workmen as possible on the roads near this City, in order to 
draw them off from joining in the disaffection which is industriously 
encouraged in the Capital, by open discourse and all sorts of 
inflammatory publications. 

The Patroles of Dragoons and Hussars are more frequent and 
much stronger than during the time of the riots in the Faubourg 
St. Antoine. 

The Regiment of Salis-Samade has been obliged to exert its 
discipline, for which it is so famed, on an occasion that is often 
contagious through the force of example. Two of their men were 
hanged yesterday morning and several others received fifty Coups 
de Sabre, all of them for having aided and abetted the French 
Guards in thir mutinous and disorderly behaviour. 

It is said that a person, who had been an officer in the French 
Guards, has been taken up upon being discovered distributing 
money amongst them. 

It is thought that the Marechal de Broglie will advise His 
Majesty to send this disorderly Regiment from the Capital, if not 



230 DESPATCHES FROM PARIS 1789 

break it entirely, but it would not be safe to attempt either the one 
or the other before the arrival of other Troops. 

The partizans of the French Guards pretended that the discon- 
tent of the men proceeds from a dislike of their Colonel, the Due 
de Chatelet which has given rise to a report that he is to be 
removed from the Regiment : that he will be made a Marechal de 
France and that the Marechal de Broglie will be appointed to 
succeed him. It is very certain that the Due de Chatelet has not 
conducted himself with judgment since he came to that command, 
yet the removing him at this time might be considered as an act of 
compliance with the wishes of the men which they by no means 
deserve. 

The Swiss Regiment of Diesbach is lately arrived and is quarter- 
ed at St. Cloud, intimation having been given that the People of 
Paris have a design of demolishing the Palace there. 

In the present very interesting moment it is difficult to foresee 
how matters will terminate ; the Nation seemingly on the eve of 
establishing its liberties is yet in danger of losing all its advantages 
by the intemperate zeal of the lower order of people, and 
M. Necker, notwithstanding the admiration with which he has 
inspired them of his virtues and talents, may at last repent the 
having brought things to such an extremity, in the present fallen 
state of National credit, and when a famine in many parts of the 
Kingdom is still apprehended, since eveiy exertion has been made 
to avert that calamity from the Capital, by which some of the 
Provinces are nearly exhausted. 

The Marquis de St. Simon, the Comte de Chartre, and a Deputy 
of the Nobility of the Province of Poitou were the three Members 
who refused to take their seats with the other two Orders. 

The Assemblee Nationale met on Tuesday last according to 
adjournment from the preceding Saturday and proceeded to 
verify the returns of all the Members in common. 

The Printed Paper which I send Your Grace intitled Assemblee 
Nationale du 30 Juin is a very exact account of what passed on 
that day, but the protestations of those of the Nobility who 
declare the impossibility they find themselves under of acting 



1789 BEFORE THE REVOLUTION 231 

without receiving fresh instructions from their Constituents, are 
much more numerous than appears by that Paper. 

It will be yet some days before the States can proceed to 
business, and of course His Majesty will suspend any act by which 
His Royal sanction would be given to validate the proceedings of 
the Assembly 'till it is regularly constituted. 

I send Your Grace the proceedings of yesterday and Your Grace 
will no doubt be surprized to learn that the Assembly deliberated 
seriously for some hours upon the answer they should give to a 
society of people deputed, as they say, by the assembly of the 
Palais Royal. 

A Deputation from the States waited upon His Majesty yesterday 
evening to intercede in behalf of the mutineers who were released 
by the populace, but His Majesty has not as yet given an answer 
to this request. The anecdote of the French Grenadier Guards is 
authentic, and is a disgrace to their Corps, but the insinuation 
thrown out against the Swiss Guards is false and the effect only 
of calumny. 

It is imagined that the Archbishop of Vienne will be chosen 
President of the States without opposition. 

The East India Company has just made a Dividend of 16 p*^ c* 
having very nearly 4 p' c*^ in reserve for the next : this the second 
Dividend, the first being only 14 p"" c*. 

P.S. The stocks, notwitstanding the complexion of the times, 
continue to rise. 

28. Dorset to the Duke of Leeds. 

6th July 1789. 

I take the opportunity of a private conveyance to send Your 
Grace the printed accounts of the proceedings of the States- 
General from Thursday last inclusive. 

On Friday the Due d'Orleans was chosen President, but His 
Highness declining, the Archbishop of Vienne, a Prelate of a most 
respectable character was elected, almost unanimously, and has 
accepted that important and dignified appointment. 

The fermentation has been less violent within these last two or 



232 DESPATCHES FROM PARIS 1789 

three days and people's minds are much calmed since the publica- 
tion of His Majesty's Letter to the Archbishop of Paris, respecting 
the reclamations in favor of the Soldiers who were forcibly taken 
from the Prison of L'Abbaye : these soldiers have since surrendered 
themselves. 

The scarcity of bread grows every day more alarming, but hopes 
are given that there will be an ample supply of that article in the 
course of about 10 days. 

Troops are daily arriving in this neighbourhood, but the Camps 
will not be formed till the middle of next month at the soonest. 

29. Dorset to the Duke of Leeds. 

9th July 1789 

I had the honor of writing to Your Grace by a private con- 
veyance on Monday, when I enclosed the printed accounts of the 
proceedings of the States-General from last Thursday : the Deba- 
tes of Monday and Tuesday, which I send Your Grace herewith, 
are interesting in that they disclose the want of the means of sub- 
sistence for the poor people generally throughout the Kingdom. 

Your Grace will also perceive, by the deliberations of these two 
days, that a patriotic spirit has diffused itself in many of the Towns 
of Britanny, on the part of which a voluntary offer is made to 
resign, for the benefit of the Nation, certain pecuniary exemptions 
which have hitherto been exclusively enjoyed by them. 

M. de Mirabeau made a motion yesterday to address the King 
praying His Majesty that He would be graciously pleased to give 
orders that the Troops, which are collected in the neighbourhood, 
remove to a certain distance (ten leagues) from the Capital : the 
motion passed unanimously and the Address was, I understand, 
presented to His Majesty yesterday evening. No answer has as 
yet been given, but it was much suspected that if the request 
should not be complied with the States would themselves remove 
to either Orleans or Blois, and thus set the Royal authority at 
defiance : the Guard that is regularly every day posted at the 
entrance leading to the Assembly- House is a circumstance that 
gives great umbrage : it has been said that the States might very 



1789 BEFORE THE REVOLUTION 233 

possibly decide to hold their Meetings at Paris instead of Versailles, 
a step which I am persuaded would not fail of producing an open 
rupture which would make it necessary for His Majesty to call out 
His army for the protection of His person, as well as the only 
means of supporting the dignity of His Crown. 

Notwithstanding the outward appearance of unanimity between 
the several Orders I have the greatest reason for believing that the 
Noblesse and Tiers-Etat secretly entertain a rooted animosity 
against each other, which will sooner or later manifest itself, and 
possibly the King's answer to the Address of yesterday may be 
such as will call forth an open avowal of the real sentiments of 
both Parties, for it is hardly to be expected that Government can 
be so weak and impolitic as to give way in this instance, since a 
concession of such a nature would be the last acknowledgement 
that need be required of its inefficacy : yet such has been upon 
several late occasions the want of proper firmness that I shall not 
be much surprized at finding that the King has been counselled to 
comply with the requisition before mentioned. 

M. Necker has more than once expressed his uneasiness at the 
appearance of so large an Army, which sufficiently proves that 
that Minister was not consulted upon the measure, and conse- 
quently is not in the full confidence of His Sovereign. 

The Marechal de Broglie, to whom the command of the Army 
is given, is a man of a very determined character, and is what the 
French call un bon serviteur du Roi : such a Person in the King's 
Council must be a great check upon the encroaching advances of 
the representations of the Tiers-Etat, if anything can check them ; 
for it is well understood that the Marechal will not, so far as shall 
depend upon his exertions, suffer His Royal Master's authority to 
be impaired in the smallest point. 

His Majesty's lenity towards the French Guards who were 
released from prison by the populace, in granting their pardon at 
the interposition of the States-General in their behalf, has had the 
good effect of stopping the fermentation which for some days 
agitated this Capital, to which also the continual arrival of Troops 
has probably contributed very much, for the spirit of popular party 



234 DESPATCHES FROM PARIS 1789 

is not a little overawed by the unexpected reinforcement of German 
and Swiss Auxiliaries, whose military discipline is perhaps of itself 
sufficient dependance for Government to rely on, and with whom, 
a further security against corruption, it will be difficult to tamper 
on account of their ignorance of the French language. 

A camp is already formed, of about 2500 men, in the Champ de 
Mars, adjoining to the Ecole Militaire : strict orders have been 
given not to admit any visitors, and every possible precaution taken 
to prevent the soldiers from having any intercourse with the 
common people. 

A small camp is also to be formed immediately at St. Denis, but 
no large encampment can take place 'till after the harvest : the 
whole number of men in the environs will amount to 30,000. 

On Monday evening last a serious dispute took place at Versailles 
between the French Guards and the Hussars who are quartered 
there : it seems that it was agreed that three of each Regiment 
should be selected to decide the quarrel : there were accordingly 
three duels fought, in every one of which the French Guards were 
worsted and one of them is said to be mortally wounded. 

The Officer commanding the Marechaussee immediately upon 
receiving information of this affair, secured the combatants and 
put them into confinement : in the meantime the populace having 
learned that the French Guards had been roughly handled by the 
Hussars assembled in great numbers and surrounded the Quarters 
of the latter in- a very riotous manner ; when the Colonel of the 
Marechaussee, who was attempting to appease the tumult, received 
a very severe blow of a stone in his face which obliged him to 
retire, upon which the Hussars sallied forth sword in hand and 
without doing any other mischief than slightly wounding two or 
three persons, dispersed the mob entirely. The Regiment was, 
immediately afterwards ordered out, and paraded, on the same 
spot where the people had assembled, without being further 
molested. 

There is an account from Lyons of a very serious disturbance 
that has lately happened there : the Town having illuminated in 
honor of the reunion des Trots Orders, the mob broke the windows 



1789 BEFORE THE REVOLUTION 235 

of all the Houses that did not light up, and afterwards paraded in 
a most riotous and tumultuous manner to the different Barrieres of 
the Town which they destroyed after ill-treating the Officers of the 
Custom and burning all their papers : the Dragoons interfered and 
fired on the people, vast numbers of whom procured arms and 
maintained a contest with the Troops for three days successively 
during which many on both sides lost their lives. 

At Metz also a disturbance happened upon a similar occasion ; 
however no lives were lost, but the Marquis de Bouilly, in the 
account he gives of What passed, censures the conduct of the sol- 
diers as having obeyed the orders of their officers with great 
reluctance. 

An Order was sent from the War-Office a few days ago to take 
off and secure the locks of all the muskets, of which there is a 
considerable quantity, deposited at the Hopital des Invalides ; this 
order may perhaps have been issued in consequence of an alarm 
that was given that the populace had a design of making them- 
selves masters of the fire-locks ; it therefore saves the duty of a 
detachment of troops which it would otherwise be necessary to 
station there. 

Letters from L'Orient bring intelligence of the arrival there of 
three ships belonging to the Dutch East India Company, on board 
of which was the Luxembourg Legion in the service of that Com- 
pany ever since the war, and which was disembarking in order to 
be discharged ; each officer and private, to receive a certain stipu- 
lated sum. As this Legion was completed in a very short space of 
time and was composed of all sorts of vagabonds, it is to be suppo- 
sed that proper precautions respecting these men will be taken 
during the time they remain at L'Orient. 

The Sieur Reveillon has received a very flattering letter from 
M. Necker in which that Minister informs him that His Majesty 
has granted him a gratification of thirty- thousand livres Tournois 
to recompense him in some measure for the losses he sustained 
during the insurrection in the Faubourg St. Antoine, and also that 
His Majesty has given orders that the medal he had formerly 
received as a recompence for the progress of his manufacture and 



236 DESPATCHES FROM PARIS 1789 

which was stolen from him in the above-mentioned commotion 
should be struck over again and presented to him. 

The same letter also mentions several other bounties of His 
Majesty to his different manufactures of paper established in Paris. 

P.S. I have this moment heard that His Majesty, in his answer 

to the Deputation from the States-General in consequence of M. de 
Mirabeau's motion respecting the removal of the troops, says that 
he cannot comply with their request unless the Magistracy (mean- 
ing the Parliament) with whom He must consult, will take upon 
themselves to answer for the tranquility of the Capital. 

80. Dorset to the Duke of Leeds. 

12th July, 1789. 

I dispatch a messenger extraordinary to Your Grace to acquaint 
you with the removal of M. Necker from His Majesty's Councils : 
this event took place yesterday and M. Necker left Versailles very 
privately about 8 o'clock the same evening, intending, it is said, to 
go to Geneva. M. de Montmorin is also dismissed and the Due de 
la Vauguyon will certainly be named to that Department. I have 
not heard of any other changes, nor is it known for certain who is 
to succeed the late Director-General of the Finances. 

The Baron de Breteuil has been privately at Versailles for 
several days past and it is thought that he will be named Principal 
Minister with a Council to regulate the particular Department of 
Finance. 

Another version is that Monsieur, the King's Brother, is to be 
named first Minister assisted by the Baron de Breteuil, the Due de 
la Vauguyon and M. d'Espresmenil ; all that can be depended 
upon at present is that the Baron de Breteuil will certainly have 
the greatest share in the new appointments. 

I have not been able to inform myself of all the circumstances 
attending M. Necker's removal, but it is an undoubted fact that he 
more than once solicited His Majesty to accept his resignation 
offering at the same time to go away privately : His Majesty did 
not, however, think proper to assent before yesterday, when He 



1789 BEFORE THE REVOLUTION 237 

ordered the Comte de la Luzerne to deliver to M. Necker a letter 
signifying that He had no longer occasion for his Services. 

It is impossible to form any conjecture of what may be the 
consequence of this bold measure of the Court at a moment when 
the minds of the people are. at the height in adoration of 
M. Necker : — Paris is in the utmost confusion, and the Town is 
full of troops, but notwithstanding every possible precaution is 
taken to prevent disorder, it will be very difficult to check the 
frenzy of the mob. 

The defection of the French Guards and of many other of the 
National Troops still prevails and a Corps of Artillery- Men went 
yesterday to the Gardens of the Palais Royal to declare their 
resolution not to serve against the cause of the people at this 
juncture : the Swiss, German and the greater part of the National 
Troops continue to be very steady. 

All access to Versailles is stopped for those who attempt to go 
thither on foot. 

Last night the mob burnt one of the Gates at the entrance of 
the Town by the Rue de Clichy, having taken offence at the 
Custom House Officers under some trifling pretext : some Dragoons 
were ordered to attend but the mischief was done before they 
arrived, and nothing further was attempted. Almost every day 
has produced some act of violence : two men who had been 
confined for disorderly behaviour at the works of Montmartre 
were released by force the next morning ; and a few days ago a 
man fell a victim to the fury of the populace at the Palais Royal. 

I send Your Grace a printed account of this shocking pro- 
ceeding : the poor wretch died a few hours afterwards of the 
barbarous treatment he had undergone. 

I send Your Grace an interesting publication concerning the 
precautions taken by His Majesty to have a sufficient supply of 
grain for this Capital during the last eight months. 

P.S. Several of the Members of the States-General have sent 
messengers after M. Necker to endeavor to prevail upon him 
to return. 



238 DESPATCHES FROM PARIS 2789 

I send Your Grace the printed accounts of the proceedings of 
the States-General of Thursday, Friday and Saturday in last week. 

Postscript. July 12th 1789, 10 o'clock p.m. 

I have this moment heard from Versailles that the Baron de 
Breteuil est nomme chef du Conseil des Finances, Mons. de la 
Vauguyon est Ministre des Affaires Etrangeres, et le Marechal 
de Broglie, Ministre de la Guerre. 

81. Dorset to the Duke of Leeds. 

1 6th July, 1789. 

I wrote to Your Grace on the 12th Inst, by a messenger extra- 
ordinary to inform you of the x-emoval of M. Necker from His 
Majesty's Councils : I have now to lay before Your Grace an 
account of the general revolt, with the extraordinary circumstances 
attending it, that has been the immediate consequence of that step. 
On Sunday evening a slight skirmish happened in the Place de 
Louis XV, in which two Dragoons were killed, and two wounded 
of the Due de Choiseuil's Regiment : after which all the troops 
left the Capital, and the populace remained unmolested masters of 
everything : much to their credit however, uncontrouled as they 
now were, no material mischief was done ; their whole attention 
being confined to the burning of some of the Barriers. Very 
early on Monday morning the Convent of St. Lazare was forced, 
in which, besides a considerable quantity of corn, were found arms 
and ammunition supposed to have been conveyed thither as a 
place of security, at different periods from the Arsenal : and now a 
general consternation was seen throughout the Town : all shops 
were shut ; all pubUc and private works at a stand still and scarcely 
a person to be seen in the Streets excepting the armed Bourgeoisie, 
a temporary police for the protection of private property, to 
replace the established one which no longer had any influence. 

In the morning of Tuesday the Hospital of Invalids was sum- 
monsed to surrender and was taken possession of after a very 
slight resistance : all the cannon, small arms and amunition were 
immediately seized upon, and every one who chose to arm himself 



1789 BEFORE THE REVOLUTION 239 

was supplied with what was necessary : two of my servants, whom 
I had sent out on messages and directed, for private reasons, to 
put off their Hveries, were compelled to go to the Hospital where 
they received two very good muskets which they brought away 
with them : the cannon was disposed of in different parts of the 
Town : in the evening a large detachment with two pieces of 
cannon went to the Bastille to demand the ammunition that was 
there, the Gardes Bourgeoises not being then sufficiently provided : 
a flag of truce was sent on before and was answered from within, 
notwithstanding which the Governor (the Marquis de Launay) 
contrary to all precedent fired upon the people and killed several : 
this proceeding so enraged the populace that they rushed to the 
very gates with a determination to force their way through if 
possible : upon this the Governor agreed to let in a certain number 
of them on condition that they should not commit any violence : 
these terms being acceded to, a detachment of about 40 in number 
advanced and were admitted, but the draw-bridge was immediately 
drawn up again and the whole party instantly massacred : this 
breach of honor aggravated by so glaring an act of inhumanity 
excited a spirit of revenge and tumult such as might naturally 
be expected : the two pieces of cannon were immediately placed 
against the Gate and very soon made a breach which, with the 
disaffection that as is supposed prevailed within, produced a 
sudden surrender of that Fortress : M. de Launay, the principal 
gunner, the tailer, and two old invalids who had been noticed as 
being more active than the rest were seized and carried to the 
Hotel de Ville where, after a very summary trial before the tribunal 
there, the inferior objects were put to death and M. dc Launay 
had also his head cut off at the Place de Greve, but witli circum- 
stances of barbarity too shocking to relate : besides the above- 
mentioned the Prevoi des Marchands, M. de Flesselles, who the 
day before was unanimously called to preside at the Assembly at 
the Hotel de Ville for forming regulations relative to the tranquility 
of Paris and to means of furnishing the Town with provisions was, 
upon a suspicion that was raised against him, seized in his own 
house, when a letter (said to be from the Baron de Breteuil) was 



240 DESPATCHES FROM PARIS 1789 

found upon him, in which he was desired to amuze the citizens as 
well as he could for the reasons he knew ; this was sufficient to 
draw upon him the fury of the people ; he was immediately shot 
with a pistol, and his head was cut off, which, with M. de Launay's 
and the tailer's hand, all placed upon pikes, was exhibited at the 
Palais Royal and afterwards in several of the neighbouring Streets. 
In the course of the same evening the whole of the Gardes 
Francoises joined the Bourgeoisie with all their cannon, arms and 
ammunition : the Regiments that were encamped in the Champ de 
Mars^ by an Order from Government left the ground at 2 o'Clock 
yesterday morning and fell back to Seve, leaving all their camp 
equipage behind them ; the magazines of powder and corn at the 
Ecole Militaire were immediately taken possession of and a Garde 
Bourgeoise appointed to protect them. Nothing could exceed the 
regularity and good order with which all this extraordinary 
business has been conducted : of this I have myself been a witness 
upon several occasions during the last three days as I have passed 
through the streets, nor had I at any moment reason to be alarmed 
for my personal safety. 

Since Tuesday morning the police has been most strictly obser- 
ved : the principal inhabitants of every parish were summonsed to 
meet at their respective Churches in order that each parish should 
undertake to furnish a guard for its own protection : No one 
however has been allowed to go out of Paris and all those who 
have come in, especially on the Versailles side, have been strictly 
searched and any letters found upon them have been taken to the 
Hotel de Ville to be examined : M. de Crosne, Lieutenant General de 
Police, owing to a discovery that was made by this means has found 
it necessary to secrete himself, as has also the Baron d'Ogny, 
Mattre des Posies on a similar account. M. de Crosne's house has 
already been forcibly entered and all the books and papers relative 
to the police destroyed. 

Nothing material happened in the course of yesterday, (Wednes- 
day) morning, but about 3 o'clock in the afternoon a Deputation 
arrived from Versailles at the Palais Royal, to announce that the 
King had been present at the States-General where He made the 



1789 BEFORE THE REVOLUTION 241 

speech, which I have the honor to send Your Grace enclosed, and 
which was communicated to the Hotel de Ville : the Deputation 
returned the same evening to Versailles : the coolness with which 
this news was received seems to have thrown everybody again into 
the utmost consternation, and, to judge by circumstances, the diffi- 
dence of the people is greater than ever for all the barriers are 
doubly guarded. 

The general wish now is that the King would come to Paris and 
it was hoped yesterday that His Majesty would be induced to 
shew Himself here on this day, but it is said that He is prevented 
coming by indisposition : it is thought difficult to foresee what 
measures the people will have recourse to : the general idea 
however is that an aimed Body of Citizens to the number of at 
least 50,000 will go to Versailles and forcibly bring their Sovereign 
to the Capital. The disposition of the people at this moment is so 
unfavorable to the Court that I should not be surprized if the 
States-General, by appearing to give too much credit to the King's 
professions, should lose the consideration in which they have 
hitherto been held by the Nation. 

The Populace will not easily forgive the removal of M. Necker ; 
for they seem determined to push their resentment to the utmost 
lengths : but God forbid that should be the case, since they have 
already got the upperhand, for who can trust to the moderation of 
an offended multitude ? 

The regularity and determined conduct of the populace upon the 
present occasion exceeds all belief and the execration of the Nobi- 
lity is universal amongst the lower order of people. 

I cannot omit to mention a few incidental circumstances which 
have happened within these last two or three days. The Prince de 
Lambesc, who commands the Regiment of Royal AUemand very 
imprudently exposed himself on Sunday last in the Gardens of the 
Thuilleries, when, his person being well known, the people soon 
collected round him, and if he had not immediately taken to flight, 
whereby he fortunately escaped, there is little doubt that he would 
have been destroyed, 

The Due de Chatelet also had a narrow escape : having occasion 

16 



242 DESPATCHES FROM PARIS 1789 

to go to his house in Paris, he disguised himself sufficiently, as he 
thought, not to be known, and was crossing the River in a boat 
with other passengers, one of whom discovered him and he would 
inevitably have been thrown overboard had not two French Guards 
who were in the boat taken compassion upon him, and luckily had 
influence enough with the other passengers to prevail upon them 
to spare his life and suffer him when they landed to depart. 

Upon searching the Bastille not more than 4 or 5 prisoners were 
found, of whom none had been there any length of time, except an 
Englishman who calls himself Major White, and who had been 
confined in a dungeon upwards of 30 years : he was questioned by 
some English Gentleman who happened to be near while he was 
conducted away, but the unhappy man seemed to have nearly lost 
the use of his intellects and could express himself but very ill ; his 
beard was at least a yard long ; what is very extraordinary he did 
not know that the Bastille was the place of his confinement, but 
thought he had been shut up at St. Lazare, nor did he appear to 
be sensible of his good fortune in being released ; he expressed 
however a strong desire of being taken to a Lawyer. 

Another event which I think worthy of a place in my letter is 
the escape of the Earl of Massareene after a confinement of nearly 
18 years : His Lordship with 24 others in the Hotel de la Force 
forced their way out of prison last Monday morning without the 
loss of a single life in the attempt. His Lordship, who has always 
expressed a great sense of gratitude for the small services I have 
occasionally rendered him since I first came to Paris in my present 
character, came directly to my Hotel with 6 or 7 of his companions, 
the rest having gone their different ways : I, however, soon prevail- 
ed upon Lord Massareene and the others to go to the Temple, 
which is a privileged place, and where he may therefore be able to 
treat with his creditors to some advantage. 

His Lordship told me that it was his design to go thither, but 
that he thought it right to pay me the first visit. 

An Officer of the French Guards is now under trial for his life at 
the Hotel de Ville, upon an accusation of being concerned in an 
attempt the day before yesterday to destroy three whole companies 



1789 BEFORE THE REVOLUTION 243 

of that Regiment in their Barracks by poisoning their victuals : it 
is said that the cook who was employed made the discovery. 

Everybody since Monday has appeared with a cockade in his hat: 
at first green ribbons were worn but that being the colour of the 
Comte d'Artois' livery, red and white in honor of the Due d'Orleans, 
have been substituted. 

Thus, My Lord, the greatest Revolution that we know anything 
of has been effected with, comparatively speaking, if the magnitude 
of the event is considered, the loss of very few lives : from this 
moment we may consider France as a free Country ; the King a 
very limited Monarch, and the Nobility as reduced to a level with 
the rest of the Nation. 

I send Your Grace a list of the changes that have been made in 
the Ministry as far as I know them, for the communication between 
the Capital and Versailles having been stopped for the last two 
days, I cannot be certain that others may not have taken place. 

Your Grace receives also herewith the proceedings in the Assem- 
bly of the States-General up to Tuesday. 

So long as people are prevented, as at present, going out of this 
City, I shall be deprived of the opportunities of which I should 
otherwise avail myself to give Your Grace information of events as 
they occur so early as I wish to do. 

The Marquis de la Fayette is named commander in chief of the 
Milice Bourgeoise and M. Bailly, late President of the States-General, 
is appointed Prevot des Marchands : these nominations are made 
by the people. 

The Royal Treasury is in the hands of the Bourgeoisie and is 
untouched : the Caisse d'Escompte is also under the same protec- 
tion and payments are made there as usual. 

I have been obliged to apply to the parish Officers of the District 
in which I live for their influence with the Hotel de Ville to obtain 
permission for my messenger to depart, which has been promised 
in the handsomest manner possible. 

At least 200 workmen are employed in pulling down the Bastille, 
but as it is a construction of uncommon strength, it will require 
some time to erase it entirely. 



244 DESPATCHES FROM PARIS 1789 

P.S. 11 o'clock P.M. 

Lanyun the messenger is just returned from the Post-House 
where though he shew'd an Order for Horses given him at the 
Hotel de Ville the Garde Boiirgeoise pretended that they had received 
a counter-order and that^they could not permit him on any account 
to depart ; he however takes this with the hope of getting out on 
foot and when clear of the Town of procuring a horse to proceed. 

32 Dorset to the Duke of Leeds. 

17th July, 1789. 

In the course of last night a courier from Versailles announced 
the King's intention of coming to Paris this day and, to the great 
joy and satisfaction of this City, He arrived about half past 2 o'clock 
in the afternoon : His Majesty came in a coach drawn by 8 horses, 
and was attended by the Due de Villeroy, Capitaine des Gardes du 
Corps ; the Due de Villequier, Premier Gentilhomme de la Chambre ; 
the Marechal de Beauvau; the Comte d'Estaing, and two Equerries: 
another coach followed in which were four other attendants. 

His Majesty had no other escort than the Milice Bourgeoises as 
Commander in chief of which the Marquis de la Fayette rode a 
little before the King's coach, accompanied by several of the 
principal tradesmen of Paris : the whole way from the entrance at 
the Barrier at Passy to the Hotel de Ville was lined on each side 
with armed citizens: the most perfect tranquility and, I might 
almost say, silence was preserved 'till His Majesty reached the 
Place de Louis XV (for it was settled that He should pass that way, 
and through the Rue St. Honore by the Palais Royal) where 
nothing was heard but Vive la Nation ! Vive Necker ! vivcnt les 
Gardes Francoises to whose defection the nation is indebted for 
the Revolution that has taken place. The King appeared much 
depressed at entering the Town. I do not understand that His 
Majesty performed any particular act at the Hotel de Ville^ and I am 
told that He certainly did not sign to any engagement. He said that 
He appeared there to gratify the wishes of the Citizens of Paris and 
to assure them of His readiness to do everything in His power to 
quiet their minds and restore tranquility to the City. I have not 



1789 BEFORE THE REVOLUTION 245 

been able yet to procure accurate information of all that passed at 
the Hotel de Ville during the time the King staid there, nor what 
was the form of His Majesty's reception : certain however it is that 
He appeared much more composed on His return and every mark 
of loyalty and affection, sufficiently testifying the satisfaction that 
was felt, was given by an astonishingly numerous and well-disci- 
plined populace: I think I can venture to say that there were 
not fewer than 150,000 men bearing arms this day in Paris. His 
Majesty passed by the Place de Louis XV about 7 o'clock on His 
return and probably reached Versailles about nine. 

Whoever, of those who were present when the King passed by 
in His way to the Hotel de Ville^ had the least personal regard for 
His Majesty, must have felt for His situation during the mournful! 
procession which appeared to be rather that of a captive than of 
a patriot King: many people entertained apprehensions for his 
safety, not knowing how far the intemperate zeal of an indignant 
mob might provoke a hasty vengeance. 

The King, as a prelude of his submission to the wishes of the 
nation, had already dismissed all his new confidential servants, 
excepting M. de la Galissiere, who I understand remains in office 
some time longer, though he has desired to have leave to retire : 
and His Majesty as a further mark of condescension has sent to 
recall M. Necker who is expected to arrive to morrow, if he is not 
already at Versailles : it is said too that M. de Montmorin, M. de 
Puysegur, and M. de la Luzerne are all reinstated in their several 
departments, The Garde des Sceaux, and M. de Villedeuil^ 
Secretary of State for the home department, have resigned. I have 
not heard whether or not the Marechal de Broglie is to be con- 
tinued Commander-in-Chief. 

Owing to the numerous infamous libels that have appeared 
against the Duchesse de Polignac, and the threats of a triumphant 
populace, she has thought it necessary for her safety to leave the 
Court, and is, I hear, gone to Spa. 

The Comte d'Artois also has thought proper, from the appre- 
hension no doubt of disagreeable consequences, to leave Versailles 
which he did yesterday evening with great secrecy, and it is said 



246 DESPATCHES FROM PARIS 1789 

that His Royal Highness accompanies the Duchesse de PoUgnac : 
the animosity that had been shewn against the Comte d'Artois was 
indeed sufficient to alarm him and on this account His Royal 
Highness had ordered all his effects as well as his horses to be 
removed from Paris to save them from the destruction which the 
fury of the populace seemed to threaten: all the furniture of 
Bagatelle, a beautiful villa belonging to the Comte d'Artois in the 
Bois de Boulogne has been secreted also for the same reason, and 
none of his servants dare to appear in his livery ; the amiable 
disposition of this Prince makes him much regretted by his private 
friends and those who lived in his society, while the decided part 
he took and the noble stand he made in defence of the rights and 
privileges of the Nobility, must ever endear him to that Order of 
the Nation, especially since to the spirit with which His Royal 
Highness exerted himself in their cause, is to be attributed the 
popular resentment of which he is at present so much the object. 

There are no accounts from any of the Provinces very lately, 
excepting from Rouen where it is said that nearly an hundred 
persons have lost their lives by a struggle in the popular cause. 

I send Your Grace the proceedings of the States-General of the 
14th and 15th inst., which are exceedingly well worth Your Grace's 
perusal. 

I send also the 15th, 16th and 17th Letters of the Comte de 
Mirabeau. 

M. de Foulon, who was named to the Marine Department in the 
room of the Comte de la Luzerne, died suddenly last Tuesday of 
an apoplectic fit while he was transacting business with the 
Marechal de Broglie. 

33. Extract of a Letter from Paris. 

July 22nd 1789. 

The Revolution in the French Constitution and Government may 
now, I think, be looked upon as compleated, beyond all fears of 
any further attempts being made by the Court Party to defeat it. 
The entrance of the King into Paris was certainly one of the most 
humiliating steps that he could possibly take. He was actually led 



1789 BEFORE THE REVOLUTION 247 

in triumph like a tame bear by the Deputies and the City MiHtia. 
The whole party, inimical to the rights of the people, are dispersed. 
The Count d'Artois and his whole family (except the Countess, 
who is much beloved) the Condes, Contis, Polignacs, Breteuils, 
Vaudreuils, etc. are all fled and people are talking of confiscating 
their estates. The news we have from the Provinces are much 
more favorable than could have been expected. Every where the 
people and the soldiers seem to have been animated with the same 
spirit. In Brittany, where the greatest apprehensions were enter- 
tained, not a drop of blood has been spilt. The soldiers refused to 
obey their officers, and many of them joined the people. Fifty 
thousand Bretons were in arms, ready to march to the assistance of 
the Parisians, and there is no doubt, that if the King had not come 
round, they would not have left a Nobleman's house standing thro' 
the whole Province. 

There certainly never was an instance of so astonishing a Revo- 
lution operated almost without bloodshed, and without the people 
being led on by any leader, or by any party, but merely by the 
general diffusion of reason and philosophy. We shall soon be able 
to form a guess what is the nature of the constitution that is intended 
to be adopted in France. A Committee of 8 members is chosen to 
form a plan, which will afterwards be laid before the whole Assembly 
for its approbation. The three people who will probably have the 
greatest share in this important work are M. Mounier, the Abbe 
Sieyes and the Count of Clermont Tonnerre, all three men of first 
rate abilities. From what is known of their ideas and principles it 
is thought the Executive Power will be left solely to the King, who 
will be deprived of all share in the Legislative Authority, which 
will be lodged in the National Assembly, formed into one Body, 
without distinction of Orders. The best French Politicians (con 
trary to the opinion of de Lolme) look upon the division of the 
Legislative Authority in England as a great defect in our constitu- 
tion, and the principal source of that system of corruption which 
takes place with us. Another circumstance in which it is thought 
the French Constitution will differ essentially from ours, will be to 
have a power in the State superior to that of the National Assem- 



248 DESPATCHES FROM PARIS 1789 

bly, by leaving to the people in great and important Constitutional 
points the right of controuUng the proceedings of their Represen- 
tatives, in the manner which takes place in the United States of 
America. Several years must pass over, before we can judge of 
the advantages, and disadvantages of such a form of Government. 

The situation of Count Merci, the Imperial Ambassador, must be 
very disagreeable ; a constant Guard is kept round his Hotel and 
everything that goes out or in examined most narrowly lest he 
should hold a correspondence with the Queen. 

The spectacles opened yesterday but were but thinly attended, 
as most of ye Noblesse are still afraid to quit their houses. 

34. Dorset to the Duke of Leeds. 

23rd July 1789. 

I had the honor of writing to Your Grace by the post of last 
Monday, and as I understand that the mail has been permitted to 
depart regularly without interruption I flatter myself that my letter 
will have duly reached you. 

I was at Versailles on Tuesday last when the King received the 
Foreign Ministers as usual : everything was quiet and calm in that 
quarter : M. de Montmorin received the Ministers : M. de la 
Luzerne finally determined on that day to resume his situation in 
the department, from which he had been removed ; that Minister 
had twice refused to accept of the place. 

M. Necker is not yet arrived, but there is every reason to believe 
that he is expected at Versailles this evening. Some people have 
entertained doubts of his chusing to return to a situation the 
difficulties of which he must have found very embarrassing before 
his dismission, but which have become so in a much greater 
degree since his departure : it is however much to be wished, for 
the sake of the public tranquility that he should appear again at 
the head of affairs and that soon, for the Nation is looking to that 
event as their only consolation, and the people of Paris in particular 
are restrained in a great degree by the expectation of seeing 
M. Necker reinstated. 

This City has continued under the protection of the Milice 



1789 BEFORE THE REVOLUTION 249 

Bourgeoise, perfectly free from all kind of tumult 'till yesterday 
evening when two executions took place in the Place de Greve : 
one of the unfortunate persons who suffered was M. de Foulon, 
whom I have had occasion to mention to Your Grace in some of 
my late despatches. I have not been able to learn what crime 
was alledged against him that was thought to merit so severe a 
punishment, but it is evident either that his conscience was not at 
ease or that he was apprized of the perilous situation in which he 
stood, for he certainly endeavored to have it believed that he had 
died suddenly, and, to countenance the imposition, his family and 
servants put on mourning ; he was however discovered at his 
Country-House by some one who knew him by sight, and who 
gave the alarm which ended in his being forcibly brought to Paris: 
he was first hanged ; his head was then cut off and carried upon a 
pole to meet his son-in-law M. Berthier, Intendant de Paris, whose 
death was also decided upon and who had been seized at Com- 
piegne : this victim arrived, escorted by sixteen-hundred persons, 
at the Hotel de Ville late yesterday evening, and, after a short 
examination which was interrupted by the clamours of the 
populace, underwent the fate that was prepared for him, notwith- 
standing that the Marquis de la Fayette harangued the people in 
the most urgent manner and did all in his power to prevail upon 
them to spare M. Berthier's life. 

The Due de Chatelet's goods, which his servants were attempt- 
ing to remove from Paris, were seized a few days ago in the 
Street, and conducted to the Hotel de Ville : the carriages in 
which the goods were packed and the horses were immediately 
sold in the Place Dauphine, and the money arising from the sale 
is to be as I understand divided amongst some of the French 
Guards, who had claims upon the Due de Chatelet on the score of 
some transactions between them when he commanded the Regiment. 

On Monday last a waggon, apparently loaded with straw, was 
stopped on a suspicion arising from its being drawn by 8 horses, 
when it was discovered that cases containing not less than 
4 millions of livres were concealed under the straw : this sum of 
money has been lodged at the Hotel de Ville and appears to have 



250 DESPATCHES FROM PARIS 1789 

belonged to a Fermier General who was desirous of conveying it 
to some place of safety as a provision, it may be supposed, against 
an emergency. 

The accounts from Britanny mention that several Regiments in 
different parts of that Province have laid down their arms upon 
being ordered out to quell disturbances : and at Havrc-de-Grace 
the whole Garrison upon receiving the news of what had happened 
at Paris, marched out and left the Fort and its appendages to the 
Bourgeoisie who immediately took possession. 

I hear that a Milice Bourgeoise is becoming general throughout 
the Kingdom. 

The appearance of the crops everywhere promises a plentifuU 
harvest and removes the apprehensions that had become so alarm- 
ing on account of the scarcity of grain : the poor people in many 
parts of the Country are however still suffering greatly from the 
want of bread. 

The Duchesse de Duras and M^^ de Montmorin are both talked 
of to be Governante one or other of them, to the Royal Children 
in the room of M™^ de Polignac. 

It is reported that Her Majesty accompanied by the Dauphin is 
to come to Paris to-morrow in order to go to the Church of 
Notre Dame 

85. Dorset to the Duke of Leeds. 

27th July 1789. 

Tranquility is in a great measure restored to this Capital, and, 
owing to the precautions that are taking, there is reason to expect 
that it will, in a short time, be perfectly re-established. 

Insinuations, which might prove essentially injurious to the 
English, now resident in Paris, having been industriously propoga- 
ted here for some days past and instilled into the minds of the 
populace, tending to make it believe that Emissaries from England 
have been actively instrumental in fomenting the disorders that 
have lately been committed in this Town, I have judged expedient 
to write to M. de Montmorin the letter a copy of which I have the 
honor to send herewith enclosed, in which, as Your Grace will 



1789 BEFORE THE REVOLUTION 251 

observe, I remind that Minister of the open and friendly part 
His Majesty's Ministers took upon a late occasion, when the 
wicked scheme, in contemplation against Brest, was proposed to 
them with the view of engaging the English Court to take a share 
in it. 

I did not think it necessary to write again to Your Grace on the 
subject, conceiving that the steps I had taken to apprize the French 
Court of the conspiracy that was forming, and the warm acknow- 
ledgments that I received in consequence from His Most Christian 
Majesty through M. de Montmorin, had closed that business, and 
that the purpose of obviating the black designs that were instituted 
by the male-contents of this Country was effectually answered. 

Amongst other insinuations at this time circulated in Paris it is 
asserted that the English Ambassador is known to have been 
employed in distributing great sums of money for the purpose of 
cherishing and augmenting the discontents that prevail here ; it is 
unnecessary that I should tell Your Grace how entirely destitute 
of foundation is this as well as all other reports of the same kind, 
but it is become highly essential for my own security and likewise 
for that of the rest of my Nation now at Paris and in other parts 
of the Kingdom, that I should be furnished immediately with the 
further authority of my Court to refute in the most satisfactory 
manner possible reports evidently calculated to prejudice the 
English Nation in the eyes of the people of this Country, and 
which, if they continue to be credited, may materially affect the 
personal safety of all His Majesty's subjects at present in France. 

I have therefore to intreat Your Grace that you will lose no time 
in again repeating to me, what I have upon so many occasions been 
instructed to declare to the Minister at this Court, the unequivocal 
assurances of friendship and wishes for a continuance of that har- 
mony and good-understanding which the two Courts have mutually 
professed towards each other. 

The Baron de Stael, the Swedish Ambassador, and son-in-law of 
M. Necker, is arrived at Versailles charged with a letter from 
M. Necker to declare his consent to resume his situation at the 
head of the Finances : this letter is to be laid before the Assembler 



252 DESPATCHES FROM PARIS 1789 

Nationale this day, but M. Necker it is said will not reach Versailles 
before the middle of the week. 

I have the honor to send Your Grace the proceedings in the 
National Assembly of Thursday, Friday, and Saturday in last week. 

86. Dorset to the Duke of Leeds. 

28th July, 1789 

I had the honor of writing to Your Grace by the post of yester- 
day, a duplicate of which letter is herewith enclosed, together with 
another copy of my letter to M. de Montmorin in which a few 
immaterial alterations, (as Your Grace will perceive) were made at 
the desire of that Minister. 

M. de Montmorin communicated my letter to the President of 
the Assemblee Nationale^ by whom it was read yesterday and receiv- 
ed by the Assembly with marks of great approbation. It will afford 
me much satisfaction to know that my conduct upon this occasion 
meets with the approbation of His Majesty and of His Majesty's 
confidential servants; the critical situation of things at the moment 
required some unequivocal assurances of the pacific intentions of 
the Court of London, and there was no time to be lost in commu- 
nicating them ; for the greatest effervescence existed for several 
days in consequence of the insinuations that had been thrown out, 
and I had hints given me by persons very well-informed that it was 
unsafe for the English to appear in public, and that it was especially 
adviseable that they should not mix in any crowds which so 
frequently collect in this Town. One circumstance had rendered 
me the particular subject of animadversion. 

Baron de Castelnau, who is supposed to be much connected 
with the Comte d'Artois, was stopped the middle of last week by 
the Milice Bourgeoise, and taken for examination to the Hotel de 
Ville, where, amongst the letters found upon him, was discovered 
one, of which he had taken charge, from me to the Comte d'Artois. 

I had nothing to apprehend from the contents of my letter being 
known, which, as appeared upon it's being opened, consisted 
entirely of expressions of compliment ; but, with the strong preju- 
dice that prevails against that Prince, it was sufficient the being 



1789 BEFORE THE REVOLUTION 253 

spread abroad that I had written to the Comte d'Artois to make 
me an object of pubHc attention, and this circumstance, accompa- 
nied with other aggravating insinuations seemed to expose me as 
well as the English in general to the most disagreeable consequen- 
ces. I am willing to flatter myself that the public communication 
of my letter to M. de Montmorin will have the best effect possible; 
nevertheless Your Grace must, I am persuaded, see the necessity of 
transmitting to me without loss of time such further assurances of 
good-will towards this Country, as may be the means of entirely 
removing the unfavorable impressions that have been conceived 
here upon the idea that England was taking advantage of the 
troubles of France to commence hostilities. 

I also sent a copy of my letter, which was to be read before the 
Assemblee Nationale, to the Marquis de la Fayette, in order that 
he should lay it before the Committee at the Hotel de Ville. 

Tranquility is apparently restored in this Capital, but it cannot 
be said that the fermentation is wholly subsided, for-the accounts 
daily received here of disorders committed in the Provinces keep 
alive the flame, and the scarcity of grain continues to augment the 
general calamities : in Franche Comte the peasants have destroyed 
many of the gentleman's houses. The lawless sett of people whom 
the late tumults have set to work, make it very unsafe travelling at 
present, especially by night, and I really think it necessary that 
some public caution be given to put those upon their guard who 
may propose to visit this part of the Continent. 

It is expected that M. Necker will arrive at Versailles to-morrow, 
or at latest, on Thursday. 

The Cabinet at present consists only of M. de Montmorin; M. de 
St. Priest, and M. de la Luzerne. 

His Majesty is waiting the arrival of M. Necker to take his advice 
in regard to the other appointments. 

As there is no business of a public nature that seems to make my 
presence here essential at this time, I presume His Majesty will not 
object to my availing myself of the leave of absence transmitted to 
me by Your Grace some time ago. 

Madame la Marquise de Tourzel (whose husband was killed by 



254 DESPATCHES FROM PARIS 1789 

a fall from his horse while hunting with the King at Fontainbleau 
the last time the Court was there,) is appointed Gouvernante of the 
Royal Children, in the room of the Duchesse de Polignac. 

37. Dorset to the Duke of Leeds. 

30th July 1789. 

The numerous printed accounts, which daily appear, of all that 
passes, both at Paris and Versailles (for the liberty of the Press 
seems at present to have no bounds,) leave but little, of a public 
nature, for me to communicate to Your Grace. 

M. Necker arrived at Versailles in the night of Tuesday, much 
to the satisfaction of His Majesty and His Ministers, the affairs of 
the State having been almost wholly suspended for some time past. 
Public notice of M. Necker's return has not yet been received at 
Paris, but I take for granted that, as soon as it is formally notified 
to this Capital, the inhabitants will exhibit some testimony of their 
joy on the occasion, and will communicate to that Minister, in 
some public manner, the sentiments of gratitude and satisfaction 
with which they are impressed. 

I send Your Grace a copy of the King's letter to the Marquis de 
la Fayette respecting those men, belonging to different Regiments 
who joined in the popular cause. 

On Tuesday last the Marquis de la Fayette performed the cere- 
mony of incorporating the French Guards, under the appellation of 
Gardes de la Nation^ by which they are henceforward to be distin- 
guished : the uniform of this Regiment is to be changed, and it is 
no longer in any respect of royal institution. 

I do not know whether or not it is decided that this Regiment, 
under it's new form, will share, with the Swiss Guards, as hereto- 
fore, the King's duty at Versailles, but I should imagine that, if it 
depends on the option of the Sovereign, His Majesty will dispense 
with their attendance on His person. 

Your Grace receives, among other papers, a Recit of the taking 
of the Bastille, which I have reason to believe gives a pretty exact 
detail of the operations against that fortress, excepting that it 
greatly exaggerates the number of persons killed ; not more than 



1789 BEFORE THE REVOLUTION 255 

7 or 8 having lost their lives during the whole of that affair. The 
plan herewith inclosed, which I am told is very accurate, serves to 
illustrate the account that is given of the attack and subsequent 
advances. Either the misconduct or the pusillanimity of the 
Garrison (which indeed consisted of not more than 80 Invalids) 
rendered the capture of the Bastille a work of no great difficulty 
nor of long duration. The fate of the Governor M. de Launay, is 
generally lamented, for he was an officer of great merit, and 
always treated the prisoners committed to his charge with eveiy 
degree of lenity and humanity of which the nature of their 
situations would admit : it may be observed that the mildness of 
the present reign is strongly characterised by the small number of 
persons who were discovered in confinement in the Bastille : yet 
the considerations were not sufficient to check the fury of the 
populace, animated by the success of the enterprize and heated 
with the spirit of vengeance. 

I mentioned in a former despatch a Major White, who was one 
of the number, but I have never since been able to discover what 
became of him after his enlargement. 

Several Registers and curious papers having been brought away 
by different persons from the prison, it may be expected that 
much important information will be collected from them, whereby 
many points of history will be represented in their true colours : 
the small pamphlet I send Your Grace is supposed to contain 
authentic letters of the Marechal de Saxe : some interesting anec- 
dotes respecting the person so well known under the description 
of L'Hotnme au Masque de fer will probably come to Hght : this 
extraordinary character having been removed from the Isle 
St. Marguerite to the Bastille, where he died after a confinement of 
many years. 

Private letters from Lisle mention that, on the first news of the 
revolution at Paris being received there, many persons of opulence 
supposed to be secretly attached to the measures of the Court, 
became objects of the outrages of the populace : their houses were 
destroyed and other acts of violence were committed, but happily 
for them no attempt was made against the persons of even the 



256 DESPATCHES FROM PARIS 1789 

most obnoxious of them : the large Garrison that is always kept in 
that Town, was of little or no service on the occasion, and it was 
not 'till the Citizens had adopted the measure, pursued in the 
Capital, of forming a Milice Bourgeoise that quiet was restored : 
since that period Lisle has enjoyed perfect tranquility. 

I have the satisfaction to acquaint Your Grace that my letter to 
M. de Montmorin, having, agreeable to my request and the intent 
with which it was written, been laid before the National Assembly, 
has produced the desired effect in having very much quieted the 
minds of the public by removing the suspicions which had become 
very general in regard to the conduct of the English and the 
designs of the British Court. 

The fermentation of this Capital continues to subside, but there 
are still many parties dispersed over the Country for the purpose 
of discovering the retreats of those who are marked objects of the 
resentment of the people : but it is supposed that most of them 
have found means to quit the Kingdom. 

Letters from the Duchesse de Polignac, received by several of 
her Friends at Versailles, announced her safe larrival at Basle in 
Switzerland, together with the Due de Polignac ; the Duchesse de 
Guiche, their daughter ; and the Comtesse Diane de Polignac, the 
Duke's Sister. Mme. de Polignac's plan is to settle for some time 
in that Country. 

His Royal Highness the Comte d'Artois, I have been informed, 
is at Namur or at Bonne. His two Sons, the Due d'AngouIeme 
and the Due de Berri, are at Mons. Their Serene Highnesses the 
Prince de Conde and the Due de Bourbon, with the Due d'Enghien 
and Madame Louise, the Due de Bourbon's Sister, were at Brussels 
when the last letters came away, but their intention was not to 
remain there. 

The Prince de Conti has not been heard of since he left this 
Country. 

No less than seven Princes of the House of Bourbon and one 
Princess, have fled in consequence of the troubles, but it is scarcely 
possible to imagine that the Nation will not, when the violence of 
its resentment begins to subside, be desirous of seeing these august 



1789 BEFORE THE REVOLUTION 257 

personnages reinstated in their respective situations of dignity, 
especially too upon the motive of policy, when it is considered 
what immense sums of money will be thrown into the hands of 
foreigners, during their absence from this Kingdom. 

It is not known that any letters have been received from any of 
the late Ministers : the Baron de Breteuil is supposed to have taken 
refuge in England : M. de la Vauguyon in Switzerland. M. Baren- 
tin (late Garde des Sceaux) is gone to Avignon, and M. de Ville- 
deuil either to Brussels or Switzerland. The Due de Chatelet is 
the only person on the proscription list who remains at Versailles 
where he is perfectly safe and attends regularly his duty as Member 
of the National Assembly. 

The report of the Queen's intended visit to the Capital was void 
of all foundation, and, though it was announced in a printed paper, 
had all the appearance of having been fabricated with the malicious 
view of irritating the populace by an artificial disappointment : 
happily however the author has been disappointed in his expecta- 
tion, for nothing further has been said on the subject. 

Since the commencement of the late disturbances the Comte de 
Merci (His Imperial Majesty's Ambassador at this Court) has 
cautiously avoided appearing in Paris ; this Minister has been 
mentioned by the popular party in the most opprobrious terms as 
being the supposed adviser of the Queen : it is however to be hoped 
that his respectable character will insure him that justice from 
the public which his liberal way of thinking so much entitles him to. 

It is strongly reported that the Marechal de Broglie, at the head 
of four Regiments, attempted to enter Metz (of which place he is 
Governor) but was refused admittance : whither he has since 
retired is not known. 

M. Necker met the Duchesse de Polignac at Basle, where they 
had an interview that lasted a full hour, and received from that 
Lady the first information of His Most Christian Majesty's intention 
to request that he would return to Versailles in order to be rein- 
stated in his late situation at the head of the Finances. 

P.S. The Archbishop of Bourdeaux presented a plan yesterday 



258 DESPATCHES FROM PARIS 1789 

to the National Assembly from the Committee to which he belongs, 
proposed as a basis of a new Constitution : the principle of which 
is to form an Assembly of a certain number of persons (the number 
left for further consideration) who shall continue their functions as 
Guardians of the liberties of the people 'till such time as it may be 
found expedient to convoke another National Assembly : this idea 
seemed to meet with general approbation. 

Since writing the above I have been informed that M. Necker 
came this morning to the Hotel de Ville where he was received 
with every mark of joy and satisfaction : He was escorted from the 
Bridge at Leve by a large party of Horse of the Milice Bourgeoise, 
who also returned with him to the same place : it is expected that 
the Town will be illuminated this evening. 

38. Mr. Eden to the Duke of Leeds. 

Sep. 3rd 1789. 

...The new alarms which took place at Paris and Versailles three 
or four days ago have been removed by the spirit and activity 
of the armed Citizens who begin to be sensible that a state of 
Anarchy is a state of intolerable terror and uneasiness. They have 
accordingly arrested M. de St. Heureuges and other Leaders of the 
last Commotions ; and have taken effectual measures to disperse 
the seditious Meetings which have lately so much prevailed at the 
Palais Royal. Some degree of security is consequently restored to 
the inhabitants of this town, to the Members of the Assemblee 
Nationale, and to the Court of Versailles ; but it seems impossible 
to form any speculation as to what turn the fermentation and 
public affairs of this Kingdom may take. 

The Plan of a Constitution recommended by the Committee of the 
Assemblee Nationale and opened by Monsieur de Lally Tolendal 
would probably have procured a period of tranquiUity, and would 
have allowed the entering upon the great work of providing for 
the Debt and the Deficit, both of which in the present state of 
things are increasing every hour : but the Assemblee Nationale is 
ill circumstanced in all respects. The Members of the Noblesse and 
of the Clerge cannot bring themselves to wish cordially for any 



1789 BEFORE THE REVOLUTION 259 

result which, however necessary to the Kingdom for the sake of its 
internal tranquiUity, may sanctify the violences done to their res- 
pective classes ; and the representations of the Tiers Etat, consider- 
ed collectively, are factious, ignorant and absurd. There are in all 
the Orders some individuals of great integrity, right meaning, and 
good talents ; but in general they are under intimidation from the 
lower people of Paris and of the chief Provincial Towns ; and there 
is not yet any man who stands forwards with talents and weight to 
guide the others : In effect the Kingdom of France is at this hour 
governed by some nameless individuals who assemble every morning 
and evening at the Hotel de Ville de Paris. The Court of Versailles 
is not only in appearance but in fact in a state of imprisonment. 
The nominal Ministers of the Country avow without reserve that 
they are merely nominal. The Church is not only without influence 
but without respect, and is soon likely to be without bread. The 
Army is without discipline, and almost without soldiers. The 
treasury is without money, and nearly without credit; tho' M. Necker's 
last Rapport (which is an excellent composition) will probably 
effectuate the new loan of forty millions : and lastly the Magistracy 
is without power or functions. It is certainly possible that from 
this chaos some creation may result ; but I am satisfied that it must 
be long before France returns to any state of Existence which can 
make her a subject of uneasiness to other nations.... 

39. Copy of a letter from Mr. Jenkinson, dated 

Sep. 10th 1789. 

I was yesterday at Versailles and present at the most extraordinary 
scene I have yet witnessed, the decisions of the Three great Consti- 
tutional Questions viz. The Permanence of the Assemblee; whether 
there should be one or two Houses ; whether the King should have the 
Power of sanctioning and refusing the Laws, was fixed for that Day. 

The first was carried in the affirmative without much trouble. 
When the second was proposed, a most violent disturbance arose. 
Many members insisted that it was necessary to decide how the 
two houses were to be formed before they could come to a vote 
upon the question. The Party of M. de Mirabeau would not let 



260 DESPATCHES FROM PARIS 1789 

anybody speak, but persisted in interrupting everyone who rose, by 
crying au voix ! au voix ! 

As the President was going to put the question, M. de Lally 
Tolendal presented himself, and insisted upon being heard. He 
was supported by many members of the Assemblee. 

But the same party, persisting in interrupting him, the President 
determined to put the question, whether Mons. de Tolendal should 
be heard. This the Party of M. de Mirabeau would not permit. 
The greatest insults were offered to the President. They asserted 
that he himself had desired M. de Lally to insist on speaking, 
which he directly denied. A Member asked him sHl n'etoit pas 
lasse de fatiguer I' Assemblee. Another told him that he disgraced 
his situation. Provoked by these insults, he began by declaring 
that he adjourned the Assemblee. This they denied that he had 
the power to do. At last he left the Chair and desired they would 
chuse another President. The popular Party immediately called 
M. de Liancourt to the Chair. 

M. de L. said he had no right to take the Chair, as M. Clermont 
Tonnere had been President since him and was then in the House. 
M. de Clermont Tonnere defended the conduct of the Eveque de 
Langres, contended that he had a right to adjourn the Assemblee, 
and said that if he took the Chair, it would be merely to do the 
same thing. This was accordingly done, and the Assemblee broke 
up. At the opening of the Assemblee in the Evening, M. de Cler- 
mont Tonnere read a letter from the Eveque de Langres in which 
he confirmed the resignation of his Presidentship. The Assemblee 
would not receive his resignation and desired M. de C. Tonnere to 
preside till Saturday, the day on which they regularly chuse a new 
President. Thus these important questions remain undecided. 
Paris has been more quiet within the last Week than at any Time 
since I have been here. 

40. Copy of a letter fkom Mr. Jenkinson, dated 

Sep. 17th 1789. 

You will see by the inclosed Papers, that the two great questions 
are at length decided. The Assemblee have decreed by a majority 



1789 BEFORE THE REVOLUTION 261 

of 740 that there shall be no Upper House, and by a Majority of 
350, that the King should have only the Power to suspend the 
execution of the Laws, and not to refuse them. You may remem- 
ber, that in one of my former letters I told you, that I thought the 
Court Party had miscalculated in supposing that they should have 
a majority upon the latter question ; I heard Lord Robert Fitzge- 
rald say that from a calculation which he had seen, there would 
not be 250 Members against the Veto absolu ; I persisted in the 
contrary opinion tho' at that time, few would believe me. You 
may perhaps be surprized, that the majority on the former 
question should be so very much greater, than that on the latter, 
and I am very happy in being able to give you the reason. The 
Idea of M. Necker was to create a senate consisting of 200 Mem- 
bers. It is generally believed that the Peers of France were to be 
of the number, but in addition to them, M. de Tolendal, M. Chap- 
pelier etc. etc. to the amount of 150 were to have seats in it. The 
greater part of the Noblesse could not bear the idea, that persons 
of no rank or consideration in the Country should be raised to a 
dignity so important as this, and should be put upon a level with 
themselves. They therefore united in opposing an Upper House. 
You may depend upon this fact, I have heard many of them say it 
myself, and glory in their victory. The Clergy were actuated by a 
different motive. It is certainly their wish, that matters should be 
carried to the greatest extremities, for in that case, either this, or 
the next Assemblee, will be obliged to revise what has been done, 
and in the alterations they may think it necessary to make, they 
may perhaps be induced to reacknowledge the Dixmes, as the 
Property of the Clergy. 

For the last two or three days, the Assemblee have been wasting 
their time in useless discussions, on the succession to the Throne. 
They have as yet come to no decision. This unnecessary delay 
creates great discontent at Paris. Bread has been rather scarce 
for the last two or three days. 



262 DESPATCHES FROM PARIS 1789 

41. Fitz-Gekald to the Duke of Leeds. 

7 Oct. 1789. 

I dispatch a messenger extraordinary to give Your Grace some 
account of the unprecedented events of the day and for that pur- 
pose must carry Your Grace as far back as Thursday last which 
gave birth to the scenes of horror and confusion I have since been 
witness to. 

It being customary, My Lord, as I am informed, for the Gardes 
du Corps at Versailles to give an entertainment to any new Regi- 
ment that arrives in that Town, the Regiment de Flandres was that 
Day sumptuously entertained with a Dinner by that Corps in the 
Palace. 

After Dinner Their Majesties judged proper to honor the Com- 
pany with their presence, and to shew much seeming satisfaction 
in the general joy that prevailed among the guests. 

On their appearance the music instantly beat up to the tune of 
O Richard mon Roi, and the company joyning in a chorus seemed 
to unite all ideas in the one unanimous sentiment of loyalty, and a 
love for the King, and nothing was heard but repeated shouts of Vive 
Le Roiy within and without the Palace. Happy would it have 
been had their Festivity ended in noise and singing, but unfortu- 
nately they forgot themselves, and in the height of imprudence and 
mistaken zeal they all tore the National Cockade from their Hats 
and trampled them underfoot, with many oaths against all those 
who wore them and whom they considered as traitors to the King. 
The Garde du Corps supplied themselves with black Cockades in 
the room of those they had thrown away in such disdain, and this 
circumstance. My Lord, however trifling it sounds, was of lament- 
able consequences and proved the ruin of that fine corps of men. 
The news of this day soon reached Paris and general ill-humour 
spread visibly throughout. 

On Saturday the Palais Royal was much disturbed, and it became 
unsafe to walk the streets with black Cockades, as several strangers 
experienced, from whose hats they were torn with much violence 
and abusive language. On Sunday the confusion encreased and 



1789 BEFORE THE REVOLUTION 263 

in consequence of some motions made in the Palais Royal a vast 
concourse of people tumultuously proceeded to the Town House, 
which it is said they pillaged of some money, altho' many affirm it 
was only to demand bread and to enquire into the real causes of the 
extreme scarcity of it at this season of the Year. 

On Monday morning. My Lord, we were much surprised and at 
first much entertained with the ludicrous sight of a female army 
proceeding very clamourously, but in order and determined step 
towards Versailles. 

I do not exaggerate when I assure Your Grace that there could 
not have been less than five thousand women who, armed with 
every weapon they could possibly pick up, proceeded on this 
expedition, which bore a more serious aspect when we perceived 
they were followed by the numerous inhabitants of the Fauxbourgs 
St. Antoine and St. Marceau, besides many detachments of the 
Milice Bourgeoise. In the evening our alarms for Versailles en- 
creased with our astonishment when we found that 20,000 of the 
Milice Bourgeoise with M. de La Fayette at their head were under 
march to the support of the numerous bands of disorderly people 
who had preceded them in the course of the day. We waited 
the events with much anxiety all night and on Tuesday morning 
received the unpleasant account of there having been blood 
spilt. The Gardes du Corps were the first who fired on the Pari- 
sians and five or six people, chiefly women, were killed : the Regt. 
de Flandres was also drawn out to oppose this torrent, but the 
word to fire was no sooner given than they, to a man, clubbed 
their arms and with a shout of Vive La Nation went over to 
the Parisians, Some troops of Dragoons that are quartered at 
Versailles also laid down their Arms, and the Swiss detachments 
remained motionless having received no orders from their officers 
to fire. The Garde du Corps being thus abandoned and over- 
powered by numbers fled precipitately into the gardens and 
woods, where they were pursued and vast numbers were killed and 
taken prisoners. 

I wish. My Lord, the vengeance of the Parisians had ended 
there, but seeming desirous their fellow citizens should share and 



264 DESPATCHES FROM PARIS 1789 

witness their triumph, they carried some of the heads of their 
unhappy victims to Paris, and paraded them through the Streets 
on spikes. These dreadful scenes occupied the curiosity of all on 
Tuesday morning, when the sudden and unexpected report came 
that the King, Queen, and Royal Family were on their way to 
Paris. I confess I entertained doubts of the possibility of the 
Royal Family's moving from Versailles to Paris at so short a notice 
and was only convinced of the truth of what I heard when I saw 
the people flocking from all parts of the town and above 50,000 
Militia proceeding to line the Streets and the Road to Versailles. 
Their Majesties and the Royal Family arrived between 7 and 
8 o'clock in the evening after having been 6 hours on the Road. 
The carriages all proceeded to the Town House, but for what 
purpose I have not yet been able to learn ; the concourse of People 
that attended is not to be described and the shouts of Vive La 
Nation filled the air. From the Town House they were conducted 
to the Palace of the Thuilleries, totally unprepared for their 
reception, but where it is said they are to remain and fix their 
future residence. Such, My Lord, is the hasty but impartial ac- 
count of what has passed here ; any comments of my part must 
necessarily fall short of the occasion, as I believe the event is 
unparalleled, but I shall hope by Thursday to give Your Grace 
particulars of it all, which the shortness of my time prevents me 
from supplying you with at present. 

The conduct of the Regt. de Flanders in which the utmost 
reliance and confidence was laid, much astonished and confounded 
every body. 

Mons. de La Fayette's life, I must also remark, was menaced in 
case He refused to conduct the Milice Nationale to Versailles. 

42. Fitz-Gerald to the Duke of Leeds. 

8th Oct. 1789. 

To resume the subject that occasioned my Dispatch express 
yesterday morning, I shall inform your Grace that, H.M.C. Majesty 
and Royal Family having taken up their residence Tuesday night 
at the Thiiilleries, those Gardens were on the morning following 



1789 BEFORE THE REVOLUTION 265 

crowded with People from all quarters of the Town, who called 
loudly and impatiently out to them, and especially the Queen, to 
shew themselves. The whole day passed in that fatiguing but 
necessary Ceremony, and it is to be believed and hoped that Her 
Majesty gained many hearts by her condescension and affability 
as those very People who the day before vowed her death and 
loaded her with the most opprobrious language now shouted Vive 
La Reine and said aloud that She had been much wronged by those 
who wished her ill, but that they would prove her defence and 
support at the expence of their lives. 

This day their Majesties received the foreign Ministers and I 
shall freely confess to your Grace that their situation excited much 
compassion and was extremely moving. 

The Palace seemed in the utmost disorder, was crowded with 
all sorts of people without distinction and the dignity of Majesty 
was confounded in the chaos. 

The King was much dejected and said little. Her Majesty's 
voice faltered and the tears ran fast down her cheeks as she spoke, 
and all their Attendants seemed impressed with the deepest 
melancholy and concern : during this time, My Lord, altho' the 
second day since their arrival, the gardens were still thronged 
with people and nothing was heard but repeated screams and 
shouting, and, from the marked pain and distress on the coun- 
tenance of all the Court, I do not doubt but that they all, from 
what they had so lately experienced at Versailles, considered 
themselves in a most precarious situation and by no means secure 
from popular violence, which, indeed, it is impossible for anybody 
to say they are. The people pressed so thickly this day on all 
sides the Palace that Mons. de la Fayette judged proper to post 
strong Guards of Milice Nationale and Cannon at the chief entries 
and gateways. The Persons of the Royal Family were also guard- 
ed by the Milice Bourgeoise^ and the Gardes dtt Corps, who alone 
did their duty at Versailles on Monday, and who saved the Queen's 
life on that occasion when the Poissardes broke into her bed 
chamber at 2 o'clock in the morning, as I have since learnt are to 
be disbanded. Those unfortunate men can only shew themselves 



266 DESPATCHES FROM PARIS 1789 

here in company with the Gardes Nationales with whom they are 
seen walking about the Town arm in arm for protection. 

From the Thuilleries we went to pay our court to Monsieur and 
Madame at the Luxembourg. 

In a few days, My Lord, we may be better able to judge how 
matters will turn out, which at present it is impossible to see, as 
the blind and headlong will of the Populace directs all, and all 
submit with fear and trembling to their Government as the dang- 
erous maxims that all men are equal, and that numbers can overcome 
a few, are in the mouths of every vagabond at present : Nothing is 
now left to the superior class of people but submission and the well 
proportioned exercise of that Policy, reason and education which 
may in time give them again the superiority over the Multitude. 

The National Assembly, My Lord, still sits at Versailles 'till room 
is prepared here in the Louvres for their reception. 

They have obtained the King's sanction to those Articles of the 
Constitution and Droits de Vhomme^ which I enclose to your Grace, 
but not until they had much reprobated and condemned his first 
answer on that occasion, as your Grace will see by the No. 93 of 
the Courier Fran^aise, which contains that answer and the heads 
of the debates that ensued on it. I also enclose to your Grace 
Mons. Moreau de St. Meiy's Speech to the King on his arrival 
Tuesday night at the Town House. 

I am happy to have it in my Power to say, My Lord, that there 
were not so many of the Gardes du Corps killed as I at first imag- 
ined. There were not more than seventeen people killed in all. 

48. Fitz-Gerald to the Duke of Leeds. 

15th Oct. 1789. 

I will confess my Incapacity to give your Grace just ideas of the 
state of things here at present, as whatever observations one may 
be tempted to make one day the events of the succeeding day 
contradict in every point of view. Reports without number and of 
all natures, which one man will warmly maintain to be facts un- 
doubted, while another person supports the contrary with equal 
energy, circulate and multiply so fast that it is a matter almost 



1789 BEFORE THE REVOLUTION 267 

impossible to chuse the good from the bad or to attempt to say 
with confidence in oneself, what is or what is not to be depended 
on : I do not therefore hazard my opinion so much as I might be 
tempted to do on many occasions, did I write with a view to amuse 
more than to inform with correctness ; I therefore trust. My Lord, 
that I may not be counted deficient if I do not engross your Grace's 
attention with every idle tale with which the times too fruitful in 
mischief and depravity so fully abound. 

A most mysterious and impenetrable veil covers all at this 
moment, and from the dark face of things since the residence of 
the Royal Family in this Town, most fatal conclusions drawn : there 
are few people who do not believe that a third Revolution in affairs 
will shortly take place, and none who do not suppose it will be more 
bloody than the two former. Party, long kept low and humble by 
popular violence, which exhibited a false scene in which all played 
the same part, now gains strength and courage and it daily becomes 
more evident that there are ill-intentioned men in the State, who 
will strike any blow to obtain their purposes. Those very men 
who once stood most forward and high in the esteem of the people 
have not only fallen extremely low in their opinion, but are now 
suspected by them to have acted like other men in other Revolutions 
who, by making use of plausible pretexts and the arm of the 
multitude, obtain their own ends and neglect the interests of the 
people. 

The Duke of Orleans, to the astonishment of everybody, quitted 
Paris yesterday morning early for England, and as by a late Decree 
of the National Assembly, no members can absent themselves 
without making known their reasons to the Assembly, those He 
desired might be given for his departure were, that H.M.C. Majesty 
had charged him with a private commission to England. His 
departure is considered as the summit of imprudence at a moment 
when numberless accusations appear against him as the chief 
promoter of all the troubles and misfortunes of this Country-, in 
which ungracious service it is said he has expended the greatest 
part of his fortune. Endless conjectures, as your Grace may well 
imagine, are found on this hasty measure of His Highness, which 



268 DESPATCHES FROM PARIS 1789 

is no small triumph to his enemies who do not spare the deep die 
with which they at present stain the Prince's character. 

There is, I am assured at this moment, much bustle in the Palais 
Royal on account of his departure but not of a flattering kind to 
him, as he is reproached for it in the vilest terms by all. On 
Tuesday he had a short conversation with the King, who it is said 
received him most coldly. 

It is impossible to say. My Lord, if any conspiracy was really 
forming here, but certain it is that many people have been lately 
taken up and imprisoned on suspicion, among others are a Mons. 
de Livret, Mad"^ de Bissy and Mons, L'abbe de St. Genies, all 
people of some distinction and upon whom it is pretended that 
papers of a treasonable nature have been found. These circum- 
stances, attended with the marking of houses with chalk, which 
was observed for some nights together, spread much terror and 
alarm, which it seems from the accounts given by those people 
who were seized in the fact was the only motive. These mat- 
ters however were considered in a serious light by Mons. de la 
Fayette and the Guards at the Palace were doubled for some time 
till the minds of people became more easy and the general alarm 
was in some measure abated. 

During this time, My Lord, your Grace may conceive how 
unpleasant the situation of the Royal Family must be, deprived of 
their Body Guards and usual attendants, they are now surrounded 
by the Milice Nationale and guarded more like prisoners than 
Princes. It is now the tenth day since they have been at Paris 
and His Majesty, altho' accustomed to much exercise and hunting, 
has not been once out into the air, indeed a walk in the garden is 
deprived them, as it is constantly crowded with people, and suffer- 
ed to remain a thoroughfare. 

The Riding House at the Thuilleries has been fixed on by the 
Assembly to hold their future sittings in, and is preparing for their 
reception ; 'till it is ready, they are to meet at the Archbishop's 
Palace here. They are to come to Paris to-morrow but business 
will be suspended until Monday next, that they may have time to 
settle. It is not to be told, my Lord, how many of the members of 



1789 BEFORE THE REVOLUTION 269 

that Assembly have lately retired home, but I believe I may without 
exaggeration say that two hundred at least are gone and among 
them some of their best speakers, viz, Mons. de Lally Tolendal, 
M. Mounier and one or two more whose names I do not recollect 
at this moment. This emigration, if I may use the term, arose to 
that height as to give alarm, and caused that Decree of the Assem- 
bly which I mentioned in the former part of my Dispatch in 
speaking of the Duke of Orleans. 

Mons. de Mirabeau has stamped his character for malignity more 
than ever by a very unprovoked attack on Mons. de St. Priest for 
words which he accuses him of having uttered, but which the 
known good sense and prudence of that Minister could never have 
permitted him to hold. Your Grace will see what I allude to by 
Mons. de St. Priest's letter which I enclose and which is much 
admired and depended on by all for integrity, altho ' Mons. de 
Mirabeau persists in the accusation and insists on the Comite des 
Recherches taking cognizance of the affair. 

The Royal Family receive the Foreign Ministers, My Lord, 
twice a week, at present on Sundays and Thursdays, which last 
day I shall confess to your Grace puts me to the greatest inconve- 
nience, as I cannot commence my Dispatch till a very late hour as 
that ceremony occupies the best part of the forenoon. I therefore 
hope, my Lord, to meet with forgiveness if I have omitted any 
circumstances worthy of attention in the hurry I am obliged to 
write in, and shall submit to your Grace's consideration whether it 
would not be proper to change the day for my Dispatches for the 
reasons above mentioned. 

44. Fitz-Gekald to the Duke of Leeds. 

19th Oct. 1789. 

Since my last, I have learnt that H. S. Highness, the Duke of 
Orleans has been stopped at Boiilogne-sur-Mer on his way to 
England. The circumstances seem to be as follows: His departure 
was no sooner known here than some gentlemen of his party pur- 
sued him with the utmost expedition and reached Boulogne before 
him, where they strongly represented the impropriety of his leaving 



270 DESPATCHES FROM PARIS 1789 

France at this moment, declared that all Paris disapproved of it 
and that if he was suffered to go, his Friends must fall a prey to 
their enemies : On this, the Municipal Officers of that town repre- 
sented the danger to his Highness, and requested of him to delay 
his journey and accept of a Guard of Honor while with them, 
which was immediately sent to him with the Colours of the Town, 
and he was treated with the utmost respect. The Corporation of 
Boulogne immediately dispatched Messengers to Paris with his 
Pass- Ports, to know if they were good and valid, upon the verifica- 
tion of which, they returned yesterday to Boulogne, and it is sup- 
posed His Highness will be suffered to proceed to England 
without further Impediment. 

45. Fitz-Gerald to the Duke of Leeds. 

22 Oct. 1789. 

... I could have wished to inform your Grace that as the Parisians 
had obtained their warmest wishes in receiving the King and the 
States General of the Nation within their walls, that peace and 
quiet were restored to this Capital, but that is by no means the 
case, and the prospect we have before us is not in any respect 
flattering. 

The National Assembly commenced business at the Archbishop's 
Palace on Monday last, which day, altho' it is considered here as 
sinister, as it produced the two last great changes in Affairs, passed 
however very peaceably, altho' many Members, especially the 
clerical part of them, had much reason to tremble for their safety 
as the Inveteracy of the populace against the Clergy is by no 
means abated. Indeed their severe hand is still felt here and the 
sad effects of it are but too visible, as was proved yesterday by 
their cruel treatment of a baker, in whose house they pretended to 
say there was meal hidden which he would not bake, altho' they 
wanted bread. The unfortunate and innocent man fell a sacrifice 
to their barbarity and his head being cut off, it was paraded as 
usual about the town on a long spike : — The indifference people 
shewed at this melancholy spectacle was more shocking. My Lord, 
than the clamorous applause that usually attended those sights as 



1789 BEFORE THE REVOLUTION 271 

it shewed that they were famiharized with blood and that the 
massacre of a poor individual was considered as a matter of course, 
if he fell under their displeasure. This inhuman procession was 
suffered in the streets of Paris for several hours before the Milice 
interfered, but happily the four principal actors in the horrid deed 
were at length seized and are now under Trial and it is expected 
will be hanged this day, if the fear of the populace, who are at 
this moment in vast crowds on the Place de Greve, (the Place of 
Execution) does not suspend the Hand of Justice. This distur- 
bance, as may be believed, caused much agitation in the Assembly 
as soon as it was made known there by a Deputation express from 
the Town House who, in the course of their relation of the facts, 
declared that good order could not be restored without a Martial 
Law being put into force against riotous and tumultuous Assem- 
blies of the People. The Order of the Day was suspended, and 
the ComiU de Constitution having taken the matter into considera- 
tion a Martial Law was immediately prepared, and unanimously 
agreed to by the Assembly, the Heads of which I have transcribed 
and transmit herewith. The Law having received the Royal 
Sanction was proclaimed aloud this day by the Heralds in the 
different quarters of the town. 

The Garde des Sceaux, My Lord, was summoned yesterday to 
answer to the Assembly for some Decrees of that Senate, which, it 
was said, he had not yet sent into some Provinces, but that Min- 
ister giving a satisfactory account of the cause of the delay the 
matter was dropt without further enquiry. 

There is nothing material from the Provinces, My Lord, except 
that the States of Dauphine are said to be convoked, and it is sup- 
posed that the events that have lately taken place here are the 
objects to be taken into consideration by them. In general from 
the silence that has prevailed in the Country, one is tempted to 
believe that the Royal Proclamation in which the attempt is made 
to impose on the public credulity by endeavouring to persuade the 
people that His Majesty had voluntarily consented to his detention 
here, had produced the desired effect and attained its object in 
maintaining peace. 



272 DESPATCHES FROM PARIS 1789 

Under the extraordinary circumstances which have occasionally 
been conveyed to your Grace of the finances of this Country, it 
may become an object of enquiry how the expences of the Army 
and Navy are furnished ! To explain this, My Lord, it is necessary 
to observe that, altho' M. Necker took a particular moment to 
display the distresses of the Tresor Royal, it was more to answer 
his immediate purpose than to give a true description of the gene- 
ral sums there deposited, many Provinces having paid with great 
exactitude all the taxes levied upon them, and particularly those 
which come under the denomination of Provinces cedees. These 
sums have universally been applied to the purposes above- 
mentioned, and the demands have lately been considerably dimi- 
nished from the extraordinary desertion of soldiers, the reduction 
of many officers, and the suspension of every degree of exertion 
in the different Ports, that is not absolutely necessary to keep 
their fleet in some degree of repair. 

The distress has arisen chiefly to those whose money was 
employed in the public Funds, and they are for the moment the 
sufferers, as so little is paid them, and that with such inaccuracy, 
that the Nation in fact, may be called a Bankrupt, tho' it is Treason 
to declare it so. 

It is now known for a certainty here, My Lord, that the Town 
and Citadel of Belgrade are taken. 

P.S. I have this instant learnt that the people who murdered 
the baker yesterday were hung this day. 

46. Fitz-Gerald to the Duke of Leeds. 

29th Oct. 1789. 

I have had the honor to receive your Grace's Dispatches No. 8 
by post and No. 9 by the ordinary conveyance : to the latter which 
relates entirely to the Duke of Orleans I have, my Lord, paid 
every attention and made every enquiry possible on that head. 
Excepting the two or three first days after his departure, His 
Serene Highness was little spoke of, and he is latterly become a 
subject of as much indifference here as he was formerly an object 



1789 BEFORE THE REVOLUTION 273 

of popularity. When he is spoken of it is with the utmost con- 
tempt and in thorough detestation of his character by many, and 
with extreme indifference by others : by the NobiUty, He is 
generally ill spoken of and among the people, he is only kept from 
sinking entirely, by the shattered remains of his popularity, which 
has decayed with a fortune that, all agree in saying, was scattered 
amongst them with a degree of liberality the more extraordinary, 
as that Prince was never before distinguished for that quality. At 
Court, My Lord, I can not exactly say how he stands, but I 
strongly presume that notwithstanding his Commission to the 
Court of Great Britain, and his Credential Letter to His Majesty, 
that he is in high disfavour with the Most Christian King. In 
short, My Lord, the general idea is that that Prince was chief 
promoter of all the disturbances here, of the expedition on Monday 
the 5th of this month to Versailles, that his designs against the 
King were of a very criminal nature, that he aimed at the Regency 
of the Kingdom for himself, and proposed to bring his own party 
into power. It is supposed also, that Mons. de la Fayette is the 
person who discovered the conspiracy forming, and that having 
made it known to the King, His Majesty in goodness of heart 
employed him on a pretended Commission to England, as a pretext 
only, and to shield him by honorable exile from further pursuit. 

In the National Assembly I should suppose, his Highness had 
still many friends : The Baron Menore proposed there that, as 
Deputy of Cressy, He should be summoned to return and account 
for his conduct to the Assembly, as it not only raised strong 
suspicion against him, but was also very prejudicial to many 
members who were his friends. The Due de Liancourt combatted 
the motion with much energy, the Duke of Orleans was not 
formally impeached, he said, the National Assembly was not to 
listen to or to be biased by libels and vague reports, and his 
motion, qu'il n'y avoit pas lieu a deliberer being adopted, his High- 
ness was made no more mention of in that House. The enclosed 
Pamphlet entitled Domine salvum fac Regem pretends to develop 
the whole mystery, but to pronounce him guilty of all that he is 
accused of would be as rash as to declare him perfectly innocent. 

l8 



274 DESPATCHES FROM PARIS 1789 

I trust, My Lord, I may be pardoned for speaking so freely of His 
Serene Highness in which, I can have no other views, than strictly 
to inform your Grace, as far as in me lies, of the impression made 
on the different parties here by his unexpected journey to England. 

The last week, My Lord, has passed very peaceably here, but 
should we want bread again, which indeed is alarmingly scarce, I 
must fear that the Martial Law will not protect us from violence 
of some sort or other ; one or two of the districts protested 
against the Law and declared their non-compliance with it, but 
not being supported, judged proper to apologize awkwardly to the 
Assembly and to accede in appearance, altho' it is, I fear, with 
foundation, believed that if the Milice Nationale are called to act, 
that they will not do their duty. Altho', as I have said above, we 
have been tolerably quiet of late days ; yet. My Lord, our position 
is by no means pleasant, the greatest jealousy still subsists between 
all orders of men : the sixty Districts, which are absolutely so 
many little Sovereignties within the Metropolis, exercise the most 
despotic rule over all. The Royal Family are confined to the 
Thuilleries and their situation, which is literally imprisonment, 
excites pity in the breast of every feeling man. 

Conspiracies and plots are still supposed to be forming, and a 
Comite des Recherches is established at the Hotel de Ville and rewards, 
to the amount of a thousand Louis, are held out to those who will 
discover the enemies of the State and the public welfare : a Mons. 
Augeard, a Farmer General, with many others, being strongly 
suspected, were seized and imprisoned some nights ago. 

A decree of the utmost importance has passed the Assembly 
nearly in these terms : — 

" Toutes Convocations par ordre est contraire aux precedents 
" Decrets de I'Assemblee Nationale et il sera surcis a toute Convo- 
" cation d'Etats jusqu'a ce que I'Assemblee Nationale ait determine 
" la Mode des Convocations dont elle s'occupe presentement ". 
The blow is levelled chiefly at the States of Dauphine which are 
convened for the 2nd of next month : the true cause is unknown as 
yet, but is presumed to be in the intention to recall their Deputies 
as that Province, it is said, is highly displeased at the king's and 



1789 BEFORE THE REVOLUTION 275 

National Assembly's having been obliged to fix their residence at 
Paris, where they are at the mercy of a numerous and outrageous 
Populace. The consequences of this Resolution of the Assembly 
it is feared will be serious, and a civil war is talked of as infallible, 
if matters do not go on better than they do in the Provinces in 
general, which are much discontented. At Toulouse, the Nobility 
and the Parliament met and passed some strong Resolutions, the 
chief of which were, to restore the Laws to force and the King to 
his power and liberty, as they expressed themselves. 

Information was received yesterday. My Lord, in the National 
Assembly from Vernon, in Normandy, that a Gentleman who had 
been commissioned from hence to purchase grain for the Capital 
had been hanged by the populace there. A courier was instantly 
dispatched to that town with orders to put the Martial Law 
into execution against the rioters but the event is not yet known 
here 

47. Fitz-Gerald to the Duke of Leeds. 

6th Nov. 1789. 

I have had the honor to receive your Grace's Dispatches Nos. 1 1 
and 12 and agreable to instructions given me in the former, I have 
commenced my dispatch on this day instead of Thursday, and shall 
continue so to do in future. 

In regard to the latter number which relates to His Serene 
Highness, the Duke of Orleans, I must assure your Grace that I 
have every reason to believe that his Commission to England was 
a pretended one, and that no precise instructions on any head 
were given to the Duke by his Most Christian Majesty : and so far 
from any degree of weight being given to the reports which the 
Duke may from time to time transmit to this country, I do believe 
that there is not the smallest share of confidence reposed in him, 
either by the King, his Sovereign, the National Assembly or any 
part of the City of Paris, but on the contrary, that he is considered 
in a contemptuous light by all, as his friends even do not come 
forward to the support of his character which is daily attacked. 
I can therefore, My Lord, consider his departure only as an exile, 



276 DESPATCHES FROM PARIS 1789 

notwithstanding the reports lately spread here of his speedy return, 
and that his absence was judged expedient by the Court so far only 
as it was prudent at this moment not to proceed in rigour against 
him, but on the contrary in cautious policy even to cover his 
retreat, and thus avoid any measure which might revive the disor- 
ders which have lately afflicted this Capital, or expose the Royal 
Family to insult from the people. I shall here, My Lord, quote 
words which I have good reason to believe dropped from Mons. de 
La Fayette in talking of the Duke. Si favois eu des preuves plus 
certaines il ne tenoit qu'a inoi de lui faire trancher la Tete. Yet, My 
Lord, all is conjecture still with regard to this extraordinary 
Mission, and people are as anxious here to know the truth, and are 
as ignorant perhaps of the real causes of his absence from this 
Country, as they may be in England. 

With respect to other matters here. My Lord, they by no means 
mend, but wear a worse aspect than ever and people seem now as 
if prepared for the worst : They are in general extremely dejected 
and the most timorous talk now as if their patience was worn out 
by their fears, and were desirous the storm which impends their 
heads would burst and over-whelm them, or relieve them from 
their distresses and anxiety of mind. A scarcity of bread was felt 
yesterday, and it was feared the Fauxbourgs St. Antoine and 
St. Marceau would rise last night ; the marks of fear were in con- 
sequence evidently traced on every countenance at Court, and the 
Queen, turning to a Lady who sat near her at cards, in a low voice 
expressed her dread at what might happen, and observed that 
to-morrow was the sixth of the month, alluding to what passed the 
6th of last month when the Royal Family was obliged to quit 
Versailles. — 

Nothing serious however has yet taken place in those quarters of 
the town, as since the scarcity which we experience of bread, 
precautions have been used, and the Guards and Patrols are 
everywhere doubled. 

The great question sur les Biens ecclesiactiques, My Lord, is 
decided against the Clergy, as the Arrete of the Assembly on that 
point has not yet appeared in the prints which I transmit to your 



1789 BEFORE THE REVOLUTION 277 

Grace, I have transcribed it and annexed it hereto. The joy and 
triumph of the people on the defeat of the Clergy is not to be 
expressed, during all the debates on that important question they 
had assembled in prodigious numbers round the Assembly, and had 
the Question been decided otherwise, it is supposed that the 
mob would have destroyed every ecclesiastic belonging to that 
House ; as it is, the person of a Clergyman is not secure from 
violence, and they can not appear in the streets but in disguise. 
This aversion to their Priests, it is justly supposed will in the 
course of time produce as great a revolution in religious, as has 
been experienced in, civil matters. 

The National Assembly, My Lord, has also borne a fatal blow to 
the Parliaments of this Kingdom, as your Grace will see by the last 
Declaration du Roy which is with the other prints herewith enclo- 
sed. The suspension of the parliaments is considered as a prudent 
measure at this moment and may be of good effect in preventing a 
civil war which, the continual remonstrance that might be expected 
from those Courts, and their great influence in some Provinces 
might have produced. 

These, My Lord, are the principal and most essential points that 
have come of late before the Assembly. The abolition of noble 
Titles and the extinction of orders from the St. Esprit down to the 
Croix de St. Louis, it is said, are to come on next ; birth, fortune 
and favour are to lose all influence and every man from the meanest 
station in life is to rise to the highest honors in the State if he has 
merit sufficient to convey him to them. Such, My Lord, is the 
total subversion of all things in this country, and so general is the 
disgust that I can conceive that nothing but a bloody Civil War 
can ever possibly restore matters to any degree of order. 

It would be endless for me to relate and tedious to your Grace 
to read the continual acts of violence that are still exercised every 
where. All DiscipHne among the Troops is at an end, desertion is 
encouraged and remains unpunished, and there have been several 
instances of towns refusing admittances to the King's Troops which 
had received orders from Government to change their quarters. 

The Baron de Besenval who has been so long confined at Brie- 



278 DESPATCHES FROM PARIS 1789 

Comte-Robert is ordered to Paris to take his trial at the Chatelet, 
which is directed by the National Assembly to take cognizance of 
the crime of Leze Nation until a proper tribunal is appointed by 
them to examine cases of that nature. 

The Prince de Lambesc, who is now in Italy, is also impeached 
for Leze-Nation^ altho' they can only accuse him of cutting down a 
man with his hanger, in the Thuilleries in the affair of the 12th July 
last, who had seized the bridle of his horse and endeavoured to 
dismount him. The man is recovered of his wound, but it is belie- 
ved that the Prince will be hanged in effigy and be thus banished 
his native Country for life. 

It is said, My Lord, that Mons. Necker and the Comile des Finan- 
ces are agreed in the expediency of converting the Caisse d'Escompte 
into a Caisse Nationale, but if anything of this nature does take 
place soon, your Grace may depend upon my giving the fullest 
information I can obtain on the subject 

48. Fitz-Gerald to the Duke of Leeds. 

28th Dec. 1789. 

I take the liberty of troubling your Grace with a few lines this 
day to communicate a circumstance, which altho' seemingly simple 
in itself, does not fail of being much talked of here, and which by 
some is considered in a serious, by others in a more frivolous, light 
and by many people in a most flattering point of view. It is as 
follows : 

The Marquis de Farras having been arrested on Thursday 
evening last, accused of a conspiracy against the life of Mons. de la 
Fayette and the Mayor of Paris, a printed paper soon after 
appeared and was hawked about the streets in which the name of 
Monsieur the King's Brother was atrociously committed as being 
of intelligence with Mons. de Farras in the pretended plot. Upon 
this His Royal Highness thought proper on Saturday evening last 
to betake himself to the Hotel de Ville and there make a public 
declaration of his innocence, which he did in the terms as are 
hereto annexed. This, My Lord, is the whole of that affair which 



1789 BEFORE THE REVOLUTION 279 

has made so much talk here, and which many people do not 
scruple to say was a snare intentional laid for Monsieur to declare 
his way of thinking and finally to destroy the hopes of the Arislo- 
crates who might otherwise, while Monsieur appeared neuter, have 
availed themselves of his name to give strength to their party. 



DESPATCHES FROM PARIS 

Jan.-June 1790, 



790 



1, Fitz-Gerald to the Duke of Leeds. 

1st Jan. 1790. 

I have had the honor to receive your Grace's Dispatch No. 14 
to which I shall pay every attention, and will, without loss of time, 
make the necessary representations to Government here on the 
important matter contained in it. 

As the subject of Finance seems principally to occupy the atten- 
tion of people here at present, I may remind your Grace that I had 
the honor of observing to you some time ago that the patriotic 
contribution would be but a feeble Ressource and never produce a 
sum adequate to M. Necker's expectations, and I can now add that 
the event has justified the assertion. By a decree of the National 
Assembly of Oct. 6th '89 the public Registers appointed to receive 
the signatures of the patriotic subscribers were to be closed the 
last day of December, and the sums subscribed were to be paid into 
the Treasury at three different payments, viz, on the first day of 
April, in the three subsequent years, but such has been the reluc- 
tance discovered by the people of property throughout the Nation 
to contribute a fourth or indeed any part of their Revenue towards 
the support of Government, that the National Assembly have 
resolved this week that the publick Registers throughout the 
Kingdom should be kept open for two months more, at the expira- 
tion of which term, the names of the subscribers are to be publish- 
ed, with an account of the sums respectively contributed and the 
Municipalities are empowered d'appeller tons ceux qui seront en 
Retard. 

M. Necker in his memorial has estimated the probable amount 



284 DESPATCHES FROM PARIS 1790 

of the patriotic contribution at 160 millions of Livres and has anti- 
cipated the receipts by borrowing 60 millions of the Caisse d'Es- 
conipte on account, but your Grace will form an idea of that 
Ministers' disappointment when I assure you that I have good 
authority for asserting that the totality of the sums subscribed 
throughout the Kingdom do not amount at present to 18 millions^ 
and I do not believe that, without compulsory means, the patriotic 
Contribution Fund will never be very productive, and, according 
to the present doctrines, such measures, even for the promotion of 
the publick good, would be deemed incompatible with the Princi' 
pies of the Revolution. I may here mention, My Lord, the extra- 
ordinary Resolution of the National Assembly on Tuesday evening 
last. They refused accepting a gift of 900,000 Livres which were 
offered to the state by certain members of the Republic of Geneva, 
lest it should furnish them hereafter with a pretext of demanding 
the assistance of this Country in support of the Aristocratical Party 
in that Republic. 

In addition to what I mentioned on Monday last concerning the 
Marquis de Farms, My Lord, I may observe that he was not only 
accused of conspiracy against the life of Mons. de La Fayette and 
M. Bailli, but of having formed the plan of taking possession of 
the Thuilleries and of conveying the King to Peronne ; it is further 
said that he had engaged 30,000 men in his interests who were to 
have assisted him in the executions of his mad projects. Whether 
this Conspiracy be real or fictitious, it has caused great alarm to 
the Parisians, and Mons. de Farras with his Wife, Mtne de FarraSy 
a German Lady of high distinction, and other agents in this plot 
are now confined in the Abbayc de St. Germain Prison, where they 
wait their trial. Excepting these pretended plots and conspiracies, 
in which I do believe there is litterally nothing, My Lord, the 
Capital is in every respect perfectly tranquil. 

Mons. d' Albert de Rioms who is arrived here from Toulon has 
offered himself at the Bar of the National Assembly and expressed 
his wish to be heard in vindication of his conduct which several 
members have unjustly attacked, but party spirit has discovered 
itself in the National Assembly with much virulence on the occa- 



1790 BEFORE THE REVOLUTION 285 

sion, and he has never been able to obtain a hearing, and those 
who attempt to defend the cause of that worthy officer, especially 
Mons. de Malouet, his Friend, and a man of distinguished merit 
and character meet with the most clamorous opposition. I here- 
with enclose, My Lord, Mons. Malouet's opinion on that affair. 

This day, being the first of the year, the foreign ministers, My 
Lord, all attended at Court instead of yesterday as usual. The 
Procession of the Cordon Bleu and other various ceremonies on the 
occasion detained us later than usual, which I trust. My Lord, will 
in some measure apologize for the hurry I have been obliged to 
employ in the dispatch 

2. Fitz-Gerald to the Duke of Leeds. 

15 Jan. 1790. 

The Deliberations of the National Assembly this week have been 
chiefly confined to the mode of punishment to be inflicted on the 
Chambre des Vacations du Parlemenl de Rennes, whose members, as 
your Grace will see in the sentence passed upon them, which is 
given at length in the Gazelle Nalionale^ are pronounced incapable 
of holding any civil office until such time as all the Members in 
their collective capacity shall petition the National Assembly to be 
admitted to take the oaths of allegiance and fidelity to the new 
Constitution. 

I should not be justified in truth. My Lord, was I to say that the 
same tranquillity reigns here at this moment as we have lately 
enjoyed. All last week, each day, I may almost say, convinces us 
of the contrary and occasions much alarm. The inveteracy of 
Party has risen to an enormous pitch and the aristocratical Party 
most weak, and consequently most imprudent, is reduced to reek 
revenge in the poor means of abuse and bitter language, which 
ends in duels and tends only to destroy all harmony and render 
the triumph of the Popular Party more compleat, who being 
become insolent in their successes, seek every means to mortify 
and humble the others. Duels have of late been extremely fre- 
quent and some days ago the Due d'Aiguilla,a. gentleman of violent 
republican principles was engaged for the second time in an affair 



286 DESPATCHES FROM PARIS 1790 

of honor, with a Monsieur de Medarri whom he wounded, after 
having dedined a challenge which was offered him by the Abbe 
Maury^ in the National Assembly where the Duke, in his capacity 
of Secretary endeavoured to prevent him from speaking in his turn. 
The Abbe told him that he would light him either with sword or 
pistol, and that he feared him neither as a man or as a woman, 
alluding by that to the affair of Versailles in October last, where it 
is said, and generally believed, that the Duke was disguised as a 
Poissarde and headed those women who broke into the Queen's 
apartment from which she so happily escaped in time. 

I mention these circumstances. My Lord, to give your Grace an 
idea of the temper that prevails among the better classes of People, 
before I come to that which actuates the mass of the people, and 
which is more dangerous and important in its consequences. 

On Friday last the Labourers employed in the King's Gardens at 
Versailles assembled with many others in a tumultuous manner in 
the Market- Place, and insisted on a diminution in the price of 
Bread, but the tumult was appeased by the shew of arms and the 
price of Bread was continued at its former rate of 3 Sols pr. Pound ; 
The spirit of insurrection however seemed contagious as the day 
following the Fauxbourg St. Antoine here rose and expressed much 
discontent on the same grounds and on Sunday Morning last they 
surrounded the Hotel de Ville and threatened violent means if their 
Request of a Diminution in the price of Bread was not complyed 
with : Mons. de la Fayette harangued them for some time, and 
with many promisses that the city would exert its utmost to relieve 
their necessities, he appeased them and they retired, but it is diffi- 
cult to say how long these poor people will remain satisfied with 
these assurances as the spirit of discontent is roused and indeed 
seems manifest throughout Paris : the popular frenzy was at one 
time also unfortunately directed against the Baron de Bezenval ; 
his head was called for by the pressing crowd at the Chatelet 
some evenings ago, who endeavoured to force the Guard, crying 
out at the same time, La Garde a la Lanterne ! but the Guard 
remained steady and a reinforcement arriving in time the mob was 
dispersed. 



1790 BEFORE THE REVOLUTION 287 

Mons. de Bezenval's innocence is so clear that he must necessar- 
ily be acquitted, altho' the greatest danger will attend his enlarge- 
ment both in respect to his own person and the Judges who acquit 
him. The fate of Mons. de Farras it is generally believed will be 
more decisive, the evidence given by Mons. de St. Priest against 
him will convict him of the crime of Leze Nation and probably 
prove his ruin : It appears that that Minister was accosted in 
August last in the Gallery at Versailles by a gentleman unknown to 
him, who informed him that he was willing to sacrifice his hfe to 
extricate the King from his state of dependency and that he would 
seek an opportunity of destroying Mons. de la Fayette and Mons. 
Bailli if he, the Minister, would supply him with 1200 horses to 
mount 1200 men whom he had at his entire disposal. 

Mons. de St. Priest could not listen to such a scheme but desir- 
ing to know his Name, the person answered that he was M. de 
Farras. The most extraordinary occurrence of this week, My 
Lord, and which baffles all conjecture as to the real cause and 
object of it, happened on Tuesday last. Between two and three 
hundred of the Gardes Nationales Soldees assembled in the Champs 
Elizees between 12 and one o'clock that day armed with pistols and 
swords, with intention, it is said to demand an encrease of pay. 
About the same hour Mons. de la Fayette at the Head of several 
detachments of Militia, Horse and Foot marched out and having 
surrounded the Champs Elizes most of the Mutineers were seized, 
stripped of their Regimentals and conducted to prison. Their fate 
will be determined by a Court Martial which is to be held this 
day. Your Grace will agree with me in thinking it not a little 
extraordinary that three hundred men who had secret designs to 
execute should at broad day awkwardly suffer themselves to be 
surprised in this manner without having received any previous 
notice of the large force that was coming against them, altho' it 
was known in ye morning that Mons. de la Fayette intended to 
assemble many troops in the Champs Elizes that Day, altho' the 
reasons indeed were not accounted for. 

I have nothing interesting to add now, My Lord, but in my next 
will hope to collect some intelligence with regard to the Finances 



288 DESPATCHES FROM PARIS 1790 

of the Country, which topic has not of late come forward, altho' it 
is a most interesting and critical one. — 

I enclose several Papers to your Grace, and among others the 
Adresse aux Provinces which seems to be the most faithful picture 
of the times I have yet seen. I also transmit M. Necker's Compte 
General des Revenues etc. given in by him to the Comite des Finan- 
ces and which only appeared in print yesterday. That Minister is 
indisposed, My Lord, and not thought to be in a favourable way 
by any means 

8. Fitz-Gerald to the Duke of Leeds. 

1 Feb. 1790. 

I take the liberty of troubling Your Grace with a few lines by 
this day's post to communicate a circumstance which took place 
on Friday last, but too late in the day for me to communicate it to 
your Grace by that day's Dispatch. 

The Baron de Besenval, whose Trial commenced at 12 o'clock 
and lasted till eight in the evening was honorably acquitted and 
immediately enlarged from confinement. Mons. Barentin, le Cte. 
de Puysegur, le Marechal de Broglie and the Marquis d' Autichamp 
were also acquitted and are now at liberty to return to this country 
if they think proper. 

There is no greater proof in my opinion, My Lord, of the peace- 
able disposition of the Capital, and of the confidence of the people 
in the virtues of their Magistrates than the tranquilhty which 
reigned when the Baron de Besenval was set at liberty. He was 
suffered to return to his house here and now goes about Paris 
without the least molestation or interruption on the part of those 
very people who some weeks ago endeavoured to force his prison 
and called for his head. 

It is generally said and believed. My Lord, that H.M.C. Majesty 
intends going down to the National Assembly in the course of this 
week with a view to destroy all the malicious reports spread 
throughout the Nation respecting his Situation here and the vulgar 
notion of his being obliged, against his will, to sanction all the 
Decrees of the Assembly, and likewise to declare himself openly, 



k 



1790 BEFORE THE REVOLUTION 289 

to the Nation at large, to be the true friend and constant support 
of the Revolution and the Representatives of the People. 

4. Fitz-Gerald to the Duke of Leeds. 

5 Feb 1790. 

I had the honour to inform your Grace on Monday last by post 
that it was generally believed here that H.M.C. Majesty intended 
going down to the National Assembly in the course of the week. 
That event, for such indeed it may be termed, accordingly took 
place yesterday : about eleven o'clock a message was received in 
the Assembly from His Majesty to acquaint them of his intention, 
and that He would appear about twelve without ceremony. — 
The applause on this occasion was very great and all the exulting 
joy of triumph was manifested on that side of the house which is 
occupied by the popular Party. The Aristocratical Party remained 
in sullen silence and seemed deeply hurt by this step on the part 
of the King which they consider'd as their final blow, as indeed 
it is. 

A Deputation from the Assembly was sent to meet the King and 
a little after 12 o'clock His Majesty made his appearance escorted 
only by those gentlemen and others of His Household, who attend 
him in his usual walks in the Thuilleries. 

A Chair of State was fixed in the room of that of the President, 
whose chair was placed on a level with it at the King's right hand. 
These arrangements took place according to the directions of the 
Assembly and I was not a little surprised, My Lord, to hear the 
President say that, as probably his Majesty would not sit down 
but stand while He read his Discourse, all contestation with 
respect to etiquette would be avoided ; I confess I did not rightly 
understand what He meant, but the expression roused my sur- 
prise as it did the indignation of the Aristocratical Side of the 
Assembly from whence a cry of Quelle Etiquette ! Quelle Etiquette ! 
Qu'est-ce-que (a veut done dire ? instantly proceeded. — All the Mem- 
bers rose when His Majesty entered and he was received with 
loud Acclamations and applause of hands. Having read his 
Speech standing and the President having made a short reply in 

19 



290 DESPATCHES FROM PARIS 1790 

compliment to his Majesty, He retired on foot, as He came, 
through the Gardens. I have the honor to enclose herewith to 
your Grace four copies of his H.M.C. Majesty's Speech. 

An address of thanks was afterwards moved but retarded to give 
room to a ceremony, which seemed to originate in the warmth of 
patriotism but which, most probably, was suggested in policy and 
with deeper views. It was proposed and by the Majority agreed 
to, that every Member should, before he quitted the Assembly that 
day, take the Civic Oath and swear fidelity to the Nation, the 
Law and the King, and to support the New Constitution, such as it 
is decreed by the Assembly and sanctioned by the King, to the 
extent of his power. However averse many were to swear fidelity 
to a Constitution not yet formed, yet all were forced to it as none, 
who at the time were absent, were to be admitted into the Assem- 
bly again unless they took the oath. The President first pronounc- 
ed the oath from the Tribune^ and every member of the House 
successively followed him, as his name was called, and stretching 
out his hand pronounced the words ^e le jure. But neither this 
oath of Union and Attachment to the great Cause or His Majesty's 
Speech which so strongly recommends both, will ensure either 
between the two parties, but tend rather to widen the breach 
between them and create more ill-blood. These same measures, 
however, considered in another point of view, may produce a good 
effect in the generality of the Nation, and inspire that confidence 
which is so much wanting to render the Revolution effective, and 
without which the new Constitution may prove abortive, for now 
the King having pledged himself to support the Constitution, and 
made known his sentiments respecting the Revolution in so formal 
a manner, together with this shew of Union in the National 
Assembly, lost Credit may revive, and purchasers for the Crown 
and Church Lands may come forward with advantageous offers, 
and on their successful alienation very much, perhaps all, depends. 
This seems to be the great object in view with the National 
Assembly when they pointed out that measure to H.M.C. Majesty 
and perhaps the King and his Ministers adopted it the more readily 
as they considered it as the surest means of ensuring the confidence 



1790 BEFORE THE REVOLUTION 291 

of the Assembly, and thereby inducing them to come to some 
determinations respecting the executive power which has been so 
long withheld and to this day remains suspended and unentered 
upon. 

Excepting the detail of yesterday's proceedings, My Lord, and 
the conduct of the Chatnbre des Vacations de Rennes which has 
imitated the late one in refusing to register the Decrees of the 
National Assembly and the measures taken by the Assembly on the 
occasion, the whole given at large in the Gazette Natiottale, this 
week affords nothing new here. From the Provinces however, we 
have repeated accounts of violences committed on the part of the 
Peasantry against the Gentry and of endless contestations, not only 
between the troops and the Milice Bourgeoise, but between the 
troops and their own officers ; a very singular affair of this Nature 
and which is fully authenticated, took place some time ago at 
Bethiine. The Regt. of Vivarais having received orders to quit 
that town and march to Verdun positively refused to obey altho' 
the Colonel read the orders which he had received from the King 
to that purpose to the Regt. when drawn up on Parade. The 
Colonel then proposed to all those who were faithful to their King 
and their oaths to follow him to Verdun, upon which all the offi- 
cers, Serjeants and Corporals and about 100 Privates joined him and 
marched out of the Town of Bethune with their Colours, but they 
were soon after pursued, the Colours taken from them and brought 
back to Bethune by the Mutineers. The King has sent new Colours 
to those who remained faithful to his service at Verdun and the 
remaining part of the Regiment to the number of 600 men was 
broke, and now wanders through the Country without a leader 
and without subsistance ; having plundered the inhabitants of 
Bethune they were driven out of the Town by the Milice NalionaUy 
they then directed their march towards Douay, but that Town 
having shut its gates against them, it is supposed that they have 
marched into Flanders to offer their services to the patriots. 



292 DESPATCHES FROM PARIS 1790 

5, Fitz-Gerald to the Duke of Leeds. 

Feb 19th 1790. 

It is not within the reach of conjecture to fix the period when 
this Country will see an end to her calamities or enjoy the benefits 
of the promised Constitution. Each Day seems to aggravate the 
sufferings and multiply the complaints of the people. Commerce 
and manufactures are fallen to the lowest ebb and those who once 
subsisted by industry now seek a livelihood in rapine and disorder. 
These evils seem rather to encrease than diminish in the Provinces, 
and the National Assembly seems disposed rather to connive at all 
excesses than endanger their liberty by suffering the interference 
of the Military in curbing them. The proceedings of the Assembly 
on Tuesday last will justify this idea and your Grace will see with 
surprise the luke-warm measures they used in an affair of very 
serious consequences. Notwithstanding the circumstantial detail 
which was officially communicated to the Assembly by the Garde 
des Sceaux of the various cruelties perpetrated in different provinces, 
especially at Beziers, where five officers of the Customs were hang- 
ed, several others sadly mutilated and many of their wives and 
children barbarously used by the populace, the motion made by a 
M. Foucaut, Deputy from one of those Provinces where they are 
most exposed, to order the Military immediately to interfere in 
similar cases, was negatived by a great Majority, and to this day 
they have not determined on measures for restoring peace and 
good order. Mons. Chapelier, indeed, read a Projei de Loi yester- 
day for the suppression of Riots, which will be discussed this day 
in the Assembly, and will probably pass, as that gentleman has 
much weight there. It is not yet printed, but your Grace will see 
the purport of it in the Gazelle Nalionale of this day. It seems 
that in case of neglect or refusal on the part of the civil Magistrates 
to act, four or more of the most respectable inhabitants of a place 
are to be empowered to apply for assistance to the Military Power, 
and the civil officers are to be responsible for all consequences. 

The Army will remain in its present state of inaction until the 
National Assembly has invested the King with the executive power, 



1790 BEFORE THE REVOLUTION 293 

but they have not yet entered on that important branch of the 
Constitution, nor on the formation of civil and criminal Courts of 
judicature, so that the duration of this Legislature will be prolonged 
to an indehnite period. A motion made on Wednesday last by 
Mons. de Cazales to limit its duration, gave rise to the most violent 
and tumultuous debate, which was followed by an oath pronoun- 
ced by the majority to remain indissolutly united until the Consti- 
tution was completed in all its parts. They seem much enamoured 
with their own importance and your Grace will believe that I speak 
only of mean and needy men, when I assure you that I imagine 
that the mean object of lucrative interest and the enjoyment of 
18 Livres a day, which each member is paid, was no trifling indu- 
cement with many to seek and give their vote for a Prolongation 
of the Session. 

A Deputation from several of the most opulent and trading 
Towns in France, My Lord, have presented a Petition to the Nation- 
al Assembly deprecating the losses that would be sustained by the 
commercial part of the Kingdom, and praying them not to pay 
attention to the complaints of those who, from a mistaken zeal for 
Humanity, are desirous of abolishing the Slave Trade. They repre- 
sented this trade as absolutely necessary to the preservation of 
their Colonies, and lay much stress on the great advantages that 
would derive from a partial abolition to England, which they pre- 
tend is too well acquainted with her colonial interests to be sincerely 
anxious for a like abolition on her part. 

It is remarkable. My Lord, that notwithstanding the confusion of 
orders introduced into the State, that two thirds of the Mayors 
elected in the new formed Corporations or Municipalites are of 
noble Families, which proves that the Nobility, contrary to the 
intentions of the National Assembly, have not lost all influence 
with the people. A Clergy-man of noble birth also was chosen 
Mayor some time ago, and thus unites in himself the ecclesiastical 
and civil powers of his Corporation. 

I am sorry to inform your Grace that Moms. deFarras was hanged 
this day as I believe that unfortunate man to have been by no 
means deserving of so severe a fate, all his actions in life have 



294 DESPATCHES FROM PARIS 1790 

proved the disordered state of his mind, always conceiving but ever 
incapable of effecting wild projects, he merited confinement, but 
the people of Paris required his blood and he has fallen an inno- 
cent victim. 

I have enclosed herewith three copies of the last Sentence 
pronounced upon him, and three copies also of the Garde des 
Sceatix Memoire which I have alluded to in the former part of this 
Dispatch. 

P.S. I have this instant been informed. My Lord, that Mons. de 
Farras was not executed so late as six o'clock. He was carried to 
the place of Execution, but was from thence conveyed into the 
Hotel de Ville and the departure of the messenger prevents me 
from communicating the result of this unexpected respite which I 
have not yet been able to learn the reasons of. 

6. Fitz-Gerald to the Duke of Leeds. 

20 Feb. 1790. 

The Marquis de Farras who was to have been hanged yesterday 
at three o'clock was not, at his own request, executed 'till between 
eight and nine. When taken into the Hotel de Ville, as I mentioned 
in yesterday's Dispatch, he committed the whole of his unfortunate 
affair and some other particulars to paper, and then desired to be 
conducted to the place of Execution, where he died with every 
mark of manly steadiness, and declaring his innocence to the last 
moment. The Populace exulted much in his fall, and some 
thousands of Militia were under arms to keep them in awe. 

*7. Fitz-Gerald to the Duke of Leeds. 

26 Feb, 1790. 

On Saturday last I had the honour of giving your Grace notice 
of the Marquis de Farras's Execution, which took place the pre- 
ceding evening. The steady and courageous manner in which 
ithat unfortunate man met his too severe fate has done honor to 
his memory and has made the most powerful impressions on the 
minds of all here, and the same people even who so lately called 



1790 BEFORE THE REVOLUTION 295 

for his blood, now express their compassion for him, and consi- 
dering him as an innocent victim sacrificed to fear and revenge, 
strongly deprecate the foul conduct of his Judges, whom they con- 
sider as the mean instruments of Mons. de la Fayette's will. It 
is not improbable, My Lord, that Mons. de Farras's unhappy 
end may prove more injurious to that Commandant's reputation 
and popularity than one act of his during his existance could 
possibly have affected. I herewith enclose to your Grace three 
authentic copies in print of Mons. de Farras's Testament de Mort or 
dying speech, which he dictated at the Hotel de Ville during the 
interval that elapsed between the hour appointed for his Execution, 
and that in which it took place, and strongly recommend to your 
Grace's perusal as a piece of a most curious nature. 

I also enclose three copies of his Trial. 

The popular commotions which still subsist in many Provinces 
have principally occupied the attention of the National Assembly 
this week, and we have on this occasion again witnessed the feeble 
struggles of the friends of the old system of Government to 
recover their lost preponderance. 

It was strongly recommended as the only remedy against the 
various disorders complained of in the Provinces to grant an unli- 
mitted confidence in the discretionary power of His Majesty, but 
these efforts proved totally unsuccessful and only occasioned much 
indecent heat and violence in the Assembly, where the executive 
power was condemned to a state of Inaction 'till the Constitution 
is fully completed and the active part of the Police is conferred 
exclusively on the different Corporations which, conjointly with 
the National militia, are constituted the sole Guardians of the 
public peace whilst the Army is to act only against a foreign enemy. 

It would be an endless task and tedious to your Grace were I to 
enumerate the various events that daily occur in different parts of 
the Kingdom. The object, plunder and rapine, is the same every- 
where and they only differ in the various degrees of violence and 
cruelty which attend them. Brittany, it may be almost said, is in 
a state of civil war, but however serious the evils felt at home may 
be, yet the public attention at this moment seems more engrossed 



296 DESPATCHES FROM PARIS 1790 

by those which, it is said, have happened in the more distant parts 
of the Empire. St. Domingo and Martinico, it is possitively behe- 
ved here, have refused to acknowledge the legitimacy of the Nation- 
al Assembly and, until such time as His Most Christian Majesty is 
reinstated in the plenitude of his power, they have declared them- 
selves to be independent and open'd their Ports to all Nations. 
Such, My Lord, is the common report at present which your Grace 
may believe does not fail likewise of giving the English the merit 
on this occasion, as upon every other since the Revolution, of aiding 
and fomenting the troubles. It appears that the Negroes are per- 
fectly quiet and satisfied, but with respect to these matters, on 
which your Grace will pardon me for entertaining you so far with 
mere report, we shall know more on Monday next, as Mons. de 
La Luzerne has given notice to the President of the National As- 
sembly that he will shortly communicate some very important 
news, which he has just received from the Islands, but as the 
papers which contain it are voluminous, he requests three days 
may be allowed him to make his report on them. Should anything 
of serious importance to us have taken place, I conceive your 
Grace will not disapprove of my dispatching a messenger express 
to you on the occasion, but I shall not take this step unnecessarily. 

The rapid succession of one evil on the other seems to do away 
with the impression made by the first and while this Country has 
daily to lament the excesses committed at home, and is at this 
instant in the greatest alarm for lier possessions abroad, it seems 
to have lost sight of the foe nearest her door, I mean the disorder 
which reigns in her Finances. No effectual means have yet been 
devised to encrease the quantity of Specie in circulation, and no 
time is yet fixed for the evacuation of religious Houses etc. in order 
to expose them to sale ; these circumstances etc., the scarcity of 
purchasers, likely to come forward seem to threaten the Caisse 
d'Escotnple with many difficulties, the first of July next when it has 
engaged to pay at sight, and Government with much embarrass- 
ment in reimburseing the Caisse d'Escompte the 1 Jan. 1791. 

The last accounts received here, My Lord, of the Emperor were 
of the very worst kind and threatened his speedy dissolution. 



1790 BEFORE THE REVOLUTION 297 

8. Fitz-Gerald to the Duke of Leeds. 

19 March 1790. 

It was imagined at one time and people flattered themselves that 
the creation of the Assignats was the most sure means of relief and 
of reviving public credit in this Country, but consistantly with the 
instability of the times, that Measure has proved unsuccessful and 
the National Assembly has this week adopted, with few modifica- 
tions, Monsr. Bailly's new Proposition. But if the happy specu- 
lations on this head should prove visionary likewise, and the Effets 
Municipaux be regarded with the same degree of suspicion as the 
Assignats, the National Assembly it seems is determined to supply 
the want of publick spirit by the adoption of coercive measures in 
rigorously exacting the Quart Patriolique which hitherto as people 
were left to the guidance of their generosity and patriotism has 
come in but very slowly indeed and proved very unproductive. 

The fears of the Public augment daily and the complaints here 
are very general at the Encrease of discount on the Billets de la 
Caisse d'Escomple which is now raised from four to five per ct. and 
this commerce which is carried on by individuals of every descrip- 
tion who have ready cash, not excepting Bankers, is connived at, 
through necessity, by the National Assembly altho' a direct viola- 
tion of one of its Decrees. 

It is worthy of remark. My Lord, that in the Club des Jacobins 
which is composed of members of the National Assembly, all of 
the democratic Party, who meet to concert together and under- 
stand each other previous to any important discussion in the 
Assembly, that a member some days ago proposed the recall of 
Mons. de Calonne to the Head of the Treasury and that, altho' the 
proposition was not warmly received, at the moment, yet it was 
not shrunk from, nor is it by any means unlikely that the idea may, 
in time, ripen in his favor, especially as the abilities of his great 
adversary have now fallen so low in the esteem of the public. — 

What passed yesterday in the National Assembly is a convincing 
proof that Minister is no more the man he was and in support of 
this idea I refer your Grace to this day's Gazette Nationale for the 



298 DESPATCHES FROM PARIS 1790 

Abbe Maury s Speech in which he makes the most direct attack on 
him and which was not only attentively hstened to but excessively 
applauded from every side of the House. It is now believed with 
still more confidence that Mons. Necker will resign upon his going 
to the Waters at Vichyiy and his return here seems not to be reckon- 
ed upon by any. 

Mons. Vandernoote has made a second application to His Most 
Christian Majesty and the National Assembly which has met with 
a similar reception with the former, the letters having been return- 
ed unopened ; but it may not be improper to remax^k that as soon 
as the President had communicated to the Assembly Monsr. de 
Montmorin's note on the subject, Monsr. de la Fayette rose and 
expressed a wish that they would resolve, that as the Congress in 
the Low Countries could not be considered, as at present constit- 
uted, to be the true and legal representation of the People, that 
Assembly could not pay any attention to the letters addressed to it 
by M. Vandernoote : The motion however was got rid of by the 
order of the day and no further steps were taken in that affair. 

I have nothing further of importance to communicate to your 
•Grace by this day's Dispatch. 

The Court goes into Mourning this day for two months for his 
late Imperial Majesty. 

fi. Fitz-Gerald to the Duke of Leeds. 

9 April 1790. 

On Friday last I had the honor to observe to your Grace that 
Monsr. de Maillebois, having been suspected of forming a project 
of Counter- Revolution in this Country, had retired precipitately to 
Breda, but I believe I may now offer the present as the most 
faithful statement that has been given yet of that supposed con- 
spiracy. — 

Mons. de Grandmaison, Secretary to the Comte de Maillebois, 
having found among his papers a plan for dissolving the National 
Assembly, of reducing the Town of Paris by famine, and of re- 
establishing the old Government, was, from excessive timidity 
apprehensive of being himself involved in the consequences of a 



1790 BEFORE THE REVOLUTION 299 

discovery. He therefore suddenly quitted Mons. de Maillebois 
and upon arriving at Paris wrote to him to signify his intention to 
leave his service altogether. — Mons. de Maillebois, suspecting some 
treacherous design in his Secretary, and fearing a surprise immedi- 
ately retired from Chateau de Thury which belongs to Madme. de 
Cassini to Breda. In the mean time, the Secretary alarmed and 
tormented with the secret which he possessed, communicated 
himself to his friends and the story having circulated, the Comite 
des Recherches ordered him before them and he there declared that 
he had seen among the papers of Mons. de Maillebois a Plan of a 
Counter Revolution which was to have been executed by the 
united forces of Spain, Sardinia, and Naples. Report says likewise 
that this plan was communicated to the Comte d'Artois but, fort- 
unately for that Prince, it has taken a favorable turn and the 
Public seem to have adopted the idea that he rejected the propo- 
sition with the utmost indignation. This, My Lord, seems to be 
the whole of an affair which I am induced to believe will die away, 
as the Public seems tired of those repeated histories of plots and 
conspiracies which they begin to consider now as vague and 
vexatious. 

Indeed upon the whole. My Lord, it seems that people are 
becoming more reasonable and that their calamities have taught 
them patience and resignation, for it is beyond a doubt that, altho' 
matters do not in reality mend, yet they do in appearance, and we 
now enjoy a state of tranquillity which promises to be more lasting 
than we could have flattered ourselves with some time ago : perhaps 
this good humour may be attributed to the late convention for the 
purchase of the Church Lands as, since that period, it is evident 
that the public anxiety has diminished and confidence has derived 
strength from the late Declarations of several Towns to imitate the 
example of the Capital. The Cities of Angers and Nantes have 
already subscribed for church property to the amount of 22 mil- 
lions and should the great commercial Towns such as Bordeaux, 
Marseille and Lyons, be actuated by a similar spirit the remaining 
200 millions of Church Property will be entirely disposed of. 
The National Assembly besides, in attending carefully to the peti- 



300 DESPATCHES FROM PARIS 1790 

tions of the mercantile Towns and by granting them the liberty of 
a free trade to India, has adopted the surest means of gaining 
many friends to the Revolution. No means in short are spared 
and nothing is left undone which can flatter the people at large 
and future consequences are not considered while present pur- 
poses are to be answered. 

The National Assembly is now busily engaged, My Lord, in the 
formation of the judicial power, and they seem to hesitate much 
on the adoption of that great and most essential point, namely the 
Trial by Jury, in its utmost latitude, which, it is thought, will be 
adopted, not in civil but in criminal cases only. Mons. de Lamette 
in the Debates on this subject exhorted the Assembly to beware of 
the aristocracy of the long robe and indeed in an Assembly, where 
there are between two and three hundred Men of the Law, it may 
be but prudent for people to be on their guard against their insinuat- 
ing arts and superior talents in the discussion and organization of 
a point in the Constitution which so nearly concerns their interests. 

I have the honor to transmit herewith to your Grace three 
printed copies of the famous Livre Rouge which has been so much 
talked of and shall conclude this Dispatch, which I could have 
wished had been more interesting for your Grace, with the men- 
tion of the riot which took place last night during the Debates in 
the National Assembly and which originated in Mons. Depres- 
menil's having whispered in the ear of another Member not to 
listen to the President, when he spoke, for that he never knew 
what he was saying. This disrespectful language, which Mons. 
Depresmenil having spread in the Assembly, it was converted, in 
a short time into an absolute bear-garden. The Members made 
use of the most gross and indecent language to each other and the 
mob, roused by the example, began to pelt them with apples and 
oranges until the Guard was called in to clear the Galleries. The 
mob opposed the Guard and many members having been mean 
enough to espouse their cause and object to this act of severity, 
they were suffered to remain where they were and matters becom- 
ing at length quiet, the affair was arranged by a reprimand to 
Mons. Depresmenil which is to be inserted in the Proces Verbal. 



1790 BEFORE THE REVOLUTION 301 

Fitz-Gerald to the Duke of Leeds 
16th April 1790. 

To accelerate the execution of those Measures which alone are 
capable of diminishing the embarrassments of this Government and 
to facilitate the currency of the Assignais by holding out to the 
Public some ostensible security, the National Assembly, by a recent 
decree, has vested in the different departments and districts the 
sole right of superintending and administering every species of 
Church Property ; this important Decree, by which also Church 
Tithes, to reckon from the first of January next, are suppressed for 
ever and the Clergy to reckon from the first of last January, are 
henceforth to be paid in money, was combated on various grounds 
for three successive days with every degree of tumultuous violence, 
but I must refer your Grace to the Gazelle of yesterday for that 
Decree in all its articles and to the preceding papers for the 
debates on the subject which, no doubt, are very curious and 
interesting : various circumstances on this occasion having indicated 
the apprehension of a popular commotion and the very numerous 
crowds which collected in the gardens of the Thuilleries, and all 
round the National Assembly during Tuesday's sitting, having 
much alarmed the public peace, it was found necessary to double 
the Guard and to line all the avenues to the Assembly for the pro- 
tection of the members, but, notwithstanding these precautions, 
when the House broke up in the evening the Vicoinle de Mirabeau 
and the Abbe Maury both, as your Grace may recollect, remarkable 
for their constant and determined opposition to the popular side of 
the House, were attacked by the people and would probably have 
become their victims if the Militia had not interfered and saved 
them. The Abbe Maury was followed by the populace into the 
Rue Sle Anne where he took refuge in the house of an acquaintance 
and while the troops protected it from insult, he escaped in the 
disguise of a soldier of the National Militia ; as your Grace 
probably may be desirous to know the real cause of the extra- 
ordinary restlessness of the people on this occasion, I believe I 
may attribute it entirely to a meeting which was held at a Convent 



302 DESPATCHES FROM PARIS 1790 

of Capucin Friars by a considerable number, to the amount of 200 
I am told, of Nobility and Clergy on Monday the preceding 
evening and who, after having deliberated till an advanced hour of 
the night on the business about to come before the House, had 
formed, it is said, the resolution to quit the National Assembly 
altogether unless they would declare the Roman Catholic to be the 
reigning Religion of the Country ; and unless they desisted from 
the fatal resoltition of totally spoiling the Clergy of all their pro- 
perty to protest in form against such gross usurpation and, laying 
their griefs before the King, humbly to intreat His Majesty to use 
some means, if possible, to check the National Assembly in its 
destructive career. It was this meeting therefore that roused the 
jealousy and fears of the people. My Lord, but the fatal decree has 
passed according to their wishes and all seems again restored to 
good order and tranquillity ; but, the Gallican Church is now rased 
to its foundations and most probably, its great possessions lost to it 
for ever. 

Whilst these great concerns were agitated in the National 
Assembly, another event of no little importance and which, from 
its nature, might have been productive of the worst of consequen- 
ces, and indeed may still, has called the public attention. The 
seeds of division having been by some means spread between the 
four Regiments in Garrison at Lisle, namely Les Regimens du 
Colonel General^ des Chasseurs de Normandie, de la Couronne et 
Royal-Vaisseaux a combat took place between the two former 
which called themselves Royalists and the two latter which stiled 
themselves Patriots or Regimens Nationaux^ in which five or six 
soldiers were killed, and several others having been wounded 
the two first, with the Commandant of the Garrison. Monsr. de 
Livarot. at their head, retired into the Citadel, where that OfBcer 
is to remain prisoner, in order to take his trial, it having been 
said, altho' I believe with the greatest injustice, that he bore a 
principal part in fomenting the confusion. The National Militia of 
Lisle observed, as I am informed, a strict neutrality in the affair, 
but the inhabitants insist on the two aristocratical Regiments 
quitting the Town immediately. 



1790 BEFORE THE REVOLUTION 303 

It is an undoubted fact, My Lord, that the Chatelet has again 
taken up the affair of Versailles of the 5th and 6th of October last» 
and the pubHc are in great Expectations now that the mj'sterious 
veil, which still covers that most scandalous and treasonable pro- 
ceeding, will be at last entirely torn away and the authors of it 
discovered to the eyes of the world. Several Members of the 
National Assembly are accused, and among the first on the list, 
I do sincerely lament again to see the name of an illustrious 
personage. 

10. Fitz-Gerald to the Duke of Leeds. 

23 April 1790. 

The exhausted state of the public treasury and the alarming 
prospects of the dissolution of all Government, which seemed to 
threaten daily, have at length determined the National Assembly 
to take a bold and resolute step and to risk its own popularity for 
the safety of the State by giving its sanction to a paper Currency ; 
a Measure, I may say, abhorred in this Country and which accord- 
ing to the success it meets with may be considered as the signal 
for the fall or triumph of the new Constitution. 

In no period of the Revolution has the spirit of party raged with 
so great violence as at the present, the friends of the new and the 
abettors of the old system, impressed with a common sense of the 
critical importance of the moment, exert their utmost in this 
struggle and expect to find in the good or ill success of the Assignats 
matter of triumph or disgrace. 

Before I speak of the late Resolution of the National Assembly 
on this subject I must remind your Grace that last Winter a 
quantity of Assignats were delivered to the Caisse d'Escompie bearing 
5 pr ct. interest in payment of bills and cash advanced at different 
times to Government. 

These Assignats were afterwards offered to the public by the 
Directors in exchange for their own notes, by which means some 
of them got into circulation, but their number is very inconsider- 
able and more than three fourths still remain on the hands of the 
Directors of the Caisse d'Escompie who have not been able to 



304 DESPATCHES FROM PARIS 1790 

dispose of them. By the Terms of the Agreement these Assignats 
were to have been called in and payed off together with their 
interests in January 1791 and the following months, it being 
presumed that the sale of the Church and Crown Lands would 
then furnish the Caisse de V Extraordinaire with a sufficient sum for 
the purpose. 

Such, My Lord, was the relative situation of Government and 
the Caisse d'Escompte till last week, when Mr. Necker informed the 
Assembly that the Treasury was nearly exhausted, that the Taxes 
from a variety of causes were unproductive and that a Loan of 
about 40 millions from the Caisse d'Escompte was absolutely neces- 
sary to defray the expenses of Government for the present and 
ensuing month, but the National Assembly, in its Policy, affecting to 
be much alarmed at so great and so unexpected a demand, a 
demand which, it must be observed, the Minister had already 
mentioned as inevitable in his Memoire of last month, immediately 
seized the pretext and under the plea of absolute necessity resolved 
on the creation of Assignats to the amount of 400 millions and 
ordered that they should be received as money throughout the 
Kingdom, and that, as a sufficient quantity of them was not yet 
fabricated la Caisse d'Escompte should immediately advance to 
Government Bills to the amount of 20 millions, which, being 
endorsed by the Receiver of the Caisse de I' Extraordinaire and 
superscribed with the following Words " promise to furnish 
Assignats, " shall be received in payment till such time as Govern- 
ment shall substitute real Assignats in their room. 

The Assignats are to bear interest at 3 p. ct. from the 15th of 
this month and each is to be numbered and the time of payment 
determined by lot as soon as the Caisse de I' Extraordinaire shall 
have received one Million in money arising from the sale of Church 
Property. These, My Lord, seem to be the principal outlines of 
the celebrated decree which establishes a paper currency through- 
out France, which measure, as I said before, may be attended 
with very fatal or very happy consequences to this Country and its 
new Constitution, but if I may hazard an opinion of my own and 
be allowed to judge from the co-operating efforts of many com- 



1790 BEFORE THE REVOLUTION 305 

mercial towns, I conceive it will meet with success ; besides I can 
not think that the National Assembly, ever so jealous of its pre- 
ponderance and weight would risk the committing of its authority 
with the Public on mere speculative hope. 

I may here observe, My Lord, that the issuing of the Assignats 
has already considerably reduced the price of Discount on the 
Billets de la Caisse cVEscompte which are now discounted for less 
than four p. ct. but however salutary their tendency may be, the 
Clergy and aristocratical Party are indefatigable in their endea- 
vours both by writing and speaking to inspire the people with 
diffidence. 

The Provinces, My Lord, seem to be busily engaged in holding 
their primary Elections etc., and in forming just and equal assess- 
ments : but, the late Resolution of the National Assembly which 
prohibits them from proceeding yet to the formation of a new 
legislative body is said to give some umbrage, as many had 
flattered themselves that, as the Powers of the Deputies to the 
National Assembly were hmited to one year and that year was just 
expiring a new Election must have taken place. The Assembly 
has however on this, as on a former occasion, declared itself 
independent of its Constituents and to be an indissoluble Body 
until such time as it declares the Constitution completed and dis- 
solves itself of its own free good will and pleasure. 

The argument used on this occasion was founded on the prin- 
ciple that, as the members were chosen by three distinct orders, 
and those orders no more existed, the power of dissolving the 
Assembly died with their extinction. 

Mons. de Livarot is arrived at Paris from Lisle, My Lord, to 
give an account of his conduct and it is thought, with good reason, 
that he will not find it difficult to exculpate himself from the 
charge of being a mover of sedition. 

The famous Avocat Linguet is arrived here, My Lord, and in the 
Assemblies of Districts which he frequents, holds forth in the most 
violent language of Republicanism. He dwells much on his 
abhorrence of despotism which he says the ingratitude of the late 
Emperor has inspired him with and in a reply which he made to 

20 



306 DESPATCHES FROM PARIS 1790 

a person who accused him of having favored the views of that 
monarch at Bruxelles, he vented himself as I am assured with 
every degree of fury and passion against Sovereigns in general 
and concluded with these indecent words " de tous les Souverains 
de I'Europe Louis 16 est le seul auquel on puisse pardonner d'etre 
Roi. "— 

M, Necker I must not forget to observe to your Grace is much 
better and does not now it seems talk of going to the Waters. I 
have the honor to enclose herewith to your Grace that Minister's, 
as well as Mons. de Montmorin's observations on the Livre Rouge in 
their own justification. 

11. Fitz-Gerald to the Duke of Leeds. 

30 April 1790. 

Various circumstances and events have marked the progress of 
this last week but so unconnected with each other that I find it a 
difficult task to class them all so as to produce an interesting 
Dispatch by this day's Messenger. There has not been time suffi- 
cient to judge of the success of the late operation of Finance and 
its effects are not yet visible : The public grievances have not yet 
experienced any apparent alleviation, the same evils continue to 
exist and the same complaints of the great scarcity of specie are 
heard from every quarter. The Assignats meet with violent 
enemies in the body of the Clergy who seem really driven to 
despair and seek revenge as it were in moving Heaven and Earth. 
They have already stirred up the people in many Provinces and 
the popular discontents seem again to rise to an alarming pitch. 
Religion serves as the veil to conceal the fury of the Clergy and at 
Toulouse it seems that the people are much inflamed against the 
National Assembly in the idea that its deUberations are influenced 
by the Protestants. The Clergy on these occasions are joined by 
the Lawyers whose subsistance is now rendered so precarious by 
the projected Reform of the Courts of Judicature, and these last, I 
am assured, having, in considerable numbers, taken up arms, 
entirely overawe the Town and municipal Army of Toulouse. 
.Similar discontents have discovered themselves at Montpellier and 



1790 BEFORE THE REVOLUTION 307 

Nismes and in the provinces of Alsace and Artois. In short, My 
Lord, no artifice is left untried to alarm the fears of the people 
and the symptoms of a religious war grow fast ; but of all the means 
employed to raise religious strife and dissention, the supposed 
protest of the Nobility and Clergy which was proposed in the 
meeting held by them at the Convent of Capucin Friars, as I 
mentioned in a former Dispatch, may be considered as the most 
powerful and dangerous as proceeding from so considerable a part 
of the National Assembly. I say supposed, for tho' the protest is 
said to circulate in the Provinces with the names of near four 
hundred Members of the Assembly subscribed to it, no Copies of it 
have yet appeared here. 

Altho' we are not much more at peace here than in the more 
distants Parts of the Kingdom yet the object of contention is 
different. The Chdtelet seems now to have drawn on itself all the 
clamours and complaints of the people, and in a late denunciation 
on the part of the District des Cordeliers it is accused of favouring 
the aristocratical Party even where there are evident proofs of 
guilt, and of rigorously pursuing the favorites of the people on the 
simple grounds of suspicion, and of not confining its proceedings 
to the Terms of Indictment which treat exclusively of what passed 
at Versailles the 6th October, but of extending its enquiries to the 
events of the preceeding evening and antecedent periods, with the 
malicious intention of injuring the reputation of the first supporters 
of the Revolution in the National Assembly. This affair has by 
degrees been wrought up into serious importance and having been 
represented to the people, not only as just cause of alarm, but as 
furnishing proper Grounds for suspending the powers of the 
Chdtelet and insisting on the creation of a new Court of High 
Treason, a Petition has been presented to the National Assembly 
to that end. In the mean time the People are very tumultuous 
and loud in their complaints on this score : But these are not the 
only indications of discord and of the Uttle degree of harmony that 
subsists here ; another circumstance has occurred which may pro- 
bably end in the dismission of all foreigners from the service of 
France : a contest took place some days ago between the Swiss 



308 DESPATCHES FROM PARIS 1790 

Guards and the Chasseurs of the National Militia in consequence 
of a duel which was fought between two officers of those corps in 
which the Chasseur was wounded ; the Chasseurs surrounded the 
Swiss Barracks and seemed determined to destroy them, but order 
being restored soon after, matters were seemingly settled between 
them when the disputes broke out again and two of the Chasseurs 
having been killed it is supposed that the Swiss Guards will be 
dismissed the Service and indeed, as they are the only Household 
Troops that now remain to the King, I should by no means be 
surprised if that measure was to take place. Their loyalty and 
steadiness in the late Revolution were sufficient to render them 
odious here and any pretext for dismissing them will be readily 
seized. 

The Marquis de Bouille, an officer of high merit and much 
respected by the Army, My Lord, has, owing to the following cir- 
cumstance, rendered himself very unpopular with the Town of 
Metz where he commands. The National Militia of certain 
Districts in the neighbourhood of Metz having proposed to form a 
junction in that City and to spend a day in festivity, M. de Bouille 
would not suffer them to enter the City armed and they were 
obliged to subscribe to what they considered as an humiliating 
condition but with the determined resolution to complain of the sup- 
posed insult to the King and National Assembly : a Courier is 
consequently arrived who has presented a petition from the Town 
of Metz solliciting his Majesty to recall the Commandant and 
invest the municipal Officers with the Government of the Town 
who engage faithfully to discharge its various duties. The Garrison 
on the other hand has deputed a Colonel of Artillery to pray his 
Majesty that, in case he should think proper to condescend to the 
request of the Town, to permit them to acknowledge no other for 
their Commander in Chief than the Marquis de Bouille and here 
the matter remains for the present. 

I shall conclude this Dispatch, My Lord, with observing to your 
Grace that by a recent Resolution of the National Assembly every 
new President on entering into office is obliged to swear that he 
neither has or will sign any protest which would imply a censure 



1790 BEFORE THE REVOLUTION 309 

on the Decrees of the National Assembly. Monsr. de Virieux, 
against whom the Resolution was levelled, took the oath upon his 
being chosen President, but with evident marks of mental reserva- 
tion, and his explanation not being approved of, he resigned. 
In the midst of the general noise and confusion which ensued 
several members declared that they would never submit to that 
oath and that the Assembly contained 360 who equally disapproved 
of it. From this circumstance, My Lord, we may presume that the 
above-mentioned protest has actually gone abroad into the Pro- 
vinces and is in fact the chief cause of the commotions which 
prevailed so suddenly, 

12. Fitz-Gerald to the Duke of Leeds. 

7 May 1790. 

I could wish that matters were restored to that degree of settled 
order and tranquillity which might afford me an opportunity of 
writing to your Grace on subjects of more importance than the 
daily occurrances here afford me with, for it is with pain that I 
enumerate the hst of excesses that daily take place here and which 
exhibit this Country in a point of view most contemptible most 
unbecoming of men and disgraceful to humanity. The violence of 
party spirit still rages and the most paultry means are used to cross 
and disturb the one Party in its progress, while, on the other 
hand, no enormity can deter the other from pursuing its destructive 
views. — 

The Debates in the National Assembly have of late been most 
noisy and tumultuous and ye same wild spirit of Republicanism 
bears all before it. These republican principles were on no 
occasion so evident as on the present important question before 
the Assembly, whether the King should concur by his approbation 
in the nomination of the Judges chosen by the People. This 
question has been agitated with the greatest warmth and acrimony 
by both sides of the House and the trouble and confusion it occa- 
sioned has prevented the Assembly from coming to a final 
resolution, but it is not to be doubted but that the popular party 
will succeed on this as on all other occasions of a similar kind 



310 DESPATCHES FROM PARIS 1790 

where the power of the Crown is to be diminished. And that the 
shadow of power may not be left to the King, I beUeve I may 
confidently assure your Grace, beforehand, that when the new 
military Reforms come before the Assembly that His Majesty will 
be deprived even of the power of nominating the officers of the 
Army. Indeed, My Lord, I can compare this civil assassination of 
Royal Prerogative to nothing but to the atrocious excesses com- 
mitted without the walls of the Assembly on the lives and pro- 
perties of men, not to talk of the little subordination that reigns 
among the Troops and the state of warfare in which all ranks of 
people live one with another, I shall mention those circumstances 
only as facts which, if they should come indirectly to your Grace's 
ear, you would scarcely believe to be such but indeed the public 
papers even are disgraced with these accounts and for the sake of 
accurateness I shall refer your Grace to the Gazette Universelle, a 
new paper which I send, for the letter which the Marquis 
d'Argenteuil read in the National Assembly with the account of 
the murders committed by the people in Burgundy on the persons 
of two very respectable men and to the other papers which I send 
likewise for the mention made of the assassination of the Comte de 
Nully upon his landing at Corsica. This unfortunate officer had 
lived with his Regiment many years in Garrison there and had 
fallen under the displeasure of the People for endeavouring to 
keep order there when the troubles first broke out and was on that 
account obliged to quit the country until such time as their fury 
had subsided, but it seems that the spirit of revenge was foremost 
in their breast and that they lost no time in spilling the blood they 
had thursted for in his absence. Another account of a similar but 
more shocking nature arrived last night from Marseille and of this 
I send your Grace the printed particulars altho' I can not answer 
for the authenticity of them as yet, there is every reason however 
to believe that they are not exaggerated and that Mons. de Calvet^ 
Governor of Fort St. John near that City experienced the cruel 
fate therein described, but these are not circumstances to dwell on 
and I shall turn to matters less distressing to your Grace's or my 
own feelings but which, the' of a different nature, do not diminish 



1790 BEFORE THE REVOLUTION 311 

from the mass of sufferings and distress under which this unhappy 
Country labours. It is true indeed that the creation of paper 
money has produced a degree of calm in the minds of the People 
unknown for a long time here but whether the growing confidence 
can stand the attacks of its numerous opponents is a matter of 
doubt. New hopes are derived from the Cities of Bordeaux and 
Marseille having engaged to assist the retail trade by offering to 
give ready money for Assignats without premium and to extend 
this favor to all those who from the narrowness of circumstances 
shall feel themselves aggrieved by the forced circulation of paper 
money, but it must be long before the Assignats become of general 
confidence as every exertion has been used to defeat the measure, 
a measure which, alone, can alleviate the burthens of the Nation. 
The City of Toulouse and the neighbouring Provinces, where 
superstition still reigns were roused by the Clergy as I had 
already informed your Grace, but it seems that the contagion 
has not spread and the exertions used in that town to restore 
peace have obtained the public acknowledgements of the National 
Assembly. 

I have nothing further to trouble your Grace with by this Dis- 
patch which I shall conclude with making mention of words which 
came from Her Most Christian Majesty and which render her still 
more amiable than all her sufferings and fortitude hitherto have 
done. 

The Chatelet having sent a Deputation to her to ask for all the 
information it was in Her Majesty's power to give that Court 
relative to the affair of Versailles of the 5th and 6th October, Her 
Majesty replyed, 

y'at tout v&y fat tout sui, fai tout ouhlie. 

18. Fitz-Gerald to the Duke of Leeds. 

14 May 1790. 

I have had the honor to receive your Grace's Dispatch relative to 
the differences which have unfortunately arisen between our Court 
and that of Spain, with directions to explain the whole of that 
affair to Monsr. de Montmorin without loss of time, to assure that 



312 DESPATCHES FROM PARIS 1790 

Minister in the most explicit manner that the preparations now 
making in England are solely with a view to the situation in which 
His Majesty finds himself in relation to the Court of Spain and to 
repeat the assurances of His Majesty's sincere desire to preserve 
the harmony and good understanding which so happily subsists 
between England and France. 

In consequence therefore of this Dispatch, My Lord, I waited 
on Monsr. de Montmorin on Wednesday morning last and having 
communicated the whole of the affair to him, I thought proper, in 
addition to the conversation which we had together and with a 
view to conform with more precision to my instructions, to give 
that Minister a translated extract of your Grace's Dispatch to me 
on the subject. Monsr. de Montmorin in reply assured me that he 
accepted and relied on our assurances of Friendship towards this 
Country and repeated in the King, his Master's name the same 
wish to preserve happy harmony and good understanding between 
the two Kingdoms. He further assured me that his Most Christian 
Majesty saw with concern the differences which had arisen 
between the two Courts of Great Britain and Spain and that as 
far as His Majesty's good offices could tend, he should not fail to 
exert them in the cause of that amicable adjustment which he so 
sincerely wished to see established between his near allies and his 
Friends. — So far, my Lord, Monsr. de Montmorin ministerially 
communicated himself to me, but in the course of the conversation 
afterwards he expressed his surprise at our precipitance in this 
affair, and to use his own words, as near as I can recollect them, 
he said, Vous vous eles montres avec bcaucoup tVeclat dans line affaire 
qui auroit pu s' arranger aiseuient par une negotiation amicale, and 
added that the Spaniards had returned the vessels that had been 
seized, that it was through the channel of Spain that we came to a 
knowledge of the seizure, and that this conduct surely denoted 
nothing hostile towards England. I assured him that it was the 
sincerest wish of the King. My Master, to terminate the affair by 
negotiation and that His Majesty's Ambassador was on his way to 
Spain with that view, but that, even supposing we had been satis- 
fied with the restitution of the ships it was impossible for the King 



1790 BEFORE THE REVOLUTION 313 

to listen to the pretended claims of Spain of exclusive Rights of 
Territory, Commerce and Navigation in the part of the World 
where the capture took place, or to look on and see that Country 
arming with expedition at the same time that an insult was offered 
to the British Flag, without taking the proper steps to protect his 
subjects and maintain the Honor of his Crown. Mons. de Mont- 
morin denied that Spain was arming extraordinarily, and said that 
She had only prepared her usual Evolution Squadron of six ships 
for the Mediteranean and that indeed, if she had determined upon 
arming now, it must be in consequence of our fitting out twelve 
Ships for the Baltic besides others for the Mediteranean. To this 
I did not reply but having repeated the wish of my Court for a 
happy arrangement of matters I took leave of Monsr. de Mont- 
morin, fully convinced within myself that the measures adopted in 
England had deeply affected that Minister not to say given him 
serious alarm. 

I have endeavoured. My Lord, as far as in me lies, to conform 
to the latter part of your Grace's Dispatch likewise and to obtain 
every material intelligence possible for His Majesty's information. — 
The short Space of time which has elapsed since I am honored 
with your Grace's Communication of this affair has not yet supplied 
me with much useful remark as to the motions and proceedings of 
Foreign Powers in general or with the means of forming a true 
notion of those of Spain, further than what I can judge from the 
words of the Ambassador from that Court here, who, not many 
days ago, pretended to say i/iat all was seltled, directed most pro- 
bably by his Court to say so and from which it may be inferred that 
at the date of his letters, the Court of Spain persevered in its 
extraordinary claims and in the idea that sufficient satisfaction 
was given to Great Britain. 

With regard to this Country, My Lord, the conjectures which 
have been founded respecting these differences are innumerable. 
I have heard the opinion of men of both Parties and all seem to 
agree that France must arm likewise, altho' they differ in their 
motives for arming. The aristocratical Party, or what is called 
the Minority, pretend that it is incumbent on the Head of the 



314 DESPATCHES FROM PARIS 1790 

Bourbon Family to protect the Spanish Branch and to be faithful 
to the Compact and close alliance of the two Crowns, but in this, 
My Lord, they have other views than those of fidelity to Treaty, 
and the glimmering hopes of a Counter- Revolution, I do conceive, 
to be again raised within them ; they see the necessity there will 
be of investing the King with some degree of power and hope 
themselves to gain strength from the reflecting rays. They 
pretend that we have sought the cause of quarrel with the 
Spaniards in the hopes of involving France in a war and thereby 
making to ourselves a pretext to fall upon the French Colonies 
and dismember their enfeebled Empire. In short, I do believe 
that from despair they wish for war, and in that case, no calumny, 
no false representation of facts, no artifice will be left untried to 
bring about a favorable change in the people and exasperate them 
against their Leaders and the British Nation which is the source, 
as they pretend to say, of all their evils and the chief fomenter, by 
the means of money, of the late Revolution. 

The popular Party or the Majority think differently, and altho' 
they do not exculpate us altogether they throw the chief blame on 
the Spaniards. They conceive what has happened to be a deep 
laid scheme conceived long ago but only lately executed for want 
of opportunity. They imagine that it is through the intrigues of 
the Minority at the Court of Spain that that Country has been 
induced to seek a war with England, and, by involving France, 
bring about a Counter- Revolution and reinstate the King in all his 
Power ; but against this they say that they are aware England is 
arming, and without further argument it becomes, they say, 
necessary that France should arm likewise, but not in the view 
to take an active part with Spain, which they consider as an 
adversary to the cause of liberty, but to protect their own 
possessions against any concealed designs on our part and even 
against the Spaniards themselves whom they suspect may be 
tempted in the course of time, if the possibility exists, to- 
reinstate the King in the plenitude of his power by force of 
arms. 

The dispositions of the people. My Lord, I may be safely 



1790 BEFORE THE REVOLUTION 315 

allowed to assure your Grace, correspond much with those of their 
Leaders and are even more favorable to us ; they seem entirely to 
exculpate England and to load Spain with reproach whose designs 
they also suspect to be of a most evil tendency to their new 
favorite constitution. They say that our exertions are favourable 
to commerce, that the cause is a common cause and they 
admire the spirit with which we oppose the Spanish Monopoly 
of the South Sea trade and of the great western coasts of the new 
World. 

Such, My Lord, are the various ideas which agitate the minds of 
all here at present but, until M. de Montmorin makes his com- 
munication to the National Assembly which, it is said, he will do 
this day, I can not say what turn matters will there take altho' I 
can beforehand assure your Grace that the Ministers, except 
M. Necker, all impressed with notions which they judge wise 
altho' they badly succeed in concealing, are exerting the.'r utmost 
to gain votes in the Assembly in support of the Family Compact 
which the Popular Party treats with contempt and is on the other 
hand equally exerting its utmost to oppose. In plainer terms. My 
Lord, the Ministers join with the Minority in a wish to take an 
active part with Spain if matters come to extremities, while the 
Majority are for remaining spectators and only arm from precaution 
and prudence sake. 

I am just informed, My Lord, that Mons. de Montmorin has 
made his communication to the President of the Assembly in 
writing, from which it appears that orders have been already sent 
for equipping 14 Sail of the Line in the Ports of Toulon and 
Brest, and that he intreats the Assembly in the name of the King 
to take into Consideration the most expeditious and effectual 
means to provide the Admiralty with the necessary supplies. 

The Minister's Letter is to be taken into deliberation to-morrow 
when, it is rumored, a great constitutional question will be 
previously agitated viz, whether the King is to be invested with 
the power of making war without consulting the National 
Assembly. 

I shall conclude this Dispatch, My Lord, with referring this, 



316 DESPATCHES FROM PARIS 1790 

your Grace, to the Papers which I send for the circumstantial 
accounts of the serious disturbances which have taken place at 
Marseille^ Toulon, and Nismes, of the two former of which Mons. de 
St. Priest has given official communication to the Assembly. 

14. Fitz-Gerald to the Duke of Leeds. 

16 May 1790. 

After some conversation which I had this morning with His 
Excellency, Mr. Fitz-Herbert, we agreed on the propriety of dis- 
patching a Messenger Extraordinary to your Grace with the 
account of the important Resolution of the National Assembly 
yesterday. 

In my last, My Lord, I had the honor to acquaint your Grace 
that all here agreed in the necessity of arming altho' I conceived 
that their motives, for so doing, differed widely. 

Mons. de Montmorin's Letter which I mentioned had been read 
on Friday in the Assembly was taken early into discussion yesterday 
morning. The Due de Biron first spoke and was strongly of opinion 
that all assistance should be granted to His Majesty in respect 
to the object of his demand. 

Mons. de Lamclh next rose and declared that the Minister's 
Letter ought not to be taken into consideration until such time as 
the great constitutional question, viz, to whom the right of making 
peace and war belonged, was determined, and proposed, that the 
Assembly should declare whether the King should be invested 
with that prerogative. Messrs. Barnave, d'Aiguillon, Rewhel and 
Menon supported his motion but Mons. de Mirabeau combatted it 
with much energy and voted for supplies and succour to His 
Majesty in the present circumstance, as did also Mons. Chapellier in 
a very able manner. 

I have mentioned these names, My Lord, with a view to observe 
to your Grace that they are the chief Leaders of the popular Party 
and to shew how much they were divided upon this important 
Measure to which, by the bye, scarcely one of the aristocratical 
Party (the minority) spoke, and this I presume to be the conse- 
quence of ministerial Policy, as the Ministers were well aware 



1790 BEFORE THE REVOLUTION 317 

that the Address would pass without their voice which, from the 
envenomed hatred that subsists between the two Parties, would 
have rather injured the cause than assisted it. After a Debate of 
three hours the National Assembly decreed " Que le President se 
retirera dans le jour par-devers le Roi pour le remercier des 
Mesures qu'il a prises pour le maintien de la Paix. Decrete en 
outre que demain 16 May il sera mis aux voix cette Question con- 
stitutionelle, La Nation doit elle deleguer au Roi 1' Exercise du 
Droit de la paix et de la Guerre. " 

In the two Nos. of the Journal des Debats et Decreis which I 
send your Grace herewith, and on the authenticity of which you 
may depend, as it is published by authority of the National Assem- 
bly, your Grace will see in No. 1 page 8, the Minister's Letter ; 
and your Grace may also observe that, at the close of the reading 
Mons. de Lameth, having asked permission to speak, he was told by 
the President that there were the names of twenty Members on the 
list for speaking already, upon which, he shrewdly remarked that 
it was very strange that even before the Letter had been read in 
the Assembly that there should exist a list of Members who were 
to speak on it, as if it was possible that they should have had 
cognizance of the Letter without having had previous intercourse 
with the Ministers. This circumstance, My Lord, corroborates 
what I hinted at in my last, that the Ministers were exerting their 
utmost in canvassing votes in favor of the Address, but beyond 
this, altho' they have succeeded in the present instance, I still 
firmly believe they can not go, and that altho' the armament is 
permitted from motives of prudence yet, if matters come to 
extremities with Spain the Family Compact will be set aside and 
the Country will remain a silent tho' cautious spectator. Nor 
indeed in the Debates on the Letter which your Grace will see an 
account of in No, 2. page 12 of the Journal etc. does it appear 
that any other idea exists further than that of arming for security's 
sake and by no means that of taking an active part in the war ; on 
the contrary, a jealous suspicion of the views of the Cabinet 
prevails throughout. I think it important to observe here, My 
Lord, that the most peaceable dispositions are evident on the part 



318 DESPATCHES FROM PARIS 1790 

of the People and that a war is what they most dishke the 
thoughts of as the advantages which they are to derive from trade 
under a full Government is the favorite object of their fancy at this 
moment. 

From the conversation which I have had with a Spanish Gentle- 
man of much integrity and merit here, My Lord, and who is in the 
way of corresponding much with his country-men, I could only 
remark the most anxious hope of an amicable adjustment of 
matters and the certainty on his part of Spain's listening with 
readiness to honorable terms provided we did not exact too much, 
and he seemed to think that it all depended on England if it really 
was not her view to crush Spain at a moment when France was 
out of the power of lending any assistance. 

This idea with respect to France, My Lord, is a most general 
one and I do really believe that they can not effectuate an orna- 
ment here as ready money is a commodity which has vanished 
almost totally with confidence, and it can not be reasonably pre- 
sumed that in the present distracted state of the Nation that the 
rumour of a war will revise lost credit. Besides it is well known 
that the Army and Navy are but extremely ill-paid, altho' the 
greater part of the ready money which Government can possibly 
collect is immediately distributed between them. 

Before I conclude this Dispatch, My Lord, I think it necessary 
to refer your Grace to the Debate which relates to that part of 
M. de Montmorin's Letter in which the King promises to use all 
means within his power to bring about a happy reconciliation 
between the Courts of London and Madrid and there your Grace 
will see the unfavorable light in which Mons. de la Vauguyon^ the 
French Ambassador at Madrid, is held by Mons. de Lameth and 
consequently by a very considerable part of the Assembly by whom 
the consequences of that Ambassador's negotiation are, beforehand, 
regarded with an evil eye, it being strongly presumed by them 
that Mons. de la Vaujuyon will not possess very conciliating 
Powers in an affair which he is suspected to have had a principal 
share in. — These suspicions well or ill founded convince me still 
further of the sincere desire of the Popular Party that a war should 



1790 BEFORE THE REVOLUTION 319 

not take place between England and Spain from the idea that two 
such powerful and neighbouring Nations in Arms might threaten 
their new born liberty. It was strongly asserted a day or two ago 
that Monsr. de ia Vaujuyon was recalled from Spain but how true 
this may be I can not possitively say. 

These My Lord, are all the ideas which have come within my 
narrow judgement so far, but I shall lose no moment or opportunity 
in collecting every material intelligence possible for His Majesty's 
information. 

It seems, my Lord, from the business of the day, which is given 
in the evening paper that I send herewith, that nothing has been 
determined upon the great constitutional question above mentioned, 
but your Grace may depend upon it that that prerogative is lost to 
the Crown. 

P.S. I am just assured that it is beyond a doubt that M. de la 
Vauguyon is recalled from Spain and that Mons. de Bourgoing now 
french Minister at Hamburgh is to be sent to Spain ad interim 
with the Character of Minister Plenipotentiary. 

15. Fitz-Gerald to the Duke of Leeds. 

22 May 1790. 

After a Debate which lasted from 10 o'clock in the forenoon till 
six in the evening, the great Constitutional Question concerning 
the power of making peace and war was decided this day, and 
Monsr. de Mirabeau's Project of Decree which Your Grace may 
have taken notice of in the Gazette Nationale of yesterday was 
adopted with a few amendments, as it is given at length in the 
evening paper which I send herewith. 

Your Grace will observe in the same paper that Mons. de Mira- 
beau's Decree is combatted on the one hand by Mons. de Lameth, 
a young man of talents and violent republican principles, on the 
grounds of its granting too much to the Executive Power and on 
the other hand by Mons. de Cazales a man of talents likewise, but 
of very different principles, as giving all to the Legislative 
Power, which proves that Monsr. de Mirabeau has preserved that 
medium which was agreable to neither of the two Parties which 



320 DESPATCHES FROM PARIS 1790 

are in extremes altho' it was carried by the balance thrown 
between them by the moderate Party and was adopted only as an 
alternative by both. — 

Your Grace may also observe that Mons. de Mirabeau takes 
notice of the report, which has gained so universally, of his having 
been bought over by the Court, and of the scission which has 
taken place in the popular side of the House on this question. 
He knew, he said, that the distance from the Capitol to the 
Tarpeian Rock was not great. Two days ago, he said, he might, 
if he had pleased, have been carried about in triumph ; now a 
difference of opinion has spread the cry of corruption throughout 
the Metropolis, but he knew it well, he knew that that man who 
did his duty and followed the dictates of his reason could expect 
justice only from time. 

But on the whole of this affair, My Lord, I hope to have it in 
my power to make some useful remarks when I have next the 
honor of writing to Your Grace ; at present I am loath to 
keep the messenger longer and shall therefore conclude this 
Dispatch. 

16. Fitz-Gerald to the Duke of Leeds. 

28 May 1790. 

In my Dispatch No. 31 I informed Your Grace that I had 
reason to believe that the then pending decree, relative to the 
right of making peace and war, would be followed up with 
another in opposition to the Family Compact and declaratory of 
the conduct which France would observe in the present dispute 
between England and Spain, but the only motion which seems to have 
had such a tendency was made this week by Mons. de Mirabeau, 
namely, for the appointment of a select Committee to revise the 
different Treaties now subsisting between this Kingdom and 
other Powers with the view that such as contained stipulations 
favorable to the political interests of France might be sanctioned 
by the National Assembly. 

But this Motion, which had for its principal object the Family 
Compact, was thought to have been of too alarming a nature to be 



1790 X BEFORE THE REVOLUTION 321 

attended to in the present circumstances ; the National Assembly 
therefore in order to avoid the necessity of a formal profession of 
neutrality, on the present occasion, got rid of it by the previous 
question. 

With respect to the late Decree above mentioned, the decision 
of that question had, as I formerly acquainted your Grace, become 
an object of general anxiety and expectation and the last day that 
it was in discussion the Gardens of the Thuilleries and all the 
avenues to the Assembly thronged with people. The first article 
of the Decree had no sooner passed than they were informed 
that they had obtained a complete victory over the Court and 
the air was immediately filled with shouts of applause and 
clapping of hands. At the close of the Decree, when the 
Assembly broke up, the principal popular Members such as 
Messrs. de Lameih^ Merion d'Aiguillon^ and Barnave were conducted 
by them under the windows of the royal apartments of the Palace 
in the midst of the most indecent and insulting shouts of joy, and 
Mons. Barnave was carried about in triumph by the people who 
imagined that it was his Decree that had passed, but, later in the 
evening, they were undeceived and Monsr. de Mirabeau together 
with Monsr. de la Fayette who supported him were loudly accused 
as being traitors to the cause of the People, who, the next day, 
becoming extremely clamorous and restless committed many ex- 
cesses. The not wearing the National Cockade became a capital 
crime with them, and on Tuesday last a young man narrowly 
escaped with his life from their fury for having, it is said, trampled 
a Cockade under foot. The Chatelet has likewise become again 
offensive to them ; it has long ago, as I acquainted your Grace, 
been suspected of anti-patriotic principles and the People, I do 
believe, only seek an opportunity of demolishing it ; the moment 
was thought favourable and they actually assembled in great 
crowds on Wednesday last for that purpose and in the intention, it 
is said, of putting the prisoners there confined, to death with 
their own hands, but the Martial Law having been proclaimed and 
the militia having shewn firmness, they were dispersed and matters 
have remained quiet since. The Populace however on that day 

21 



322 DESPATCHES FROM PARIS 1790 

and the day before exercised their wonted cruelty on the persons 
of four young men whom, they detected in steahng ; the fact was 
very clear, but the People judged proper to hang them up at once 
without the least form of trial and a fifth man who was also caught 
in theft would have shared the same fate had not Mons. de la 
Fayette courageously interfered in person and with his own hand 
seized upon the murderer in the name of the Law and conducted 
him to prison. These troubles, it is said, were chiefly fomented 
by Monsr. de Lam.eth, with the view to render Mons. de La 
Fayette still more unpopular than his late support of Mons. de 
Mirabeau's Decree had occasioned, to disgrace him if possible also 
and to raise himself to the Chief Command of the National Militia 
in his room by the voice of the corrupted multitude ; but Mons. de 
Lameth has formally denied having ever entertained such preten- 
sions and has possitively declared, in a Letter which he has written 
to Mons. de la Fayette, that he by no means coveted a place 
which he fills with so much merit and as a proof of the calumny 
which has been spread that he would not accept of the place was 
it even offered to him. — 

But this has not quieted the alarms of the town in general 
which has the greatest confidence in Mons. de La Fayette and 
dreads the most serious consequences if another person than him- 
self should have the chief command, and indeed, My Lord, to do 
him justice, I do consider him to be the most proper, perhaps the 
only person, who is able to govern the people of Paris in their 
present turbulent disposition of temper. 

As I said above, matters are again restored to order and the 
clamours against Mons. de La Fayette have in a great measure 
ceased, altho' his popularity must be necessarily impaired by the 
favor he is supposed to have got into with the adverse Party since 
the late scission in the popular side of the Assembly has taken place... 

17. FiTZ-GERALD TO THE DUKE OF LeEDS. 

4 June 1790. 

As M. Necker's Discourse on the Finances, which he read some 
days ago in the National Assembly, is become a principal topic of 



1790 BEFORE THE REVOLUTION 323 

momentary conversation, I shall commence this Dispatch with 
giving your Grace an outline sketch of it previous to your perusal 
of the Memoire at large which I have the honor to transmit here- 
with. It appears from that Minister's account that there will 
remain in the Treasury the last day of this year a surplus of 
11 millions 400 thousand Livres, but this is founded on the sup- 
position that the Taxes will be levied without further op- 
position or delay and that the different reforms proposed will 
be carried into immediate execution. The Minister supposes 
that the receipts of every description for the last eight months of 
the present year will amount to 656 millions 625 thousand Livres 
and the disbursements for ordinaries and extraordinaries to 
645 millions 210 thousand Livres, but this view, it may be again 
observed, is not only exposed to the common chapter of accidents 
but subject to all those variations which necessarily arise from a 
disordered state of things. M. Necker, who of late seemed to 
have been lost in oblivion, thought proper on this occasion, in 
order to rally the Nation to the grateful recollection of his services, 
to congratulate the Assembly on the growing confidence which the 
Assignats seemed daily to acquire and doubted not but that they 
would hear with real satisfaction that the number already in cir- 
culation in the Provinces amounted to 45 millions, that they were 
universally called for and that the Treasurer de V Extraordinaire 
was not able to satisfy the multiplied demands that were daily 
made upon him. Their number will be 1,200,000 of different 
values, viz, of 1000, 300 and 200 Livres and their total value 
is limited to 400 millions, the amount of that portion of Church 
Property which the National Assembly has resolved to dispose of 
for the present. 

But it may be reasonably supposed that Government will not be 
content with issuing Assignats to the amount of 400 Millions, the 
present attempt may be considered as an experiment only and as 
soon as the present paper is absorbed in circulation the same 
expedient will be resorted to when the circulation becoming over- 
charged, it may very probably stagnate and destroy itself. I shall 
conclude this Article with observing to your Grace that the 



324 DESPATCHES FROM PARIS 1790 

Municipality of Marseille has followed the example of Bordeaux by 
publishing a Proclamation offering to give ready money for 
Assignats to all tradesmen and manufacturers of the City who shall 
stand in need of such relief. 

Mons. Necker has obtained another vote of the Assembly for 
20 Millions of which 14 are to be applied to the services of the 
Navy. 

The following is, I have reason to believe, my Lord, an authentic 
list of the ships ordered into readiness at Brest. Nine Ships of 
the Line, viz. Le Majestueux of 110 Guns. Les deux Freres of 
80, L'Auguste 80, L'Americain 74, Le Dugne Tronin 74, La Ferme 
75, Le Patriote 74, Le Superbe 74, Le Temeraire 74, and ten 
Frigates viz, La Cibelle, La Proserpine, La Fidelle, La Reunion, La 
Danae, La Fine, La Bellone, La Surveillante, L'Attalante and 
L'Amphytrite besides nine other lower rate Vessels. I can not 
speak precisely as to Toulon, but I understand that Mons. Albert 
de Rioms is to hoist his flag there on board the Victorieux of 
110 Guns and that he is to have the command of the Fleet of 
14 Ships of the Line now arming. 

It is also rumoured here, My Lord, but how true I can not 
pretend to say, that orders have been sent to the various Ports of 
this Kingdom to hold other 42 Ships of the Line in readiness to be 
armed at the first notice. I have good authority for assuring your 
Grace that three experienced Naval Captains, who are here, de- 
clined lending their services and refused going down to Brest to 
take command of the Ships destined for them there on pretext that 
they were at a loss to know to whom they were to be responsible 
for their conduct ; this was merely the ostensible reason but the 
real cause of their refusal may be easily traced in that disgust 
which prevails so generally among the French Nobility of which 
denomination all officers of any rank may be reckoned, as well in 
the Navy as in the Army. 

The same thurst for war still prevails here among the fallen 
Nobility and Clergy as well as His Most Christian Majesty's 
Ministers, notwithstanding the assurances of these last to the con- 
trary and, if I may judge from appearances, I should conceive that 



1790 BEFORE THE REVOLUTION 325 

Her Most Christian Majesty joined in the same wish. Her 
Majesty's marked attention of late to the Spanish Ambassador and 
her very affable manner in conversation with him at her Majesty's 
last public Card Party attracted the notice of many people present 
and was even blamed as being very indiscrete at a moment when 
so many watchful and suspicious eyes were upon her, but suppos- 
ing this to be the case it by no means follows that war is nearer at 
hand for as I have before repeated, the majority of the Assembly 
and the Nation is much against it, altho' I will confess that I am 
much come off from the idea which I had entertained of justice 
being done to England, with respect to her present differences 
with Spain, by the popular side of the National Assembly and I 
was not a little surprised some days ago to hear Mons. de La 
Fayette tell me he believed that we had sought the cause of 
quarrel in the intention to interrupt the French Revolution by 
involving France in the contest and to dismember, at the same 
time, the Spanish Empire by rousing and assisting Spanish America 
to throw off the yoke. In the first instance he said we should 
never succeed as the Spirit of Liberty was grafted in the heart of 
every French peasant in the Kingdom, and in the second he 
thought that our attempts were premature, but that, if we would 
wait for a more favourable opportunity, France would assist us in 
our laudable endeavours for that it was the sincere wish of this 
Country to see a similar Revolution to the present one take place 
all over the World and the National Cockade universally worn. 
However extravagant this may be I conceived it not to be amiss to 
give your Grace an idea of the principles entertained by a principal 
character in the present Revolution, and to shew how much further 
he carries his republican doctrines, he did not scruple to assure me 
that he saw with regret the necessity that existed in this Country's 
being a Monarchy but that he hoped it might be a most limited 
one, that he did not despair of seeing a still more perfect equality 
take place among men and that the only means to bring that about 
was an impartial division of landed property which must, he added, 
some day or other take place and that until it happened, all would 
not be complete. 



326 DESPATCHES FROM PARIS 1790 

The affairs of the Clergy have again come before the Assembly 
and the spirit of reformation has been pushed so far that 
one member proposed the abolition of Metropolitan Sees ; they 
will however be preserved but neither their number nor their 
situation has yet been determined upon. The number of Suffregan 
Bishops will be equal to that of the Departments, viz, 83 ; and the 
extent likewise of a Diocese will be commensurate with a Depart- 
ment. The Assembly has passed a prohibitory Decree which 
forbids the French Church, any Parish or Citizen to acknowledge 
any foreign spiritual jurisdiction, without inquiry nevertheless, that 
union which will continue to subsist between them and the visible 
head of the Church in such manner as they shall hereafter think 
proper to decree. 

Yesterday being the anniversary of the Fete Dieu their most 
Christian Majesties and the Royal Family, after hearing mass, 
walked in the Procession through several streets of the City. 
They were accompanied by the greater part of the Members of 
the National Assembly and a considerable body of the Garde 
Nationale, Horse and Foot. This novel sight at Paris, attracted a 
numerous crowd of spectators but no accident occurred and all 
was conducted with much good order. And this morning their 
Majesties have set out for St. Cloud where the Court will reside 
till Sunday. During the residence of their Majesties at St. Cloud, 
they will come to Paris on Sundays only, which are to be 
Levee Days. This excursion to St. Cloud will, it is said, be soon 
followed by others to Rambouillet and Fontainebleau and what 
is worthy of remark the people of Paris have not discovered any 
symptoms of uneasiness or suspicion on account of His Majesty's 
absence. 

The Court is escorted by the Garde National Parisienne.... 

18. FiTZ-GERALD TO THE DUKE OF LeEDS. 

18 June 1790. 

Owing to the hurry and inconvenience necessarily attending 
Earl Gower's first arrival at Paris, His Excellency has not yet had 
it in his power to turn his attention to public business or to form 



1790 BEFORE THE REVOLUTION 327 

an accurate view of the state of matters as they stand here at 
present. I am therefore, at his Excellency's desire, to trouble 
your Grace once more with a few observations of my own and a 
statement of those facts which have occurred since I had last the 
honor of writing to your Grace on similar Matters. 

The few remarks which I shall present your Grace with are 
such as are visible to every person in the habit of observation here 
but which, nevertheless, are of some importance in the present 
critical situation of affairs. The visible change which has by 
degrees taken place in the minds of people here respecting the 
part to be held by France, if a war should unhappily take place 
between Great Britain and Spain, is what I chiefly allude to, for 
it is evident that that moderation which distinguished the Majority 
of opinions here six weeks ago no more exists but has made way 
to new ideas of national honor and gratitude which both, it is now 
said, call for the support of France, if Spain should stand in need 
of her assistance. It must not however be understood from this 
that war is a measure sought for or desired, for if I except some of 
the Members of the Cabinet and the major part of the Nobility 
and clergy, the Nation at large is averse to the idea, but only that 
such a measure is more generally relished at present than it was at 
the first accounts of our differences with Spain when, not only the 
Family Compact was to be set aside in the opinions of the 
Majority, but all ideas of National grandeur, beyond what was to 
be acquired by trade and commerce, were to be relinquished as 
being vain and beneath the consideration of a Nation naturally so 
great and now free. This change of sentiment can be only ascribed 
to that influence which I assured your Grace on a former occasion 
the Cabinet was daily gaining in the National Assembly and to the 
known sentiments of Monsr. de La Fayette which have the greatest 
weight with the People and which are by no means inimical to 
Ministerial Measures; but however great the Divisions in the popular 
side of the Assembly and however formidable the new acquired 
influence of the Court may be, there is still strength sufficient 
with the violent republican Party, of which Messrs. de Latneth, 
dc Noailles and others are at the head, and integrity perhaps 



328 DESPATCHES FROM PARIS 1790 

enough among Messrs. de La Fayette and Mirabeau's followers, to 
resist the tide of ministerial influence where it becomes too rapid 
and to check it on such occasions where the possibility exists of 
its becoming dangerous, and that much implicit confidence is not 
yet reposed in the Ministers, sufficiently appears from the late vote 
of the National Assembly where, Mr. Malonet, Reporter of the 
Naval Committee, having stated that the strict annual expence of 
the Fleet which has been voted, namely 14 Ships of the Line and 
14 Frigates etc. would amount to 13,850,000 Livres and having 
moved for two millions per month, it was resolved that three 
millions only should be granted for two months. 

With respect to any interesting matter in the National Assembly, 
My Lord, this week affords us with little more than the continu- 
ation of the ecclesiastical reforms such as the respective annual 
stipends of the secular Clergy and the nature of the qualifications 
which a minister ought to possess in order to be eligible either to 
a vacant Rectory or Bishoprick and your Grace no doubt will read 
with surprise that the Archbishop of Paris is reduced by these 
Regulations to the frugal pittance of 50,000 Livres per annum, all 
other Archbishops to 20,000 and Bishops to 12,000 only. In order 
to be qualified for a Bishoprick, a Priest must have performed 
Spiritual Function for 15 years. Each Bishop is to name his 
Vicars, who are to be his Council in the administration of the 
Diocese and these Vicars are to supply the place of the suppressed 
Canons and Prebends. In order to be elected Episcopal Vicar 
one must have officiated for 10 years as Priest and in order to be 
elected Priest it will be necessary to have officiated as parochial 
Vicar for 5 years. It may be observed also that the Pope will 
not in future receive any pecuniary favors from the Gallican 
Church. 

I shall conclude this very uninteresting Dispatch with mention 
only of the Vicomte de Mirabeau who, having obtained leave of 
absence from the National Assembly to join his Regiment in 
Garrison at Perpignan, has lately been exposed to the fury of the 
mob there and the disaffected part of his Regt. It appears from 
letters read in the Assembly that that gentleman in consequence of 



1790 BEFORE THE REVOLUTION 329 

the turbulent spirit of his Regiment had quitted Perpignan and 
had taken with him a part of the Colours of which in his opinion 
the Regiment had rendered itself unworthy. 

He has been made prisoner on his road to Paris by the Garde 
Nationale of Castelnaudary but will be soon set at liberty in conse- 
quence of the interference of the National Assembly. The evening 
paper which accompanies this Dispatch, My Lord, contains the 
particulars of this affair and takes notice of the Revolution which 
has taken place at Avignon which, it seems, has withdrawn its alle- 
giance from the Court of Rome. By the same paper likewise it 
appears that M. Necker has applied to the Assembly this morning 
for a fresh vote of 30 millions by way of Loan on the Caisse 
d'Escompte. 



INDEX 



Adelaide, Madame. I, 66. 

Adhemar, Mons. de, I, 31, 40, 84, 146, 

163, 169, 190. 
Ainslie, Sir Robert, I, 241, 242, 250. 
Aix, Parliament of, II, 68, 72,. 
Albany, Louise Marie Caroline Aloise, 

Duchess of, I, 18, 58. 
Algiers, expedition to, I, 11, 22, 23. 
— , peace with Spain, I, 69. 
Alliance between France and Holland, 

I, 2, 6, 10, 13, 15, 18, 19, 20, 55, 

80, 84, 100, 104, 105. 
American affairs, II, 74. 
America, negotiations with, I, 44, 49, 

53, 58, 60. 
— , trade with, I, 14, 38, 39, 59, 60. 
Andlau, Comte, d', II, 52. 
Angouleme, Louis Antoine de Bour- 
bon, Due de, II, 164, 256. 
Aranda, don Pedro Pablo Abaraca y 

Bolea, Comte de, I, yg and note, 

175- 
Army (French), I, 152, 153, 190, 210, 

211, 245, 246, 263, 264 ; II, 14-16, 

20, 27, 33, 37, 58, 59. 
, disaffection in, II, 15, 16, 229, 

237, 259, 276, 287, 291, 302, 308, 

329- 

— (Russian), II, 28. 

Artois, Charles Philippe, Comte de, 
I, 112 and note, 216 ; II, 70, 85, 
120, 127. 194. 245-247, 256. 

Assembly of Clergy, II, 54, 55, 57, 66, 
69, 73, 81, 116. 

— National, see National Assembly. 

— of Notables, see Notables. 



Austria and Turkey, I, 274. 
Austria, see Empero. 
Autun, Yves Alexandre de Marbeuf, 
Bishop of, II, 52, 62, 109. 



B 



Balloons invented, I, 100, loi, 163. 
Barthelemi, Francois, Marquis de, I, 

17, 85, 136. 
Bastille, destruction of the, II, 242, 

243, 255- 
Beaumarchais, Pierre Augustin Caron, 

de, I, 44 note. 
Belgrade, II. 3, 24, 61, 69, 272. 
Berkenroode, Mons. de, II, 23, 79. 
Berri, Charles Ferdinand de Bourbon, 

Due de, II, 164, 209, 256. 
Besan^on, Parliament of, II, 50, 68, 

73. 120. 174. 
Bezanval (Besonval), Pierre Victor, 

Baron de. II, 286-288. 
Biron, Louis Antoine de Gontaut, 

due, Marechal de, II, 41, 109, 

316. 
Boltz. Mr., I, 131, 137, 138. 
Bombelles, Marc Marie, Marquis de, 

II, 52. 170. 
Bordeaux, parliament of, I, 120. 122, 

127 ; II, 8, 14. 20, 53, 73, 131. 
Boufflers, Stanislas, Chevalier de, I, 

75 and note, 84. 
Bouille, Francois Claude Amour, 

Marquis de, II, 308. 
Brabant, II. 158. 
Brantzen, Mons. de, II, 2$. 
Bread, price of, II, 115, 121, 126, 129, 

153, 187, 232, 278, 286. 



332 



INDEX 



Breteuil, Louis Auguste le Tonnelier, 

Baron de, I, 27, 72 note, 107, 

109, no, 170. 171, 199, 237, 259 ; 

II, 51, 55. 66, 78, 238, 247, 257. 
Brienne, Etienne Charles Lomenie, 

de, I, 239, 242. 
Britanny, II, 140, 143, 144, 146, 163, 

250, 295. 
— , Deputies from, II, 4, 92, 102, 146, 

159, 162, 173. 
— , remonstrances from, II, 49, 71, 

80, 87. 
Bubzakovv, iVIons. de, II, 34, 38. 
Burgundy, II, 98. 129, 159. 



Cagliostro, Alexandre, Comte de, I, 
103, 105, 114. 

Calonne, Charles Alexandre de, I, 33 
note, 37, 47, 57, 62, 66-68, 73, 86, 
88, 100, 107, 109, no, 115, 134, 
146, 156, 167, i68, 172, 174, 190, 
191, 193, 194, 212, 217, 247, 248 ; 
II, 26, 186. 

Cambray, Ferdinand Maximilian Me- 
riadec de Kohan-Guemene, Arch- 
bishop of, I, 162. 

Candia, Island of, I, 5. 

Castries, Armand Pierre de la Croix, 
Marechal de, I, 116 and note, 
130, 131, 152, 156, 225, 236, 237. 

Chalons, Comte de, II. 33, 170. 

Champaretz, Madame de, II, 23. 

Chartres, Louis Philippe Joseph d'Or- 
leans. Due de, I, 82 and note ; II, 
164, 168. 

Chatelet, Dupuis. Ducde, II, 110, 113, 
n7, 241, 249, 257. 

— , of Paris, II, 50, 53, 54, 56, 307, 321. 

Cherbourg, I, 19, 20, 22, 47, 55, 62, 
67, 99, n2, 114-117, 126, 158, 161, 
209 ; II, 9, 66, 70, 74, 141, 142. 

Choiseul-Gouffier, Marie Gabriel Flo- 
rent Auguste, Mons de, 4 and 
note, 8, 14, 155, 241. 

Church, property, II, 275, 299, 328. 

Clergy, Assembly of, see Assembly. 

Commerce, treaty of, see Treaty. 

Conde, Louis Henri Joseph, due de 
Bourbon, Prince de, II, 78, 177. 

Constantinople, reported insurrection 
in, II, 25, 28. 



Convocation, Letters of, II, 142, 149, 

176, i8i. 
Corn, price of, II, 175, 178, 182, 191, 

224. 
Cour des Aides, II, 43, 45. 



D 



D'andlau (? D'andelot), see Andlau. 
Dauphin, illness of, 1,8; II, 8, 27, 36, 

40, 52, 55> 56, 62, 66, 138, 149, 

152, 156, 163, 165, 172, 183, 190, 

201, 206, 209. 
— , death of, II, 210, 213, 218. 
Dauphine, Parliament of, II, 8, 61, 73, 

98, 132, 274. 
Despresmenil, Mons, see Epresmenil. 
Deux Ponts, Maximilian Joseph, Due 

de, I, 56. 
Diamond Necklace, affair of the, I, 71, 

72, 74, 84, 87, 88, 98, 101, 102, 

104, 105, 118. 
Diego Garcia, island of, I, 187, 190, 

195- 
Dijon, Parliament of, II, 50, 69, 73. 
Dillon, Arthur, Count, I, 118. 
Dol, Urbain Kene de Herce, Bishop 

of, II, 4. 
Dominions, Exchange of, proposed, 

I, 42, 56, 70. 
Douay, Parliament of, II, 73. 
Dutch in East Indies, I, xo, 12. 24, 25. 
— , Navigation, I, 5, 9. 
— , Subsidy promised to, I, TJ, 84. 



East India Company, I, 129 ; II, 38, 

39, 231. 
— , French, I, 37, 42, 46, 48, 50, 65, 

«3. 95' 117. 120, 122, 123, 125, 

127, 130, 140, 171, 259, 260. 
East Indies, II, 7, 39. 
Economic Reforms, proposed, I, 196, 

198. 
Edicts concerning Protestants, II, 3, 

4. 12, 14. 
— , of Nantz, I, 160. 
Egypt, French designs on, I, 51, 61, 

97, 98, 106, 142, 244, 245. 



/ 



INDEX 



333 



Emperor, the, Joseph, his quarrel with 
Holland, I, 8, lo, 15, 21-26,29-31, 

37. 3«, 40, 41, 46-49. 51. 55, 59. 

78. 105. 
— , Leopold, II, 145, 151, 158, 164, 183, 

186. 190, 206, 209. 214, 224. 
Enghien, Louis Antoine Henri de 

Bourbon Conde, Due de, II, i68. 
England, hostility* against, II, 250, 

252, 253. 

— King of (George III), II, 112, 122, 

i66. 
English carriages in France, I, 83, 

115 

— families in France, I, 69. 

— trade, I, 64, 68, 69, 73, 95, 149, 

151, 224. 

— wool. I, 89. 

Espresmenil, Jean Jacques Duval, d', II, 

12, 40-43, 57, 65, 114, 236, 300. 
Esterno, Mons d', II, 38. 
Etats Generaux, see States General. 



Family Compact, the, II, 320, 327. 
Farras, Marquis de, II, 278, 284, 287, 

293-295- 

Fayette, Marie Jean Paul Roch Yves 
Gilbert Motier, Marquis de la, I, 
139; II, 243, 254, 263, 265, 273, 
287, 322. 

Finance (French), I, 16, 65, 70, 75, 
81-83. 85-87, 89, 93. 95-98, 100, 
102, 109, 112, 117, 134, 139, 147, 
148, 150, 152, 154, 164, 168, 171, 
173, 178, 194-196, 200, 266-268 ; 
II, 22, 24. 29-32. 40, 69, 82. 84, 90, 
113, 139, 147, 161, 180, 193. 208, 
222, 272, 296, 301. 303-305. 323. 

324- 
Financial Crisis, II, 90, 304. 
Fleet (F'rench). 1, 2-4, 20, 23, 24. 29, 

31, 44, 59-61, 68, 81, 99, 106, 190, 

198, 207-209, 213, 214, 255, 260 ; 

11,6. 7, 40, 214, 324. 
— , Russian, II, 7, 10, 18. 21, 89. 
— , Spanish. II, 21, 22, 51, 313. 
— , Turkish, II, 89, 103. 
Florida Blanca, Joseph Monino de, 

I, 79 atid note, 276 ; II, 139. 
Fontainbleau, treaty of, I, 50, 65, 71, 

"3-75. 77, 79- 



F'oulon, Joseph Francois de, II, 246, 
249. 

France,sce Army, Assembly, Dauphin, 
Finance, Fleet, National Assem- 
bly, Notables, Paris, Parliaments, 
Protestants, States General, 
Treaty. 

— King of (Louis XVI), II, 183, 192, 

216, 221, 226, 241, 244, 262, 264, 
265, 288, 289. 

— and Austria, I, 253, 254. 

— and Turkey. II, 6. 

Frederick the Great, see King of 

Prussia. 
French Army, see Army. 

— Court, extnivagance of, I, 144-147, 

156, 159- 



G 



Geneva, II, 153, 155, 159, 163, 171. 
Golard, Mons., II, 41, 43. 
Gold Coast, fort on the, I, 143. 
Goltz. Bernard Guillaume, Baron de, 

I. 83. 

Gorcic, Island of, see Diego Garcia. 

Gottenburg, I, 13, 17. 

Grenoble, disturbances at, II, 64, 67, 

68, 83. 
— , Parliament of, II, 53, 73, 131. 
Gramont, Antoine Louis Marie, due 

II. 72, 80. 

Guillotin, Joseph Ignace, II, 132. 



H 



Hailes, Daniel, 3 ttole and passim. 

Harcourt, Fran(;ois Henri, Due de, I, 
156 ; II, 138. 

Henry, Prince, see Prussia. 

Herbert, Baron, II, 20. 

Hesse Cassell, Guillaume I, Land- 
grave of, I, 14, 16. 

Histoire secrette de la Cour de Berlin, 
II. 147, 150, 155, 158, 162. 165, 

175- 
Holland, alliance with Spain, I, 126, 

see also Spain. 
— , French policy in, I, aio, 213-216, 

219, 220, 244, 251, 253, 256 ; II, 

7. 11- 
— , Parties in, I, 52, 56. 



334 



INDEX 



Holland, Party quarrels in, I, 74, 83, 

143, 156, 160, 202, 208. 
— , Prussian intervention in, I, 225, 

228. 
Horst, Mens, de, I, 14. 



I 



India, disputes in, I, 120, 124. 

— , French designs on, I, 4, 10, 12, 

16, 133, 137, 277 ; n, 7, 79. 88, 
93. 171- 
Ireland, maps of, I, no, iii. 



J 
Jacobin Club, II, 297. 



K 



Kaunitz, Wenceslas Antoine, Comte 
de Rietberg, Prince, I, 253. 

King, see England, France, Spain, 
Sweden, Kings of. 



Lally Tolendal, Trophime Gerard, 
Marquis de, II, 259, 260. 

Lambesc, Charles Eugene de Lor- 
raine d'Elbeuf, Prince de, II, 
241, 276. 

Lamoignon, Chretien Francpois de, I, 
191 and note, 194, 199. 

Languedoc, II, 138, 141, 157, 160. 

Lauzun, Armand Louis de Gontaut, 
Due de, I, 80 and note. 

Le Noir, Jean Charles Pierre, Mons. 
de, I, 173, 202. 

" Lettres de Cachet, " II, 8, 12, 15, 
17, 19. 

Levant, mail route to the, II, no, 
118, 179. 

" Lits de Justice, " II, 44-46. 

Luzerne, Cesar Henri, dc, I, 63. 

Lyons, Yves Alexandre de Marbeuf, 
Archbishop of, II, 52, 167. 

— , manufactories at, II, 21. 

— , riots at, II, 234. 



M 



Madagascar, I, 47. 
Maestricht, I, 9, 10, 41, 74, 239. 
Maillebois, Yves Marie Desmarets de, 

I, 28, 32, 43, 46, 138 ; II, 298, 
299. 

Mann, Sir Horace, I, 18 note. 
Marseilles riots at, II, 184, 185, 189, 

204. 
Maupeou, Rene Nicolas Charles Au- 

guste de, Chancellor, II, 9. 
Merci Argenteau, Comte de, I, 48, 

74 and note, 78 ; II, 248, 257, 
Meromenil, Mons de, I, 191. 
Metz, Louis Joseph de Montmorency 

Laval, Bishop of, II, 142. 
— , Parliament of, II, 47, 73. 
— , Riots at, II, 235. 
Mirabeau, Honore Gabriel Riquetti, 

vicomte de, II, 165, 182, 197, 260, 

269, 319, 321, 328, 329. 
— , Andre Boniface Louis Riquetti, 

II, 182. 

" Monsieur ", (the King's brother, 

Comte de Provence), I, 80 note ; 

II, 66, 70, 85, 116, 120, 128, 194, 

236, 266, 274, 278. 
Montesquiou, Fezensac Anne Pierre, 

Marquis de, II, 62. 
Montgollier, Joseph Michel, I, 100, 

loi, 163, 
Montmorin, Armand Marc, Saint 

Herem. Comte de, I, 174, 175, 

199, 218, 228, 254, 255, 276, 277 ; 

II, 3, 5, 9-1 1, 36-38, 58, 79, 180, 

236, 245, 312. 
Motte, Jeanne de Luy de Saint Remy 

de Valois, Madame de la, I, 72, 

74, 84, 88, 105 atid note, 107, 109, 

114, 115, 118. 
Moutier, Eleonore Francois Elle, 

Marquis de, I, 86 and note. 



N 



Nancy, Parliament of, II, 73. 

Naples, Court of, I, 108, 122. 

— , Queen of, I, 108 atid note, 154. 

National Assembly, II, 252, 261, 270, 
274, 275. 2S3, 298, 300-303, 309, 
310, 316, 319, 321, 322, 328, 329. 

National Debt, see Finance. 



INDEX 



335 



Neckar, Jacques, I, 43 note, 57, 192, 
193; II, 94, 101, 113, 124, 137, 
155, 196, 203, 208, 222, 236, 237. 

Newspapers, complained of, I, 32. 

New Zealand, I, 52, 53, 58. 

Nicobar Islands, I, 116. 

Noailles, Louis, Marechal de, I, 273, 
274. 

Normandie, Louis Charles, Due de, 
I, 48, 80. 

Notables, Assembly of, I, 164, 167, 
169-172, 175, 178-185, 188, 189, 
197 ; II, 106, 107, 109, III, 112, 
116, 119, 120, 123, 125, 

— , Reforms proposed, I, 176, 177. 

— , dissolved, I, 201. 

Nootka Sound, see Spain. 

Nully, Comte de, II, 310. 



Oczakow J Y^l' J^9. 141. 145, 148, 

Orange, Guillaume V, Prince of, I, 
108. 

Orders and Titles, abolition of , 1 1 , 275. 

Orleans, Louis Sextius de Jarente de 
la Bruyere, Bishop of, II, 62. 

— , Louis Philippe Joseph, Duke of, 
I, 81 and note, 82 ; II, 3, 12, 15, 
24, 29, 36, 108, 113, 120, 128, 
133, 164, 177, 190, 194, 217, 222, 
224, 231, 267, 269, 272, 273, 277. 

Osmont, Comte d', II, 170, 219. 



Paris, Antoine Eleonore Leon Le 
Clerc de Juignie de Neuchelles, 
Archbishop of, II, 12, 46. 

— , Chatelet of, II, 50, 53, 54, 56, 307, 
321. 

— , Parliament of, I, 33, 88, loi, 191, 
205-208, 212, 221, 226, 227, 229- 
231, 233, 234, 236-238, 243, 246, 
273 ; II. 4, 12, 26, 29, 34, 35, 41- 

43. 57. 

, transferred to Troyes, I, 232. 

, recalled from Troyes, I, 243. 

— , Riots in. II, 187, 188, 228, 229, 

237-240, 262. 
— , Water supply, I, 109, no. 



Parliament of Aix, II, 68, 73. 

Besancon, II, 50, 68, 73, 120, 

157- 
Bordeaux, I, 120, 265; II, 8, 

14, 20, 53, 73, 131. 

Dijon, II, 50, 69, 73. 

Douay, II, 73. 

Grenoble, I. 263 ; II, 53, 73, 131. 

Metz, 11,47, 73. 

Nancy, II, 73. 

Paris, see above. 

Pau, II, 26, 73, 84. 

Rennes, II, 48, 49, 54, 56, 59, 

62, 73, 82, 140, 150. 

Rouen, II, 43, 47. 71, 73. 

Toulouse, II. 26, 50, 57, 60, 73, 

131- 

Pays des Basques, ceded to Spain, 
I. 131- 

Peace, between England and Hol- 
land, I, 5, 6. 

— , and United States, I, 3. 

— , Treaty of, I, 105. 

Penal Code, reform of, II, 17. 

Perigord, Alexandre Angel ique, Abbe 
de, II, 109. 

Perouse, Jean Francois de Galaup, 
de, I, 52 and note, 55, 58, 125, 
198. 

Petty, Sir William, I, 106, no. 

Polignac, Jules, Due de, 1, 80 and note, 

145- 
— , Yolande Martine Gabriel de Po- 

lastron, Duchesse de, II, 245, 

247, 256, 257. 
Prices, see Bread. 
Protestants in France, I, 158, 160, 

168, 278. 
— , Edicts concerning, II, 3, 4, 12, 14. 
— , restored to civil rights, I, 265, 267, 

272, 273. 
Provence comte de, see " Monsieur. " 
Provincial Assemblies, I, 274, 275. 
Prussia, relations of, with Holland, I, 

252. 
— , King of, I, 105, 109, 135, 139. 
— , Prince Henry of, I, 13, 14, 18-20, 

23 ; n. 151. 169. 174, 175. 



Q 



Queen Marie Antoinette, I, 145 ; II, 
168, 226, 265, 278, 325. 



336 



INDEX 



Queen of Naples, see Naples. 
Quelen, Mons. de, I, 6 note, 8, (see 
Vauguyon, due de). 



R 



Ragusa, Duchy of, I, 61-63. 

Rennes, disturbances at, II, 44, 47, 
59, 62, 63, 68, 72, 87, 152, 153, 
157, 160. 

— , see Parliament. 

Reyneval, Mons de, I, 7 twte, 54, 87, 
89, 90, 93 atid note, 156, 157. 

Revolution of 1789, II, 238-243, 247. 

— , forecast of, II, 30-33. 

Richelieu, Louis Francois Armand du 
Plessis, Due de, II, 86. 

Rohan. Louis Rene Edouard, Cardi- 
nal de, I, 71 and note, 72, 74, 84, 
87-89,98, loi- 05, 107, 113-115, 
118 ; II, 142, 150, 182, 186. 

Rouen, parliament of, II, 43, 47, 71, 

73- 
Russia, affairs of, I, 85, 90, 155, 157- 

160, 162, 172. 
— , Empress of, I, 15, 93, 161, 162, 

240, 250. 
— , Fleet of, I, 44, 85, 163, 260, 262 ; 

II, 7, 10, 18, 20, 21, 89. 



St. Bartholomew, Island of, I, 17. 

St. Domingo, I, 63, 69 ; II, 181, 296. 

St. Eustatius, I, 12, 64. 

St. Foy, Mons. de, I, 135. 

St. James, Mons. de, I, 172. 

St. Priest, Fran<;ois Emmanuel Guig- 
nard, Comte de, I, 63 and note, 
236, 242 ; II, 25, 48, 170. 

Satm, Rhingrave of, II, 39. 

Scheld, free navigation of the, I, 9, 
10, 15, 21, 26. 40, 74, 79. 

Segur, Louis Philippe, Comte de, I, 
80 and note. 

— , Philippe Henri, Marechal de, I, 
25 note, 1 16 and note, 135, 152, 
156, 199, 236, 237, 242. 

Schabacz, fortress of, II, 51. 

Senegal, settlement in, I, 103. 

Sens, Paul d'Albcrt, Cardinal, Arch- 
bishop of, II, 26, 71, 84, 86, 



94, 95. 97, 102, 105, 106, 142. 
Simolin, Charles Auguste, baron de, 

I, 45. 46, 90, 107, 130, 242, 251. 
Sisteron, Louis Jerome de Suffren de 

Saint Tropez, Bishop of, II, 178, 

185. 
Slave trade, I, 20, 53. 
Smuggling, I, 82. 
Soubise, Cardinal, see Rohan. 
— , Charles de Rohan, Prince de, I 

71 and note, 89, 123. 
Spain, and the Franco-Dutch Alliance, 

I, 122, 126, 128, 132, 135. 
— , cession of French territory to, I , 

131- 

— , dispute with England, Nootka 
Sound, II, 313-320, 325, 327. 

— , King of, I, 108 and note; II, 130. 

— , troubles with, I, 78, 79. 

Spanish Fleet, II, 21, 22, 51. 

Stiiel, Eric Magnus, Holstein, Baron 
de, I, 94, 127 ; II, 251. 

Stainville, Marechal de, II, 80, 82, 86, 
108, 161, 214. 

Stamp Tax, I, 221, 222, 224. 

States General, proposed, I, 221, 235. 

— , promised, I, 270, 271 ; II, 83, 84, 
86, 89, 104, 107, 108, 117, 125, 
126, 128, 130, 155, 167, 192, 196, 
219, 220, 232. 

Storm near Paris, II, 75, 76,78, 82. 

Suffrein, Pierre Andre de Saint Tro- 
pez de, I, 2, 8, 10, 37, 84, 105, 
250 ; II, 126. 

Sumatra, I, 116. 

Sweden, I, 11, 13, 17. 

— , King of, I, ID, 15, 17. 



Talleyrand, Charles Daniel, Comte 

de, II, 52, 109. 
Target, Gui Jean Baptiste, II, 51, 199. 
Taxes, French, 1,221,222, 224; II, 14. 
Thiard, Henri Charles, Comte de, II, 

44, 48, 49, 56, 68, 73, 78, 80, 86, 

102, 108, I40, 152, 154, i6o, 166, 

169, 173. 
Thugut, PYan9ois, Baron de, I, 134. 
Tiers Etat, the, II, 143, 152, 160, 170, 

173, 174, 195-197- 202, 203, 207, 

208,210,211, 215-217, 219, 221, 

225, 226, 233. 



INDEX 



337 



Tippoo Saib, ) II, 7, 8, 27, 36, 37, 
Tippoo Sultan, ) 93, 224, 227. 
— , Ambassadors from, II, 7, 8, 55, 70, 

74, 81, 85, 88, 92, 106, 121. 
Tobago, Island of, I, 118, 121, 243 ; 

II, 40, 146. 
Toulon, port of, I, ill. 
Toulouse, Etienne Charles Lomenie, 

Archbishop of, I, 195, 196, 199, 

201, 228, 235 ; II, 12. 
— , disturbances at, II, 28,77. 
— , Parliament of, II, 26, 50, 57, 60, 

73, 131- 
Treasury reforms, II, 24. 
Treaty of Commerce, I, 7, 8, 10, 11, 

54, 64, 67c69, 76, 77, 86, III, 112 ; 

11,4. 21. 
Treaty, see Fontainblcau 
Trincomale I, 40, 43, 45, 49, 115. 
Troyes, I, 232, 243. 
Turkey, affairs of, II, 6, 8, 10, 11, 13, 

i6, 17, 20, 23, 34. 
— , and Austria, II, 16, 18, 19, 25, 38. 
— , and France, I, 244. 
— , and Russia, I, 241, 249. 



Turkish Fleet, II, 89, 103. 



Vaudreuil, Louis Philippe de Rigaud, 

Mons. de, I, 146. 
Vauguyon, Due de la, II, 139, 170, 

180. 236, 238, 257, 318, 319. 
Vaux, Marechal de, II, 50, 60, 77, 81, 

83, 84, 86. 
Vergennes, Paul Francois de, I, 7 

note, 27, 67, 82, 84, 85, 87, 106, 

no, 141, 142, 153, 156, 163, 167, 

170, 173, 253. 
Vermerange, Mons. de, I, 222. 
Versailles, riots at, II, 234,263. 
Veyrac, Mons. de, I, 158, 161. 
Visiles Domicilaires, I, 150. 

W 

Walsh, Thomas, II, 28. 
Wirtemberg, Duke of, I, 16. 



'''3^«flp 



University of California 
SOUTHERN REGIONAL L BBARY MClLm^ 



17003 8 130 



3 



Books 




UCLA-Cofleg« Library 

DA 47.1 G798d v.2 




L 005 697 027 



College 
Library 

DA 

hl.l 
G798d 
v.2 



UC SOUTHERN flEGONAl. LIBfiAflr FAOUTV 

'"""" """1||| lllll lllll llllliiiii|iiHia 



A 001005 735 4 



^ 



\3ti