« AnteriorContinuar »
Anne. duke, the next day, ordered a cessation of arms for two 1712. months to be proclaimed by sound of trumpet.
Had the first design taken effect, which was depended upon by France, and so far presumed by England, as to be undertaken for, that all the foreigners in the queen's pay, that composed the duke of Ormond's army, should seperate and withdraw from the rest of the allies, it is notorious, that from that instant prince Eugene's whole army, unless they submitted to the same measures, had been left at the mercy of the French army to be cut in pieces, or made prisoners at the will of marshal Villars, which had left the queen's troops in no better a condition than to have the privilege of being last destroyed. Yet all the allies, whose honour and conscience would not permit them to abandon their confederates, and leave them as a sacrifice to France, were punished by England with the loss of their pay and subsidies, which was all that was in the power of the ministry to do, to shew their resentment at this great disappointment of the measures of France.
This march of prince Eugene, the Earl of Strafford, in a letter to Mr. St. John, thought might be turned upon them; and he prevailed with the duke of Ormond, in a message to prince Eugene, to say, that his marching without us, and all the queen's auxiliaries marching from us, exposed us so, that we have been obliged to send to the French to declare with us a cessation of arms: nothing less could put the queen's troops in safety. For though (says the earl) matters felf out so pát, that without this we must have declared for the ceslation, yet why should we not turn all this matter upon
them?' Remarks on
Upon a thorough consideration of this fatal cessation, it is the ceffation very evident, that it was of infinite advantage, and absolutely
necessary to the affairs of France; and therefore insisted upon Rep. of the com: of fec. by them. And it is as certain, that the English ministry gave
early into it, if they were not the first advisers of it; for which no other account need be required, but that, as all their measures tended to advance the interest of the queen's enemies, they could not fail to be zealous in a point, which contributed more to those views than any one occurrence during the whole negotiation ; but, as they all along wanted appearances, and consulted them more than any real adyan. tages to the kingdom, they thought it necessary to annex some conditions to this important article, that might pass upon the deluded people, as a justification of this unprece dented treachery. The demolition of Dunkirk was always
fo popular a point, that nothing could strike the imaginations Anne. of the people
more, than to be told, that this important place 1712. was delivered into the queen's poffeffion. This step, they thought, well improved, would recommend the peace itself, at least justify the cessation. And as the nation had nothing more at heart than the disposition of the Spanish monarchy, after the renunciation had been industriously cried up, and the queen had declared from the throne, that France and Spain were thereby more effectually divided than ever, these two articles were made the effential conditions of granting a ceffation of arms. For the renunciation, France eafily consented to it, having declared it to be null and void by the fundamental laws of France. For the other article, it is evident how unwillingly France was brought to surrender Dunkirk; but this the ministry were resolved to purchase at any rate, as what would easily amuse and sensibly affect the nation; and therefore, to obtain this, they engaged not only to grant a cessation of arms, but to conclude a separate peace. The prospect of concluding a separate peace, and the obtaining immediately a cessation of arms, which answered all the purposes of France almost as well as a separate peace, by leaving the whole confederacy in their power, and, at their mercy, were so great temptations to France, that the surrender of Dunkirk was agreed to. But, when it is considered what England gained by granting this fatal cessation, it will be found, that the demolition of Dunkirk has by no means anfwered the purposes pretended by it; and, for the renunciation, the English ministry were told by France, that they fhould deceive themselves, who received it as a sufficient expedient to prevent the union of the two monarchies (k).
In (k) Burnet observes on this dence were all known to the occasion : The withdrawing the French : And, if the auxiliary English forces in this manner, German troops had not been from the confederate army, was prepared to disobey his orders, cenfured, not only as a manifeft it was believed he, in conjuncbreach of faith and of creaties, tion with the French army, but as treacherous in the highest would have forced the States to and basest degree. The duke come into the new measures, of Ormond had given the States But that was happily prevented ; such assurances, of his going yet all this conduct of our genealong with them through the ral was applauded at home as whole campaign, that he was great, juft, and wise ; and our let into the secrets of all their people were led to think it a counsels, which by that confi- kind of triumph, upon Dun
Anne. In the evening of the same day, the duke of Ormond had 1712. declared the suspension of arms, Villars sent him word, he
had likewise that day declared the fame, pursuant to their The British agreement. On the 18th of July, N. S, the British forces tro)ps not
marched from Avesne le Secq to Flines, being joined in the pass though way by two battalions and two squadrons of Great-Britain, Bouchain, which made part of the separate body posted at Denain under ad Doway. the command of the earl of Albemarle. Before the separation Cond. of the of the confederate forces, the deputies of the States said D. of Or
openly, - 'That they hoped the duke of Ormond did not intend to march through any of their towns.' But, notwithstanding this declaration, the earl of Strafford and some English officers having that day offered to pass through Bouchain, they were refused entrance at the gates, and told by the guards, · That positive orders was given to let no Englishman into the town.' The officers, not being satisfied, sent to the commandant himself, who returned the same answer. When the British army came near Doway, they met with the like treatment from the commandant of that place, which was the more furprizing, because the British forces had their hospital and great quantities of stores in that town. The duke of Ormond, the better to provide for the security and subsistence of the troops, that were with him, as well as for those in the town and citadel of Ghent, where part of his artillery and ammunition was kept, made the disposition for marching towards that place. Prince Eugene and the deputies of the States were so alarmed at the duke's intention of going towards Ghent, that on the same day they sent count Naflau Woudenbourg to the duke with a memorial, but not figned, to represent to him, that, after the excuses made by the lord Albemarle the day before at Bouchain, they were extremely dissatisfied to hear by public report, that the commandant of Doway had likewise refused to admit some of the English officers, and to let out the undertakers for the queen's magazines. That they were very much mortified at the extraordinary conduct of those two commandants, and assured his grace, they had absolutely no orders for so doing, directly
kirk’s being put into our hands; Nor was this only the act of the not confidering, that we had court and ministry, but it bemo e truly put ourselves into the came the act of the nation, hands of the French, by this' which by a general voice did open breach of faith ;, after not only approve of it, but
apwhich, the confederates could plaud it. 3 Burnet, Vol. II. no longer trust or depend on us. 610.
or indirectly; and that they not only disavowed their pro- Anne.
On the 21st of July, N. S. the earl of Strafford, accompanied by general Cadogan, having passed through Tournay and Lifle (at both which places he was received with great demonstrations of respect) joined the British forces at their camp at Fleurival. The next day in the afternoon, the British troops moved to Petteghem near Oudenard, and defired passage through that town; but the commandant, having no orders about it, thought fit to keep the gates shut, which occafioned bitter reflections against the Dutch; but their pre
of July 15,
Anne, caution proceeded from an apprehension, that, if the English 1712. were possessed of any of their strong towns, they should be
compelled to submit to the scheme of peace concerted between Great-Britain and France. On the 23d in the evening, the duke of Ormond's army purfued their march to Ghent, of which he took possession, as he did also of Bruges. This done, he detached fix battalions to reinforce the garrison of Dunkirk, and fent thither a train of artillery, with some ammunition ; the French having drawn off most of their cannon from the ramparts of that place; which, together with the force they had ftill in it, rendered our poffeffion for some time precarious (1):
(1) That the taking poslef- felves with the Hauteur they fion of Ghent and Bruges was lately did. The thing was fo not only the desire of Torcy, well and secretly managed, that but was also supported by the all preparations were made to advice of the earl of Strafford, march about to Warneton, beappears by the earl's letter of tween Lisle and Ypres, to have July 17, to Mr. St. John, lived upon the French country; where he says: I am for ha- and, till we marched a day's ving the duke of Ormond send march on this fide the Scarpe, some party on purpose to march the Dutch and their friends did through some of their towns, to not perceive our design, which, see whether or no they would as soon as they did, their surrefuse them passage. If they prize and uneasiness were did, that might authorize us the qually great.
Rep. of the more to do a thing very agreea. Com of Secr. ble to the queen's troops, and How agreeable to the queen what I believe you would ap- and her ministers the duke of prove of.' And, that there Ormond's conduct was, is plain might be no doubt of his mean from Mr. St. John's letter to him, ing in what he had advised, in acquainting him : That, though another letter of the 21st of July, the orders, he transmitted to his he tells Mr. St. John, • The grace in his laft, did appear to meafure, I mentioned would not her majesty, at that time, to be be disagreeable to you, was, the most proper, the methods he that of marching to Ghent, had pursued were so rightly which we have now so well judged, and so well adapted to executed, that we are within the present conjuncture of aftwo days march of it, and the fairs, that they answered, in English are intire masters of the every point, what she would citadel, as likewise of all the have wilhed. That she was ungates of the town. This is a
willing to restrain his grace, by Coup de Parti for the States, particular and positive instrucwho did not expect it, else they tions, who made use of the discould pot have behaved them cretionary power given him, fo