previous next
[387] Britain and the united Kings of France and Spain,
Chap. XLVI.} 1770. Dec.
gave hope of ‘happy effects.’1 But this also failed. England, following the impulse given by Lord Egmont during the administration of Grenville, had taken possession of the Falkland Islands, as forming the key to the Pacific. Spain, claiming all that part of the world as her own, sent a fleet of five frigates which drove the English from their wooden block-house, and after detaining them twenty days, left them to return to England. The English Ministry, willing to abandon Port Egmont, demanded of the Spanish Government a disavowal of the seizure and its temporary restoration. Spanish pride would have rejected the terms with disdain. ‘They are the only propositions, which the British Ministry could make;’ said Choiseul, scoffing at the Spanish rodomontade. ‘For heaven's sake,’ he wrote to the French Minister at London, ‘do the impossible; and persuade Prince Masserano to follow my instructions rather than those of his own court, which have not common sense.’ Determined to preserve peace, Choiseul, who would not have feared war for a great cause like the emancipation of the colonial world, checked the rashness of Spain and assumed the direction of its diplomacy.2 But Weymouth was haughty and unreasonable. ‘War is inevitable,’ said Harcourt to Choiseul. ‘If the English are bent on war,’ wrote Choiseul to Frances, ‘all that I can say is unavailing. But you will be witness, that I did not ’

1 Compare A. Eliot to T. Hollis, 26 Jan. 1771.

2 Grimaldi to Masserano in French Archives; Choiseul to Frances, 6 October, 1770; Choiseul to Frances, 7 October, 1770. Frances to Choiseul, 4 Nov. 1770; Choiseul to Frances, 4 Nov. 1770; Choiseul to Frances, 3 Dec. 1770.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Sort places alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a place to search for it in this document.
France (France) (1)

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
Due Choiseul (9)
Weymouth (1)
Thomas Hollis (1)
Lord Harcourt (1)
Marquis Grimaldi (1)
George Grenville (1)
Andrew Eliot (1)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: