The Works of the Rev. Jonathan Swift/Volume 3/Some Remarks on the Barrier Treaty between her Majesty and the States-general.
To which are added,
Written in the Year 1712.
WHEN I published the discourse called, The Conduct of the Allies, I had thoughts either of inserting, or annexing the Barrier Treaty at length, with such observations as I conceived might be useful for publick information: but that discourse taking up more room than I designed, after my utmost endeavours to abbreviate it, I contented myself only with making some few reflections upon that famous treaty, sufficient, as I thought, to answer the design of my book. I have since heard, that my readers in general seemed to wish I had been more particular, and have discovered an impatience to have that treaty made publick, especially since it has been laid before the house of commons.
That I may give some light to the reader who is not well versed in those affairs, he may please to know, that a project for a treaty of barrier with the States was transmitted hither from Holland; but being disapproved of by our court in several parts, a new project or scheme of a treaty was drawn up here, with many additions and alterations. This last was called the counterproject; and was the measure, whereby the duke of Marlborough and my lord Townshend were commanded and instructed to proceed in negotiating a treaty of barrier with the States.
I have added a translation of this counterproject in those articles where it differs from the barrier treaty, that the reader, by comparing them together, may judge how punctually those negotiators observed their instructions. I have likewise subjoined the sentiments of prince Eugene of Savoy, and the count de Zinzendorf, relating to this treaty, written (I suppose) while it was negotiating. And lastly, I have added a copy of the representation of the British merchants at Bruges, signifying what inconveniences they already felt, and farther apprehended from this barrier treaty.
BARRIER TREATY, &c.
IMAGINE a reasonable person in China reading the following treaty, and one who was ignorant of our affairs, or our geography; he would conceive their high mightinesses the States-general, to be some vast powerful commonwealth, like that of Rome; and her majesty, to be a petty prince, like one of those to whom that republick would sometimes send a diadem for a present, when they behaved themselves well, otherwise could depose at pleasure, and place whom they thought fit in their stead. Such a man would think, that the States had taken our prince and us into their protection; and in return, honoured us so far as to make use of our troops as some small assistance in their conquests, and the enlargement of their empire, or to prevent the incursions of barbarians, upon some of their outlying provinces. But how must it sound in a European ear, that Great Britain, after maintaining a war for so many years, with so much glory and success, and such prodigious expense; after saving the Empire, Holland, and Portugal, and almost recovering Spain, should toward the close of a war enter into a treaty with seven Dutch provinces, to secure to them a dominion larger than their own, which she had conquered for them; to undertake for a great deal more, without stipulating the least advantage for herself; and accept, as an equivalent, the mean condition of those States assisting to preserve her queen on the throne, whom, by God's assistance, she is able to defend against all her majesty's enemies and allies put together?
Such a wild bargain could never have been made for us, if the States had not found it their interest to use very powerful motives with the chief advisers (I say nothing of the person immediately employed); and if a party here at home had not been resolved, for ends and purposes very well known, to continue the war as long as they had any occasion for it.
The counterproject of this treaty, made here at London, was bad enough in all conscience: I have said something of it in the preface; her majesty's ministers were instructed to proceed by it in their negotiation. There was one point in that project, which would have been of consequence to Britain, and one or two more where the advantages of the States were not so very exorbitant, and where some care was taken of the house of Austria. Is it possible, that our good allies and friends could not be brought to any terms with us, unless by striking out every particular that might do us any good, and adding still more to those whereby so much was already granted? For instance, the article about demolishing of Dunkirk surely might have remained; which was of some benefit to the States, as well as of mighty advantage to us; and which the French king has lately yielded in one of his preliminaries, although clogged with the demand of an equivalent, which will owe its difficulty only to this treaty.
But let me now consider the treaty itself: among the one and twenty articles of which it consists, only two have any relation to us, importing that the Dutch are to be guarantees of our succession, and are not to enter into any treaty until the queen is acknowledged by France. We know very well, that it is, in consequence, the interest of the States, as much as ours, that Britain should be governed by a protestant prince. Besides, what is there more in this guaranty, than in all common leagues offensive and defensive between two powers, where each is obliged to defend the other, against any invader, with all their strength? Such was the grand alliance between the emperor, Britain and Holland; which was, or ought to have been, as good a guaranty of our succession, to all intents and purposes, as this in the barrier treaty; and the mutual engagements in such alliances have been always reckoned sufficient, without any separate benefit to either party.
It is, no doubt, for the interest of Britain, that the States should have a sufficient barrier against France; but their high mightinesses, for some few years past, have put a different meaning upon the word barrier, from what it formerly used to bear, when applied to them. When the late king was prince of Orange, and commanded their armies against France, it was never once imagined, that any of the towns taken should belong to the Dutch; they were all immediately delivered up to their lawful monarch; and Flanders was only a barrier to Holland, as it was in the hands of Spain, rather than France. So in the grand alliance of 1701 the several powers promising to endeavour to recover Flanders for a barrier, was understood to be the recovering of those provinces to the king of Spain; but in this treaty, the style is wholly changed: here are about twenty towns and forts of great importance, with their chattellanies and dependencies (which dependencies are likewise to be enlarged as much as possible) and the whole revenues of them to be under the perpetual military government of the Dutch, by which that republick will be entirely masters of the richest part of all Flanders; and upon any appearance of war, they may put their garrisons into any other place of the Low-countries; and farther, the king of Spain is to give them a revenue of four hundred thousand crowns a year, to enable them to maintain those garrisons.
Whv should we wonder that the Dutch are inclined to perpetuate the war, when, by an article in this treaty, the king of Spain is not to possess one single town in the Low-countries, until a peace be made? The duke of Anjou, at the beginning of this war, maintained six and thirty thousand men out of those Spanish provinces he then possessed: to which if we add the many towns since taken, which were not in the late king of Spain's possession at the time of his death, with all their territories and dependencies; it is visible what forces the States may be able to keep, even without any charge to their peculiar dominions.
The towns and chattellanies of this barrier always maintained their garrisons when they were in the hands of France; and, as it is reported, returned a considerable sum of money into the king's coffers; yet the king of Spain is obliged by this treaty (as we have already observed) to add over and above a revenue of four hundred thousand crowns a year. We know likewise, that a great part of the revenue of the Spanish Netherlands is already pawned to the States; so that, after a peace, nothing will be left to the sovereign, nor will the people be much eased of the taxes they at present labour under.
Thus the States, by virtue of this barrier treaty, will, in effect, be absolute sovereigns of all Flanders, and of the whole revenues in the utmost extent.
And here I cannot without some contempt take notice of a sort of reasoning offered by several people; that the many towns we have taken for the Dutch are of no advantage, because the whole revenue of those towns are spent in maintaining them. For, first, the fact is manifestly false, particularly as to Lisle and some others. Secondly, the States, after a peace, are to have four hundred thousand crowns a year out of the remainder of Flanders, which is then to be left to Spain. And lastly, suppose all these acquired dominions will not bring a penny into their treasury, what can be of greater consequence, than to be able to maintain a mighty army out of their new conquests, which, before, they always did by taxing their natural subjects?
How shall we be able to answer it to king Charles III, that while we pretend to endeavour restoring him to the entire monarchy of Spain, we join at the same time with the Dutch to deprive him of his natural right to the Low-countries?
But suppose, by a Dutch barrier, must now be understood only what is to be in possession of the States; yet, even under this acceptation of the word, nothing was originally meant except a barrier against France; whereas several towns demanded by the Dutch in this treaty can be of no use at all in such a barrier. And this is the sentiment even of prince Eugene himself, (the present oracle and idol of the party here) who says, that Dendermond, Ostend, and the castle of Gand, do in no sort belong to the barrier; nor can be of other use than to make the States-general masters of the Low-countries, and hinder their trade with England; and farther, that those who are acquainted with the country, know very well, that to fortify Lier and Halle, can give no security to the States as a barrier, but only raise a jealousy in the people, that those places are only fortified in order to block up Brussels, and the other great towns of Brabant.
In those towns of Flanders where the Dutch are to have garrisons, but the ecclesiastical and civil power to remain to the king of Spain after a peace, the States have power to send arms, ammunition, and victuals, without paying customs; under which pretence, they will engross the whole trade of those towns, exclusive of all other nations.
This, prince Eugene likewise foresaw; and in his observations upon this treaty, here annexed, proposed a remedy for it.
And if the Dutch shall please to think that the whole Spanish Netherlands are not a sufficient barrier for them, I know no remedy, from the words of this treaty, but that we must still go on and conquer for them as long as they please. For the queen is obliged, whenever a peace is treated, to procure for them whatever shall be thought necessary besides; and where their necessity will terminate, is not very easy to foresee.
Could any of her majesty's subjects conceive, that in the towns we have taken for the Dutch, and given into their possession as a barrier, either the States should demand, or our ministers allow, that the subjects of Britain should, in respect to their trade, be used worse than they were under the late king of Spain? yet this is the fact, as monstrous as it appears: all goods going to, or coming from Newport or Ostend, are to pay the same duties, as those that pass by the Schelde under the Dutch forts: and this, in effect, is to shut out all other nations from trading to Flanders. The English merchants at Bruges complain, that after they have paid the king of Spain's duty for goods imported at Ostend, the same goods are made liable to farther duties, when they are carried thence into the towns of the Dutch new conquests; and desire only the same privileges of trade they had before the death of the late king of Spain, Charles II. And in consequence of this treaty, the Dutch have already taken off eight per cent from all goods they send to the Spanish Flanders, but left it still upon us.
But what is very surprising, in the very same article, where our good friends and allies are wholly shutting us out from trading in those towns we have conquered for them with so much blood and treasure, the queen is obliged to procure, that the States shall be used as favourably in their trade over all the king of Spain's dominions, as her own subjects, or as the people most favoured. This I humbly conceive to be perfect boys-play; "Cross I win, and pile you lose;" or "what's yours is mine, and what's mine is my own." Now if it should happen, that in a treaty of peace some ports or towns should be yielded us for the security of our trade, in any part of the Spanish dominions, at how great a distance soever, I suppose the Dutch would go on with their boys-play, and challenge half by virtue of that article: or would they be content with military government and the revenues, and reckon them among what shall bethought necessary for their barrier?
This prodigious aiticle is introduced as subsequent to the treaty of Munster, made about the year 1648, at a time when England was in the utmost confusion, and very much to our disadvantage. Those parts in that treaty, so unjust in themselves, and so prejudicial to our trade, ought, in reason, to have been remitted, rather than confirmed upon us, for the time to come. But this is Dutch partnership; to share in all our beneficial bargains, and exclude us wholly from theirs, even from those which we have got for them.
In one part of The Conduct of the Allies, among other remarks upon this treaty, I make it a question, whether it were right, in point of policy or prudence, to call in a foreign power to be a guarantee to our succession; because by that means we put it out of the power of our legislature to alter the succession, how much soever the necessity of the kingdom may require it? To comply with the cautions of some people, I explained my meaning in the following editions. I was assured, that my lord chief justice affirmed, that passage was treason. One of my answerers, I think, decides as favourably; and I am told that paragraph was read very lately during a debate, with a comment in very injurious terms, which perhaps might have been spared. That the legislature should have power to change the succession, whenever the necessities of the kingdom require, is so very useful toward preserving our religion and liberty, that I know not how to recant. The worst of this opinion is, that at first sight it appears to be whiggish; but the distinction is thus: the whigs are for changing the succession when they think fit, although the entire legislature do not consent; I think it ought never to be done but upon great necessity, and that with the sanction of the whole legislature. Do these gentlemen of revolution principles think it impossible, that we should ever have occasion again to change our succession? and if such an accident should fall out, must we have no remedy until the Seven Provinces will give their consent? Suppose that this virulent party among us were as able, as some are willing, to raise a rebellion for reinstating them in power, and would apply themselves to the Dutch, as guarantees of our succession, to assist them with all their force, under pretence that the queen and ministry, a great majority of both houses, and the bulk of the people, were for bringing over France, popery, and the pretender? Their high mightinesses would, as I take it, be sole judges of the controversy, and probably decide it so, well, that in some time we might have the happiness of becoming a province to Holland. I am humbly of opinion, that there are two qualities necessary to a reader, before his judgment should be allowed; these are, common honesty, and common sense; and that no man could have misrepresented that paragraph in my discourse, unless he were utterly destitute of one or both.
The presumptive successor, and her immediate heirs, have so established a reputation in the world, for their piety, wisdom, and humanity, that no necessity of this kind is likely to appear in their days; but I must still insist, that it is a diminution to the independency of the imperial crown of Great Britain, to call at every door for help to put our laws in execution. And we ought to consider, that if in ages to come such a prince should happen to be in succession to our throne, as should be entirely unable to govern; that very motive might incline our guarantees to support him, the more effectually to bring the rivals of their trade into confusion and disorder.
But to return: the queen is here put under the unreasonable obligation of being guarantee of the whole barrier treaty; of the Dutch having possession of the said barrier, and the revenues thereof, before a peace; of the payment of four hundred thousand crowns by the king of Spain; that the States shall possess their barrier, even before king Charles is in possession of the Spanish Netherlands; although by the fifth article of the grand alliance, her majesty is under no obligation to do any thing of this nature, except in a general treaty.
All kings, princes and states are invited to enter into this treaty, and to be guarantees of its execution. This article, though very frequent in treaties, seems to look very oddly in that of the barrier. Popish princes are here invited, among others, to become guarantees of our protestant succession; every petty prince in Germany must be entreated to preserve the queen of Great Britain upon her throne. The king of Spain is invited particularly, and by name, to become guarantee of the execution of a treaty, by which his allies, who pretend to fight his battles and recover his dominions, strip him in effect of all his ten provinces; a clear reason why they never sent any forces to Spain, and why the obligation, not to enter into a treaty of peace with France, until that entire monarchy was yielded as a preliminary, was struck out of the counterproject by the Dutch. They fought only in Flanders, because there they only fought for themselves. King Charles must needs accept this invitation very kindly, and stand by with great satisfaction, while the Belgick lion divides the prey, and assigns it all to himself. I remember there was a parcel of soldiers, who robbed a farmer of his poultry, and then made him wait at table, while they devoured his victuals, without giving him a morsel; and upon his expostulating, had only for answer, "Why, sirrah, are we not come here to protect you?" And thus much for this generous invitation to all kings and princes to lend their assistance, and become guarantees, out of pure good nature, for securing Flanders to the Dutch.
In the treaty of Ryswick no care was taken to oblige the French king to acknowledge the right of succession in her present majesty; for want of which point being then settled, France refused to acknowledge her for queen of Great Britain after the late king's death. This unaccountable neglect (if it were a neglect) is here called an omission, and care is taken to supply it in the next general treaty of peace. I mention this occasionally, because I have some stubborn doubts within me, whether it were a wilful omission or not. Neither do I herein reflect in the least upon the memory of his late majesty, whom I entirely acquit of any imputation upon this matter. But when I recollect the behaviour, the language, and the principles of some certain persons in those days, and compare them with that omission; I am tempted to draw some conclusions, which a certain party would be more ready to call false and malicious, than to prove them so.
I must here take leave (because it will not otherwise fall in my way) to say a few words in return to a gentleman, I know not of what character or calling, who has done me the honour to write three discourses against that treatise of The Conduct of the Allies, &c. and promises, for my comfort, to conclude all in a fourth. I pity answerers with all my heart, for the many disadvantages they lie under. My book did a world of mischief (as he calls it) before his first part could possibly come out; and so went on through the kingdom, while his limped slowly after; and if it arrived at all, was too late; for people's opinions were already fixed. His manner of answering me is thus: of those facts which he pretends to examine, some he resolutely denies, others he endeavours to extenuate; and the rest he distorts with such unnatural terms, that I would engage, by the same method, to disprove any history either ancient or modern. Then the whole is interlarded with a thousand injurious epithets and appellations, which heavy writers are forced to make use of, as a supply for that want of spirit and genius they are not born to: yet after all, he allows a very great point for which I contend, confessing, in plain words, that the burden of the war has chiefly lain upon us; and thinks it sufficient for the Dutch, that next to England they have borne the greatest share. And is not this the great grievance of which the whole kingdom complains? I am inclined to think that my intelligence was at least as good as his; and some of it, I can assure him, came from persons of his own party, although perhaps not altogether so inflamed. Hitherto therefore the matter is pretty equal, and the world may believe him or me as they please. But I think the great point of controversy between us, is, whether the effects and consequences of things follow better from his premises or mine? And there I will not be satisfied, unless he will allow the whole advantage to be on my side. Here is a flourishing kingdom brought to the brink of ruin by a most successful and glorious war of ten years, under an able, diligent, and loyal ministry, a most faithful, just, and generous commander, and in conjunction with the most hearty, reasonable, and sincere allies. This is the case, as that author represents it. I have heard a story, I think it was of the duke of ***, who, playing at hazard at the groom-porter's in much company, held in a great many hands together, and drew a huge heap of gold; but, in the heat of play, never observed a sharper, who came once or twice under his arm, and swept a great deal of it into his hat; the company thought it had been one of his servants. When the duke's hand was out, they were talking how much he had won. "Yes, said he, I held in very long; yet methinks I have won but very little." They told him his servant had got the rest in his hat; and then he found he was cheated.
It has been my good fortune to see the most important facts that I have advanced, justified by the publick voice; which, let this author do what he can, will incline the world to believe that I may be right in the rest. And I solemnly declare, that I have not wilfully committed the least mistake. I stopped the second edition, and made all possible inquiries among those who I thought could best inform me, in order to correct any errour I could hear of; I did the same to the third and fourth editions, and then left the printer to his liberty. This I take for a more effectual answer to all cavils, than a hundred pages of controversy.
But what disgusts me from having any thing to do with the race of answerjobbers, is, that they have no sort of conscience in their dealings: to give one instance in this gentleman's third part, which I have been lately looking into. When I talk of the most petty princes, he says that I mean crowned heads; when I say the soldiers of those petty princes are ready to rob or starve at home, he says I call kings and crowned heads robbers and highwaymen. This is what the whigs call answering a book.
I cannot omit one particular concerning this author, who is so positive in asserting his own facts, and contradicting mine; he affirms, that the business of Toulon was discovered by the clerk of a certain great man, who was then secretary of state. It is neither wise, nor for the credit of his party, to put us in mind of that secretary, or of that clerk; however, so it happens that nothing relating to the affair of Toulon did ever pass through that secretary's office: which I here affirm with great phlegm, leaving the epithets of false, scandalous, villanous, and the rest, to the author and his fellows.
But to leave this author; let us consider the consequence of our triumphs, upon which some set so great a value, as to think that nothing less than the crown can be a sufficient reward for the merit of the general. We have not enlarged our dominions by one foot of land: our trade, which made us considerable in the world, is either given up by treaties, or clogged with duties, which interrupt and daily lessen it. We see the whole nation groaning under excessive taxes of all sorts, to raise three millions of money for payment of the interest of those debts we have contracted. Let us look upon the reverse of the medal; we shall see our neighbours, who in their utmost distress called for our assistance, become by this treaty, even in time of peace, masters of a more considerable country than their own; in a condition to strike terrour into us, with fifty thousand veterans ready to invade us from that country, which we have conquered for them; and to commit insolent hostilities upon us in ail other parts, as they have lately done in the East Indies.
THE BARRIER TREATY BETWEEN HER MAJESTY AND THE STATES-GENERAL.
HER majesty the queen of Great Britain and the lords the States-general of the United Provinces, having considered how much it concerns the quiet and security of their kingdoms and states, and the publick tranquillity, to maintain and to secure on one side, the succession to the crown of Great Britain in such manner as it is now established by the laws of the kingdom; and on the other side, that the States-general of the United Provinces should have a strong and sufficient barrier against France and others who would surprise or attack them: and her majesty and the said States-general apprehending with just reason the troubles and the mischiefs which may happen in relation to this succession, if at any time there should be any person, or any power, who should call it in question; and that the countries and states of the said lords the States-general were not furnished with such a barrier. For these said reasons her said majesty the queen of Great Britain, although in the vigour of her age, and enjoying perfect health (in which may God preserve her many years) out of an effect of her usual prudence and piety, has thought fit to enter with the lords the States-general of the United Provinces into a particular alliance and confederacy; the principal end and only aim of which shall be the publick quiet and tranquillity; and to prevent, by measures taken in time, all the events which might one day excite new wars. It is with this view, that her British majesty has given her full power to agree upon some articles of a treaty, in addition to the treaties and alliances that she hath already with the lords the States-general of the United Provinces, to her ambassador extraordinary and plenipotentiary, Charles viscount Townshend, baron of Lynn-Regis, privy counsellor of her British majesty, captain of her said majesty's yeomen of the guard, and her lieutenant in the county of Norfolk; and the lords the States-general of the United Provinces, to the sieurs John de Weldern, lord of Valburg, great bailiff of the Lower Betewe, of the body of the nobility of the province of Guelder; Frederick baron of Reede, lord of Lier, St. Anthony, and T'er Lee, of the order of the nobility of the province of Holland and West Friesland; Anthony Heinsius, counsellor-pensionary of the province of Holland and West-Friesland, keeper of the great seal, and superintendant of the fiefs of the same province; Cornelius Van Gheel, lord of Spranbrook, Bulkesteyn, &c.; Gedeon Hoeuft, canon of the chapter of the church of St. Peter at Utrecht, and elected counsellor in the states of the province of Utrecht; Hassel Van Sminia, secretary of the chamber of the accounts of the province of Friesland; Ernest Ittersum, lord of Osterbof, of the body of the nobility of the province of Overyssel; and Wicher Wichers, senator of the city of Groningen; all deputies to the assembly of the said lords of the States-general on the part respectively of the provinces of Guelder, Holland, West-Friesland, Zeland, Utrecht, Friesland, Overyssel, and Groningen, and Ommelands, who, by virtue of their full powers, have agreed upon the following articles:
THE treaties of peace, friendship, alliance and confederacy between her Britannick majesty and the States-general of the United Provinces shall be approved and confirmed by the present treaty, and shall remain in their former force and vigour, as if they were inserted word for word.
The succession to the crown of England having been settled by an act of parliament, passed the twelfth year of the reign of his late majesty king William III, the title of which is, "An act for the farther limitation of the crown, and better securing the rights and liberties of the subject;" and lately, in the sixth year of the reign of her present majesty, this succession having been again established and confirmed by another act made for the greater security of her majesty's person and government, and the succession to the crown of Great Britain, &c., in the line of the most serene house of Hanover, and in the person of the princess Sophia, and of her heirs, successors and descendants, male and female, already born or to be born; and although no power hath any right to oppose the laws made upon this subject by the crown and parliament of Great Britain; if it shall happen nevertheless, that under any pretence, or by any cause whatever, any person or any power or state may pretend to dispute the establishment which the parliament hath made of the aforesaid succession in the most serene house of Hanover, to oppose the said succession, to assist or favour those who may oppose it, whether directly or indirectly, by open war, or by fomenting seditions and conspiracies against her or him to whom the crown of Great Britain shall descend, according to the acts aforesaid; the States-general engage and promise to assist and maintain in the said succession her or him to whom it shall belong by virtue of the said acts of parliament, to assist them in taking possession, if they should not be in actual possession, and to oppose those who would disturb them in the taking of such possession, or in the actual possession, of the aforesaid succession.
Her said majesty and the States-general, in consequence of the fifth article of the alliance concluded between the emperor, the late king of Great Britain, and the States-general, the seventh of September, 1701, will employ all their force to recover the rest of the Spanish Low-countries.
And farther, they will endeavour to conquer as many towns and forts as they can, in order to their being a barrier and security to the said States.
And whereas, according to the ninth article of the said alliance, it is to be agreed, among other matters, how and in what manner the States shall be made safe by means of this barrier, the queen of Great Britain will use her endeavours to procure that in the treaty of peace it may be agreed, that all the Spanish Low-countries, and what else may be found necessary, whether conquered or unconquered places, shall serve as a barrier to the States.
That to this end their high mightinesses shall have the liberty to put and keep garrison, to change, augment and diminish it as they shall judge proper, in the places following: namely, Newport, Furnes, with the fort of Knocke, Ypres, Menin, the town and citadel of Lisle, Tournay and its citadel, Conde, Valenciennes; and the places which shall from henceforward be conquered from France, Maubeuge, Charleroy, Namur and its citadel, Lier, Halle, to fortify, the ports off Perle, Philippe, Damme, the castle of Gand, and Dendermonde. The fort of St. Donas, being joined to the fortification of the Sluce, and being entirely incorporated with it, shall remain and be yielded in property to the States. The fort of Rodenhuyse on this side Gand shall be demolished.
The said States-general may, in case of an apparent attack, or war, put as many troops as they shall think necessary in all the towns, places and forts in the Spanish Low-countries, where the reason of war shall require it.
They may likewise send into the towns, forts, and places, where they shall have their garrisons, without any hindrance and without paying any duties, provisions, ammunitions of war, arms, and artillery, materials for the fortifications, and all that shall be found convenient and necessary for the said garrisons and fortifications.
The said States-general shall also have liberty to appoint, in the towns, forts and places of their barrier, mentioned in the foregoing sixth article, where they may have garrisons, such governors and commanders, majors and other officers as they shall find proper, who shall not be subject to any other orders, whatsoever they be, or from whencesoever they may come, relating to the security and military government of the said places, but only to those of their high mightinesses (exclusive of all others); still preserving the rights and privileges, as well ecclesiastical as political, of king Charles the third.
That, besides, the States shall have liberty to fortify the said towns, places, and forts which belong to them, and repair the fortifications of them in such manner as they shall judge necessary; and farther to do whatever shall be useful for their defence.
It is agreed, that the States-general shall have all the revenues of the towns, places, jurisdictions, and their dependencies, which they shall have for their barrier from France, which were not in the possession of the crown of Spain at the time of the death of the late king Charles II; and, besides, a million of livres shall be settled for the payment of one hundred thousand crowns every three months out of the clearest revenues of the Spanish Low-countries, which the said king was then in possession of; both which are for maintaining the garrisons of the States, and for supplying the fortifications, as also the magazines, and other necessary expenses in the towns and places above mentioned. And, that the said revenues may be sufficient to support these expenses, endeavours shall be used for enlarging the dependencies and jurisdictions aforesaid as much as possible; and particularly, for including, with the jurisdiction of Ypres, that of Cassel, and the forest of Niepe; and with the jurisdiction of Lisle, the jurisdiction of Douay, both having been so joined before the present war.
That no town, fort, place, or country of tht Spanish Low-countries shall be granted, transferred, or given, or descend to the crown of France, or any one of the line of France, neither by virtue of any gift, sale, exchange, marriage, agreement, inheritance, succession by will, or through want of will, from no title whatsoever, nor in any other manner whatsoever, nor be put into the power, or under the authority, of the most Christian king, or any one of the line of France.
And whereas the said States-general, in consequence of the ninth article of the said alliance, are to make a convention or treaty with king Charles the third, for putting the States in a condition of safety by means of the said barrier, the queen of Great Britain will do what depends upon her, that all the foregoing particulars relating to the barrier of the States may be inserted in the aforesaid treaty or convention; and that her said majesty will continue her good offices, until the abovementioned convention between the States and the said king Charles the third be concluded agreeably to what is beforementioned: and that her majesty will be guarantee of the said treaty or convention.
And, that the said States may enjoy from hence forward, as much as possible, a barrier for the Spanish Low-countries, they shall be permitted to put their garrisons in the towns already taken, and which may hereafter be so, before the peace be concluded and ratified. And in the mean time the said king Charles III shall not be allowed to enter into possession of the said Spanish Low-countries, neither entirely nor in part: and during that time the queen shall assist their high mightinesses to maintain them in the enjoyment of the revenues, and to find the million of livres a year abovementioned.
And whereas their high mightinesses have stipulated by the treaty of Munster, in the fourteenth article, that the river Schelde, as also the canals of Sas, Swyn, and other mouths of the sea bordering thereupon, should be kept shut on the side of the States:
And in the fifteenth article, that the ships and commodities going in and coming out of the harbours of Flanders shall be and remain charged with all such imposts, and other duties, as are raised upon commodities going and coming along the Schelde, and the other canals abovementioned:
The queen of Great Britain promises and engages, that their high mightinesses shall never be disturbed in their right and possession in that respect, neither directly nor indirectly; as also, that the commerce shall not, in prejudice of the said treaty, be made mere easy by the seaports than by the rivers, canals, and mouths of the sea, on the side of the States of the United Provinces, neither directly nor indirectly.
And whereas, by the sixteenth and seventeenth articles of the same treaty of Munster, his majesty the king of Spain is obliged to treat the subjects of their high mightinesses as favourably as the subjects of Great Britain and the Hans-towns, who were then the people the most favourably treated; her Britannick majesty and their high mightinesses promise likewise to take care, that the subjects of Great Britain, and of their high mightinesses, shall be treated in the Spanish Low-countries as well as in Spain, the kingdoms and states belonging to it, equally and as well the one as the other, as the people most favoured.
The said queen and States-general oblige themselves to furnish by sea and land the succours and assistance necessary to maintain by force her said majesty in the quiet possession of her kingdoms; and the most serene house of Hanover in the said succession, in the manner it is settled by the acts of parliament before mentioned; and to maintain the said States-general in the possession of the said barrier.
After the ratifications of the treaty, a particular convention shall be made of the conditions, by which the said queen and the said lords the States-general will engage themselves to furnish the succours which shall be thought necessary, as well by sea as by land.
If her British majesty, or the States-general of the United Provinces, be attacked by any body whatsoever by reason of this convention, they shall mutually assist one another with all their forces, and become guarantees of the execution of the said convention.
There shall be invited and admitted into the present treaty, as soon as possible, all the kings, princes, and states, who shall be willing to enter into the same, particularly his imperial majesty, the kings of Spain and Prussia, and the elector of Hanover. And her British majesty and the States-general of the United Provinces, and each of them in particular, shall be permitted to require and invite those whom they shall think fit to require and invite, to enter into this treaty, and to be guarantees of its execution.
And as time has shown the omission which was made in the treaty signed at Ryswick in the year 1697, between England and France, in respect of the right of the succession of England in the person of her majesty the queen of Great Britain, now reigning; and that, for want of having settled in that treaty this indisputable right of her majesty, France refused to acknowledge her for queen of Great Britain after the death of the late king William III, of glorious memory: her majesty the queen of Great Britain, and the lords the States-general of the United Provinces, do agree, and engage themselves likewise, not to enter into any negotiation or treaty of peace with France, before the title of her majesty to the crown of Great Britain, as also the right of succession of the most serene house of Hanover to the aforesaid crown, in the manner it is settled and established by the beforementioned acts of parliament, be fully acknowledged as a preliminary by France, and that France has promised at the same time to remove out of its dominions the person who pretends to be king of Great Britain; and that no negotiation or formal discussion of the articles of the said treaty of peace shall be entered into but jointly, and at the same time, with the said queen, or with her ministers.
Her British majesty and the lords the States-general of the United Provinces shall ratify and confirm all that is contained in the present treaty within the space of four weeks, to be reckoned from the day of the signing. In testimony whereof the underwritten ambassador extraordinary and plenipotentiary of her British majesty, and the deputies of the lords the States-general, have signed this present treaty, and have affixed their seals thereunto.
At the Hague, the 29th of October, in the year 1709.
(L. S.) Townshend.
(L. S.) J. B. Van Reede.
(L. S.) G. Hoeuft.
(L. S.) E. V. Ittersum.
(L. S.) J. V. Welderen.
(L. S.) A. Heinsius.
(L. S.) H. Sminia.
(L. S.) W. Wichers.
THE SEPARATE ARTICLE.
AS In the preliminary articles signed here at the Hague the 28th of May 1709, by the plenipotentiaries of his imperial majesty, of her majesty the queen of Great Britain, and of the lords the States-general of the United Provinces, it is stipulated, among other things, that the lords the States-general shall have, with entire property and sovereignty, the upper quarter of Guelder, according to the fifty-second article of the treaty of Munster of the year 1648; as also, that the garrisons which are, or hereafter shall be, on the part of the lords the States-general, in the town of Huy, the citadel of Liege, and the town of Bonne, shall remain there, until it shall be otherwise agreed upon with his imperial majesty and the empire: and as the barrier which is this day agreed upon in the principal treaty for the mutual guaranty between her British majesty and the lords the States-general, cannot give to the United Provinces the safety for which it is established, unless it be well secured from one end to the other, and that the communication of it be well joined together, for which the upper quarter of Guelder, and the garrisons in the citadel of Liege, Huy, and Bonne are absolutely neccessary (experience having thrice shown, that France having a design to attack the United Provinces, has made use of the places above-mentioned, in order to come at them, and to penetrate into the said provinces). And farther, as in respect to the equivalent for which the upper quarter of Guelder is to be yielded to the United Provinces, according to the fifty-second article of the treaty of Munster abovementioned, his majesty king Charles III will be much more gratified and advantaged in other places than that equivalent can avail; to the end therefore that the lords of the States-general may have the upper quarter of Guelder with entire property and sovereignty; and that the said upper quarter of Guelder may be yielded in this manner to the said lords the States general, in the convention, or the treaty that they are to make with his majesty king Charles III, according to the thirteenth article of the treaty concluded this day; as also that their garrisons in the citadel of Liege, in that of Huy, and in Bonne, may remain there, until it be otherwise agreed upon with his imperial majesty and the empire; her majesty the queen of Great Britain engages herself, and promises by this separate article, which shall have the same force as if it was inserted in the principal treaty, to make the same efforts for all this, as she has engaged herself to make for the obtaining the barrier in the Spanish Low-countries. In testimony whereof the underwritten ambassador extraordinary and plenipotentiary of her British majesty, and deputies of the lords the States-general, have signed the present separate article, and have affixed their seals thereunto.
At the Hague, the 29th of October, 1709.
(L. S.) Townshend.
(L. S.) J. B. Van Reede.
(L. S.) G. Hoeuft.
(L. S.) E. V. Ittersum.
(L. S.) J. V. Welderen.
(L. S.) A. Heinsius.
(L. S.) H. Sminia.
(L. S.) W. Wichers.
THE SECOND SEPARATE ARTICLE.
AS the lords the States-general have represented, that in Flanders the limits between Spanish Flanders and that of the States are settled in such a manner, as that the land belonging to the States is extremely narrow there; so that in some places the territory of Spanish Flanders extends itself to the fortifications, and under the cannon of the places, towns, and forts of the States, which occasions many inconveniences, as has been seen by an example a little before the beginning of the present war, when a fort was designed to have been built under the cannon of the Sas Van Gand, under pretence that it was upon the territory of Spain: and as it is necessary, for avoiding these and other sorts of inconveniences, that the lands of the States upon the confines of Flanders should be enlarged, and that the places, towns, and forts should by that means be better covered: her British majesty, entering into the just motives of the said lords the States-general in this respect, promises and engages herself by this separate article, that in the convention which the said lords the States-general are to make with his majesty king Charles the third, she will assist them, as that it may be agreed, that by the cession to the said lords the States-general of the property of an extent of land necessary to obviate such like and other inconveniences, their limits in Flanders shall be enlarged more conveniently for their security; and those of the Spanish Flanders removed farther from their towns, places and forts, to the end that these may not be so exposed any more. In testimony whereof, the underwritten ambassador extraordinary and plenipotentiary of her British majesty, and deputies of the lords the States-general, have signed the present separate article, and have affixed their seals thereunto.
At the Hague, the 29th of October, 1709.
(L. S.) Townshend.
(L. S.) J. B. Van Reede.
(L. S.) A. Heinsius.
(L. S.) G. Hoeuft.
(L. S.) H. Sminia.
(L. S.) E. V. Ittersum.
TO this end their high mightinesses shall have power to put and keep garrisons in the following places, viz. Newport, Knocke, Menin, the citadel of Lisle, Tournay, Conde, Valenciennes, Namur and its citadel, Lier, Halle, to fortify the fort of Perle, Damme, and the castle of Gand.
In the barrier treaty, the States added the following places to those mentioned in this article, viz. Furnes, Ypres, towns of Lisle, Maubeuge, Charleroy, Philippe, fort of St. Donas (which is to be in property to the States), and the fort of Rhodenhuysen to be demolished. To say nothing of the other places, Dendermond is the key of all Brabant; and the demolishing of the fort of Rhodenhuysen, situate between Gand and Sas Van Gand, can only serve to defraud the king of Spain of the duties upon goods imported and exported there.
The said States may put into the said towns, forts, and places, and in case of open war with France, into all the other towns, places and forts, whatever troops the reason of war shall require.
But in the barrier treaty it is said: in case of an apparent attack, or war, without specifying against France: neither is the number of troops limited to what the reason of war shall require, but what the States shall think necessary.
Beside some smaller differences, ends with a salvo, not only for the ecclesiastical and civil rights of the king of Spain, but likewise for his revenues in the said towns; which revenues in the barrier treaty are all given to the States.
The revenues of the chattellanies and dependencies of the towns and places, which the States shall have for their barrier against France, and which were not in the possession of the crown of Spain at the late king of Spain's death, shall be settled to be a fund for maintaining garrisons, and providing for the fortifications and magazines, and other necessary charges of the said towns of the barrier.
I desire the reader to compare this with the eleventh article of the barrier treaty, where he will see how prodigiously it is enlarged.
All this to be without prejudice to such other treaties and conventions as the queen of Great Britain and their high mightinesses may think fit to make for the future with the said king Charles the third, relating to the Spanish Netherlands, or to the said barrier.
And to the end that the said States may enjoy at present as much as it is possible a barrier in the Spanish Netherlands, they shall be permitted to put their garrisons in the chief towns already taken, or that may be taken, before a peace be made.
These two articles are not in the barrier treaty, but two others in their stead; to which I refer the reader. And indeed it was highly necessary for the Dutch to strike out the former of these articles, when so great a part of the treaty is so highly and manifestly prejudicial to Great Britain, as well as to the king of Spain; especially in the two articles inserted in the place of these, which I desire the reader will examine.
And whereas by the fifth and ninth articles of the alliance between the emperor, the late king of Great Britain, and the States-general, concluded the seventh of September, 1701, it is agreed and stipulated, that the kingdoms of Naples and Sicily with all the dependencies of the crown of Spain in Italy, shall be recovered from the possession of France, as being of the last consequence to the trade of both nations, as well as the Spanish Netherlands, for a barrier for the States-general; therefore the said queen of Great Britain and the States-general agree and oblige themselves not to enter into any negotiation or treaty of peace with France, before the restitution of the said kingdoms of Naples and Sicily, with all the dependencies of the crown of Spain in Italy as well as the Spanish Low-countries, with the other towns and places in the possession of France abovementioned in this treaty; and also after the manner specified in this treaty; as likewise all the rest of the entire monarchy of Spain be yielded by France as a preliminary.
And whereas experience has shown of what importance it is to Great Britain and the United Provinces, that the fortress and port of Dunkirk should not be in the possession of France in the condition they are at present; the subjects of both nations having undergone such great losses, and suffered so much in their trade by the prizes taken from them by privateers set out from that port: insomuch that France by her unmeasurable ambition may be always tempted to make some upon the territories of the queen of Great Britain and their high mightinesses, and interrupt the publick repose and tranquillity; for the preservation of which, and the balance of Europe against the exorbitant power of France, the allies engaged themselves in this long and burdensome war; therefore the said queen of Great Britain and their high mightinesses agree and oblige themselves not to enter into any negotiation or treaty of peace with France, before it shall be yielded and stipulated by France as a preliminary, that all the fortifications of the said town of Dunkirk, and the forts that depend upon it, be entirely demolished and rased, and that the port be entirely ruined and rendered impracticable.
These two articles are likewise omitted in the barrier treaty; whereof the first regards particularly the interests of the house of Austria; and the other about demolishing those of Great Britain. It is something strange, that the late ministry, whose advocates raise such a clamour about the necessity of recovering Spain from the house of Bourbon, should suffer the Dutch to strike out this article, which I think clearly shows the reason why the States never troubled themselves with the thoughts of reducing Spain, or even recovering Milan, Naples, and Sicily, to the emperor, but were wholly fixed upon the conquest of Flanders, because they had determined those provinces as a property for themselves.
As for the article about demolishing Dunkirk, I am not at all surprised to find it struck out; the destruction of that place, although it would be useful to the States, does more nearly import Britain, and was therefore a point that such ministers could more easily get over.
ALTHOUGH the orders and instructions of the courts of Vienna and Barcelona, upon the matters above-mentioned, do not go so far as to give directions for what follows; notwithstanding, the prince and count above-mentioned, considering the present state of affars, are of the following opinion:
First, that the counterproject of England, relating to the places where the States-general may put and keep garrisons, ought to be followed, except Lier, Halle to fortify, and the castle of Gand. Provided likewise, that the sentiments of England be particularly conformed to, relating to Dendermond and Ostend, as places in nowise belonging to the barrier; and which, as well as the castle of Gand, can only serve to make the States-general masters of the Low-countries, and hinder trade with England. And as to Lier and Halle, those who are acquainted with the country know that these towns cannot give any security to the States-general; but can only make people believe, that these places being fortified would rather serve to block up Brussels and the other great cities of Brabant.
Secondly, as to what is said in the seventh article of the counterproject of England, relating to the augmentation of garrisons in thie towns of the barrier in case of an open war; this is agreeable to the opinions of the said prince and count; who think likewise, that there ought to be added to the eighth article, that no goods or merchandise should be sent into the towns where the States-general shall have garrisons, nor be comprehended under the names of such things as the said garrisons and fortifications shall have need of. And to this end the said things shall be inspected in those places where they are to pass; as likewise the quantity shall be settled that the garrisons may want.
Thirdly, as to the ninth article relating to the governors and commanders of those towns, forts, and places where the States-general shall have their garrisons; the said prince and count are of opinion, that the said governors and commanders ought to take an oath as well to the king of Spain as to the States-general: but they may take a particular oath to the latter, that they will not admit foreign troops without their consent; and that they will depend exclusively upon the said States in whatever regards the military power. But at the same time they ought exclusively to promise the king of Spain, that they will not intermeddle in the affairs of law, civil power, revenues, or any other matters, ecclesiastical or civil, unless at the desire of the king's officers to assist them in the execution; in which case the said commanders should be obliged not to refuse them.
Fourthly, as to the tenth article there is nothing to be added, unless that the States-general may repair and increase the fortifications of the towns, places, and forts where they shall have their garrisons; but this at their own expense. Otherwise, under that pretext, they might seize all the revenues of the country.
Fifthly, as to the eleventh article they think the States ought not to have the revenues of the chattellanies and dependencies of these towns and places, which are to be their barrier against France; this being a sort of sovereignty, and very prejudicial to the ecclesiastical and civil economy of the country. But the said prince and count are of opinion, that the States general ought to have, for the maintenance of their garrisons and fortifications, a sum of money of a million and half, or two millions of florins, which they ought to receive from the king's officers, who shall be ordered to pay that sum before any other payment.
Sixthly, and the convention which shall be made on this affair between his catholick majesty and the States-general shall be for a limited time.
These are the utmost conditions to which the said prince and count think it possible for his catholick majesty to be brought; and they declare at the same time, that their imperial and catholick majesties will sooner abandon the Low-countries than to take them upon other conditions, which would be equally expensive, shameful, and unacceptable to them.
On the other side, the said prince and count are persuaded, that the advantages at this time yielded to the States-general may hereafter be very prejudicial to themselves; forasmuch as they may put the people of the Spanish Netherlands to some dangerous extremity, considering the antipathy between the two nations; and that extending of frontiers is entirely contrary to the maxims of their government.
As to the upper quarter of Guelder, the said prince and count are of opinion, that the States-general may be allowed the power of putting in garrisons into Venlo, Ruremond, and Steffenswaert, with orders to furnish the said States with the revenues of the country, which amount to one hundred thousand florins.
As to Bonne, belonging to the electorate of Cologn, Liege, and Huy to the bishoprick of Liege, it is to be understood, that these being imperial towns, it does not depend upon the emperor to consent that foreign garrisons should be placed in them upon any pretence whatsoever. But whereas the States-general demand them only for their security, it is proposed to place in those towns a garrison of imperial troops of whom the States may be in no suspicion, as they might be of a garrison of an elector, who might possibly have views opposite to their interests. But this is proposed only in case that it shall not be thought more proper to rase one or other of the said towns.
David White and other merchants, her majesty's subjects residing at Bruges, and other towns in Flanders, crave leave humbly to represent:
THAT whereas the cities of Lisle, Tournay, Menin, Douay, and other new conquests in Flanders and Artois, taken from the French this war by the united forces of her majesty and her allies, are now become entirely under the government of the States-general; and that we her majesty's subjects may be made liable to such duties and impositions on trade as the said States-general shall think fit to impose on us: we humbly hope and conceive, that it is her majesty's intention and design, that the trade of her dominions and subjects, which is carried on with these new conquests, may be on an equal foot with that of the subjects and dominions of the States-general, and not be liable to any new duty, when transported from the Spanish Netherlands to the said new conquests, as to our great surprise is exacted from us on the following goods, viz. butter, tallow, salmon, hides, beef, and all other products of her majesty's dominions, which we import at Ostend, and there pay the duty of entry to the king of Spain, and consequently ought not to be liable to any new duty, when they carry the same goods and all others from their dominions by a free pass or transire to the said new conquests: and we are under apprehension, that if the said new conquests be settled, or given entirely into the possession of the States-general for their barrier (as we are made to believe by a treaty lately made by her majesty's ambassador, the lord viscount Townshend, at the Hague) that the States-general may also soon declare all goods and merchandises, which are contraband in their provinces, to be also contraband or prohibited in these new conquests, or new barrier: by which her majesty's subjects will be deprived of the sale and consumption of the following products of her majesty's dominions, which are and have long been declared contraband in the United Provinces, such as English and Scots salt, malt spirits, or corn brandy, and all other sorts of distilled English spirits, whale and rape oil, &c.
It is therefore humbly conceived, that her majesty, out of her great care and gracious concern for the benefit of her subjects and dominions, may be pleased to direct, by a treaty of commerce, or some other way, that their trade may be put on an equal foot in all the Spanish Netherlands and the new conquests of barrier with the subjects of Holland, by paying no other duty than that of importation to the king of Spain; and by a provision, that no product of her majesty's dominions shall ever be declared contraband in these new conquests, except such goods as were esteemed contraband before the death of Charles II, king of Spain. And it is also humbly prayed, that the product and manufacture of the new conquests may be also exported without paying any new duty, beside that of exportation at Ostend, which was always paid to the king of Spain; it being impossible for any nation in Europe to assort an entire cargo for the Spanish West-Indies without a considerable quantity of several of the manufactures of Lisle; such as caradoros, cajant, picoses, boratten, and many other goods.
The chief things to be demanded of France are, to be exempted from tonnage, to have a liberty of importing herrings and all other fish to France on the same terms as the Dutch do, and as was agreed by them at the treaty of commerce immediately after the treaty of peace at Ryswick. The enlarging her majesty's plantations in America, &c. is naturally recommended.
- The two sides of our coin were once nominally distinguished by cross and pile, as they are now by heads and tails.
- Article XX.