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Signed letter by the Duke of Marlborough / Virtual Book Fair

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Description: Signed letter by the Duke of Marlborough, diplomat during the War of the Spanish Succession

[AUTOGRAPH]. CHURCHILL, John, first Duke of Marlborough.
[Letter, signed ("Le Pr[ince]. et Duc de Marlborough"), to Adriaan van Borssele van der Hooge, Lord of Geldermalsen].



Frankfurt am Main, 26 October 1707. 4to (23 x 18 cm). In French, written in brown ink on paper. [2], [2 mostly blank] pp.

Signed letter from John Churchill (1650-1722), first Duke of Marlborough, to Adriaan van Borsele van der Hooge (1658-1728), Lord of Geldermalsen, concerning the military situation during the War of the Spanish succession.
John Churchill, a direct ancestor of the English Prime Minister Sir Winston Churchill, started his military career in 1667, receiving his commission as Ensign in the foot guard, after having been a page of honour to the Duke of York (the later King James II). He was appointed Major General after the coronation of James II in 1685. His fidelity to the Church of England, however, was greater than that to James II and on the 24th of November 1688 he joined William III at Axminster. He was employed by William to restore order amongst the royal troops. When the War of the Spanish Succession (1701-1713) began, King William appointed him plenipotentiary for the negotiations at the Hague and commander-in-chief of the army in Holland, a motley force of Dutch, English and Germans. On William's death in 1702, his sister-in-law succeeded him on the English throne as Queen Anne, and Churchill became a favourite at her court. In 1703 he gained his greatest victory in the battle of Blenheim in Bavaria. In the autumn of 1707 Marlborough was making arrangements for the next campaign at The Hague and at Frankfurt, where he met the Elector of Hannover and the imperial minister, Count Wratislaw, mentioned in the present letter. By special order of the Queen, Churchill left Frankfurt to be in The Hague not earlier than 3 or 4 November to say good-bye to Geldermalsen, as he writes. On 7 November he returned to England to take part in the party struggles that had lasted through the summer.
Adriaan van Borsele van der Hooge, Lord of Geldermalsen was a protégé of William III and became a member of the Council of the States in 1692. From 1693 to 1718 he was representative of the States General in the field and he joined the armies during more than ten campaigns. It is in the latter capacity that Marlborough wrote this letter to him, asking to take care of the armies, together with the quartermaster-general William Cadogan (1675-1726), first Earl of Cadogan. In the summer of 1707 Cadogan was accredited envoy extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary to the States of Holland. He arrived at Brussels in that capacity on 29 November.

The text runs as follows:

Monsieur,
Vous aurez vu par celle que je
me suis donné lhonneur de vous escrire
et a messieurs vos collegues il y a trois jours,
que les ordres de la Reine pressoient
si fort mon retour en Angleterre que
je serois obligé d'aller droit a la Haije
sans revenir a l'armée, méme je
croyois estre deja bien avancé en chemin,
mais je suis arresté icy par le retar-
dement du Comte de Wratislaw qui
n'est pas encore arrivée, quoi qu'il
m'ait envoyé deux exprés pour le prier
de l'attendre, de sorte que le Postillion
de l'armée qui croyait me trouver a
Dusseldorp, vient de me rendre ce soir
la lettre que vous m'avez escrite le
23e de ce mois, et en vous avez la
bonté de m'instruire de tout ce qui se
passe chez vous; J'espere que le
Quartier Maitre General Cadogan aura
reglé avec vous tout ce qui regarde les
Quartiers de mème comme si j'estois
present present, lui ayant envoyé
des ordres pour cela, et que vous
pouvez separer l'armée pour la fin
du mois, et comme selon les apparences
je ne serai en Hollande que vers le
3e ou 4e Novembre, je me flatte que
j'aurai encore le plaisir de vous embrasser
a la Haye, ou, s'il reste encore quelque
chose a faire qui regarde les Troupes[?],
nous pouvons le depecher avant que
je m'embarque, je suis avec une
veritable passion
Monsieur
Votre tres humble et tres
obeissant serviteur
le Pr[ince]. et duc de Marlborough

Mon[sieur] Geldermalsen.

In very good condition. A letter from a leading statesman during the War of the Spanish Succession.
For Churchill: Hattendorf, "Churchill, John, first duke of Marlborough (1650-1722)", in: ODNB (online ed.); for Van Borssele: V.d. Aa I, pp. 296-297.
  • Number: 1060219
  • Dealer: Antiquariaat FORUM







 
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