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A History of England Principally in the Seventeent

Who also had himself been in close agreement with Gondomar


But a new and serious hindrance now arose in consequence of the embarrassments caused by the affairs of the Palatinate, in which the interests of the two dynasties came into immediate collision with one another. It is clear that King James could not marry his son to an Infanta of Spain while a Spanish army was taking possession of his son-in-law's territory. He therefore made the restoration of the Palatinate a condition of the marriage. All his tortuous efforts were directed to combine the latter object with the former, and at the same time to avoid a disadvantageous reaction upon his domestic policy.

While he invoked the Protestant sympathies of Parliament in order to give weight to his demands, he nevertheless checked them again as soon as he was in danger of being forced to make war, or even to resume the measures against the Catholics, which might displease the Spanish court. Whilst he made the Spaniards aware that if he were refused the consideration he required, he would throw himself entirely into the hands of his Parliament and proceed to extremities, he at the same time employed every means of effecting a peaceful accommodation, by which he would then at once be saved the necessity of making concessions to Parliament. The most active negotiations were opened in Brussels with the Infanta Isabella, upon whom the issue seemed most to depend. James I had sent thither Richard Weston, the man whom Gondomar himself declared to be the most appropriate instrument for this affair; and an agreement was concluded with the personal co-operation of the Infanta, which held out expectations of the restoration of the Elector. On the side of the Palatinate and England everything was done to promote the conclusion of this agreement, and to ensure its execution. The expelled Elector was induced to recall Mansfeld and Christian of Brunswick from the Upper Rhine, where they were then moving vigorously forward, lest the treaty should be obstructed by their operations.[418] He himself removed to Sedan, in order not to arouse the suspicions of the House of Austria by his residence in the Netherlands. In the summer of 1622 he had no other troops in the Palatinate but the English garrisons; and King James engaged that, if the treaty were concluded, he would take arms himself against the allies of his son-in-law. But while expectation was directed to the conclusion of the contract by which the Elector should be re-established in his country, the League advanced against those strongholds which the English held in his name. Neither Heidelberg nor Mannheim could hold out. The English troops were obliged to bend to necessity and to march out, although with the honours of war. Only in Frankenthal did they still maintain themselves for a while. When Weston at Brussels complained of this conduct he was actually told that the League must have everything in their hands first, in order to restore everything hereafter. He was astounded at this subterfuge, and asked for his recall.

In England the friends of Spain fell into a sort of despair at the course of events. For what could follow from it but open war between the King of England and the Emperor? But on whose side would Spain then be found? Would that power pledge itself to fight to the end against every one, even against the Emperor, in behalf of the treaty when concluded? To prevent England from coming into closer alliance with France, the government of Spain had planned the marriage and opened direct negotiations: would it now, when its cause appeared to be advancing, withdraw in violation of its word of honour? Even the Privy Council represented to the King that he was bringing dishonour and danger on his country. The Duke of Buckingham, who also had himself been in close agreement with Gondomar, and was considered to be the man who held the threads of politics in his hand, regarded the increasing discontent as dangerous to his own position.[419]


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