4to, pp. [ii], 71, woodcut royal arms on title; modern roan-backed marbled boards; from the library of Ian Robertson (1928–2020).
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Papers relative to the rupture with Spain, laid before both Houses of Parliament, on Friday the twenty ninth day of January, 1762, by His Majesty’s command.
One of two editions published in the same year; the other is in both English and French and was published by E. Owen and T. Harrison.
Observing evidence of growing Franco-Spanish co-operation during the course of 1761, Pitt the Elder had advocated a pre-emptive strike against the Spanish treasure fleet from America. However, he could not persuade his colleagues to back what would have been a significant extension of the existing hostilities between Britain and France, and on 5 October he resigned. This work reprints correspondence between William Pitt and the earl of Bristol (then ambassador to Spain) and Lord Egremont, the French envoy François de Bussy, the Spanish envoy the count de Fuentes and the Spanish chief minister Ricardo Wall. The letters date from 28 July to 26 December 1761. Britain declared war on Spain on 4 January 1762.
The publication of the letters prompted a masterly defence of the hawkish Pitt by John Wilkes, Observations on the Papers relative to the rupture with Spain, laid before both Houses of Parliament, on Friday Jan. 29th, 1762, which was published anonymously on 9 March 1762 and caused a considerable stir.
ESTC T43597. Palau 211781 and Sabin 58483 record the bilingual edition.
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