ANNE (1665-1714). Queen of Great Britain and Ireland.
Letter Signed and subscribed in French ('Mon Frere / Votre bonne Soeur / Anne R'), to the duke of Lorraine, 2 pages folio with address-leaf, St James's, 23 April 1709. Assuring him of her continued mutual friendship, and supporting the interests and honour of his house. Referring to his support of the Grand Alliance, she says he will be compensated for not getting the duchy of Montferrat.
'... Et comme Personne n'est plus sensible que moy, aux Pertes que vous a causé l atachment constant et sincere de votre Famille aux Interets de la Grande Alliance, dont vous venez de donner une preuve si convaincante, en quittant si genereusement vos Pretensions au Montferrat pour frayer le chemin au Bien Public, dans une Conjoncture qui vous mettoit en etat de les faire valoir, vous pouvez estre assuré, que cette Demarche m'obligera à prendre plus fortement à coeur les Interets de vÔtre Maison, et de les appuier de tout mon Credit aupres des Hauts Alliez, afin que la Paix ne soit point conclüe, sans qu'on prenne les mesures les plus propres et les plus convenables pour vous procurer une Satisfaction equitable, et un Dedommagement entier de ces Pertes ...'
Queen Anne's formal childhood education was mostly limited to domestic accomplishments such as embroidery, to the exclusion of more academic pursuits, but her greatest literary accomplishment was her mastery of French. In later life she could converse confidently with foreign diplomats, and would not hesitate to alter the wording of formal diplomatic letters written in that language.
Leopold, Duke of Lorraine (1679-1729) had been exiled with his parents at birth as Lorraine had been occupied by Louis XIV of France. He regained his duchy in 1697 after the Treaty of Ryswick, and did much during his life to reconstruct and repopulate his war-stricken duchy, ensuring its safety and prosperity by the end of his life. In 1708 he attempted to claim the Duchy of Montferrat, being the closest living male relative of his cousin, the erstwhile Duke of Mantua; however, Montferrat had already been promised to the Dukes of Savoy by the Emperor Leopold I.
The letter is countersigned by Charles Spencer, third earl of Sunderland (1675-1722), a whig politician who served in office during Anne's reign.
The original papered seal is intact on the address-leaf, which bears also a contemporary endorsement.
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