GOODRICKE, Sir John, fifth baronet, letters, autographs, documents, manuscripts

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GOODRICKE, Sir John, fifth baronet (1708-1789). Diplomatist.
Six diplomatic documents addressed to Goodricke, 12 page folio with endorsements, London (4) and St Petersburg (2), 1770-1773. All the documents are in cipher but are deciphered interlineally in a contemporary hand. Officially numbered in ink (13, 14, 13 (again), 25 and 3) and with later pencilled numbers from a different sequence.

Goodricke had been appointed as minister-resident to Sweden in 1758, but was unable to take up the post in that country until 1764 after languishing in Copenhagen until the end of the Seven Years' War. He remained until 1773, and collaborated closely with with Russian ambassador, Count Ostermann, to secure a defensive treaty with Sweden, to safeguard British interests and to ensure the support of the pro-Russian party, the Caps, against the pro-French Hats.

(1 [13]): Letter Signed from Lord Rochford (William Henry van Nassau van Zuylestein, 1717-1781, secretary of state for the northern department), 1 page folio, Whitehall, 18 December 1770. The court of Sweden had obtained 700,000 'banco dollars' for their immediate disposal. In a postscript 'your Letter No 53 has been received, and laid before the King'.
'As northern secretary (1768-70) Rochford was particularly scrupulous in his conduct of the routine correspondence and gave more coherence to British foreign policy than had been evident during the Chatham administration. The top priority at this time was the pursuit of a Russian alliance. As Michael Roberts has shown (British Diplomacy), the key post for this campaign was Stockholm, where Rochford sent large sums of money to Sir John Goodricke to help Russian attempts to influence the Swedish diet. (Oxford DNB).

(2 [14]): Letter Signed from John Montagu, fourth earl of Sandwich (1718-1792), at this time briefly secretary of state, 2 pages folio, Whitehall, 28 December 1770. Conveying the king's satisfaction at Goodricke's zeal and activity, and mentioning secret negotiations, 'the misunderstanding between Russia and France', and the business of supplying iron.

(3 [13]): Letter Signed from George Montagu Dunk, second earl of Halifax (1716-1771), secretary of state, 2 pages folio, Whitehall, 26 April 1771. Goodricke's dispatches and private letters have arrived and been laid before the king, who will consider the question of expenses; G. must continue to cooperate with Count Osterman[n] in accordance with instructions; 'we have not the smallest Doubt but the Empress of Russia will act with her usual Spirits'.

(4 [not numbered]): Letter Signed from Henry Howard, twelfth earl of Suffolk (1739-1779), secretary for the northern department, 2 pages folio, St James's, 20 September 1771. Concerning Mr ?Nolkey's application for additional funds.
'In January 1771 Suffolk was offered the northern secretaryship, though 'a young man of thirty-two, totally unpractised in business, pompous, ignorant, and of no parts', as Horace Walpole scathingly wrote. 'The young Earl answered with modesty, that as he could not speak French, he was incapable of treating with foreign ministers, nor was he conversant in business: he wished for some high office, but not that of Secretary' (Walpole, Memoirs, 4.173). He was appointed lord privy seal, but few Grenvillites followed his leadership. Four months later, in June, he succeeded the deceased Lord Halifax as northern secretary.' Oxford DNB.

(5 [25]): Charles Schaw Cathcart, ninth Lord Cathcart (1721-1776), ambassador to the court of St Petersburg, Letter Signed to Goodricke, 3 pages folio, St Petersburg, 13/24 July 1772. '... I saw Mr [Nikita] Panin [Russian foreign minister], last night, he ... would not enter into the affairs of Poland more than by saying that nothing was settled or arranged further than that ye three powers who were in danger of going to war on that account, had taken measures to prevent it ...'. Oxford DNB records that earlier 'Disregarding his specific instructions, Cathcart promised Russia's foreign minister, Nikita Panin, a peacetime subsidy of £100,000 to conclude the political treaty, though the British government was determined not to pay it. When his actions were effectively disavowed by his superiors in London, Russian resentment was made clear to the ambassador. His remaining years in St Petersburg saw him politically redundant, as all prospect of an early alliance disappeared'.

(6 [3]): Letter Signed from Sir Robert Gunning, 1st baronet (1731-1816), envoy-extraordinary and minister-plenipotentiary to the court of Russia, 2 pages folio (tattered at the edges), St Petersburg, 22 February / 5 March 1773. 'We are hourly in expectation of hearing that the Congress is broke up. They seem here so much convinced that this will happen that the necessary orders have been sent to Marshal Romanzow on the occasion. Your Military preparations have hitherto had all the effect that France intended by them. ... I endeavoured to draw from Mr Pannin [sic] yesterday how he thought the Court of Vienna would look upon the passing the Danube, but could not lead him to say anything more than that his Court could not expect that the Austrian Minister should suddenly change sides. ...' etc. etc.
[No: 26365]

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