Daily entries from the 17th century London diary
Gaston Jean Baptiste Comte de Cominges (1613 1670), governor of Saumur, French ambassador to England,1661-1664 (lived in Exeter House, Strand).
See "A French ambassador at the court of Charles the Second: le comte de Cominges" by J J JusserandLondon, T.F. Unwin; New York, G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1892. http://www.worldcatlibraries.org/wcpa/top3mset/...
Cominges was sent, by the scheming Cardinal Mazarin, as special envoy to Potugal in May of 1657, to present condolences to the Queen Regent on the death of Catherine’s father. Another objective was to encourage the Portuguese to provide funding for French troops to continue their campaign against the Spanish.
He also continued to play Mararin’s game of keeping the Portuguese on a piece of string concerning the proposed marriage of Catherine to Louis XIV. Writing back to the Cardinal he said that the Infanta was the delight and love of all the Kingdom. She was prettier than her picture (by Nocret), well groomed and well dressed in the French fashion, and she would not be behind in the beauties of the French Court.
He was recalled to Paris in February of 1659.
Cominges was a gallant Gascon soldier accompanied by a charming wife, but he was brusque, punctilious and ignorant of English. He was often ill, but well or ill the English could make nothing of him...
Clarendon charitably assumed that Cominges was drugged with opium, while Charles said that he was "good for nothing, but to give malicious and wrong intelligence."
(British Foreign Policy 1660-1672 by Feiling)
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