The collection comprises two large volumes containing transcripts of manuscript diplomaticdispatches covering the period from 1685 to 1688.
The first volume contains dispatches and correspondence sent by Jean-Antonie de Mesmes(1640-1709), Comte d'Avaux. Most of these papers were sent from The Hague but a few were addressedfrom Versailles and Fountainbleu, France. The Count of Avaux was the French ambassador to Holland atthe time and the original dispatches were presumably sent to the government of Louis XIV. The volumehas a supplement containing extracts of resolutions and correspondence relating to Holland. Thesepapers contain details of momentous events in Dutch and English history.
The second volume contains dispatches sent by Paul De Barrillon d'Amoncourt (d 1691). Barrillonwas the French ambassador in England in the 1680s. Most of the dispatches were sent from London butsome were from Versailles and Fountainbleu, France and Salisbury, Wiltshire. At the back of thevolume are some extracts from contemporary correspondence.
The transcripts are in several different hands, with the same hand occurring in both volumes. Itcannot be said with certainty who compiled these papers. The most likely explanation is that theywere made or obtained by Charles James Fox during a visit to Paris in 1802. Although Fox had severalinterviews with Napoleon on diplomatic business, much of his time was spent in the French archiveswhere he conducted research for a book on the 1688 revolution in England. His posthumously publishedHistory of the Early Part of the Reign of James II has an appendix of transcripts ofBarrillon's correspondence.