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. The reference by Jenings' correspondent to Thomas Hussey is potentially more significant
than a mention of Dalrymple, for while Dalrymple's efforts were well known, Hussey's
were not. Thomas Hussey was an Irish priest educated in Spain, a secret agent of the
Spanish government, and, until the outbreak of war in 1779, chaplain to the Spanish
ambassador to Great Britain, the Marqués de Almodóvar. British awareness of Hussey's
role as a Spanish secret agent may have lent him credibility when he approached Richard
Cumberland, playwright and secretary to the Board of Trade, in Nov. 1779 about initiating
Anglo-Spanish peace negotiations, with himself as the intermediary. There is no evidence
that Hussey's initial approach was at the behest of Spain, but it produced results.
On 28 May, Hussey arrived at Aranjuez, Spain, soon to be joined by Cumberland to begin
negotiations with the Spanish foreign minister, Conde de Floridablanca.