On March 31, 1761, a few days after Bute’s appointment as Secretary of State, Prince Galitzin, the Russian ambassador in London, presented offers of negotiation on behalf of France and her allies. Pitt had never underrated the difficulty of concluding a satisfactory peace. Two years before, at the height of his triumph, he wrote to Hardwicke :

Peace will be as hard to make as war. The materials in His Majesty's hands are certainly very many and great, and it is to be hoped that in working them up in the great edifice of a solid and general Pacification of Europe there may be no confusion of language, but that the workmen may understand one another.1