European Treaties Bearing on the History of the United States and Its Dependencies to 1648

By Frances Gardiner Davenport | Go to book overview

35.
Treaty of peace and commerce between Spain and Great Britain, concluded at Madrid, November 5/15, 1630. Ratification by the King of Spain, December 17, 1630. [Ratification by the King of England, same date.]

INTRODUCTION.

When the Duke of Mantua died, in December, 1627, Spain and France gave their support to different claimants to the succession. The brief Franco- Spanish alliance1 was consequently dissolved, and the two kingdoms came into conflict in northern Italy. In view of the coming struggle, Spain desired to make peace with England. Hence Savoy, Spain's ally, sent the Abbé Scaglia as mediator to the English and Spanish courts, and in the spring of 1629 the Spanish government despatched Rubens to England to arrange a suspension of arms and an exchange of ambassadors.2 The painter's able diplomacy paved the way for a treaty favorable to Spain. Indeed, Charles I., whose quarrel with Parliament left him without money to continue hostilities, was not in a position to drive a good bargain. He agreed to conclude peace with Spain in the form of the treaty of 1604,3 on condition that Spain should restore to his brother-in-law, the Elector Palatine, the places held by Spanish garrisons in the Palatinate;4 and he despatched Sir Francis Cottington, a leader of the pro-Spanish party, to negotiate the treaty at Madrid.

Cottington was instructed that he might conclude an article respecting trade with the Indies in the general terms used in the treaty of 1604,5 but that he must not permit British subjects to be more restricted in that trade than the subjects of any other nation.6 Extracts from the truce of Antwerp7 and from the guaranty treaty of the Hague8 "wherein particular mention is made of the Indies", were sent him for his guidance, with the reminder that "that which a Prince undertakes for others is always to be understood he intends for his own subjects".9

On November 15, 1630, more than nine months after Cottington's arrival in Madrid, he, Olivares, and the Spanish commissioners, the Count of Oñate and the Marquis of Flores Davila, signed a treaty of thirty-one articles, which

____________________
1
Doc. 34, introduction.
2
Correspondance de Rubens (ed. Rooses and Ruelens), V. 24-25, 34-35.
3
Doc. 27.
4
Correspondance de Rubens, ed. cit., V. 77, 109.
5
Doc. 27, text, art. 9.
6
Letters to Cottington, June 29, July 9, 1630, in P. R. 0., State Papers Foreign, Spain, no. 34.
7
Doc. 28.
8
Doc. 29.
9
Letter to Cottington, July 9, 1630, loc. cit.

-305-

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