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

By Frances Gardiner Davenport | Go to book overview

27.

Treaty between Spain and Great Britain concluded at London, August 18/28, 1604. Ratification by the King of Spain, June 5/15, 1605. [Ratificatioii by the King of Great Britain, August 19/29, 1604.]

INTRODUCTION.

James I. of England, a lover of peace and favorably disposed toward Spain, regarded the Anglo-Spanish war of Elizabeth's reign as a personal quarrel between sovereigns, which had been ended by Elizabeth's death and his accession.1 In accordance with this theory, on June 23/July 3, 1603, he issued a proclamation that Spanish ships and goods taken by his subjects after April 24/May 4, 1603, should be restored to their owners.2 On May 19/29, 1604, he empowered his leading councillors, Thomas Sackville (earl of Dorset), Charles Howard (earl of Nottingham), Charles Blount (earl of Devonshire), Henry Howard (earl of Northampton), and Lord Robert Cecil, to treat for peace with the deputies of Spain, Juan de Velasco (constable of Castile), the Spanish ambassador in London, Juan de Tassis (count of Villa Mediana), and Alessandro Rovida ( senator of Milan), and with the deputies of the archdukes, Charles, prince-count of Arenberg, President Richardot, and the Audiencer Verreycken. In the negotiations, which begaii at the residence of the Spanish ambassador on May 20/30 and lasted six weeks, controversy centred about two questions--Anglo-Dutch relations, and the rights of English traders in Spain, Flanders, and the East and West Indies. The English commissioners refused to renounce trade with the Dutch, or, for the present, to hand over the cautionary towns to Spain; but they agreed that English subjects should not transport Dutch merchandise to the King of Spain's dominions or to the archdukes' provinces, or Spanish merchandise to the United Provinces, or use Dutch ships in the Spanish trade. They also consented to several somewhat ambiguous articles, offensive to the Dutch, which Cecil declared would be rendered harmless by England's friendly interpretation.3 In regard to trade with Spain it was provided that imports from Britain and Ireland into the Spanish dominions, and exports from the Spanish dominions into Britain and Ireland, should be exempt from the recently imposed 30 per cent. tax; and that English traders in the Spanish

____________________
1
The king's speech to his first Parliament. Journals of the House of Commons, I. 142.
2
Rymer, Foedera, XVI., 516, 517. Cf. below, art. 2.
3
Winwood, Memorials, II. 27, 28.

-246-

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