Catalogue description Secretaries of State: State Papers Foreign, Spain

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Details of SP 94
Reference: SP 94
Title: Secretaries of State: State Papers Foreign, Spain

Mainly in-letters to the Secretary of State from the English (later British) ambassadors, envoys and resident ministers appointed to Spain. Most of the letters are dated at Madrid (or The Escorial), though Seville was a popular royal residence. Despatches from the consuls (eg at Madrid, Alicante, Barcelona, Bilbao, Cadiz, Cartagena, Corunna, Malaga, San Sebastian, Seville and Tenerife in the Canary Islands) are also in the series, as well as a number of letters from the consulates at Lisbon and Faro, and a few for that at Oporto (all three cities in Portugal). A few papers are from Gibraltar, captured from Spain in 1704. Many draft replies by the Secretary of State are also in the series, and a number of petitions, royal letters, and transcripts of intercepted despatches.

The series includes correspondence with the commissioners appointed in 1730 to enquire into the abuses and hardships suffered by subjects of King George II and the difficulties that British trade lay under in the dominions of Spain. Their entry book is also in the series, as well as a number of papers relating to military and naval matters.

Date: 1577-1780

The records are generally arranged in chronological order, though there is some overlapping of dates for volumes containing draft letters from the Secretary of State, and occasionally for volumes for different ambassadors or envoys present simultaneously in Madrid. The series ends with two separate sets of volumes: those for despatches from consulates, and a supplementary series of miscellaneous papers.

Related material:

Three manuscript calendars, mostly superseded, refer to correspondence with Spain:

SP 130/30

SP 130/31

SP 130/32

Held by: The National Archives, Kew
Legal status: Public Record(s)
Language: English, French and Spanish
Physical description: 255 volume(s)
Publication note:

Selected documents dated before August 1589 are described in the Calendar of State Papers Foreign Series of the Reign of Elizabeth I ed A J Butler S C Lomas and R B Wernham (London 1901-1950). For references to the more important papers for the period August 1589 to December 1595 see the List and Analysis of State Papers Foreign Series Elizabeth I I-VI ed by Richard Bruce Wernham (London 1964-1993). Please speak to staff at the Map and Large Document Room enquiry desk for the precise location.

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