Catalogue description Secretaries of State: State Papers Foreign, Sweden

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Details of SP 95
Reference: SP 95
Title: Secretaries of State: State Papers Foreign, Sweden

Mainly in-letters mostly to the Secretary of State from the English (later British) envoys or resident ministers appointed to Sweden. Most are dated from Stockholm. Original letters from the King of Sweden, or his ministers (especially Le├┐onbergh, the minister in London during the reign of Charles XI), may also be found, together with a number of petitions. Many draft replies by the Secretary of State are included, though they are less frequently found in the earlier volumes.

Apart from one document dated c 1570, the earliest paper in the series is from 1581.

Date: c1570-1782
Held by: The National Archives, Kew
Legal status: Public Record(s)
Language: English and French
Physical description: 136 bundles and volumes
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.

Administrative / biographical background:

Sweden in the early seventeenth century pursued an aggressive expansionist policy under King Gustavus II Adolphus and became one of the great powers of Europe. It championed the Protestant cause in Germany in the Thirty Years' War (1618-1648) and wrested territory from Russia, Poland and Prussia.

It became mistress of the Baltic with control of both the eastern and western shores. The modern-day countries of Finland and Estonia, and much of Latvia were part of the Swedish kingdom. In 1709, however, Sweden's ascendancy was lost with the defeat of King Charles XII by Peter the Great of Russia at Poltava (in southern Russia).

Thereafter, little by little Sweden's conquests were taken from her and in 1810 one of Napoleon's marshals, Bernadotte, was elected Crown Prince. Finland was ceded to Russia in 1809, and permanently transferred in 1815. As recompense, Norway was added to the King of Sweden's domains.

There was a complete rupture of diplomatic relations between Britain and Sweden between 1717 and 1719 (Robert Jackson, the resident minister, was imprisoned in February 1717), and again between 1748 and 1763.

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