Catalogue description Secretaries of State: State Papers Foreign, Tuscany

Search within or browse this series to find specific records of interest.

Date range

Details of SP 98
Reference: SP 98
Title: Secretaries of State: State Papers Foreign, Tuscany

Mainly in-letters to the Secretary of State or his secretary from the English (later British) Resident Minister to the grand duchy of Tuscany at Florence (Firenze) and the consul at Leghorn (Livorno).

There is also correspondence with representatives or agents acting for the British government, including a number of reports from secret service agent Baron Philippe von Stosch, alias John Walton, concerning the activities of the Old Pretender and the Jacobite court. Some original despatches from Rome and Genoa may also be found in this series in addition to copies of despatches from Rome and Naples forwarded to London for information.

Some petitions transmitted to or from Whitehall, and many draft replies by the Secretary of State to correspondence are included in the series, though the latter are less frequently found in the earlier volumes.

Date: 1582-1780
Held by: The National Archives, Kew
Legal status: Public Record(s)
Language: English
Physical description: 86 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:

Tuscany was a grand duchy from 1569 until 1737, when the Medici dynasty became extinct. By the Peace of Vienna, 1738, Tuscany was awarded to Francis Stephen, the Duke of Lorraine and husband of Maria Theresa of Austria. Francis reigned until 1765, being crowned Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire in 1745. His second son, Peter Leopold, reigned as Grand Duke from 1765 until 1790, when he was called to Vienna on the death of his brother, Joseph, and named Emperor. Tuscany was united with the new kingdom of Italy in 1860.

The ducal court was situated at Florence, and Leghorn was a free port with an English factory. The resident ministers and envoys often included with their despatches to Whitehall copies of letters received from Rome and Naples providing information on recent events in these cities. As Florence was relatively close to Rome it was the duty of the British representative there to provide intelligence on the movements and plans of the Jacobite court.

Have you found an error with this catalogue description?