United Kingdom

State Papers Online: Eighteenth Century, 1714-1782:

Part II: State Papers Foreign: Low Countries and Germany

Size: Over 1000 volumes of manuscript documents (approx. 360,000 folios)

Manuscript series: The National Archives, UK: SP 77, 80-82, 84, 87,96, 101, 105

Publication date: June 2015

Part II: State Papers Foreign contain the papers written or received by the secretaries of state in the course of British diplomacy in the Low Countries and Germany through the 18th century.

This includes:

•    correspondence with English diplomats abroad and foreign diplomats in England
•    original and draft treaties
•    letters between heads of state
•    intercepted despatches and other intelligence
•    working papers of the secretaries
•    material relating to military, naval and colonial policy

Part II expands on the domestic papers in Part I and presents the first section of the foreign papers during the reigns of George I to George III (until 1782 when the State Papers series ends).

The collection turns its lens on the eighteenth century world beyond Britain, documenting the relationships of the Hanoverian reign with Flanders, Holland and Germany, with particular focus on European powers such as the Holy Roman Empire and the various German States and Towns. It also includes the Military Expedition series and the Archives of British Legations.

The included volumes present the correspondence, communications and conduct of events which were discussed in internal documents in the domestic papers of Part I, such as the War of Austrian Succession and the Seven Years War. These can be explored further in Part II through detailed correspondence from the British Diplomatic Representatives, reports from British agents, communications from ambassadors and advisers, letters to and from the British monarchs and the Holy Roman Emperors, representatives of the States General, compensation claims, petitions and royal warrants.

Part II’s detailed coverage of international diplomacy offers eighteenth century scholars fresh insights into the workings of the Hanoverian court and those of its allies and adversaries in Europe.

Manuscript series in Part II include:

SP 77:   State Papers Foreign, Flanders
SP 80:   State Papers Foreign, Holy Roman Empire
SP 81:   State Papers Foreign, German States
SP 82:   State Papers Foreign, Hamburg and Hanse Towns
SP 84:   State Papers Foreign, Holland
SP 87:   State Papers Foreign, Military Expeditions
SP 96:   State Papers Foreign, Switzerland
SP 101: State Papers Foreign, Newsletters
SP 105: State Papers Foreign, Archives of British Legations

Images from this new series:

Left: SP 80/233 f. 252
Map of Silesia marked up in 1741 during the negotiations with Frederick II of Prussia and sent to Robinson with the negotiating points by Philippe de Sizendorf on behalf of Maria Theresa of Austria

Center: SP 80/130 f.5v
Page in cypher of letter from Thomas Robinson, diplomat in Vienna to Rt Hon. Lord Harrington, Secretary of State for the Northern Department, 28 May 1738, discussing the Emperor getting out of the War of the Polish Succession.

Right: SP 84/452 f. 24a
Plan of the firework display for 13 June 1749 in The Hague in celebration of the Treaty of Aachen/Aix-la-Chapelle to which the State General invited the Prince Stadthouder, the Princess Royal and the Foreign Ministers.

All images © Reproduced by kind permission of The National Archives of the UK

Related titles:

•    State Papers Online: Eighteenth Century, 1714-1782: Part I
•    State Papers Online, 1509-1714
•    Eighteenth Century Collection Online
•    Nineteenth Century Collections Online

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Images shown below are from additional series.