United Kingdom

Part IV: The Stuarts: James to Anne, 1603 – 1714:

State Papers Foreign, Ireland; and Registers of the Privy Council

“Traditional diplomatic history has rarely, if ever, been among the trendier historiographical fields. Much of the neglect can be ascribed to comparative inaccessibility. State Papers Online at last allows scholars and their students from around the globe full access to these documents, long dismissed as bureaucratic minutiae, which reveal much about topics as varied as court patronage, contemporary religious issues, parliamentary affairs, consumption patterns of luxury goods as well as dynastic and strategic politics”.
Thomas Cogswell, Professor of History, University of California

  • Approx. 1.2 million pages of manuscript images
  • 38,000 fully searchable Calendar Entries

An essential resource for both British and European History

Part IV completes the Papers of the Stuart period and contains volumes of State Papers from, to and about all the countries of Europe. Many of these countries have lost their own collections from this period increasing the rarity and value of these British State Papers. All the great international themes of the 17th century play out in document after document making them an essential resource for not only British but European History: marriage alliances, revolutions, wars and treaties, trade and commerce and, crucially, religion.


The courts of 17th century Europe revealed

Researchers can browse and search the letters exchanged between the monarchs and rulers of Europe, Russia and the Ottoman Empire, the reports of ambassadors and members of the trading companies, as well as treaties and other documents of trade. The ambassadors’ descriptions of events and conversations at the Courts and capital cities of Europe provide intriguing insights into the diplomacy, culture and society of the Stuart age. By disclosing European rulers’ relationships with each other and offering confidential accounts of court life as seen through the eyes of ambassadors Part IV provides researchers with exciting new avenues into exploring and understanding 17th-century international diplomacy, politics, law, religion, travel, trade and colonial expansion.


Key Themes

  • Barbary piracy
  • Christian IV of Denmark and rivalry with Sweden
  • Collapse of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth
  • End of the Dutch Revolt 1609
  • English Civil War 1642–1651
  • English and Scottish colonisation in the Plantations of Ireland
  • European Colonisation of the Americas
  • Great Turkish War 1662–1699
  • Impact of Spanish Colonial wealth
  • Marriage alliances
  • Power struggles between Protestant and Catholics countries and state
  • Scientific Revolution
  • Thirty Years’ War 1618 –1648
  • Wars of the Three Kingdoms


Source collections and libraries:

The National Archives, London: PC 1, 2, 4,  6,

SP 45-47, 54, 57, 63, 65-67, 71, 75-82, 84-92, 94-99, 101-106, 109, 110.



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