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Philip Warwick, was a Stuart ambassador to Sweden and son of Sir Philip Warwick (1609-1683). Not much is known of Warwick's early life. In 1680 he was appointed envoyé extraordinaire on a mission to the Swedish king, Karl XI in order to renew the Anglo-Swedish alliance of 1664. This was to be both a commercial and a defensive alliance. Warwick took leave of Charles II in July 1680 and is noted to have arrived in Stockholm with his secretary John Robinson on August 29. Although he did not obtain an audience with the Swedish king until a month and a half later, his time in Sweden was initially taken up by other commercial issues. Most of the information on the mission comes from Warwick's correspondence with the Secretary of State for Britain, Sir Leoline Jenkins. It was not only regular, but also confirms that Warwick's role extended beyond the commercial sphere. Indeed, Warwick's duties included interceding on behalf of British merchants who fell foul of Swedish and other foreign authorities in the Baltic region. By the end of November 1680 at least five of Warwick's letters had been read out before Charles II and the Committee of Foreign Affairs in London.

Early in this correspondence Jenkins warned Warwick of the malicious rumours he would encounter about Britain and its government, and he was specifically instructed to refute such allegations. Jenkins also forwarded a missive from Charles II in favour of aldermen John Jeffreys and Mr James Lucie, two London merchants who were engaged with the Tobacco and Tar company based in Stockholm. In addition Jeffreys and Lucie wrote directly to Warwick concerning the settlement of accounts for some tobacco they had sent to a certaion Andrew Onkell on behalf of Mr Thomas Cutler. As well as mercantile affairs, Sir Leoline Jenkins kept Warwick up to date on negotiations between Sweden and France in Germany at the time, regarding troops in Pomerania.

As Jenkins had himself served as an envoy to the Swedish court in 1679. he suggested important Swedish contacts for Warwick to meet, facilitating the continuation of a healthy relationship between Britain and Sweden. The Swedish Chancellor, Bengt Oxenstierna, in particular proved an honest and sincere man who supported Warwick's mission. Jenkins also asked Warwick to pass on his greetings to Sir Johan Leijonberg and Mr Olivencrantz, the latter man being Jenkins' counterpart in Sweden. Warwick finally obtained an audience with the Swedish king on 15 November. Although it is not known exactly what was discussed there, a letter to Karl XI survives detailing Warwick's instructions as received directly from King Charles II. The Stuart king was keen to maintain and cultivate friendly and commercial relations between the two kingdoms, and added that he would welcome a Swedish envoy at his court to discuss the renewal of the lapsed treaty of 1664.

Relations with the Tobacco and Tar company were not easy as the claims of one English merchant reveal. Robert Tigh had tried to sell the company some tobacco in 1675, but the wares had been seized and confiscated without being paid for. Eventually Jenkins suggested that company should be closed, albeit with royal sanction, and it seemed that neither the Swedes nor the Dutch contested this suggestion. Although Warwick's letters were replete with information on tolls and customs as well as shipping lists, Jenkins expressed a dissatisfaction with the poor response he had received from certain British merchants in London to Warwick's work in Sweden. Their lack of interest was blamed on a preoccupation with domestic issues. This did not deter Warwick from supporting both English and Scottish merchants in Sweden, as when he sought compensation for Joseph Newcome, who had lost 400 riksdaler worth of goods to the Swedes. 

However, by January 1681 the issue of obtaining the Swedish king's interest in reviving the 1664 commercial alliance between the two kingdoms re-emerged, along with the continued hopes of ratifying a new treaty. Part of the conditions involved included the granting of special trade privileges for Sweden in Portsmouth, in return for reciprocal privileges for Stuart subjects in Gothenburg. Although the Swedes did not seem overly enthusiastic about these proposals, Warwick twice received confirmation from Jenkins that his work in Sweden was highly valued in England. He also appeared to have formed a trusted relationship with Mr Olivencrantz using the Swede as an intermediary in order to protect his correspondence. Warwick also continued with his defence of mostly English merchants in their various difficulties with local authorities, as many of his letters to Karl XI show. 

The cases Warwick took on in Sweden varied. For example, John Eyre and Robert Tigh (already noted above) were resident merchants in Helsingör, Denmark, who sought Charles II's intervention to obtain long overdue payment for goods they had sold to Sweden. The outcome of this request has not been determined, although Warwick soon received the Stuart king's written recommendation for some English merchants, probably the men in question. Several of the cases concerned complaints dating from the 1670s, which had already been taken on by Charles II, but which appeared not to have resulted in a favourable reaction from the Swedish king. This was the case with Richard Daniel, a merchant based at Riga (then a Swedish possession), who had complained in 1677 that he was being forced into becoming a burgess of the town - and therefore liable to local taxes - after marrying a local girl there. Toward the end of the year, in November, Warwick again received petitions from some merchants, Robert Bloome in London and William Smith in Stockholm, regarding unpaid debts from Sweden. However, Warwick was not only in Sweden to represent the English interest, but all Stuart subjects, be they English, Irish or Scots. He therefore entered into correspondence over land disputes also in Livonia which Major James Bennet [SSNE 1612], a Scottish soldier, who claimed the land by right of inheritance through marriage. There does not appear to be much information on Warwick's activities during 1682, which was apparently his last full year in Sweden. In February he intervened on behalf of two English merchants based at Narva, named Gilberts and Bacon, who were in a dispute with a Muscovite, but again the exact details remain elusive. 

Warwick's ultimate aim was to recreate and strengthen the commercial ties between Britain and Sweden. He had already been informed in October 1681 of a defensive alliance being negotiated between the Netherlands and Sweden. British participation had also been sought, but merely of a financial nature to fund Swedish-Dutch relations. Warwick wanted to promote a purely British-Swedish connection although Jenkins expressed the possibility for other European powers to join these negotiations. It was particularly feared that France would take any opportunity to destroy British trade. In a letter to Chancellor Oxenstierna in June 1682, Warwick clarified some of the British concerns when he passed on Charles II's desire to totally separate the issues of a friendly confederation between Sweden and Britain, from that of a commercial alliance between the two kingdoms. Warwick's mission was bolstered by the arrival of an additional envoy in July who had been authorised specifically to discuss such an alliance.

By January 1683, Warwick informed the Swedish court and government that he had obtained Charles's permission to return home to England, in order to deal with a family matter. He fully intended to return to his duties in Sweden as soon as he could. In the meantime Warwick's secretary, John Robinson [SSNE 1115] continued to work toward the formation of a British-Swedish alliance. However, there was to be no return to Sweden for Philip Warwick. He died sometime after his return to England, upon which Robinson assumed his role as official Stuart envoy to Sweden.


Sources: Swedish Riksarkiv, Anglica 527, Konferensprotokoll 24/1/1683; Swedish Riksarkiv, Anglica 522, Engelska beskickningars memorial 1591-1692; Calender of State Papers Domestic 1679-1680, 1680-1681; PRO, SP/95/11-12, SP/104/153; Lauderdale Papers, Add. MSS. 37985; Swedish Riksarkiv, Svenske Sändebuds till Utländske Hof och Deras Sändebud till Sverige, 1841, p.85; L. Bittner and L. Gross, Reportorium der diplomatischen vertreter aller lander, vol. 1, 1648-1715 (Oldenburg and Berlin, 1936), p.199; G. M. Bell, A Handlist of British Diplomatic Representatives 1509-1688 (London, 1990).

Service record

Arrived 1680-06-17
Departed 1683-03-20
Capacity ENVOY, purpose DIPLOMACY