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William Green was an English merchant engaged in trade on behalf of the Vasa crown in the early seventeenth century. He became the successor to Thomas Fisk [SSNE 7820] in the late 1590s and was particularly active as a merchant draper in Duke Karl (later Karl IX of Sweden) Vasa's service. In February 1599 Green and his associate, Thomas Bland [SSNE 7827] visited Henry Francklin [SSNE 7821] at Bocksjoholm. Green served as a witness in a court case in Stockholm on 4 May 1600 regarding the theft of some costumes intended for royal delivery. In May 1601 he made a complaint to the Stockholm city council regarding lack of payment for a delivery of cloth made to the Crown. Green wasn't alone: a fellow Englishman, named only as 'Jurgenn engelsmann' (presumably 'George') made a similar complaint that day. William Green appears not to have been put off trading with the Swedish crown, however, as thirteen years later, in May 1614 James Spens [SSNE 1632] wrote to Chancellor Axel Oxenstierna recommending Green - who was mentioned as a letter-bearer by James Spens [SSNE 1642] when Spens wrote to Chancellor Axel Oxenstierna in May 1614. Green had learned from his unnamed servant that Green was been deprived of the iron which the Swedish king had awarded him in part payment of his debt. Further, stormy weather had resulted in Green losing not only cargo but reputation and was now almost completely penniless and was therefore beseeching the Swedish king for help. James Spens had met Green and offered to intervene directly on his behalf. Spens notes that Green is an 'honest' man and that if his complaints are heard and responded to not only will this safeguard the reputation of the Swedish king (!) but it will encourage any others to approach Spens in the first instance rather than encumbering the king with their complaints.

Swedish Riksarkiv, Anglica 5, 3 May 1614. Stockholms Stads Tankebocker, del.IV, ed. Folke Sleman, Stockholm, 1957, p.35. Arne Jonsson, ed. Letters from Sir James Spens and Jan Rutgers, Vitterhetsakademien, Stockholm, 2007, p.33. Erik Wikland, Elizabethan Players in Sweden 1591-2 &c. (Stockholm: Almqvist&Wiksell, 1971), p.100-2, 213.

Service record

Arrived 1599-02-08
Departed 1614-05-30
Capacity MERCHANT, purpose TRADE