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Hugh Mowatt served in many capacities in Scandinavia and the Baltic during the first half of the seventeenth century. By 1624 he was serving the House of Stuart as an envoy. A letter exists in which Mowatt is named as an Envoy of James VI to the Scottish community of merchants in Danzig. The Swedish and Stuart Ambassador, Sir James Spens of Wormiston [SSNE 1642] sought to employ Mowatt in another capacity. Francis Gordon [SSNE 1520] had been selected to act as the official Stuart envoy to Poland in 1628. This was a role which also saw him serving in the capacity of Danish factor to the city of Danzig. Spens mistrusted Gordon, who had previously been employed by Spens' half brother, Sir Robert Anstruther [SSNE 1472] . Spens tried to convince Charles I that Gordon could not be trusted and set about a wrecking campaign targeting Gordon's mission to Poland. There could have been several reasons for this. Any Stuart-Polish contact ran contrary to pro-Swedish relations with the House of Stuart, Spens was a serving officer in the Swedish army and therefore had a different agenda to the Gordon mission. Spens may also simply have believed that Gordon was not loyal and even set him up. He arranged for Gustav II Adolf to bribe Gordon to supply information to Sweden and thus prove he could not be trusted. Spens also saw to it that Hugh Mowatt was sent to Poland on a wrecking mission, both of the Polish mission in general and Gordon's reputation in particular. Charles I apparently lent support to the testing of Gordon. Hugh Mowatt appeared many years later as an official Scottish resident in Stockholm. He also served as the Swedish ambassador to both Scotland and England throughout the duration of the Solemn League and Covenant, 1643-1647. His salary was 500 riksdaler per annum, with a certain cash advance, however it is unlikely that he ever received this money as his reports always contained the fact that he was broke. He appears to have been in correspondence with Louis de Geer in 1645/6. Through Mowatt, and indirect correspondence with the Chancellor of Scotland, John Campbell Earl of Loudoun, Axel Oxenstierna broached the notion that Scotland and Sweden should break the Danish commercial monopoly over the Sound. According to the Swedes, Scotland was to be included because of the negative action Christian IV was employing against Scottish traders as they passed through his waters. One of Mowatt's agents on the continent at this juncture was his nephew, Robert Graham [SSNE 2525]. Due to internal division between the Scots and the English over the terms of the confederation, Mowatt's mission was not the success the Swedes had hoped for and indeed he appears to have been eclipsed by Colonel Christopher Potley's [SSNE 3273] mission 1647-8. On the 4th September 1648 Mowatt had an audience at the Stockholm palace where he presented his bills. In 1650 he got half of the 6,150 riksdaler he was owed, and in 1653 he received another 1,075 riksdaler. A significant body of Mowatt's diplomatic correspondence survives in the Swedish Riksarkiv. It is possible that this is the same man who acted as solicitor martial general for the Scottish troops in Danish service 1628-1630 [SSNE 427].

In some letters, Hugh Mowatt is noted as a correspondent of Robert Buchan de Portlethen [SSNE 4928]. 



Swedish Riksarkiv, 'Svenske Sändebuds till Utländske Hof och Deras Sändebud till Sverige (1841), p.78; ‘Scottish subjects at Dantzic to King James VI, Dantzic, this penult August 1624’ reprinted in the Abbotsford Club, Letters and State Papers during the Reign of King James the Sixth, chiefly from the manuscript collections of Sir James Balfour of Denmyln (Edinburgh, 1837); Swedish Riksarkiv, Anglica E. 514; Swedish Riksarkiv, Anglica 5, Spens to Axel Oxenstierna, 12 and 29 July 1626; Swedish Riksarkiv, Oxenstierna samlingen, E661; Swedish Riksarkiv, De Geer Samlingen, E3514; Dumfries House: Marquis of Bute's Archives, Loudoun and Rowallow Deeds, Bundle 2/2, Axel Oxenstierna to John Campbell, Earl of Loudoun, 26 March 1644; S. Tunberg, et al. Den Svenska Utrikes Förvaltningens Historia, (Uppsala, 1935), pp.77-8; Likvidationer, serie 23, bunt 2. Thanks to Heiko Droste for the last reference; Steve Murdoch, Network North: Scottish Kin, Commercial and Covert Associations in Northern Europe, 1603-1746 (Brill, Leiden, 2006), pp.131, 172, 268-270, 274, 276-277, 289, 309: John R. Young. 'The Scottish parliament and European Diplomacy 1641-1647: The Palatinate, The Dutch Republic and Sweden' in Steve Murdoch (ed.), Scotland and the Thirty Years' War, 1618-1648 (Brill, 2001), pp.77-116.


Hugh Mowatt’s letters to Sweden. Selected excerpts in chronological order.

SRA AOSB Ser B, E583


Swedish Riksarkiv, Stockholm. Anglica collection

1. 31 January 1645, Mowatt to Oxenstierna.

After I had sent my servant with letters to yr exc. and the Council I thought myself immediately about to be dismissed (opinion being that things were completed)(?) but the "tractatus" and negotiating of peace intervening (as much unexpected by all as it was clear) turned the eyes and minds of the Orders (=Parliament) from all other concerns to itself.

(The following is his assessment of the reasons why the king suddenly changed his mind and assented to something, thinking victory would be easy. He has no doubt that if Parliament agrees, the king will be a supporter of Mowatt’s cause.)

This day, 12 of the king’s party, the same number from Parliament and six of the Scots are coming together in Uxopont (=Oxford?), whatever way things turn out, I shall inform yr. excy (provided Spiring shall have performed his office).

Meanwhile I have diligently enticed/wheedled the Ordines (=maybe, parliamentarians?) of the two kingdoms (who are) disposed (to be) champions of my cause, one however, is recalcitrant, of course, Henry Vane who is known to your exc.y (from the time he functioned as legate to King Gustav in Germany). This emulator of Juno (?was he effeminate?), with his arts and tricks, which is totally him, has had an inkling that he is not able to upset my cause. (The rest of the letter seems to be a diatribe agains this H. Vanus)


2. To Kristina, day before the ides of April = 12April 1645.

He writes that exhausted? by the task committed to him, he was inclined to return to Sweden to give an account of his mission, indeed, he has thought over the secret matters confided to him, that unless he is solemnly re-commissioned or receives new instructions, he will leave Britain, but he will await Kristina’s wishes.

(It seems that he is also asking on behalf of Potley, who is carrying this letter, and who, after 30 years at war under Gustav Ad. and Kristina, wants to be relieved of his office, and Mowatt humbly commends this request.)

At the end of Jan. he had sent his servant to Sweden with letters written at various times, clearly setting forth what had happened in Scotland, at Newcastle with Polemarch Lesley, and then in the Parliament in England.

Regarding the perpetual federation/treaty between the Swedes and the two British peoples, he says those who have heard him and Parliament in general, have been prompt to agree to his demands/claims, with one exception:

Here follow his doubts about the Duke of Lennox, who ignores Mowatt. 

With regard to his work for the treaty, he praises the Scots delegates for their very strong support, especially the Chancellor and the Count of Landerie(?)

What remains now is to set a time and a place for defining the terms of the agreement, and he proposes that the Queen send him as soon as possible her decision as to what she wishes to be discussed, so he can communicate it to the British. Then follows a flowery paragraph on how the Danish king is working against Kristina’s subjects, and an explanation of Rupert the Palatine’s present position (which I do not understand. Do you need this?) 

After a complicated sentence on naval matters, including the fleet of the Queen of France, he moves on to De Geer: "at the same time Laurence Geer son of Louis advises me from Amsterdam that your maj.y’s fleet is not so much in need of ships as of officers and seamen; likewise he asks the favour that when I write I should ask the Council for the favor of conscripting 500 ... and also 50 for his expenses in the space of six months" and that Mowatt should receive the money and have it ready to send. (Then De Geer praises the devotion and sacrifices of the Swedish seamen in restraining the Dane.) Mowatt ends by praising De Geer and asking that the money be sent to him as soon as possible.


3. 4 August 1645, Mowatt to Oxenstierna.

Mowatt sends a one-page missive to Oxenst. via Count Leven (Leslie). Since Leslie can give an account of the situation, Mowatt mainly complains about his own situation. He says that not one Swedish negotiator has appeared, either in England or in Scotland, nor of all the Queen's ministers in Germany, France and Holland has any given support, and only Laurence de Geer has been sending him advice, or told him what is happening in Sweden, so that he is having the greatest difficulty in carrying out his mission. 

He has sent Christopher Potley with letters from? the deputies of the two kingdoms of Great Britain and that the British Ordines (and he) are is awaiting Potley’s return with the Swedish instructions, and that this is urgend, for the Dane, through his emissaries, is making his task difficult, but Mowatt he is eluding "all his machinations".

Further, he has received only one letter from Spiring which indicates to him, in open words, that no funds to cover his expenses, and no instructions have been sent from court. In the meantime he presents to Oxenstierna the estate of his affairs, living without money, necessities and friends, in a country devastated by civil war. He has sent Spiring's letter to Oxenst. in the hope that this will effect immediate help for his needs... And he hopes that Oxenstierna will give his attention to the one bearing Mowatt’s letter (Gen. Leslie [SSNE 1]). Leslie will also give an account of the state of affairs in Britain.


4. 20 Aug 1645, Mowatt to Oxenstierna.

(First he gives a recap of his previous correspondence)

Before I have completed the task yr. and Council have committed to me

with the assemblies of the two kingdoms of Britain, I have often recounted, via ordinary couriers, even by my Secretary, what the state of my situation is, and what is happening here. finally, the task having been completed(?) the English assembly of the Orders (Parliament) and of the Scots delegates (has sent) Christopher Potley [SSNE 3273] to Sweden with a letter to Queen Kristina in which the willing assent of both kingdoms to concluding a treaty with the Swedes is contained. Moreover, that delegates be sent to some intermediate place, to convene on the conditions of the treaty, and that they make the task just begun, complete; by Potley, I also sent various letters to yr. excy, and at the beginning of August via the Secretary of Count Leven I sent a sealed (letter) to my lords the Proreges (=Councillors?) in which I earnestly begged that Potley be sent back here with instructions (for me) as soon as possible; ?further, that they should be equal? to the cause?, because the English assembly and the Scots deputies desired that the business be brought to completion, and the Dane via clandestine emissaries was busy undermining our affairs, 

in truth up to this day (there has been) not one single word of response to my letters, nor has anything that has happened in Sweden after the month of April 1644 been communicated to my by anybody at all, which (seems) most astonishing to me and not befitting the dignity of the office which has been entrusted to me, this is greatly noticed, for not a few Parliamentarians associate with me familiarly, and pay great attention to the Swedish cause, with this neglect of me and likewise of my office, they notice the indignity(?) and conclude that I am (held) in contempt by you, 

for this reason I have been led by the circumstances to advise yr. excy that a remedy be applied to this evil as soon as possible less worse things continue to multiply hereafter, and ruin our cause which up to how has has been properly ordered.

From here on it is a report on the movements of the British king and the armies, 

with the comment that there "is no small (=rather much) hope that England soon will be peaceful")


5. 12 Sept 1645, Mowatt to Oxenstierna (in Latin)

Christopher Potley has written to Mowatt that Oxenstierna is annoyed with him for having sent such little information on the state of British affairs. Mowatt explains that when he was in Scotland and had done what he could of his mission, there was not one single ship going to Sweden during that whole time, so he sent his missives to the Hague, to be sent on from there to Sweden. However several ships on their way to Holland were intercepted by pirates and taken to Dunkirk. The courier carrying the letter to Oxenstierna sank it to keep their secrets out of the hands of the enemy.

Next he explains what happened with the letter he sent via his servant at the end of Jan. If I understand correctly, the servant went by way of the Hague, stayed there 2 months, married there, and if the letter got lost between Amsterdam and Sweden, it was not Mowatt’s fault. (Note: his letter, now in RA, must have eventually arrived.) Then he was finally able to send several letters via Laurence de Geer. He adds that the Scots Chancellor and Polemarchus Levenus [Alexander Leslie, Earl of Leven] and the entire body of the Scots nobles can attest to his faithful service to Sweden.

Next follows a description of the situation in Scotland, where the nobles distrust one another, that Polemarchus Levenus had to return to his native land with an army, of which he had sent 4000 cavalry ahead, that Monrous had been summoned from Ireland with infantry, and that the plague was raging. In England the king’s situation was vacillating, and Mowatt hopes for peace soon.

The English Parliament is eagerly awaiting Potley’s return, and delay would be dangerous, for ‘today’ a letter from Paris was received from Cerisante (Mark Duncan, a Scot [SSNE 1343]), Kristina’s minister to the French court, indicating that Mowatt’s negotiations with the kingdoms of Great Britain are greatly esteemed/suspect [problem: the word is ‘suspectum’, which meant respected, esteemed, in classical Latin, but which by Mowatt’s time may have shifted in meaning to "be suspect", as the context indicates]. 

Cerisante had been summoned by Cardinal Mazarin, who questionned him at length about Mowatt and his mission, causing him great anxiety, and who finally dismissed him. Mowatt will tell only this little, the the rest later via certain couriers; he will disclose how letters can be securely exchanged.

In this regard Thomas Discinton [Dishington], minister of the French Queen in Britain, has (lent a strong hand) and is very much disposed to be favourable to our cause, out of old friendship, and having received many benefits in Germany from Gusav Adolf shortly before his death, and also honoured later on by Oxenstierna.

The rumour is being disseminated from France and Denmark that their legates to Britain are to calm the differences of the king with the people, but their secret aim is to set in motion ‘machines’ to retard the negotiations or to destroy its foundations.

However Mowatt says he is mingling with the nobles and the lower ranks in ecclesiastical and political settings, and feels confident that, armed with mandates and ample instructions, he can bring negotiations to a satisfactory conclusion. He looks for help from Spiring for his expenses, and for more authority from Oxenstierna and more confidence in him.

Then more reporting on the situation: while he is writing, a messenger has arrived announcing Fairfax’s victory.

From Paris and Amsterdam he has heard that John Cochrane [SSNE 1490] has been sent by the Queen of Britain from France to Denmark to get support from the Dane for the nephew, against his subjects, which Mowatt thinks will be easily obtained(?) now that there is peace between you (Swedes?) and him, and the Scots are greatly reduced in numbers, being at home or being abroad as soldiers. Whatever happens, the Ordines  of the two kingdoms of Great Britain hope you (Oxenstierna) are well.


6. 27 Sept 45 Mowatt to Oxenstierna (in German)

Wohledler Bester Insonderer Hochgeehrter

Herr uundt werther freundt. Denselben kann ich nechst offerirung williger dienste in anwenschungk alles glucklischen wollgedeyens, zu diesem mahl nicht verbey gehen den itzigen zustant dieser orthen mit weinigen zuberichten, nemblich dass es alhier in Englandt auff Parliamentischer seiten. Gott seij danck glucklichen fortgehet dann sie einen orth nachdem andere dem königs abgewinnen; der könig ist gar schwach, Er kan keine Armee sich um offentlichen folck zu praesentiren auffbringen, sondere wirdt von einem orth zum andere getrieben hundt ist nirgendt sicher; der Printz Carolus hatt ann den Gen. Fairfax begehrt, dass Er Ihm ein sicher geleit vor etzliche heren an den König zusenden, demselben zu einem frieden zu- vermogen, ertheilen möchte; zu summe es ist so armsele- lig mit den konigschen bestellet, dass man dieser seiten der gäntzliches meinung ist, ehr man sich noch woll ver- mutten möchte, einen gewunschten gutten frieden zuer- halten; dan das königreich Schottlandt so vor kurtz verwichener seit gleichsamb gantz verlohren geachtet werdt ist nunmehr, wieder allermeisten verhefen, durch Gen. Leut. Davidt Lesslie, so von hierauss dorthin gesonden werden bey gantzliche ruinirung der rebellen unter ihrem Generall Montrosse, welchen man selbsten alhier für gefangen auss schreit, in zimlich gewünscht friede hier fuhr gebracht werden; den Printz Rupert, so gar jungst im Stadt Bristoll an den Gen. Fairfax ubergeben, hatt man zu Oxfordt in verhafft gezogenn, wass sie mit ihm ferner vornasieren? werden stehet zu verwachten alhier wirdt unterschiedlich spargiert. Sonsten ist am den Herrn mein dienstfreundtliche bitt mihr die hohe gunst uundt freundtschafft zuerzeigenn uundt mit guther gelegenheit meiner beyden hochloblichenn hh...n

ten im allem guthen eingedruck zu sein, inson- erheit wegen meines zugeordneten deputats, den ich in die zehen monatenn, nicht einen einzigen (t)haller erhalten, undt dieses alles durch Herr Peter Spierings ver- saumnus, welcher furwendet, dss iher die mittell, dar- auff es afsigniret wahr, fehlen, derowegen er dann eine neue ordre ausser schreiben erwarten muss, unter- dessen aber bleib ich sonder einige lebensmittell alhier steckenn uundt ob ich schon bej 1600 Rd von dem meinigen dabeyauffgesegt, damit ich der hochloblichen Crohn Schwe- den doch ja keinen schimpff oder despect einlegen möchte, so weiss ich doch in die langenunmehr nicht ausszuhalten dan es in diesen durch krieg uundt pestilentz aussgeschrten landen dermassen thewer ist, dass ich zu ver- wunderen, uundt dennoch gehet man alhier gewaldig auff ..sterliche pracht uundt ausehen, welches ich ve(r)- kennen muss meines theils hiesigen gebrauch nach insonderheit meiner ietzigen verrichtung halber, etwas zu schlecht gewesen; bitte demnach abermahlenn dienstliches, bey gutter beg.ehmer Zeit meiner in besten eingedanck zu sein, solches soll vor mich  zu ieder zeit, mit muglichster freundtschafft uundt diensterweissung, gerne wiedrumb verschuldet werden, inndessen befehle ich dann Herr Gottlicher gne. obacht uundt verbleiben, herrn Dstwilligr


Notes on this letter:

- It is not signed

- It addresses Oxenstierna as "friend"

- Mowatt is on the side of Parliament

- It consists in about equal parts of an account of the king’s weakening position and the situation in Scotland, and an account of Mowatt’s financial woes, caused in part by Spiring.

A selective paraphrasing: (Re the Parliamentarian side:) Thank God it is going favourably and they are winning one place after another from the king, who is very weak, who cannot assemble an army and is nowhere in surety; Prince Carolus has asked Fairfax for free passage of a few gentlemen to be sent to the king to try to negotiate peace; Scotland, which only recently appeared to be quite lost, is rising again through David Leslie’s ruination of the rebels under Montrose, who is said here to be a prisoner; Prince Rupert who recently surrendered to Fairfax at Bristol, has been taken to Oxford and in London there are various theories about what will happen to him. (On his own financial troubles:) In the past ten months he has not received one single "haller" (did he drop the t of thaller?), and this is due to Peter Spiering’s neglect, who claims that the means which were signed for, are not there, and therefore he must write out a new order. Meanwhile Mowatt remains without means of existence, has shelled out 1600 Rd of his own means, so that the Swedish Crown not be mocked or lose esteem. He cannot continue in this land racked by war and pestilence. Moreover, here outward show and appearance are very important, and, given his mission, he has made a somewhat poor show at this (i.e. appearances).


7. 14 Nov 1645 Mowatt to Oxenstierna.  Gnädiger Herr dass hiesige Engländische Parliament nebenst dehnenn auch alhier residirenden Schottländischen Abgeordnetenn haben mich so vielfaltig uundt oftt wegen langen aussbleibend dess H. Obriste Potleij (welchen ich vor geraumer zeit an ihre König. Maijttn. meiner allergundigsten Konigin, mit einer aussführlichen ant- wordt meine verrichtung betreffend von hierauss abgefertiget) angesprochen uundt befragen lassen, dass ich ihnen nun fast keine antwort mehr zugeben weiss, da ich sonsten, wann mihr nur ein einziges schreibenn, entweder vonn Eer. Erl. Excell.e oder eini- gen anderen von den Hhe. Reichsrähten, im welchem dero vielfal- tige hindernüsse wegen anderer hohen geschäftshalber, mir in gar wenig werdten, mihr were zugeschrieben werden, wolte ich woll aus demselben entschuldigungen genugtenn, Sie noch auff ein gantzes Jahr zu contentiren heraussgezogen haben, ..ize aber indehm Sie al- hier für gar gewiss sindt verstendigst werden, dass der könig inn Denmarck etliche völcker, dem hiesigen könige zu hülffe, wieder sie aussrüsten lest, uundt dass gantz keine schreiben aus Schweden, weder an sie noch an mich inn so geraumer zeit abgesonden worden darauss sie sich inn etwas ersehen kondten, wass sie wegenn der ietzigen confaederation handlung, zuhoffen hetten, .uch es inn diesem jungst geschlossenem frieden zwischen ihre königl. meine allergnadigste Konigin, undt dem könige von Den- marck, sie die Engländer uundt Schottländer mit begriffen weren, bilden sie sich gäntzlich ein dass meine allergnadigste Königin Ihre vorige resolution verandert, uundt kein sonderliche belieben haben, inn dieser sachen ferner fortzufahren, inn wel- chem Ihrem misstrawen sie gar sehr gesterket werden, weil, sie augenscheinlich sehen, dass meine Persohn so gantz unt gar ne- gligeret uundt hinden gesestzst wirdt, nicht allein in dehnen mihr, keiner einzige verrichtungen, darinnen hiesige Parliament gleichsahm mit interesiret sein, alss die vergleichung uundt hand- lung wegen das zolls im Sunde uundt dergleichen, communici- ret uundt mitgetheilet werden, sondern auch wegen meiner so geringen, oder vielmehr gar keinen unterhaltungs mitteln, zurechnen gegenst dehner so andere Potentaten, ihren mei- nes gleichen bedienten, ann diesem hoffe zu ordnen, undt wie woll Ich diesem allem so viel ich vermocht zuhüllf kom- men bin, als dass ich bey nahe 2000 Rth. meines eigenenn Patrimony dabey zugesetzet habe, dan ich von He. Peter Spiering siedert 17 Decembris verwichenen Jahres nicht einen ein- ziagen heller erhalten, so habe ich doch nun ferner kein hoffnung in diesen landen etwas mehreres auffzubringen, sie- temahlen dieselbe durch die einheimischen kriege uundt hef- tig grossirenden pestilentz dergestalt verwustet, dass die innwohner selbsten gar schwerlich leben können, dieses uber- wehnte alles, nebenst einer zufälligen schweren krankheit hatt mich dermassen abgematt, dass eure. erlt. excell. jah nohtwendig durch einen anderen freundt, hirmit unter- thänigst ersuchen muss, demuttigst bittende, eur. erll.  excell. gelieben doch die gnadige anordnung zu thun damit ich ehiste? mit nohttürfftigen lebens mitteln wiedrumb möchte versehen werden, ich habe der ungezweiffelten hoffnungh mit den hülffe Gottes, alss den meine vorige gesundtheit gar baldt wieder zuerlangen, uundt diese mihr an vertre- te verrichtung (es werden gesandte anhero abgeferti- get oder nicht.) wie ich sie biss hero glücklichen angefange also auch ferner zu vollenziehen, wan ich nur mit einer aussfuhrlichen Instruction uundt gnugsahmer vollmacht desswegen versehen werde; da ich aber in wiedrigen fall noch immerhin also in vergess solte gestellet bleiben wirdt die uunerdienste schmach undt verachtung, nebenst den grossen hertzleidl? meines ietzigen nohtleidendem bedrückte standes halber, meinem mühesehligem leben gar baldt ein ander machen, iedoch dehn geschehe wie es gott gefalt, dannoch soll gegenst eure erlh excell. mein brunstiges danckbahres gemüth, für die bisshero mihr vielfaltig erzeigte gnade und gewogenheit, keines weges erlöchen, sondern meine tägliche seu

zer sollen vielmehr dahin gerichtet sein, dass Gott der Allmechtige, eure erlh. excell. nebenst deroselben gantze hochansehnlichen famili, bey bestandiger gutter gesundtheit uundt allem erspriesslichn wollergehen zulangen zeiten aller- gnadigst erhalten wolle. uundt ich verbleibe also die dag meines lebens. P.S. Ungefehr vor 14 tagen haben eurerl. excell. der H. ReichsCantzler inn Schottlandt ein schreiben zugesonden, mehren- theils vorhergehenden inhalte, nebenst noch andere beschaffenheiten dieser landenn, da selbe habe ich in meinem recquesten

Hr. Laurentz de Geer nacher Ambsterda(m) zugeschicht, solches an eur. erl. excell. auffs fuherste abzufertigen, ich habe gut-ter, hoffnung es werde zunachst kommen sein. 


Summary of contents:

The Engl. Parliament and the Scottish delegates keep asking why Potley is staying away so long, and Mowatt doesn’t know what to answer them, but he hears nothing from Oxenstierna or other Council members. 

Here people are aware that the King in Denmark is arming soldiers to come to the aid of the (Brit.) king, whereas no letter has come to either Mowatt or the Parliamentarians/Scots which would give some indication of what they could hope for regarding the confederation negotiations. 

After the recently concluded peace between Kristina and King of Denmark, the English and Scots imagine that Kristina has changed her previous resolution and has lost her interest in moving ahead with the negotiations. Their suspicions are confirmed when they see how Mowatt is being neglected, not only in that he receives no communications at all about his mission in matters which also interest Parliament, such as the Sound Tolls, but also that he receives no maintenance as compared with the envoys of other potentates. 

By now he has spent 2000 of his own patrimony, and since 17 Dec. last year he has received not a farthing (heller) from Peter Spiering, so that he now has no further hope of achieving anything in these countries that are ravaged by civil war and plague so that even the inhabitants can hardly survive. He asks that measures be taken to meet his basic needs. He also requests detailed instructions and adequate powers to act

In a P.S. he says 14 days previously the Chancellor of Scotland sent him a letter for Oxenstierna, and that its contents were similar to what he has written above, along with other news from these countries. He has sent it to Laurentz de Geer in Amsterdam with the request that it be sent on to Oxenstierna as soon as possible.


8.  28 Nov. 1645 to Oxenstierna (Latin)


This letter repeats in Latin much that was said in the German letter of 27 Sept.


The Engl. Parl. and Scots delegates are still concerned about Potley’s delay and are awaiting an answer from Oxenstierna to their letters that Mowatt had sent via various nobles.  They want to hear about the conditions of peace arrived at between Sweden and Denmark, and they think that either the Swedes have changed their minds about the federation, or that Mowatt is out of favour, which is understandable since they see he cannot compete with the luxury of the representatives of other princes.


He again speaks of having had to use his own funds, and of plague, civil war and other disasters.  Requests that legates be sent to London or to an intermediate place this winter, and,again, that he be given plenipotentiary title and clear instructions. 


Then follows report.  King has left Neourgum, for a siege by Polemarchus and Scots army is imminent, and has gone to Oxford, his last refuge in England, which seems to be about to be attacked.  King has sent his first-born to France to his mother.


Says there is hope of peace before next summer, and Popish idolatry will be overthrown. The Scots army, “which is now fighting for Parliament will either have to hold out to the end(?), or it should take(?) its activities elsewhere, but if it can be of use to you, let yr believe me, the officers and soldiers will gladly devote themselves to no other mortals than to the race of Swedes, of whom it is unanimously heard that many have returned from the Swedish army rich and well-heeled, but from France, with which people there is a long-standing treaty (certainly 80 years and more), there have been few or none, except for those (who have returned) “loinless”, lame, mutilated.


The damp and foggy climate has given him “rheuma” and a cough which has afflicted him for about a month. 



9.  28 Nov. 45 to Kristina (German)


Says that in May he had sent her, via the old faithful servant Obrist Potley, a detailed report on his mission, and also a letter from the Parl. and the resident Scots legates.  Since then he has had no answer, either written or otherwise from Kristina’s court, so that he does not know how to proceed, especially since the King of Denmark, through two separate envoys, quite openly (though assuming another appearance), and also the French through their agents, act in the most courteous way to be obstructional and work to Mowatt’s detriment.  This could have had an effect, were it not for the favour and support of his fellow-countrymen and the Parliament.  The result of their evil practices was that finally they were dismissed in disgrace.


He says he is working energetically, for delay is dangerous, and he advises her to send negotiators to an appropriate intermediate place this winter.  He asks that he be sent detailed instructions and an adequate Vollmacht, and also the conditions she demands from the other party.He urges her and the Council to resolve upon a course of action which can be fully confirmed by envoys. 


Then he brings up his financial need and how Peter Spiering in connection with Mowatt’s allowance from the Council, set at 500 Rd. each quarter year, was very unfriendly to him.  In 11 months and more he had not given Mowatt a farthing.  Again he says he has had to use 2000 Rd of his own patrimony, though he could not nearly live like those in the employ of other potentates, and he hopes Kristina will give an order that he be compensated.


10. 21 Jan 46, to Oxenstierna: 

M. finds it strange that since being sent to London, not the smallest letter has come with instructions. Nine months have passed since he sent off the assent of the representatives of the 2 kingdoms, and the parliamentarians conjecture that Sweden has changed its mind, or that Mowatt is considered a worthless emissary. 

Then follows a report on the political situation, and the Papists in Ireland. 

M. Requests that Potley be sent soon, to proceed with the treaty, and also on account of M's own expenses, now 14 mos. overdue because of Spiring. 


11.30 Jan. 46 to Oxenstierna: 

The French and Danes are intending, next summer, to work against the Swedish-Engl./Scot. confederation. They are spreading rumours about the Scots and English to damage the peace agreement. 

M. then gives reports on various moving of troops, and asks that Oxenstierna not believe any rumours coming from Britain unless they are confirmed by letters from the Scots Chancellor, Count Leven Polemarch or himself. 


12. 20 Mar. 46 to Oxenstierna:

Report: the Prince's army has laid down its arms on Ides of March.

On 17 & 18 of March the committee of Scots and English representatives questioned him whether the Swedes wanted to continue pursuing the federation, or abandon it. Mowatt answered in the affirmative (as far as he knew). They were surprised at the long delay in Potley's returning, and asked Mowatt to go to Sweden to further the affair. However, he does not feel he can leave without being recalled by the Queen, or unless he is furnished with a more ample mandate.

If his 'remedy' does not seem to Oxenstierna to be according to the circumstances, it will be better to recall him and to make use of his small abilities elsewhere (and he will serve to her Majesty and the kingdom of Sweden as long as he breathes). 

The present opportunities will not last long; he should be given plenipotentiary powers with instructions as to what is required of the Britannics. 


13. 16 April 46 twin letters. 

To Kristina: There is still no response from her or the Council to the letter from the representatives of the 2 kingdoms which she had received via Potley. 

He still awaits her instructions, and his money, 15 months after his arrival. 

He remains hopeful of a successful outcome, unless she wishes to recall him and place him where she pleases. 


14. 16 April 46 to Ox: 

A report on events. 

Potley has been kept back in Sweden almost a whole year, nor has any response been sent to the letter he had brought. 

M's money problems again: since 17 Dec. 1644 he has not received a penny. 


15. 1 May 46 to Oxenstierna: 

A 1-page report on doings of king and prince. 

Meanwhile the English 'ordines' and Scots deputies are both asking him about the Swedish delay, wanting to send him to Queen for new instructions, and separately, they are exhausting him by posing many questions.Mowatt assures Oxenstierna that the seed, (i.e. the negotiations) now like heads of grain, will mature.



16. 28 May 46 to Oxenstierna:

M. has sent off 3 couriers, no letters (received), does not know if he is held in aversion or is not appreciated. Then reports on political sit. Leven's Scots have besieged Newcastle etc. On movements of king and Sectarians. (I get the impressionMowatt has no sympathy for either the king or the Sectarians, but admires Leslie. Though I would have to make full translations to be sure.) 

If the 2 factions arrive at peace, which he hopes and desires, then it will be easy for Oxenstierna to obtain numerous soldiers and troops. Mowatt considers the federation with these peoples (prob. Scots & Engl.) to be pursued as diligently as possible. (Problem: At end, Mowatt says he is immensely grateful to Oxenstierna for furthering his interests at court, which he has been able to deduce from the letters of Louis de Geer. This does not agree with his opening complaint. That he has heard something via de Geer is sure, but Mowatt may be simply doing more of his usual buttering up at the end of his letters.) Calends of June, 46 to Oxenstierna: He says that if Queen had responded to the letter of the Comm. of Both Kingdoms, or had given him plenipotentiary powers and instructions at the end of the past year or the beginning of this one, then as an intermediary arbiter he could have hindered that these 2 kingdoms and their chambers of parliament would be so far estranged from one another; the federation could have been useful to both peoples and for discouraging their enemies.. Now the situation is the reverse and they are heading for civil war "internecionem" and this flourishing kingdom is a scene of tragedy., etc. etc. Thus 'our business' is now more difficult than before. The king is being urged by our queen to make peace with his subjects, and the parliaments likewise. He consider that such a peace is the way to go for moving along our federation. It is said that Belieur, councillor of the French king, is being sent here to increase the discord, and he is expected to arrive within the month. Therefore Mowatt hopes to receive Ox's mandate as soon as possible. He knows how to conduct himself so that he favours neither of the parties, nor is he confounded by their questions. The king is surrounded by the Scottish army at Newcastle.He humbly asks Oxenstierna to keep his affairs (i.e. his money, probably) in mind.


9 Nov. 46 - triple letters

17) To Kristina: (1 page)

Mowatt opens with Potley's having brought letter from C.ttee of 2 Kingdoms who were ready to make a federation and to agree on a time and place for negotiations. Up to now he has received no response from either the 'Senate' or the 'Secretaries' though a year and a half has now elapsed. The Parliamentarians are vexing him and hounding him, believing that Kristina has changed her mind and has abandoned the matter. The Royalists, or those favouring war, are continually attacking Mowatt, criticising him for continuing to work for the federation. Therefore he is sending a second letter-carrier to the queen so that he can give satisfaction to his critics and be made certain of the queen's wishes. If the queen still adheres to the proposal (as Mowatt believes), then legates should be sent to an intermediate place to discuss and define the conditions. If however this path with its long delays and postponements is displeasing, then will it at least please her majesty to send him plenipotentiary powers so he can clearly explain the mind of the queen and carry out her will. Afterwards, she can send him where she pleases. He acknowledges that he will have Herculean work ahead, given the discord of "these peoples", to establish a stable treaty, but now the roots of the disagreements having been averted (sic) and the people being weary of war, Kristina should now make her intentions known.

The most select soldiers of the 24,000-man Scots army, foot and horse, are about to be discharged. If Kristina wants to make use of all or some of them, it can be easily done, for the Scots give preference to the Swedes above all other mortals. The bearer of this letter was a soldier in the service of her father, and recently he had a conspicuous rank in the (Covenanter) army, and he will be an excellent witness (I assume, to the Scots' favouring Sweden), in whom Her Maj. can have confidence. 

Finally, he again asks to receive what is owed him.



17.) Letter of 9 Nov. 46 to Ox: (2 pages, and beginning of a 3rd)

At beginning of October he had sent a report to Oxenstierna with George Gardinium, a Scot of Stockholm that English and Scots had come to an agreement and Scots are preparing to go back to their country. Therefore he has sent this (present) military officer to Kristina and Oxenstierna so that he can inform them of the army's disbanding this winter, and that all or part of them are ready (to serve Sweden), not only the young but also those skilled and experienced in all military offices, hardened to the discomforts of war, nearly all of whose leaders served under King Gustav, including he who brings this letter, Mowatt's nephew by his sister, who has recently served outstandingly, nor is he ignorant of the Swedish language, having served in the royal guard (in cohorte Praetoria) under Leonard Torstenson, and afterwards under David Drummond, his relative. He will inform Oxenstierna of the state of things in Britain and Oxenstierna can trust him completely. If Queen wishes to recruit military personnel in Scotland she has only to send Mowatt her wishes.

Dunkerk has been captured by the French, making it easy for them to attack England, which pushes the factions toward agreement, and thus the Parliamentarians are asking him why he is not working harder on the federation, and they desire an explanation of whether the Queen has changed her mind. Therefore he has sent this messenger to Queen and Council to know the Queen's mind. If she wishes to continue, let her send legates to a neutral place, or give Mowatt plenipotentiary powers.

Then comes a report on the situation in Britain. Mowatt says that he has decided to introduce a waiting period of 3 months so that Oliver Fliming, master of ceremonies (ceremoniarum praefectum) at court, who has always been helpful to Mowatt in every way, will go to Sweden to discuss w. Oxenstierna, as Potley had done previously. Mowatt commends him to Oxenstierna as one worthy of being honourably treated by the Queen.

Finally, he mentions a rumour of a sea-battle near Dieppe between a Parliamentarian ship and 2 Swedish ships, but he does not know who had to lower the flag.

Moreover, if Queen wants to make her selection (of soldiers) in Scotland, haste is needed, and she should send the letter-bearer back to Mowatt as soon as possible.

M. again asks to have his expenses repaid.



18.) 9 Nov. 46. 2 pages - in Latin, like the others. 

Letter to "Multis nominibus honorande" (? To the lord who is to be honoured with many names??) 

Problem: in the letter this person or persons is/are addressed as "dominatio vostra". Donatio in my book is only defined as 'donation'. (Cf. Oxenstierna, who is always excellentia vostra). At least once this person is addressed in the familiar singular, as "tibi". Also, Mowatt uses the familiar singular verb form in requesting a favour in a post script. At other times he uses you (pl.) in, I think, the sense of the Council. I conclude that this is a person, probably a member of the Rikdsråd, with whom Mowatt is on good terms. It is only in this letter that Mowatt speaks of the Danish war (twice) as a possible cause of his being ignored. Is this significant for the identity of this person? Might he have been away at the war, and thus less able to aid Mowatt? Mowatt begins by saying that before this year he had twice sent letters to "yr. donation", did not receive the answer, which he had expected and hoped for, but Mowatt has conjectured that the heavy burden which he bears (and was not lightened by the Danish war), has hindered him. Then Mowatt rehashes the story of Potley going to Sweden and the need for legates to a neutral place or plenipotentiary powers for Mowatt He wants to know if you (pl.) have changed your minds so he can explain to his people and avert their ire. Since he has left Sweden not the tiniest letter has come to him from any of the Senators or any of the Secretaries to tell him how to respond to the committee members (of the 2 kingdoms). Then comes a section in which he seems to praise the Scots and rail against the Sectarians, and says what the king ought to do, in his opinion. He says it would take too long to tell all, but his letter-bearer knows the Swedish language and has experience of these matters. Mowatt says people desire the perpetual federation, that the iron is in the fire, and that now is the time for the Queen to send legates and to give Mowatt instructions; and that after he has completed his task she can decide his (next) task.

The Scots army (Covenanters), which has been fighting in England for 3 years, will soon be decommissioned, and if the Queen desires to recruit certain mounted or foot soldiers she should inform Mowatt The letter-bearer Mowatt is sending, his nephew by his sister, held important office in this war, and also served King Gustav for many years, and he can be entrusted with funds for recruiting a legion, which the leader of the Scots army, Count Leven [SSNE 1] and I (added above line) will enact.

M. says that no funds to cover his expenses were sent to him, neither during the Danish war nor before this past May, and that he has spent 2050 Joachimics(?) out of his own patrimony to maintain his mission and the dignity of his Prince and office. There is no representative of a foreign prince here, among his equals at court, who does not receive 5 or 6000 of gold for their annual expenses. What pertains to him, let the Queen give him what she will, and he will in no way desist from his task.

Lines added at bottom, below the signature: I humbly ask "yr. donation" that the letter-bearer be sent back to me as soon as possible. 

Lines added on side: Will you (if it pleases you) share this communication with Dominus Dapifer and the Chancellor and will you recommend my nephew to them? 

(Note: this letter, at least, was read, for in the left margin another hand has written Latin summaries of the contents at 7 places.)



18.) To "Multis nominibus honorande", 18 Dec. 46 Short Latin letter, 3/4 page.

By his courier he had recently spoken of the cessation of hostilities, and of the problems of paying the Scots about to be resolved, and their decommissioning, and had begged that his courier be sent back to him immediately (aeg: understood - with instructions). Now the French, having been defeated in Catalonia by the Spanish, were approaching, as enemies, and he urges Swedes to act immediately. (I cannot tell if this is regarding the federation or hiring Scots.) Nevertheless, he can delay the matter as much as he can until his courier returns. 

Then he returns to his money matters, and there is no one of his rank and office at court who does not receive the triple of what he receives (aeg: or is stipulated to receive?) (which is 1500 per year)


19.) To Kristina, 18 Dec. 46 (1 page)

He rehashes what he had informed her of via last letter and courier about the Scots being paid, etc. Today, "they" are going to the Scots camp with the money. Thus if Queen wishes to recruit some, she must hurry, and send her orders to Scotland where Count Leven and Mowatt will act for her. Delay is dangerous, for the French having been defeated near Lerida in Catalonia, Courtrai in Flanders being besieged by Piccolomini, problems in Italy, the French will leave no stone unturned to acquire a new army and to blot out the ignominy they have sustained. This leads Mowatt to think that the decommissioning of the Scots army will be rescinded. He believes the old necessity of the 90's, the affinity of customs, will easily blot out the memory of recent injuries (aeg: thus, will the Scots now be retained to help the English fight the French?). Mowatt stresses the danger of delay. He says, "For I have been able to achieve, up to now, through friends in the 'conventum ordinum Scotiae (= Scottish Estates?) that the singling out/choosing(?) (delectus) of the French be postponed until my messenger be sent back here by Your Maj., by which time I am confident Your Maj. will outflank/surpass the Gaul. (This is unclear to me -- perhaps the Swedes, in making the federation, will strengthen the 2 nations of Britan and weaken the intention of the French to attack Britain?)

He closes, as usual, with a request to be paid.


20.) Mowatt to Oxenstierna, from London, 12 Feb. 1647

(This is a pure report and request for action from Kristina. For once, there is no request for himself.) Now that the friendship between the peoples of Britain has been strengthened, and the pecuniary requirements of the Scots have been met, on the calends of Feb. the strong and vigorous (Scots) army has begun to leave Newcastle for its native soil. Polemarchus Levenus, [Leslie, Earl of Leven] about to depart, has sent Mowatt a letter to send on to you (Oxenstierna) Then follows news on doings of King, and of the Queen and eldest son in Paris) Mowatt says it would be good if Kristina would send King a congratulatory letter as soon as possible, which, if it is not suitable to the circumstances, Mowatt can keep back. (Next, a section on the doings of the French and the Spanish against Britain). Mowatt has received news of these things from a friend from Paris whom he has previously mentioned. Also, Bellieur (sp.?), the French legate, who was hanging around the King for a long time at Newcastle , is coming to London to await orders from his king. When Mowatt learned this he immediately communicated it to certain "senators" of the Committee of the 2 Kingdoms, with whom he associates most familiarly, to find out their opinion. Many of them are not inclined to make a federation against the "Austriacs" on this side of or beyond the mountains (eg: would this mean Italy?). They are unwilling to make a pact unless the Swedes and Dutch are part of it. There is an amazing eagerness in Britain to make a "federation" with Sweden. Thus it is expedient that Potley be sent back to Mowatt as soon as possible, if he has not already been sent, with clear instructions; and if Her Maj. has determined to have a selection of soldiers in Scotland, Robert Graham [SSNE 2525], Mowatt's nephew, who had been sent to Sweden recently, should be sent back right away, otherwise all the soldiers who have now been discharged will be employed by the English against the Irish or by the French against the Spanish. (Then there is something about a naval expedition to West India.) Mowatt asks Oxenstierna to request the Queen to inform Mowatt swiftly what she wants him to do regarding what he has just described.

Service record

Arrived 1624-01-01
Departed 1624-12-31
Capacity ENVOY, purpose DIPLOMACY
Arrived 1628-01-01
Capacity AGENT, purpose DIPLOMACY
Arrived 1643-01-01
Departed 1643-12-31
Arrived 1644-08-01
Departed 1644-12-31
Arrived 1644-12-31
Departed 1647-06-04