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The End of the Anglo-Spanish Match in Global Context, 1617-1624

Caldari, Valentina (2015) The End of the Anglo-Spanish Match in Global Context, 1617-1624. Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) thesis, University of Kent, Universidade do Porto. (KAR id:53723)

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A marriage between the English Prince and the Spanish Infanta was deemed desirable following the signing of the Anglo-Spanish peace treaty in London in 1604. After several years of tortuous negotiations, the match failed in 1624 and England declared war on Spain the following year. This thesis addresses the end of the Anglo-Spanish Match negotiations in the period 1617-1624 by placing reasons for its failure in the global context of European diplomacy and dynastic politics in the early seventeenth century. Traditional historiography has considered the failure of the marriage diplomacy as the inevitable consequence of religious differences and cultural misunderstandings between England and Spain. Consequently, scholars have only looked within Europe when investigating the end of the union. My research, however, depicts a more composite picture not only by expanding the geographical boundaries of the investigation but also by demonstrating the extent to which new imperial rivalries played a much greater role in the marriage diplomacy than has previously been recognised. In the first chapter, I discuss the notion of reason of state in the relationship between England and Spain at the beginning of the seventeenth century and I investigate the way in which the choice politically and/or economically most favourable was often taken regardless of religious considerations and increasingly in response to extra-European concerns. The body of the thesis is then dedicated to a few episodes when the imperial rivalry between England and the Iberian Peninsula influenced the end of the negotiations. In the second chapter, I look at Walter Raleigh’s second expedition to Guyana and the actions of the Spanish ambassador in London, Count of Gondomar, who asked that Raleigh should receive an exemplary punishment in order to maintain the marriage agreement after the English explorer had attacked Spanish settlements. In the following chapter, I move towards the East and analyse the taking of the Portuguese port of Hormuz in the Persian Gulf by the English East India Company in 1622. In doing so, I outline the complex dynamics underlying the union of the Iberian crowns (1580-1640) as well as the specific repercussions of this episode on the Infanta’s dowry to be given by Spain to England. The fourth chapter introduces a further key player in both European diplomacy and the imperial rivalry between Spain and England, which is to say the Dutch. By looking at the ‘massacre’ at Amboyna in 1623, I prove that the rivalry with the Dutch in the Spice Islands, and especially the executions at Amboyna, initially pushed King James to pursue the marriage alliance with the Spanish Habsburgs with even greater commitment. In the last chapter, I look back at Europe to discuss how the two composite monarchies reacted to the arrival at their respective courts of the news of recent episodes of conflict in the West and East Indies. This concluding chapter argues that the awareness in Madrid and London of what had happened in the Indies put additional burdens onto the already deteriorating marriage negotiations and fundamentally contributed to their failure. Thus, the thesis sheds light on a well-known episode of Anglo-Spanish relations by observing it through a new lens. As a result, I improve our traditional understanding of the end of Anglo-Spanish Match as well as of global connectedness in the early seventeenth century.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctor of Philosophy (PhD))
Thesis advisor: Fincham, Kenneth
Thesis advisor: Vieira, Fatima
Uncontrolled keywords: Early Modern; England; Spain; Spanish Match; James I; Charles I; Philip III; Philip IV; Walter Raleigh; Hormuz; Amboyna
Subjects: D History General and Old World
D History General and Old World > DA Great Britain
D History General and Old World > DP Spain
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Arts and Humanities > School of English
Funders: Organisations -1 not found.
Depositing User: Users 1 not found.
Date Deposited: 18 Jan 2016 14:00 UTC
Last Modified: 09 Dec 2022 16:19 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

University of Kent Author Information

Caldari, Valentina.

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