Organization and Arrangement
Scope and Content Note
Title: Blathwayt, William Papers (addenda),
Date (inclusive): 1667-1734
Date (bulk): 1668-1672
Blathwayt, William, 1667-1734
The Huntington Library
San Marino, California 91108
Collection is open to qualified researchers by prior application through the Reader Services Department. For more information
please go to following
In order to quote from, publish, or reproduce any of the manuscripts or visual materials, researchers must obtain formal permission
from the office of the Library Director. In most instances, permission is given by the Huntington as owner of the physical
property rights only, and researchers must also obtain permission from the holder of the literary rights. In some instances,
the Huntington owns the literary rights, as well as the physical property rights. Researchers may contact the appropriate
curator for further information.
Blathwayt, William Papers, The Huntington Library, San Marino, California.
The collection was purchased from Sotheby's through the agency of Maggs Bros. in 12/06/1984.
The collection numbers 192 pieces and is contained in 3 boxes.
Organization and Arrangement
Inclusive dates: 1667-1734; bulk 1668-1672. The collection consists of correspondence and documents and organized in the following
- Box 1
Blathwayt, William, Correspondence. 1667-1669. 67 folders.
- Box 2
Blathwayt, Wililiam, Correspondence. 1670-1671. 68 folders.
- Box 3.
Blathwayt, William, Correspondence, 1672-1682. 37 folders. -
Diplomatic correspondence and intelligence reports, 1720-1734. 24 folders.
William Blathwayt, British civil servant and politician, entered public life as clerk in the embassy of Sir William Temple
at The Hague, 1668-72. The Embassy was established with the purpose of implementing the Triple Alliance (1668) and was closed
in 1672, following the secret treaty between Charles II and Louis XIV (1670) and the outbreak of the Third Anglo-Dutch War
(1672). In 1672, Blathwayt toured Germany and Italy, before returning to England. He then served in the Plantation Office,
was secretary to the Lords of Trade (1679 - 1669) and surveyor and auditor general of Plantation Revenues. In 1683 he purchased
the office of Secretary at War. From 1692-1701 he attended William III during his campaigns in the Low Countries. In 1696-1707
he served on the Board of Trade. During the reign of Queen Anne, he gradually lost his posts: in 1704 he was dismissed as
Secretary at War, in 1707 lost his Board of Trade position, and three years later, his seat in Parliament. Blathwayt married
Mary Wynter of Dyrham Park in December 1686 and the couple had two sons before her death in November 1691. William Blathwayt
died at Dyrham Park on August 16, 1717.
Scope and Content Note
The collection consists of business, diplomatic, personal correspondents and accounts accumulated by Blathwayt during his
service in The Hague (1669-1672) and his tour of Europe in 1672, with some items dated 1682 and a few pieces relating to colonies
in East and West Indies.
The collection also contains secret diplomatic correspondence and intelligence reports addressed to Alexander Hume-Campbell,
2nd Earl of Marchmont, Charles Withworth, Charles Townshend, and Thomas Pelham - Holles, 4th Duke of Newcastle (1720-1734).
I. Blathwyat, William, Correspondence.
- Affairs of the English Embassy in the Hague, including
- negotiations about release of ships and goods seized during the Second Anglo-Dutch War;
- affairs of English sailors and merchants in the Low Countries, and
- salvage of a cargo of tin sunk off the port of Ostend (1666-1669);
- International affairs
- secret treaty of Dover (1670) and events leading to the Third Anglo-Dutch War (1672-1674),
- Foreign relations with Sweden, Spain, Holy Roman Empire, and Russia as reflected in letters to William Blathwayt from the
English diplomats and memoranda submitted to the Charles II by the Ambassador of the Holy Roman Empire in London (1682)
- Personal affairs and professional duties of William Blathwayt, including his acquisition of rare books and antiques, particularly
his dealing with Daniel Elzevir.
Correspondents represented by 2 or more items:
- Buys, Paulus: lawyer in Amsterdam (18 items)
- Benoist, J. D.: book commissioner and agent in Amsterdam (3 items)
- Custis, Edmond, English factotum in Amsterdam (15 items)
- Downton, Thomas, 1
st secretary of Sir William Temple (8 items)
- Jollyvet, E. (4 items)
- Lefebvre, Tannegui (1615-1672) (2 items)
- Meredith, Edward, English diplomat in Spain (3 items)
- Temple, William, Sir (11 items)
- Thun und Hohenstein, Frantz Siegmund, Graf von, 1639-1702 (6 items)
- Van Pas, Dirck, merchant in Amsterdam (7 items)
- Werden, John, Sir (1640-1713) (7 items)
- Wolseley, Robert, 1649-1697 (3 items)
For the materials related to Blathwayt's service in the Plantation Office and Board of Trade see Blathwayt Papers (BL - 1-423).
II Diplomatic and intelligence reports
Letters and dispatches (including ciphered messages) from intelligence agents in Berlin, Hamburg, Cambrai, Paris, Port Sainte
Marie (Spain), and Madrid addressed contain information on affairs in Brandenburg-Prussia, Russia, Spain, France, and Italy.
Correspondents include: Giovanni Battista Paretti, Charles du Bourgay, and Sir Cyril Wich, although most dispatches are anonymous.
Blathwayt, William 1649?-1717
Elzevir, Daniel, 1626-1680
Marchmont, Alexander Hume-Campbell, Earl of, 1675-1740, addressee
Newcastle, Thomas Pelham-Holles, Duke of, d1693-1768, addressee
Temple, William, Sir 1628-1699
Townshend, Charles Townshend, Viscount, 1674-1738, addressee
Whitworth, Charles Whitworth, Baron, 1675-1725, addressee
Great Britain. Embassy (Hague, Netherlands), 1668-1672.
Anglo-Dutch War, 1664-1667
Books - Collectors and collecting - Great Britain - 17
Diplomats - Great Britain - 17
Dutch War, 1674-1678
Great Britain - Foreign relations - 17
Great Britain - Foreign relations - 18
Great Britain - History - Charles II, 1660-1685 - Sources.
Great Britain - History - Anne, 1702-1714.
Intelligence service - Great Britain - 18
Maritime law - 17
Shipwrecks - Cargo - 17
th century - Belgium