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The Somerset House Conference. The representatives are seated around an Oriental Holbein carpet.

The Treaty of London, signed on 18 May (24 May) 1604,[1][2][3] concluded the nineteen-year Anglo-Spanish War. The negotiations took place at Somerset House in London and are sometimes known as the Somerset House Conference.

After the death of Queen Elizabeth in 1603, her successor James I quickly sought to end the long and draining conflict. Philip III of Spain, who also had inherited the war from his predecessor, Philip II, warmly welcomed the offer and ordered the commencement of the difficult negotiations that followed.

The Anglo-Spanish War had been a complex and fluctuating conflict which also had connections with the Eighty Years' War in the Netherlands, the French Wars of Religion, and the Nine Years' War in Ireland. The terms of the treaty were favourable to Spain, as they brought to an end English support to the Dutch rebellion since the Treaty of Nonsuch (1585), and the end of attacks upon Spanish sea trade.[4] At the same time, the treaty amounted to an acknowledgement by Spain that its hopes of restoring Roman Catholicism in England were at an end. Following the signing of the treaty, England and Spain remained at peace until 1625.


English delegation

Habsburg delegations

The English negotiated with two delegations, one representing the King of Spain, the other the Archdukes Albert and Isabella, rulers of the Habsburg Netherlands.

Spanish delegation

Delegation of the Habsburg Netherlands

  • Charles de Ligne, prince-count of Arenberg,
  • Jean Richardot, President of the Brussels Privy Council.
  • Louis Vereyken, Audiencier of Brussels.

See also


  1. ^ see Old Style and New Style dates: the date is brackets the Gregorian Calendar used in Spain but not Britain at that time
  2. ^ Ratified by the King of Spain on and ratified on 5/15 June 1605 and by King James I on 19/29 August 1604
  3. ^ Davenport, pp. 246257
  4. ^ "The terms, ironically, were similar to those that Philip II had sought prior to the Spanish Armada in 1588, namely the cessation of English intervention on the Continent and a renunciation of high seas buccaneering—which, in any case, had been delivering at best diminishing returns following the Spanish navy’s refitting in 1589. Spain had achieved many of its war aims but, like England, had nearly emptied its treasury in the process." Ulm, Wes: The Defeat of the English Armada and the 16th-Century Spanish Naval Resurgence. Harvard University, 2004


  • Davenport, Frances Gardiner; & Paullin, Charles Oscar. European Treaties Bearing on the History of the United States and Its Dependencies, The Lawbook Exchange, Ltd., 2004 ISBN 1584774223, 9781584774228
  • Text of the Treaty

Redirecting to Treaty of London (1604)


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