We use cookies to enhance your experience on our website. By continuing to use our website, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. You can change your cookie settings at any time. Find out more
Warwick, Philip (bap. 1640, d. 1683), diplomat, was baptized at St Margaret's, Westminster, on 7 December 1640, the only son of , politician and historian, and his first wife, Dorothy (d. 1644), daughter of Matthew Hutton of Marske, Yorkshire. It may have been he, rather than his father (who had already been admitted to Gray's Inn), who in the year 1656 was admitted to the Inner Temple, London. Nothing else is known of his early life. In 1680 Warwick was appointed envoyé extraordinaire on a mission to the Swedish king, Karl XI, to renew the Anglo-Swedish alliance of 1664. This was to be both a commercial and a defensive alliance. Warwick took leave of Charles II in July 1680 and is noted to have arrived in Stockholm with his secretary, John Robinson, on 29 August. Although he did not obtain an audience with the Swedish king until a couple of months later, his time in Sweden was initially taken up by other commercial issues. Warwick's regular correspondence with the British secretary of state, Sir Leoline Jenkins, not only illuminates the mission but also confirms that Warwick's role extended beyond the commercial sphere. Indeed, Warwick's duties included interceding on behalf of British merchants who fell foul of Swedish and other foreign authorities in the Baltic region. By the end of November 1680 at least five of Warwick's letters had been read out before Charles II and the committee of foreign affairs in London.

Early in this correspondence Jenkins warned Warwick of the malicious rumours he would encounter about Britain and its government, and instructed him to refute such allegations. Jenkins also kept Warwick up to date on negotiations between Sweden and France in Germany regarding troops in Pomerania. As Jenkins had himself served as an envoy to the Swedish court in 1679 he could suggest important Swedish contacts who might help Warwick to maintain a healthy relationship between Britain and Sweden. The Swedish chancellor in particular, Bengt Oxenstierna, proved an honest and sincere man who supported Warwick's mission, and Warwick finally obtained an audience with the Swedish king on 15 November. Although it is not known exactly what was discussed, a letter to Karl XI detailing Warwick's instructions reveals that Charles II was keen to maintain and cultivate friendly and commercial relations between the two kingdoms, and it invited a Swedish envoy at his court to discuss the renewal of the lapsed treaty of 1664.

Warwick seems to have handled effectively the affair of the Tobacco and Tar Company, closed at Jenkins's suggestion after difficulties over payment to London merchants. However, although Warwick's letters were replete with information on tolls and customs as well as shipping lists, Jenkins expressed dissatisfaction with the poor response he had received from some merchants to Warwick's work in Sweden. Their lack of interest was blamed on a preoccupation with domestic issues. This did not deter Warwick from supporting both English and Scottish merchants in Sweden, as when he sought compensation for Joseph Newcome, who had lost goods to the Swedes to the value of 400 riksdaler.

By January 1681, along with continued hopes of ratifying a new treaty, the main issue had re-emerged: obtaining the Swedish king's interest in reviving the 1664 commercial alliance between the two kingdoms. The conditions included granting reciprocal trade privileges: for Sweden in Portsmouth, and for Stuart subjects in Göteborg. Although the Swedes did not seem overly enthusiastic about these proposals, Jenkins twice reassured Warwick that his work in Sweden was highly valued in England. Warwick also appeared to have formed a trusted relationship with Swedish secretary of state Olivencrantz, using the latter as an intermediary in order to protect his correspondence.

As many of his letters to Karl XI show, Warwick continued his defence mostly of English merchants in their difficulties with local authorities over such issues as long overdue payment; in some cases these dated from the 1670s, unresolved in previous exchanges between Charles II and the Swedish king. This was the case with Richard Daniel, a merchant based at Riga (then a Swedish possession), who had complained in 1677 that he was being forced into becoming a burgess of the town—and therefore liable to local taxes—after marrying a Swedish woman there. However, Warwick was in Sweden to represent not only the English interest but that of all Stuart subjects, be it English, Irish, or Scottish. He therefore entered into correspondence over land disputes also in Livonia on behalf of Major James Bennet, a Scottish soldier who claimed the land by right of inheritance through marriage.

Warwick's ultimate aim was to re-create and strengthen the commercial ties between Britain and Sweden. He had already been informed in October 1681 of a defensive alliance being negotiated between the Netherlands and Sweden. British participation had also been sought, but only financially—to fund Swedish–Dutch relations. Warwick wanted to promote a purely British–Swedish connection, though Jenkins expressed the possibility of other European powers joining these negotiations. It was particularly feared that France would take any opportunity to destroy British trade. In a letter to Chancellor Oxenstierna in June 1682, Warwick clarified some of the British concerns when he passed on Charles II's desire totally to separate the issue of a friendly confederation between Sweden and Britain from that of a commercial alliance between the two kingdoms. Warwick's mission was bolstered by the arrival in July of an additional envoy who had been authorized specifically to discuss such an alliance.

By January 1683 Warwick had informed the Swedish court and government that he had obtained Charles's permission to return home to England in order to deal with a family matter; he fully intended to return to his duties in Sweden as soon as he could. In the meantime Warwick's secretary, John Robinson, continued to work towards the formation of a British–Swedish alliance. However, Warwick died at Newmarket, Suffolk, on 12 March 1683, and Robinson assumed his role as official Stuart envoy to Sweden.

A. N. L. Grosjean


Riksarkivet, Stockholm, Anglica 527, Konferensprotokoll 24/1/1683 · Riksarkivet, Stockholm, Anglica 522, Engelska beskickningars memorial 1591–1692 · Svenske sändebud till utländske hof och dessas sändebud till Sverige, Riksarkivet, Stockholm · CSP dom., 1679–81 · IGI [St Margaret's, Westminster, parish register] · W. H. Cooke, ed., Students admitted to the Inner Temple, 1547–1660 [1878], 364 · E. Cruickshanks, ‘Warwick, Sir Philip’, HoP, Commons, 1660–90 · DNB