Premodern Diplomats Network Splendid Encounters IV, 2015
Anderson, Roberta (Centre for History and Culture, Bath Spa University)
‘His Credentials are in Order’: Catholic Ambassadors at the English Court, 1603–1625
The residences of ambassadors from Catholic countries to the Court of St James had long been a favourite resort for English Catholics seeking to attend religious services. Catholic ambassadors were reluctantly allowed to hold Mass privately in their embassy chapels but they could not allow English subjects to attend the services, although, it is evident many secretly did so.
The government was, therefore, always suspicious of the activities of resident Catholic ambassadors, but had to proceed against them carefully so as not to offend the Prince by whom they had been accredited, so that even at the height of persecution, Catholic ambassadors had to be catered for.
This paper will examine the ways in which Catholic ambassadors to Protestant England operated, both within and without, the Court of James VI & I. It will address such subjects as the embassy chapel question and the ambassador’s support for his co-religionists, and the Catholic cause in England.
During the first half the eighteenth century, various complaints were filed against imperial chaplains and priests for conducting services and converting inhabitants of London. And in times of conflict, the emperor’s envoy rallied his fellow Catholic diplomats to counter every measure taken to limit the Catholic religious life surrounding the embassies in Great Britain. The religious efforts of British diplomats in Vienna are less known, but equally as profound.
The analyses of Catholic embassy chapels in London and protestant chapels in Vienna will serve as examples for the on-going religious strife in 18th century Europe. At the same time, the diplomats’ caution in these matters will show that the religious factor was not meant to lead to open confrontations.
Beiergrößlein, Katharina (City Archives, Stuttgart – Ludwig Maximillian University, Munich)
’In Service for the King’: Robert Barnes, the Diplomatic Heretic
Although he had been forced to renounce some of his religious beliefs only two years before, Robert Barnes (ca. 1495-1540), the former prior of the Cambridge Augustinians, found himself on a delicate mission to Central Europe in 1531. Barnes sought support for King Henry VIII’s ‘Great Matter‘: the annulment of his marriage with Katherine of Aragon. In the following years, until 1540, several diplomatic missions to the princes of the Schmalcaldic League and Christian III of Denmark followed.
How could this have happened? How was it possible that a known heretic served almost a decade as a diplomatic envoy for the English king? After all contemporary writings on diplomacy excluded condemned heretics from any involvement in matters connected to diplomacy. It therefore seems likely that Robert Barnes qualified in ways that outweighed the specific shortcoming of being regarded as heretic. But what were these? Was it his knowledge of the Holy Roman Empire, and the German language, which he had gained while being exiled there? Or was it perhaps his connection to some of the German Protestants and thus, to a certain extent, his beliefs which – from an English point of view – were regarded as being heretical that made him seem appropriate to act as an envoy when Henry VIII was looking for new allies in the 1530s?
This paper examines Robert Barnes’s diplomatic missions and explores his unique position as a runaway friar – and convinced heretic – who acted for several years as a diplomatic representative for the English king.
Biagianti, Annalisa (University of Pisa)
Re-constructing a Diplomat’s Network: The Ambassador of Lucca at the Spanish Court in the Late 17th Century
During the Seventeenth century, the Republic of Lucca, as a small state, needed to seek protection especially from Spain, which was the actual ruler of the Italian peninsula; for this reason it was important to have a resident ambassador in Madrid. Connections and friendships were essential for the ambassador to obtain precious information on what was happening around Europe and to negotiate matters in the interest of his Republic (and even in his own) at the court of His Catholic Majesty.
The case study, which I present, is the embassy of Lorenzo Cenami in Madrid in the second half of the 17th century (1662-1674) and is based on both public sources and private ones, the latter held in the Cenami family archives. This paper has two aims. Firstly, it intends to reconstruct the network of people with whom the diplomat interacts: other diplomats, members of Consejos and Junta de gobierno, people connected with king Philip IV, and then with the queen Gobernadora Mariana of Austria and with the child king Charles II. Secondly, it will focus on how the ambassador
constructs this large network of relationships: making his moves, in the various shifts of balance within the court during twelve years, requires not only a good knowledge of who are the prominent people, but also recurrent interactions through frequent visits, formal and informal meetings, and a vast use of the practice of gift giving.
Brasiunaite, Austeja (Royal Palace of the Grand Dukes of Lithuania)
Rituals and Signs: Peculiarities of Diplomatic Ceremonial and Their Importance to the Grand Duchy of Lithuania’s Interstate Relations during Crisis: 14th–16th Century
The roots of historical Lithuania’s diplomacy – reaches the times of Grand Duchy of Lithuania, when Lithuanian policy had a special significance to the fate of all Eastern Europe. This is an interesting, important, but unfortunately, also very little studied stage in the history of Lithuanian diplomacy. Even today, it is exiting and causing various insinuations. It is rather difficult to understand the global significance Grand Duchy of Lithuanian in the historical maps without the definition of the situation. During the examination of this topic, it is necessary to take into account the fact, that we are talking about the times when Duchy was spread over the current part of Lithuania: it contained – territory of Lithuania and Belarus, and in the fourteenth century also owned the majority of the Ukraine and western Russia.
This paper analyses Grand Duchies of Lithuania and Moscowy mutual diplomatic relations, ceremonial rates and rituals, signs, symbolic statements and other forms of interstate communication, which upheld and maintained relations between these two constantly conflicting countries. All these actions mentioned above, unfolds a mediating function, which is seen in various levels of formal contact, for example: representation of monarch and hierarchical communication, legations activities, rituals of luxurious Ruler’s hunts, festive reception ceremonies. In the discussed period of diplomatic relations between GDL and Moscowite this paper aims to highlight not the nature or scale of interstate conflicts, but precisely the cases which witness an effective, even during crisis period, peaceful mediation.
Buriánková, Michaela (University of Pardubice)
The Embassy of Count Popel of Lobkowicz in Madrid (1689-1697): Negotiating in the Middle of Ceremonial Conflicts
Success of any premodern diplomatic mission did not depend just on ambassadors’ negotiating skills. The premodern diplomats also were bounded by ceremonial rules and therefore their knowledge of etiquette was crucial. For them it was necessary to maintain their proper character and at the same time not to offend someone else’s. Without meeting these conditions the situation could appear in which the diplomat was not able to act and negotiate. Such as in the example of the imperial ambassador to Madrid in 1689-1697 Wenzel Ferdinand count Popel of Lobkowicz (1654-1697). During his embassy he came to several ceremonial conflicts. At the very beginning he had to solve his complicated ceremonial situation caused by his insufficient diplomatic title. When this problem was settled up, other ceremonial disputes followed caused by unresolved status of the envoys of imperial
princes who were becoming more and more confident and were trying to change traditional system of state precedence. Besides that, Lobkowicz was appointed to calm down the ceremonial conflicts of the imperial ambassador to Rome with the Spanish diplomat. According to his correspondence with Vienna it is obvious that all these ceremonial conflicts were of great importance and he had to deal with them as fast as possible and if necessary in cooperation with other imperial ambassadors.
Condren, John (University of St Andrews)
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