Treaty of Madrid (1667)

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The Treaty of Madrid (also known as Lord Sandwich's Treaty) was a treaty adopted and signed on May 27, 1667 between England and Spain. The treaty was the first step in ending the Anglo-Spanish conflict which had officially lasted since 1654.[1]


The Treaty of the Pyrenees was signed between France and Spain in 1659, ending the 24-year war between them. The Restoration of Charles II of England the following year effectively terminated the Anglo-Spanish War, which had commenced under Oliver Cromwell's republic. Charles in exile had been allied to Spain through the Treaty of Brussels, and had promised them that he would return territories the English republic had taken during the war. This stance changed, however, as Charles had been frustrated with Philip IV's failure to aid in his restoration.[2] In 1662 Charles formed an alliance with Portugal, which at the time was fighting a war of independence from Spain after the break up of the Iberian Union. Charles signed a marriage treaty with Catherine of Braganza and, as part of the dowry, the ports of Tangier and Bombay were ceded to the British Crown. Spain was angered when Charles ordered a British expeditionary force to fight the Spanish and help the Portuguese win their freedom.[3]


Despite the tensions between the two kingdoms Richard Fanshawe was sent to Spain to try and adjust a peace treaty between Portugal and Spain. Instead Fanshawe was made English ambassador in 1664 and was then asked to adjust a treaty of commerce with Spain. At the same time he sought reparations for wrongs committed against English merchants and to point out Spain's impotency in the West Indies and the superiority of England's maritime strength. Negotiations dragged on however owing to the ill-health of King Philip and to the differences amongst his councillors and to the commercial jealousies of the two nations.[4] Eight months into Fanshawe's tenure Spain was still unwilling to negotiate a treaty in that England was giving valuable aid to the Portuguese; 'assisting rebels' which had violated previous treaties.[5] Fanshawe thus reverted to adjust a peace between Spain and Portugal as well, but the outbreak of the Anglo Dutch war along with dangerous unstable relations with France saw England distracted. Fanshawe was thus unable to obtain any concessions from Spain.[4]

In June 1665 at the Battle of Montes Claros, the Anglo-Portuguese decisively routed the Spanish in Portugal.[6][7] Realising the war was a lost cause, Spain began to agree to Fanshawe's terms. Within a few months Fanshawe successfully negotiated a treaty with the Duke of Medina, which was signed on December 17 of that year. This granted favourable terms to English merchants, and a month later Fanshawe went to Lisbon at the request of Spanish ministers to induce Portugal to join in the treaty. He returned on 8 March however with Sir Robert Southwell without success. As a result of this failure, the treaty was not ratified by the English crown - the court found that Fansahwe had exceeded his instructions.[8] Lord Sandwich was sent to Spain to replace Fanshawe who was thus recalled.[9]

For Spain political weakness increased further when Portugal and France signed a treaty of alliance in March 1667. Louis XIV of France agreed to declare war on Spain when England should make peace with her within thirty months or pay Portugal 900,000 Cruzados to fund the war.[9]

Treaty terms[edit]

Being in such a dire situation, Spain within a few months finally sought peace with England. Fanshawe`s treaty was brought up again except with a few differences however.[10] The renewal of the 1630 Madrid treaty was quashed by the English and on 23 May 1667, England and Spain signed two completely new treaties; one of commerce and the other an agreement anticipating a truce between Portugal and Spain to be mediated by England.[11]

In major concessions given by Spain, England was granted ‘most favoured nation status’ and with that matched Holland in access to Spain's trade in Europe.[12][13] In addition Britain was allowed to carry into Spain her colonial products and goods bought by their agents on either side of the Cape of Good Hope - this had been one of the key articles omitted from Fanshawe's original treaty.[14]


The treaty was highly favourable to England with generous terms being given by the Spanish, and it was received with great satisfaction by the statesmen and merchants of England.[10][14] English traders of the East India Company were allowed to import into the Spanish East Indies goods from their Indian factories.[15] Despite the allowance of trade from the West Indies, England's holdings there (the main cause of the war) were left unsettled.[16] Nevertheless, it was a big step for peace between the two kingdoms.[14]

The following year Afonso VI of Portugal was deposed in a coup and was sent into exile - the French alliance was virtually annulled with Portugal turning to England.[17] With this, English mediation became essential as promised in the Madrid treaty and having achieved its purpose the British brigade was disbanded.[18] The Treaty of Lisbon was signed between Portugal and Spain, on 13 February 1668.[19] The Earl of Sandwich was the mediator in which the treaty came to a successful conclusion. The long war for Portugal's struggle of independence had ended; Spain thus recognized the sovereignty of their new ruling dynasty, the House of Braganza.[18]

Territorial disputes in the Caribbean remained unresolved after this treaty. Spain was finally driven into ceding Jamaica and the Cayman Islands to England three years later in the 1670 Treaty of Madrid.[20]


  1. ^ King, Charles (1721). The British Merchant Or, Commerce Preserv'd, Volume 3. John Darby. p. 126.
  2. ^ Davenport & Paulin pp. 57-59
  3. ^ Paul, Hardacre (1960). The English Contingent in Portugal, 1662–1668, Journal of the Society for Army Historical Research, volume 38. pp. 112–125.
  4. ^ a b Davenport & Paulin pp. 94-95
  5. ^ Riley p. 58
  6. ^ Riley pp. 122-23
  7. ^ Feiling pp. 173-34
  8. ^ Lockey p. 260
  9. ^ a b Livermore, H. V (1947). A History of Portugal. CUP Archive. pp. 321–22.
  10. ^ a b Feiling pp. 232-34
  11. ^ Fisher, Margaret Anne; Savelle, Max (1967). The origins of American diplomacy: the international history of Angloamerica, 1492-1763 American diplomatic history series Authors. Macmillan. p. 65.
  12. ^ Andrien and Kuethe pp. 50-52
  13. ^ Stein and Stein pp. 63-64
  14. ^ a b c Davenport & Paulin pp.98-99
  15. ^ Macoby & Butler p. 223
  16. ^ Accounts and Papers of the House of Commons, Volume 44. Oxford University Press. 1846. p. 228.
  17. ^ Newitt p. 228
  18. ^ a b McMurdo pp 439
  19. ^ Stephens, Henry Morse (1908). Portugal The story of nations. T. Fisher Unwin. pp. 333–34.
  20. ^ Fisher & Savelle (1967) pp. 66-70