Texte des RECS #8: The Production of Royal Rank through Ambassadorial Presence: Frederick I and the utilisation of Anglo-Prussian relations

Crawford Matthews (University of Hull, UK)

Johann Friedrich Wentzel (?), Friedrich I. in Preußen, SPSG, GK I 10819, Foto: Jörg P. Anders

On the 8th of July 1706 [1], an agent dispatched by Frederick I. King in Prussia arrived the allied army camp in the Spanish Netherlands. Here he met with John Churchill, Duke of Marlborough and commander of the allied military forces currently engaged in fighting the War of the Spanish Succession against Louis XIV of France. Frederick’s agent delivered a message to Marlborough, who was also one of the partners in the ruling duumvirate in England, that the King in Prussia wanted the removal of the current English ambassador from his court in Berlin. Frederick expressed to Queen Anne that ‘he would, with her leave, recall his ambassador, so that she might do the same to Lord Raby (the English ambassador), and that he was desirous he might not go back to Berlin’. Frederick went on to state that ‘he has no objection to Lord Raby but his being so well with the Grand Chamberlain’s wife… that it gives him a ridicule all over the Empire’.[2] Frederick’s desire to see Raby removed was clearly sincere, as while Marlborough was being asked to aid in the removal of Raby, other Prussian agents were asking the Dutch envoy whether he could intercede with the Grand Pensionary of the Dutch Republic and help procure Raby’s withdrawal.[3] Weiterlesen

VORTRAG: Royal Dignity, Ceremony and Rank: Anglo-Prussian Relations and their impact 1688–1714

Johann Friedrich Wentzel (?) „Friedrich I.“, Öl auf Leinwand, GK I 10819, Copyright: SPSG, Foto: Jörg. P. Anders

RECS´ Visiting Researcher Crawford Matthews (University of Hull / University of Potsdam) gives a lecture on his PhD Project: Royal Dignity, Ceremony and Rank: Anglo-Prussian Relations and their impact 1688–1714.

The project focuses on Anglo-Prussian relations during the reign of Fredrick I. and investigates the extent to which they constituted a medium through which Frederick’s claims to sovereign status could be communicated, in front of a European audience and thus via which his royal rank was produced. Frederick’s overriding foreign policy objective was the legitimization of his fragile, and recently attained kingship and foreign relations with England were instrumentalised in order to achieve this. Demonstrating this will allow a greater comprehension of Prussian foreign policy during the period of the War of the Spanish Succession.

The lecture is part of the colloquium „Aktuelle Forschungen zur Frühneuzeitgeschichte“ at the University of Potsdam.

Thu., 18th May 2017  I  4 p.m.  I Entrance free

Universität Potsdam
Am Neuen Palais 10
Haus 12, Raum 05
14469 Potsdam

The RECS‘ first VISITING RESEARCHER: Crawford Matthews

The RECS welcomes its first VISITING RESEARCHER Crawford Matthews from the University of Hull, UK.
He will stay in Potsdam and Berlin from 1 November 2016 until 30 July 2017.
Welcome Crawford Matthews!

Below Crawford introduces himself and his project:

I completed my undergraduate degree in History and Politics at the University of Hull in 2013, I then went on to study for my masters in British and European history at the University of Oxford. I completed this in 2015, producing a thesis entitled: „State Formation in Isolation? The Contingent Effects of Foreign Policy upon Brandenburg-Prussia under the Great Elector“. In October 2015, I then returned to the University of Hull to study for my PhD, which I am currently engaged in.

My current PhD project is entitled „Royal Dignity, Ceremony and Rank: Anglo-Prussian Relations and their impact: 1688 – 1714“. Here I focus on the Anglo-Prussian relations during the reign of Fredrick I. and investigate the extent to which they constituted a medium through which Frederick’s claims to sovereign status could be communicated, in front of a European audience and thus via which his royal rank was produced. Frederick’s overriding foreign policy objective was the legitimization of his fragile, and recently attained kingship and foreign relations with England were instrumentalised in order to achieve this. Demonstrating this will allow a greater comprehension of Prussian foreign policy during the period of the War of the Spanish Succession.

Establishing this will necessitate investigating the diplomatic crises of 1706 and 1711-13. I am therefore currently producing two chapters for my PhD on these periods. I have already conducted extensive archival research in the National Archives in Britain, and now plan to do the same in the Geheimes Staatsarchiv Preußischer Kulturbesitz. The use of both sets of sources will be extremely advantageous to my work, particularly as many previous works have only utilised one set.