The collection consists of business, diplomatic, personal correspondents and accounts accumulated by Blathwayt during his
service in The Hague (1669-1672) and his tour of Europe in 1672, with some items dated 1682 and a few pieces relating to colonies
in East and West Indies.
William Blathwayt, British civil servant and politician, entered public life as clerk in the embassy of Sir William Temple
at The Hague, 1668-72. The Embassy was established with the purpose of implementing the Triple Alliance (1668) and was closed
in 1672, following the secret treaty between Charles II and Louis XIV (1670) and the outbreak of the Third Anglo-Dutch War
(1672). In 1672, Blathwayt toured Germany and Italy, before returning to England. He then served in the Plantation Office,
was secretary to the Lords of Trade (1679 - 1669) and surveyor and auditor general of Plantation Revenues. In 1683 he purchased
the office of Secretary at War. From 1692-1701 he attended William III during his campaigns in the Low Countries. In 1696-1707
he served on the Board of Trade. During the reign of Queen Anne, he gradually lost his posts: in 1704 he was dismissed as
Secretary at War, in 1707 lost his Board of Trade position, and three years later, his seat in Parliament. Blathwayt married
Mary Wynter of Dyrham Park in December 1686 and the couple had two sons before her death in November 1691. William Blathwayt
died at Dyrham Park on August 16, 1717.
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