Amsterdam and William III

Without the economic muscle of the Netherlands' largest city, William III would never have been able to stage Britain's 'Glorious Revolution' or urge European war against Louis XIV. But his relationship with Amsterdam's burghers was far from smooth, as Elizabeth Edwards outlines here.

On March 21st, 1681, Sir William Carr, the resident English Consul in Amsterdam wrote to William Blaythwayt about the political situation in that city. He described how he saw the changes in the attitudes of the Amsterdam regents which resulted in William III, Prince of Orange and Stadholder of Holland, accepting an invitation to their city after a seven years' absence. He reasoned that:

There is only one of the ould rank commonwealth men left... hence there are come in that have the invited the P R Princes[s] of Orange to thire Citty... for eight days R gave great presents, the P not being in Amsterdam in seven years before, for this city is so changed in thire affection to the French within yeares that all the Art... the French emyssaryes use to [make] the condition of England Miserabel & Desperate cannot any longer prevail...

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