Treatises on French commerce and diplomacy during the Thirty Years War

Scope and Content

Volume mainly containing treatises on French financial administration, [1581-1610], namely a report by Maximilien de Béthune, Duc de Sully, Director of the Council of Finance, on the finances of France, [1607]; a paper on the Estates General of France, [1583]; a history of royal taxation in France up to the reign of King Henry III, ending with a statement of the revenue in 1581, [1581-1589]; and a paper giving instructions on the powers and authority of the officers of the French Chambre des Comptes (Chamber of Accounts), [1589-1610]. The manuscript also contains papers relating to diplomatic negotiations during the Thirty Years War, comprising a speech on a peace assembly at Cologne, Italy, [1636], and a letter from the Swedish Chancellor Count Axel Greve Oxenstierna to the English Ambassador, Sir Thomas Roe, on the alliance between England and Sweden, 1638.

Administrative / Biographical History

Maximilien de Béthune, Duc de Sully (1560-1641) was a French statesman, who acted as director of the king's Council of Finance in 1596, and sole superintendent of finances, 1598.
The Thirty Years War was a series of wars fought by various European nations for various reasons, including religious, dynastic, territorial, and commercial rivalries. Its destructive campaigns and battles occurred over most of Europe.


Single item.

Access Information

Access to this collection is unrestricted for the purpose of private study and personal research within the supervised environment and restrictions of the Library's Palaeography Room. Uncatalogued material may not be seen. Please contact the University Archivist for details.

Acquisition Information

Bought from Bertram Dobell in 1908 as an addition to the Goldsmith's Library of Economic Literature.

Other Finding Aids

Collection level description.

Physical Characteristics and/or Technical Requirements

Manuscript folio. Bound in vellum.

Archivist's Note

Compiled by Sarah Smith as part of the RSLP AIM25 Project.

Separated Material

The treatise on the Estat General may also be found in the Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris (Ref: MSS fr 4014 ff 43-81 and 11165 ff 1-30).

Conditions Governing Use

Copies may be made, subject to the condition of the original. Copying must be undertaken by the Palaeography Room staff, who will need a minimum of 24 hours to process requests.

Custodial History

This manuscript was part of the library of Sir Thomas Phillipps, 1st Baronet (1792-1872) as MS 2662.


Sully's treatise of [1607] formed the basis of the Traicté du revenu et despense des finances (1614), and is discussed in Roger Doucet 'Les finances de la France en 1614', Revue d'Histoire Économique et Sociale , XVIII (1930). The text of the history of royal taxation was incorporated in Sully's treatise of [1608] printed in Économies royales , ed Joseph François Michaud and Jean Joseph François Poujoulat (1837).