Little Bits of History

And the War Finally Ends

Posted in History by patriciahysell on April 17, 2015
Isles of Scilly as viewed from above by NASA

Isles of Scilly as viewed from above by NASA

April 17, 1986: The Three Hundred and Thirty Five Years’ War finally ends. The belligerents were the Isles of Scilly and the Republic of the Seven United Netherlands. Also called Driehonderdvijfendertigjarige Oorlog in Dutch, it is sometimes referred to as a theoretical war. It was a bloodless war as no shots were ever fired. There is some doubt as to whether or not there was ever a war declared, but the treaty was finally signed in order to end it.

The English Civil War was fought between Royalists (supporting the monarchy) and Parliamentarians (supporting Parliament) between 1642 and 1652. The Second English Civil War was a subset of this war and battles were fought from February 1648 to January 1649 when the King, Charles I, was executed. During this time, Oliver Cromwell fought against the Royalists and pushed them to the very edges of the Kingdom of England. The entire mainland fell under his and the Parliamentarians’ control. The Royal Navy fled to the Isles of Scilly 28 miles off the Cornish coast in southwest Great Britain. The archipelago of five inhabited and several small islets was then owned by Royalist John Granville who would later be richly rewarded for his help.

The Republic of the Seven United Netherlands or the Dutch Republic lasted from 1581-1795 and included Holland, Utrecht, Brabant, Flanders, Hainaut, Liege, and Luxembourg. Their navy had been assisted by a number of British rulers beginning with Elizabeth I who helped during the Eighty Years’ War and ended with the Treaty of Munster which legalized the Dutch independence from Spain. The Netherlands wanted to maintain good relations with England and needed to side with whomever was going to win the Civil War. Their Navy suffered huge losses from the Royalist Navy and on March 30, 1651 Admiral Maarten Harpertszoon Tromp arrived on Scilly and demanded reparations from the Royalists.

Since most of England was in the Parliamentarian’s control and the Royalists refused to meet the demands of the Admiral, he declared war upon the Isles of Scilly. In June 1651, the Parliamentarian naval forces under Admiral Robert Blake forced a surrender from the Royal Navy. With the Dutch Navy no longer under any threat, they left. Since this was such an obscure little war without any shots being fired, no official peace treaty was forthcoming. In 1985, a Scilly historian asked for the matter to be looked into and the Dutch Embassy in London found that the war had been declared and no treaty had ever ended it. So on this day, the treaty was signed and the war ended after more than three centuries.

Tromp came to Pendennis and related that he had been to Scilly to demand reparation for the Dutch ships and goods taken by them; and receiving no satisfactory answer, he had, according to his Commission, declared war on them. – Bulstroke Whitelocke

A man-of-war is the best ambassador. – Oliver Cromwell

War is the statesman’s game, the priest’s delight, the lawyer’s jest, the hired assassin’s trade. – Percy Bysshe Shelley

Have you ever thought that war is a madhouse and that everyone in the war is a patient? – Oriana Fallaci

Also on this day: America’s Renaissance Man – In 1790, Benjamin Franklin dies.
FedEx – In 1973, FedEx began operation.
Stories – In 1397, Chaucer presented the Canterbury Tales for the first time.
Frenchman Takes Off – In 1942, Henri Giraud escaped a POW prison.
Snooker – In 1875, the game was invented.


One Response

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  1. Sherry said, on April 18, 2015 at 11:33 am

    Now that’s the kind of war I can get behind!

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