Document Type

Article

Publication Date

5-2006

Publication Title

Recusant History

ISSN

2055-7973

Volume

28

Issue

1

First Page

75

Last Page

94

Abstract

During the Thirty Years’ War, John Taylor served at the Habsburg courts in Brussels, Madrid, and Vienna. Although he figured prominently in Charles I’s secret Habsburg foreign policy during the war, published information on Taylor is sparse. His story is especially compelling given his own and his family’s connections with Continental Catholicism as well as his involvement, as a gentleman of indisputably Catholic background, in English diplomacy of the time.

Taylor’s story demonstrates that Charles I had no qualms about taking Catholics into his service and entrusting them with negotiations of a sensitive nature. Taylor’s involvement in the King’s secret Habsburg foreign policy was in fact due in large part to his vulnerable financial, religious, and political position, which made him an easy scapegoat should the need for one arise. In the end, however, the King’s underhanded tactics blew up in his face. While he had Taylor thrown into the Tower for openly dealing with the Emperor, this was not enough to conceal the nature of his negotiations with the Catholic Habsburgs. The exposure of Charles’s secret foreign policy had momentous consequences, for it contributed to the hardening of Protestant opinion against him that manifested itself in the Civil War.

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Text file converted from .wpd to .docx and reformatted for ease of reading. This version is the author's final draft post-refereeing.

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