|Scilly Isles off the Cornish coast|
30 years ago today, the 335 Years’ War between the
and the Isles of Scilly ended with a peace treaty being signed. This war had
been long forgotten and many people regarded it as a myth until historical
records were unearthed showing they were technically still at war. Netherlands
The origins of the conflict can be found in the mid-17th century with the Second English Civil War, fought between the Royalists and the Parliamentarians.
Oliver Cromwell had managed to push the Royalists out to the edges of the kingdom, leaving
as the last patriotic stronghold, but in 1648 a further advance sent the Royalist
Navy to retreat out to the Isles of Scilly (off the Cornish coast). Cornwall
Meanwhile after being assisted by the English on numerous previous occasions throughout the Eighty years war, the
decided to maintain their alliance by entering the conflict on the side of
Cromwell and the Parliamentarians, after identifying them as the most likely
victors. This act infuriated the Royalists who considered themselves as their long
term allies, causing them to avenge their former
friends by raiding Dutch shipping lanes in the Netherlands English
In 1651 the Dutch, seeking an opportunity to recoup losses incurred from Royalist raids, sent a fleet of 12 warships to the Isles of Scilly to demand reparations. After receiving no satisfactory answer from the Royalists, the Dutch Admiral Maarten Tromp subsequently declared war on the Isles of Scilly on the 30th March 1651.
3 months later in June 1651, Cromwell’s army forced a Royalist surrender reverting the
to Parliamentarian control and subsequently the Dutch fleet sailed home
forgetting to ever declare peace with the Scilly Isles.
In 1985 a Scillonian historian Roy Duncan wrote to the Dutch embassy in
in an attempt to clear up a long talked about myth of a war. Imagine the shock on
both sides when they came across a number of documents suggesting the two were still
technically at war with each other. London
Consequently Dutch ambassador Rein Huydecoper was invited to visit the
peace was finally declared by the signing of a treaty on 17 April 1986, 335 years after the "hostilities"