Sweden’s first permanent embassies were established during the 1600s although diplomats with temporary assignments had been common long before this. The first permanent embassy was opened in The Hague under the reign of Gustav II Adolf. The reason behind choosing the Netherlands came quite naturally since relations with that country were of great importance to Sweden’s foreign politics. Sweden Ambassador Netherlands
In April 1614, a peace and friendship covenant was made between Sweden and the Netherlands which, among other things, concluded that both countries would exchange ambassadors. The person from Sweden who was appointed to be the first ambassador in the Netherlands was the counselor Jacob van Dyk (1567–1631). The choice was natural as he was an experienced diplomat with a Dutch background and had been part of the negotiations that resulted in the treaty with the Netherlands.
The most important mission for Jacob van Dyk as ambassador was to try to negotiate loans that Sweden needed to pay for the so-called Älvsborgs ransom. After the Treaty of Knäred in 1613, Sweden had to pay a very large sum of money to Denmark to regain the fortress of Älvsborg. Loans were also needed to finance the Swedish war in Poland which took place during this time. Van Dyk managed to secure the Dutch loans but when they were to be repaid, problems arose and he was withdrawn by the order of Gustav II Adolf in 1620. Sweden Ambassador Netherlands
The document on display here is King Gustav II Adolf’s appointment of Ambassador Jacob van Dyk on 28 July 1614. It is in the National Archives in the collection Diplomática Hollandica, Volume 3. Sweden Ambassador Netherlands
Diplomática Hollandica, Volume 3. Reference code SE/RA/2109/I/2/3