Treaties of Utrecht (1713)

These treaties brought to an end the War of the Spanish Succession, in which a coalition led by Great Britain opposed a coalition led by France after the French king, Louis XIV, In Europe, the conflict led to a major redrawing of international boundaries, as seen on this map.

All told, there were actually 12 treaties that came to make up what could be called the "Utrecht system."

  • Netherlands and Great Britain (Utrecht, 30 Jan 1713)
  • Holy Roman Empire and Prussia (Utrecht, 2 Apr 1713)
  • France and Great Britain (Utrecht, Apr 11, 1713)
    • Peace and Friendship
    • Navigation and Commerce
  • France and Portugal (Utrecht, Apr 11, 1713)
  • France and Prussia (Utrecht, Apr 11, 1713)
  • France and Savoy (Utrecht, Apr 11, 1713)
  • France and Netherlands (Utrecht, Apr 11, 1713) (two treaties)
  • Spain and Great Britain (13 July 1713)
  • Spain and Savoy (13 July 1713)
  • Spain and Netherlands (26 June 1714)
  • Spain and Portugal (6 Feb 1715)
  • On the web, there is no full English translation of any of them, much less all 12. (In the 1700s, French was the language of international diplomacy.) But below are some of the key provisions, especially relating to the Americas.

    Spanish crown

    "Now whereas it is provided and settled by the preceding Renunciation [regarding the occupancy of the Spanish throne] (which is always to have the force of a pragmatick, fundamental, and inviolable Law) That at no time whatever either the Catholick King [of Spain] himself, or any of his lineage, shall seek to obtain the Crown of France, or ascend the Throne thereof; and by reciprocal Renunciations on the part of France and by Settlements of the Hereditary Succession there, tending to the same purpose, the Crowns of France and Spain are so divided and separated from each other, that the aforesaid Renunciations, and the other Transactions relating thereto, remaining in force, and being truly and faithfully observed, they can never be joined in one: Wherefore the most Serene Queen of Great Britain, and the most Serene the most Christian King, engage to each other solemnly, and on their Royal Words, That nothing ever shall be done by them, or their Heirs and Successors, or allowed to be done by others, whereby the aforesaid Renunciations, and the other Transactions afore-mentioned, may not have their full effect; but rather to the contrary, their Royal Majestys, with joint Counsel and Forces, will always sincerely take that care, and use those endeavours, that the said Foundation of the publick Safety may remain unshaken, and be preserved untouched forever."



    The Catholic King does hereby, for himself, his heirs and successors, yield to the Crown of Great Britain the full and entire propriety of the town and castle of Gibraltar, together with the port, fortifications, and forts thereunto belonging; and he gives up the said propriety to be held and enjoyed absolutely with all manner of right for ever, without any exception or impediment whatsoever.

    But that abuses and frauds may be avoided by importing any kind of goods, the Catholic King wills, and takes it to be understood, that the above-named propriety be yielded to Great Britain without any territorial jurisdiction and without any open communication by land with the country round about.

    Yet whereas the communication by sea with the coast of Spain may not at all times be safe or open, and thereby it may happen that the garrison and other inhabitants of Gibraltar may be brought to great straits; and as it is the intention of the Catholic King, only that fraudulent importations of goods should, as is above said, be hindered by an inland communications. it is therefore provided that in such cases it may be lawful to purchase, for ready money, in the neighbouring territories of Spain, provisions and other things necessary for the use of the garrison, the inhabitants, and the ships which lie in the harbour.

    But if any goods be found imported by Gibraltar, either by way of barter for purchasing provisions, or under any other pretence, the same shall be confiscated, and complaint being made thereof, those persons who have acted contrary to the faith of this treaty, shall be severely punished.

    And Her Britannic Majesty, at the request of the Catholic King, does consent and agree, that no leave shall be given under any pretence whatsoever, either to Jews or Moors, to reside or have their dwellings in the said town of Gibraltar; and that no refuge or shelter shall be allowed to any Moorish ships of war in the harbour of the said town, whereby the communication between Spain and Ceuta may be obstructed, or the coasts of Spain be infested by the excursions of the Moors.

    But whereas treaties of friendship and a liberty and intercourse of commerce are between the British and certain territories situated on the coast of Africa, it is always to be understood, that the British subjects cannot refuse the Moors and their ships entry into the port of Gibraltar purely upon the account of merchandising. Her Majesty the Queen of Great Britain does further promise, that the free exercise of their religion shall be indulged to the Roman Catholic inhabitants of the aforesaid town.

    And in case it shall hereafter seem meet to the Crown of Great Britain to grant , sell or by any means to alienate therefrom the propriety of the said town of Gibraltar, it is hereby agreed and concluded that the preference of having the sale shall always be given to the Crown of Spain before any others.


    Newfoundland, Labrador, and Nova Scotia

    Article XII: “The most Christian King shall take care to have delivered to the Queen of Great Britain, on the same day that the ratifications of this treaty shall be exchanged, solemn and authentic letters, or instruments, by virtue whereof it shall appear, that the island of St. Christopher's is to be possessed alone hereafter by British subjects, likewise all Nova Scotia or Acadie, with its ancient boundaries, as also the city of Port Royal, now called Annapolis Royal, and all other things in those parts, which depend on the said lands and islands ..........; and that in such ample manner and form, that the subjects of the most Christian King shall hereafter be excluded from all kind of fishing in the said seas, bays, and other places, on the coasts of Nova Scotia, that is to say, on those which lie towards the east, within 30 leagues, beginning from the island commonly called Sable, inclusively, and thence stretching along towards the south-west.”

    Article XIII: “The island called Newfoundland, with the adjacent islands, shall from this time forward belong of right wholly to Britain; and to that end the town and fortress of Placentia, and whatever other places in the said island are in the possession of the French, shall be yielded and given up, within seven months from the exchange of the ratifications of this treaty, or sooner, if possible, by the most Christian King, to those who have a commission from the Queen of Great Britain for that purpose. . . . Moreover, it shall not be lawful for the subjects of France to fortify any place in the said island of Newfoundland, or to erect any buildings there, besides stages made of boards, and huts necessary and usual for drying of fish; or to resort to the said island, beyond the time necessary for fishing, and drying of fish. But it shall be allowed to the subjects of France to catch fish, and to dry them on land, in that part only, and in no other besides that, of the said island of Newfoundland, which stretches from the place called Cape Bonavista to the northern point of the said island, and from thence running down by the western side, reaches as far as the place called Point Riche. But the island called Cape Breton, as also all others, both in the mouth of the river of St. Lawrence, and in the gulph of the same name, shall hereafter belong of right to the French, and the most Christian King shall have all manner of liberty to fortify any place or places there.”

    Article XIV: “It is expressly provided, that in all the said places and colonies to be yielded and restored by the most Christian King, in pursuance of this treaty, the subjects of the said King may have liberty to remove themselves, within a year, to any other place, as they shall think fit, together with all their moveable effects. But those who are willing to remain there, and to be subject to the Kingdom of Great Britain, are to enjoy the free exercise of their religion, according to the usage of the church of Rome, as far as the laws of Great Britain do allow the same.”








    The Iroquois and Other Indian Nations

    “The Subjects of France inhabiting Canada, and others, shall hereafter give no Hinderance or Molestation to the five Nations, or Cantons, of Indians, subject to the Dominion of Great Britain, nor to the other Natives of America, who are Friends to the same. In like manner, the Subjects of Great Britain shall behave themselves peaceably towards the Americans, who are Subjects or Friends to France. And on both sides, they shall enjoy full Liberty of going and coming on account of Trade. Also the Natives of those Countrys shall, with the same Liberty, resort as they please to the British and French Colonys, for promoting Trade on one side and the other, without any Molestation or Hinderance, either on the part of the British Subjects, or of the French. But it is to be exactly and distinctly settled by Commissarys, who are, and who ought to be accounted the Subjects and Friends of Britain, or of France."


    The Asiento