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szdaily -> Speak Shenzhen -> 
The Three Hundred and Thirty Five Years’ War
    2019-04-11  08:53    Shenzhen Daily

James Baquet

The Three Hundred and Thirty Five Years’ War was both peculiarly long, and a “bloodless conflict.” In fact, despite its length, there is some doubt that there was even a war at all!

It all started back in the days of the English Civil War (1642-1651), when the Royalists were fighting against the Parliamentarians. Cornwall, to the west of England, was the last stronghold of the Royalists, who lost its mainland in 1648, but via the Royalist Navy held on to the Isles of Scilly, off the Cornish coast.

The Dutch Navy, which had been supporting the Parliamentarians, had lost several battles with the Scilly-based Royalist Navy. At the end of March 1651, a Dutch admiral demanded reparations from the Royalists for damage to ships and goods confiscated. When the Royalists refused him, this admiral, with the amusing name of “Tromp,” declared war, not on England, which was now in Parliamentarian hands, but with the Isles of Scilly where the Royalist navy was holed up.

A few months later, the Royalist fleet surrendered to the Parliamentarians. With the threat removed, the Dutch fleet sailed away. As the party they had declared war against was now under the Parliamentarians, the Netherlands never declared peace.

And that was how things stood until 1986. Scillonian legend maintained that a state of war still existed; the Dutch, it seems, had forgotten about it. But the chairman of the Scilly Council wrote to the Dutch Embassy in London and invited the Dutch ambassador to come to Scilly and officially end the conflict. The ambassador joked that “to know we could have attacked at any moment” must have been harrowing to the people of Scilly.

Now, here’s a nice little twist: The idea that Tromp declared war at all is based on one contemporary letter, and there is some doubt as to the validity of this. Indeed, some claim that, even if Tromp had declared war, he would have had no standing to do so. It is also questionable whether one can declare war on just part of a country. Furthermore, in 1654, England and the Dutch Republic had settled all disputes in the Treaty of Westminster.

Anyway, peace at last!

Vocabulary:

Which words above mean:

1. insisted, believed

2. payment for damage done in war

3. official position

4. frightening

5. from the same period

6. in hiding

7. strangely, oddly

8. surprise occurrence in a story

9. taken by authority

10. truth, soundness

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