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George III’s maps and views showing the war from North America to India

? John Montresor (1736-99)

Boston and Charlestown, 1775

PLAN / OF THE / TOWNS OF BOSTON / AND / CHARLES-TOWN / and the circujacent Country, shewing the several Encampments / and Works constructed by HIS MAJESTY’S / TROOPS; and also those of the Rebels. / Boston October... 1775 or later

Pencil, pen, ink and watercolour; drawn on six sheets of paper, joined; laid down on two pieces of canvas, stitched together; edged with cerise silk ribbon; three brass rings for hanging missing from top edge; two pink linen ties to right edge [none missing] | Scale: 1:5,588 approx. | RCIN 734010

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A plan of Boston and Charlestown and surrounding area with the encampments and works of the British and rebel troops in October 1775. American War of Independence (1775-83). Oriented with north-west to top (compass rose).

This plan, showing the situation on 9 October 1775, would have been surveyed by John Montresor, who succeeded his father, James, as Chief Engineer in America in 1775. The cartographic style of this plan, and the signature, is not that of John Montresor and is probably a later copy made, perhaps, by a Board of Ordnance draughtsman for the particular use of King George III.

  • ? John Montresor (1736-99) (surveyor)

    Anonymous (draughtsman) [top right, in title panel, what appears to be a copy signature:] John Montresor Command.g Eng.r at Boston.

    Thomas Gage (1719-87) (dedicatee)

  • Watermark: The monogram PvL

    Condition: four fold lines; brown discolouration along the joins; some wear along the folds; surface dirt along left edge. Verso: brown discolouration and stains; heavy surface dirt along left edge, consistent with being rolled

  • Scale: 1:5,588 approx. Scale bar: [144 mm =] 880 Yards or Half a Mile;

    138.7 x 166.2 cm (image)

    143.3 x 171.4 cm (sheet)

  • Manuscript title:

    PLAN / OF THE / TOWNS OF BOSTON / AND / CHARLES-TOWN / and the circujacent Country, shewing the several Encampments / and Works constructed by HIS MAJESTY’S / TROOPS; and also those of the Rebels. / Boston October 9th 1775 [top right, in rectangular panel]

    Dedication:

    [top left, in plain rectangular cartouche:] To His EXCELLENCY the Honourable / THOMAS GAGE Esq. General and Com- / mander in Chief of HIS MAJESTY'S / Forces in North America &.c &.c &.c

    Additional text:

    [right, below title panel, in rectangular panel, a key, A-I, K-L to the military positions:] REFERENCE [and:] EXPLANATION / The Works shaded Green shew those constructed by / His Majesty's Troops. / The Works shaded Yellow shew those thrown up by / the Rebels, as they appear from Boston.

    Annotations:

    George III heading: [black pencil:] Boston 1775 Military.

    Other annotations: (Recto) none. (Verso) [top right, red felt tip pen on 1980s red-printed Royal Library label:] XIV 10 BOSTON; [top right, linen marks:] 5 [and] [B?].

    K. Mil. dummy sheet:

    Title [ink:] A drawn Plan of the Towns of Boston and Charlestown, and the circumjacent country; / shewing the several Encampments and Works constructed by H M.’s Troops and also those of the / Rebels: by J. Montresor Eng.r 1775 .9 Octr 4 sheets / A Roll ... [black pencil:] 1 Table 1.st / [George III heading, red ink:] Boston 1775. Watermark: fleur-de-lys in crowned shield, the letters B&W below. 
    Size: 47.0 x 32.8 cm (sheet).

    George III catalogue entry:

    Boston A drawn Plan of the Towns of Boston and Charlestown, and the circumjacent Country, shewing the several Encampments and Works constructed by His Majesty’s Troops and those of the Rebels in 1775; by John Montresor Eng.r 9 Oct. 1775. 4 sheets.

  • From the collection of military and naval maps and prints formed by George III (1738-1820)

  • Subject(s)

    Boston, Massachusetts, USA (42°21'30"N 71°03'35"W)

    Charlestown, Massachusetts, USA (42°22'40"N 71°03'43"E)

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