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American War of Independence (1775-83)

George III’s maps and views showing the development of the war at home and abroad, from North America to India


Freehold, 1778

Rough Sketch of the Attack of the Rear Guard of the Army near / Freehold June 1778


Pencil, pen, black and brown ink on thin paper | Scale: not stated | RCIN 734040

A map of the Battle of Monmouth Courthouse fought on 28 June 1778 between the British and Hessian army, commanded by General Sir Henry Clinton (1730-95) and the United States of America, commanded by General George Washington (1732-99), ending indecisively. American War of Independence (1775-83). Oriented with west to top.

The action at Freehold was otherwise known as the Battle of Monmouth or Battle of Monmouth Courthouse. The American or Continental army of about 11,000 men attacked the 14,000-15,000-strong rear guard of the British column as they left Monmouth Courthouse. Neither side was victorious, the British retreating at night to continue their march to new York. This rough pen and ink sketch has been trimmed and some of the detail has been lost; there is no key to the letters on the map.

Archibald Roberston, the author of this plan, had arrived in Boston in November 1775, and was present at numerous actions during the war. Captain (later Lieutenant-General) Archibald Robertson, kept diaries of his experiences in the American War of Independence from 1775 to November 1780 and made several maps and sketches. Most of these are now in the New York Public Library. Robertson died a rich man in Edinburgh in 1820, having acquired enough capital to purchase an estate of 20,000 acres in Ayrshire. Guthorn (1972, p.40) lists a map of the Attack of Monmouth, after the Battle, by Robertson, as one of those plans known to have been made by him but whose location is unknown. It is possible that this plan is the undiscovered map.

Condition: eight fold lines; worn along folds; brown stains.
  • Archibald Robertson (c. 1745-1820) (surveyor and draughtsman) [bottom right, below title:] Arch:d Robertson Capt.n of Engineers.

  • Watermark: Horn in crowned shield, a ‘4’ and L V GERREVINK below; countermark: IV WB

    Mark, stamped: 984

    Condition: eight fold lines; worn along folds; brown stains

  • Scale: not stated

    37.9 x 47.7 cm (image and sheet)

  • Manuscript title:

    Rough Sketch of the Attack of the Rear Guard of the Army near / Freehold June 1778. [bottom right]


    George III heading: Action near Freehold 28 June 1778.

    Other annotations: (Recto) none. (Verso) [bottom, centre, black pencil, erased:] Action near Freehold / 28 June 1778.

    George III catalogue entry:

    Freehold A drawn Sketch of the Attack of the Rear Guard of the Army near Freehold in New Jersey, of June 1778: by Capt.n Arch.d Robertson Eng.r

  • Subject(s)

    Freehold, New Jersey, USA (40°16'05"N 74°19'22"W)

Page revisions

  • 14 March 2024