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Maps, views and diagrams of military reviews and encampments

Alexander Beatson (1759-1830)

India, 1790-91

THE / MARCHES / OF / THE BRITISH ARMIES, / in the / PENINSULA OF INDIA / during the / Campaigns of 1790, and 1791 1792

Engraving and etching; printed on paper; hand-coloured; laid down on linen; edged with blue silk | Scale: 1:742,000 approx. | RCIN 734111

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A map of the marches of the British armies in India during the campaigns of 1790 and 1791. Oriented with north to top.

This map was published to illustrate Rennell's Marches of the British armies … (1792). He explains, on pp. 3-5, the background to the compilation of the map and that it 'is formed chiefly from materials, transmitted by Earl Cornwallis, from India … They consisted of two distinct maps, on very large and similar scales (nine inches to a degree); the one containing the campaign of General Medows, in 1790; the other that of Lord Cornwallis, in 1791. The first was compiled by Captain Allan, who held the office of Captain of Guides to the Army, during the campaign of 1790; the other by Captain Beatson, who held a similar post, during the succeeding campaign; and who had previously given very sufficient proofs of his ability, as a geographer, by his surveys and remarks made in the north-eastern parts of the Peninsula. Each of these maps possesses a very considerable share of merit: and collectively they describe a chain of positions fixed by cursory measurement, and angles taken from the distant hills … and this, chiefly through a tract, in which, although we had a previous knowledge of many particulars, we still wanted data for the geometrical arrangement of.'

Rennell continues that 'It is to be regretted, that these valuable documents, which are so much to the credit of their respective authors, could not have been published separately, on the original scale, and with the original matter, unmixed with other materials of less value … but the fact is, that the public mind could not have obtained a clear idea of the operations of two distinct campaigns, in different parts of the same country; and pointing by different routes to the same object; unless the geography of both, was made to coalesce: and the detail, as well as the general scope of both, brought into one point of view.

The 'EXPLANATION OF THE MAP' appears on pp.13-14: 'The Marches of the armies, are described by dotted lines, coloured: each army having a colour, appropriate to it: Earl Cornwallis's has – RED. Gen. Meadows's – BLUE. Gen. Abercromby's – PURPLE. Col. Maxwell's – GREEN. Tippoo Sultan's – ORANGE.'

It continues: 'Each encampment of the British armies, is marked by a square flag; and Tippoo's by a pointed one. As the flag shows the centre of the front, of each camp; it sometimes happens, that the flag is placed, out of line of march. The date is added to each encampment; and the mode of placing the day of the month, before, or after, the month itself; points out the direction of the line of march, at that particular time. Thus, Nov. 15th, shews that the army was moving to the right; and 18th Nov. to the left. The broken lines of colour, shew the marches of detachments. The ascent to the high Gauts; or, in other words, the boundary of the elevated region of Mysore, &c. is marked by a deeper shading of the mountains.'

  • Alexander Beatson (1759-1830) (draughtsman)

    A. Allan (active 1791) (draughtsman)

    James Rennell (1742-1830) (compiler and publisher) [bottom left, following on from title:] Compiled from the original Maps, drawn by / Capt: A. BEATSON and Capt: A. ALLAN: / With some Particulars added in Explanation / by J. Rennell; [bottom centre, between border and platemark:] Publishd by J. Rennell Feb. 21. 1792.

  • Watermark: None visible

    Condition: one fold line; surface dirt; offsetting from the left half of the map onto the right half, and vice versa, as a result of the map having been stored folded in half. Verso: brown discolouration along central fold; surface dirt along left edge, consistent with the map having also been stored as a roll

  • Scale: 1:742,000 approx. Scale bars: [100 mm =] 40 Geographic Miles. [107 mm =] 50 British Miles. [80 mm =] 20 Carnatic Crosses 37½ to a degree.

    52.3 x 78.5 cm (neatline)

    52.7 x 79.0 cm (image)

    53.6 x 80.3 cm (platemark)

    55.1 x 81.4 cm (sheet)

  • Printed title:

    THE / MARCHES / OF / THE BRITISH ARMIES, / in the / PENINSULA OF INDIA / during the / Campaigns of 1790, and 1791. [bottom left]


    George III heading: Marches in Hindoostan 1790-1791.

    Other annotations: (Recto) none. (Verso) [bottom, right of centre, above old heading, black pencil:] A Description of this Map. 8.vo (5 H 7).

    George III catalogue entry:

    India The Marches of the British Armies in the Peninsula of India during the campaigns of 1790 and 1791: compiled from the original Maps drawn by Captain A. Beatson and Captain A. Allan; with some particulars added in explanation, by I. Rennell. 1792. Description, 8.vo 5 H 7.

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

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