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Maps, views and diagrams of military reviews and encampments


Saint-Omer, 1788


Three pages of text; ink on one sheet of paper folded in half | 22.8 x 37.2 cm (sheet; folded to 22.8 x 18.6 cm) | RCIN 734110.2.a

This letter, in the hand of John Graves Simcoe, describes the manoeuvres of the French army which are shown on the map at RCIN 734110.2.b. Simcoe was, on 15 October 1777, promoted to Major-Commandant (later Lieutenant-Colonel) of the Queen's Rangers (Hussars), a new Provincial army Corps in America. In this letter, to an unknown recipient, Simcoe refers to finishing 'my Journal' which he hopes to present to 'His Majesty' in November or the early Spring of 1789. The 'Journal' is probably the printed copy of his Journal of the Operations of the Queen's Rangers, From the End of the Year 1777, to the Conclusion of the Late American War. Published in Exeter in about 1787, a copy, together with manuscript maps and illustrations, was presented to George III on 15 March 1789 (British Library 194.a.18).

The map (RCIN 734110.2.b) was drawn by Lieutenant Spencer of the 73rd Regiment of Foot who had lately served with the Queen's Rangers. Simcoe, who went on to become the first Lieutenant Governor of Upper Canada (1791-96), states of the map that 'Its accuracy is very remarkable, considering that it is not an actual Survey, from which I am persuaded it would not differ materially in exactitude.' The letter comments on the tactical system of the King of Prussia (Frederick the Great) as recently adopted by the French.

For further reading, see:
British Library, (1975), p.133.
J. Houlding, 'Simcoe, John Graves (1752–1806)', Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, 2004; online edn, Jan 2008.

Condition: four fold lines.
  • John Graves Simcoe (1752-1806) (author)

  • Watermark: Horn in crowned shield, the letters GR below

    Mark, stamped: 1062

    Condition: four fold lines

  • 22.8 x 37.2 cm (sheet; folded to 22.8 x 18.6 cm)

  • Manuscript title:

    No title. [Letter from John Graves Simcoe, to an unknown recipient, dated 9 October 1788; addressed from Wolford Lodge (near Exeter, Devon)]


    George III heading: Encampment at S.Omer, Sep. 1788.

    Other annotations: (Recto) [bottom left, black pencil, in a modern hand:] Jan '87 [i.e. 1987]. (Verso) none.

    George III catalogue entry:

    Encampment A drawn Plan of the French Army at S.t Omer, under the command of the Prince of Condé, in Sept.r 1788; with the Movements of the different Divisions on the and and that of the whole Army on the of the same month: by Lieut. G. Spencer: with an explanatory Letter from Col. Simcoe. [The same entry appears under the heading St. Omer.]

  • Subject(s)

    Saint-Omer, Nord-Pas-de-Calais, France (50°45'00"N 02°15'00"E)

  • Bibliographic reference(s)

    British Library, (1975), p.133.

    J. Houlding, 'Simcoe, John Graves (1752–1806)', Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, 2004; online edn, Jan 2008.

Page revisions

  • 14 March 2024