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Views of naval engagements and maps of battles

Thomas Staunton St Clair (1785-1847)

Sabugal, c.1811

SUBUGAL ON THE RIVER COA published 18 Aug 1815

Aquatint with etching and engraving; printed on paper; hand coloured; edged with paper | 36.7 x 50.8 cm (image) | RCIN 735155.i

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A view of Subugal on the River Coa. Napoleonic Wars (1803-1815): Peninsular War (1808-1814)

This view of Sabugal appears to be taken from the north-east, looking south-west across the town in the direction of the town of Urgueira. The wooded valley of the River Coa is shown winding around the high bluff on which the town stands. Sabugal was apparently named after the number of elder trees (sabugos) which grew there in the thirteenth century. 

The British forces, under Major-General Sir William Erskine (1770-1813), Major-General John Slade (1762-1859), General Sir Thomas Picton (1758-1815) and Major-General James Dunlop (1759-1832), pursued the retreating French army, who were commanded by Marshal Michel Ney (1769-1815), which had taken up position around Sabugal. On 3 April 1811, in spite of bad weather, the British forced the French to relinquish their position and retreat further. Wellington apparently referred to this action as one of the 'most glorious that British troops were ever engaged in'. 

This is one of a set of twelve prints in the K.Mil. collection (RCINs 735155.a-m) of the principal occurrences of the campaigns in Spain and Portugal in 1810 and 1811 after paintings by Thomas Staunton St Clair. For more information on this set, see RCIN 735155.

  • Thomas Staunton St Clair (1785-1847) (artist) [bottom left, below edge of view:] Major T. S.t Clair pinx.t

    Charles Turner (1774-1857) (engraver and publisher) [bottom right, below edge of view:] C. Turner Sculp.t

    Josiah Boydell (18 January 1752-27 March 1817) (publisher)

    John Booth (active 1794-1840) (publisher)

    Colnaghi & Co (c.1785-1911) (publisher)

    Anthony Molteno (active 1783-1830) (publisher)

    Rudolph Ackermann (1764-1834)

    [bottom centre, below title:] London, Pub.d Aug.t 1815, by C. Turner, 50, Warren Street, Fitzroy Square; Colnaghi & C.Cockspur S.t;  M.r Ackerman, Strand; Boydell & C.o Cheapside; & M.r Booth, Duke Street, Portland Chapel.

  • Watermark: J WHATMAN 1811

    Condition: no fold lines

  • 33.6 x 50.6 cm (neatline)

    36.7 x 50.8 cm (image)

    41.1 x 58.0 cm (platemark)

    43.7 x 60.4 cm (sheet)

  • Printed title:

    SUBUGAL ON THE RIVER COA. [bottom centre, below view]


    (Recto) [above title, black pencil, in an early nineteenth-century hand:] N,,o 9. (Verso) [top right, black pencil:] 35; [centre, black pencil:] 1811-35.

    George III catalogue entry:

    Spain Twelve Views of the principal occurences of the Campaigns of 1810 and 1811 in Spain and Portugal: by Major T. S.t Clair, engraved by C. Turner, 1812-15.

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

  • Subject(s)

    Sabugal, Guarda, Portugal (40°21'04"N 07°05'27"W)

  • Bibliographic reference(s)

    H.M. Chichester, 'Dunlop, James (1759–1832)', Dictionary of National Biography, 2004

    R. Havard, 'Picton, Sir Thomas (1758–1815)', Dictionary of National Biography, 2004

    H.M. Stephens, 'Erskine, Sir William, second baronet (1770–1813)', Dictionary of National Biography, 2004

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