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Printed and manuscript maps, prints and views of 22 seventeenth-century wars

? Thomas Witham (active 1648?)

Siege of Colchester, 1648

The SIEGE of / COLCHESTER / By the Lord Fairfax, As it was / with the Line and Outworks / 1648 1648 or later

Etched and engraved map with four columns of engraved text below and one column of text to each side; printed from one copperplate on paper | 32.6 x 43.6 cm (neatline) | RCIN 723082

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A high oblique view of Colchester, besieged from 12 June to 28 August 1648 by the Parliamentary forces commanded by Thomas Fairfax, 3rd Lord Fairfax of Cameron (12 January 1612-12 November 1671) resulting in the surrender of the town by its defenders, Sir Charles Lucas (1613-28 August 1648) and Sir George Lisle (c.1610-28 August 1648), both of whom were executed by firing squad on the day of capitulation. Second English Civil War (1648-1649). Oriented with north to top (compass rose).

The view is surrounded by engraved text giving an account of the siege from 13 June to 22 August, a week before the capitulation. The account includes a list of the Parliamentary forces together with the names of officers and ends with a transcription of 'A Manuscript of COLCHESTER taken out / of the Records of the said Town.'

Another state of this print is distinguished by the imprint which is engraved in the blank rectangular panel, br: 'Printed and Sold by Tho: Witham at the / Golden Ball in Long Lane near West / Smithfield [blank space] LONDON' [see Folger Shakespeare Library Digital Image Collection; Digital File Name: 13268; Source Call Number: 207255]. Also BL Maps *2390.(1.)

  • ? Thomas Witham (active 1648?) (publisher)

  • Watermark: Fleur-de-lys in crowned shield, a ‘4’ suspending the letters G V H below; countermark: IHS / I VILLEDARY

    Condition: one fold line. Remains of blue paper around the edges of one half of the verso, as if the item had been formerly mounted and the mount has been removed

  • 32.6 x 43.6 cm (neatline)

    48.9 x 69.0 cm (image)

    cropped (platemark)

    49.7 x 70.0 cm (sheet)

  • Printed title:

    The SIEGE of / COLCHESTER / By the Lord Fairfax, As it was / with the Line and Outworks / 1648 [top left, in cartouche decorated with drums, trumpets, cannon and rifle]

    Additional text:

    [top right of view, an explanation of the letters on the view, A-I, K-T, V-Z.] [Engraved text around map giving a diary and account of the siege:] A DIARY of the Siege of COLCHESTER / by the Forces under the Command of Generall / FAIRFAX. [At the end of the 'Diary':] A Manuscript of COLCHESTER taken out / of the Records of the said Town.


    George III heading: Colchester 13 June – 22 August 1648.

    Other annotations: (Recto) none. (Verso) [top right, black pencil:] 1648; [bottom, right of centre, red pencil, erased:] 3/[?]9.

    George III catalogue entry:

    Colchester The Siege of Colchester by the Lord Fairfax as it was with the Line and Outworks; besieged on the of June and taken on the 22.d of August 1648: with a Description on the Margin.

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

  • Subject(s)

    Colchester, Essex, England, UK (51°53ʹ21ʺN 00°54ʹ15ʺE)

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