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Other 17th-century conflicts

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


Siege of Saint-Jean-d'Angély, 1621



Etching and engraving; printed on paper; laid down on paper and then mounted on paper (Mount Type A); gilt edges top, right and bottom | 30.6 x 42.0 cm (image and sheet) | RCIN 722001.a

A middle oblique view, and plan, of the siege of Saint-Jean-d'Angély from 30 May to 24 June 1621 by the French Royal army, commanded by Louis XIII (27 September 1601-14 May 1643) against the Huguenot rebels, commanded by Benjamin de Rohan, duc de Soubise (1580-1642), resulting in a Royal victory. Huguenot Rebellions or Rohan Wars (1621-1622). Oriented with north to top.

A note in the accompanying text (RCIN 722001.b) remarks that the length of the town extends from the porte de Niort to the porte de Taillebourg and the width, which is less, from the porte de Matha to that of Aulnis. This print shows the outlines of the fortified walls and ditches of the town in plans, while the surrounding country and siege works of the Royal army are represented three-dimensionally.

Saint-Jean-d'Angély, a Protestant stronghold, was strategically placed, blocking Louis XIII's route to La Rochelle, the Protestant 'capital'. This print shows the trenches and batteries of the besieging Royal army and the suburbs of the town with the quarters of Louis XIII bottom right.

Although the date of the beginning of the siege is generally given as 30 May (the date on which Louis XIII arrived, and when the batteries first opened fire) the text states that Monsieur d'Auriac arrived on the 18 May and that Monsieur le Marechal d'Esdiguieres arrived on the 29th. The text does not mention the end of the siege or that the town was taken by the king, referring only to 'le quatriesme siege [having described the previous sieges in the town's history] est celuy qu'y tient à present le Roy Louys XIII'. This suggests that the print may have been published while the siege was still ongoing and before 24 June 1621.

The accompanying letterpress text is at RCIN 722001.b.

An untrimmed example of this print, together with the accompanying text, is at the Bibliothèque nationale de France.

  • Melchior Tavernier (1594-1665) (publisher)

  • Watermark: A bunch of grapes, some letters above? Countermark: an indistinct device within a circle

    Condition: two fold lines; the print has been trimmed so that the single line border, or neatline, is no longer present, and about 2 mm of detail has been trimmed from the bottom; worn and torn along folds, repaired by being laid down on paper before mounting; some pressure marks.

  • 30.6 x 42.0 cm (image and sheet)

    cropped (platemark)

    40.5 x 54.6 cm (mount)

  • Printed title:

    PLAN DE LA VILLE DE SAINCT / IEAN D’ANGELY, AVEC L’ASSIETTE DES / BATTERIES QVI S’Y FONT. [No title. Title on separate accompanying letterpress text.]


    George III heading: S.t Jean d’Angely invested 18 May and taken 25 June 1621.

    Other annotations: (Recto) [bottom right, red pencil:] 1621. (Verso) [top left, red pencil:] 1/121; [top left, black pencil:] I/130-a; [bottom right, black pencil, erased:] St. Jean d'Angely.

    George III catalogue entry:

    Jean d’Angely, S.t Plan de la Ville de Sainct Jean d’Angely, avec l’assiette des Batteries qui s’y font: assiegée par le Roy Louis XIII et prise le 25 Juin 1621: avec une Description, chez Tavernier, 1621.

  • Subject(s)

    Saint-Jean-d’Angély (Poitou-Charentes, France) 45°57ʹ00ʺN  00°31ʹ00ʺW

  • Bibliographic reference(s)

    M. McDonald, The Print Collection of Cassiano dal Pozzo. Part II, Architecture, Topography and Military Maps, 3 vols, London 2019, cat. no. 2834

Page revisions

  • 14 March 2024