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The Seven Years War (1756-63)

Manuscript and printed maps and views, correspondence and journals from the first global war


Le Palais, 1761 (Le Palais, Belle Île, France) 47°20'45"N 03°09'14"W


Ink on three sheets of paper folded in half to give six leaves; eleven numbered pages. Stitched together with brown thread. | 18.2 x 15.0 cm (sheet) | RCIN 733031.b

An account of the siege of Belle Isle by the British, commanded by Major-General Studholme Hodgson (Master of the Horse to the Duke of Cumberland; 1707/8-1798), between 2 May and 7 June 1761. Seven Years War (1756-63).

Written in a typical eighteenth-century secretary's hand; it may be a copy of Archer's original journal. The account begins on 30 May 1761 with Archer's arrival on the island. He describes how he took the first opportunity to visit the British trenches and, considering how few men had been available to carry out the work, he 'could not help comparing their Labours to the Traveaux de Mars'. 'Indeed', he says, 'the length of the Trenches and Number of Batteries were almost incredible'. He states that they were 'conducted under a Gentleman whose long Service might justly entitle him to be a proper Judge of these Matters'. The 'gentleman' to whom he referred was probably Major James Bramham, the surveyor of RCIN 733030. The journal goes on to give details of the 'Duty for the Day', exclusive of the working parties which were 'constantly employ'd'. The success of the operation is put down to the 'happy Circumstance' of the 'great Harmony' between the land and sea commanders. The last entry relates to 11 June.

Condition: formerly folded in half.
  • John Archer (d. 1799) (author)


  • Watermark: Arms of England in crowned circle, the circle with one inner and two outer lines within which: HONI SOIT QUI MAL Y PENSE

    Mark, stamped: 927

    Condition: formerly folded in half

  • 18.2 x 15.0 cm (sheet)

  • Manuscript title:

    Journal of Part of the Siege of / the Citadel of Palais on the / Island / of Belle Isle, 1761. [top of first page]


    George III heading: Palais 2 May – 7 June 1761.

    Other annotations: [recto of first page, red ink:] VII/60.A.

    George III catalogue entry:

    Palais A drawn Plan of the Attacks of the Citadel of Palais on Belle Isle in 1761: by I. Archer Eng.r with a MS. Journal of the Siege from the of May.

  • Subject(s)

    Le Palais, Belle Île, France (47°20'45"N 03°09'14"W)

Page revisions

  • 23 May 2024