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Thirty Years War (1618-48)

Maps, prints and letterpress text covering the major battles and sieges of the war


Siege of Gravelines, 1644

LE SIEGE DE / GRAVELINES / dedie a Monseigneur / LE DVC D’ORLEANS / Par son tres humble / Seruiteur BVSSEY


Etching and engraving; printed on paper; mounted on paper (Mount Type B); gilt edges left, right and bottom | Scale: 1:20,800 approx. | RCIN 723047

A map of the Spanish-held town of Gravelines, besieged from 16 May to 29 July by the French, commanded by Gaston, Duc d'Orléans (25 April 1608-2 February 1660) resulting in the capitulation of the town on 29 July 1644. Thirty Years War (1618-1648). Oriented with south to top.

According to the text on the map, the siege was begun on 26 May by Charles de la Porte, duc de la Meilleraye (1602-8 February 1664). Marshal Jean de Gassion (1609-1647) arrived on 27 May, made a bridge over the River Aa and took the forts and sluice. The Duc d'Orléans arrived later, on 1 June with the rest of the army. The town was blockaded by the Dutch navy, shown offshore in this print. Fort St Philip, shown here surrounded by French encampments, was attacked on 8/9th of June and taken on the 13th. Extensive lines of circumvallation are shown around the town and marshy ground is indicated by closely engraved horizontal lines.

The cartographer, Adam de Bussey, was a distinguished mathematician who became the premier engineer in France in Louis XIII's reign, being charged with the fortifications of Arras, Pignerole, Perpignan and several other places.

The title is in elaborate cartouche of draped, fringed material surmounted by the arms of Gaston Jean Baptiste, Duc d’Orléans (1608-1660)

  • After Le Sieur de Bussey (fl. c.1640-47) (cartographer) [right, at bottom of text:] Faict par le sieur de BVSSEY Ingenieur Ordinaire du Roy.

  • Watermark: A bunch of grapes with a letter underneath [can’t make out which one, an L?]

    Condition: two fold lines; pressure marks. Verso: surface dirt

  • Scale: 1:20,800 approx. Scale bar: Echelle de 600 pas Geometriques [44 mm =].

    39.7 x 52.7 cm (image and sheet)

    cropped (platemark)

    40.6 x 54.7 cm (mount)

  • Printed title:

    LE SIEGE DE / GRAVELINES / dedie a Monseigneur / LE DVC D’ORLEANS / Par son tres humble / Seruiteur BVSSEY [top left]

    Additional text:

    [left, below title, an account of the siege from 26 May to 29 July 1644.] [right, in a similar cartouche to the title cartouche, and surmounted by the monogram GG, for Gaston and Gravelines, a key, A-I, K-T, V, X-Z, a-h, k, m, n, p-r, t, and 1-34:] GASTON FILZ DE FRANCE / DVC D'ORLEANS / ONCLE DE LOVIS XIIII. / Anagramme entier / GRAVELINES S'OFFRE DONC / A TON ZELE SOVCI / L'AN DDDCXLIIII.


    George III heading: Gravelines 26 May – 29 July 1644.

    Other annotations: (Recto) [bottom right, black pencil:] 1644; [left edge, black pencil, erased: the old heading]. (Verso) [top left, red pencil:] 2/134 [and, in black pencil:] III/71.

    George III catalogue entry:

    Gravelines Le Siege de Gravelines par le Duc d’Orleans investie le 26 May et rendue le 29 Juillet 1644, par le S.r de Bussey Ing.r

  • Subject(s)

    Gravelines, Nord-Pas-de-Calais, France (50°59ʹ11ʺN 20°07ʹ41ʺE)

  • 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. 3149

Page revisions

  • 14 March 2024