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War of the Austrian Succession (1740-8)

Includes much of the mapping collected by William Augustus, Duke of Cumberland, as Captain General of the British army


Battle of Fontenoy, 1745

A Plan of / The Battle of / FONTENOY

1745 or later

Pencil, pen, ink and watercolour on paper; laid down on linen | Scale: not stated | RCIN 729101.a

A map of the Battle of Fontenoy, 11 May 1745, fought between the French, commanded by Louis XV (1710-74) and Marshal Maurice of Saxony (1696-1750), and the Allied army, commanded by William Augustus, Duke of Cumberland (1721-65), resulting in a French victory. War of the Austrian Succession (1740-48). Oriented with north to top.

This small sketch shows the positions of the troops at the beginning of the battle from the French point of view. The disposition of the French army tallies with other French plans. In addition, features are present on this map that are usually absent on maps generated by the Allied army, such as the place from where Louis XV watched the battle and the two French redoubts in the Bois de Barry which offered raking flanking fire to Cumberland's troops. According to the separate sheet of references, the French horse brigades were shown in yellow, the dragoons in pale blue, and the foot brigades in red. The 'Enemy' [i.e. the Allied army] are in grey.

Gaffney is an Irish name and there were present in the French army at Fontenoy six Irish Brigades to one of which it is possible that James Gaffney belonged.

This map and its explanatory text (RCIN 729101.b) were formerly kept in a buff-coloured rag paper folder on the recto of which is the old heading and a modern note in black pencil: (a-b) CMB Nov '86 [i.e. 1986].

Condition: two fold lines; worn along fold; untidily trimmed.
  • James Gaffney (active 1745) (draughtsman) [bottom centre, below border:] Ia.s Gaffney Fecit

  • Watermark: None

    Mark, stamped: 443

    Condition: two fold lines; worn along fold; untidily trimmed

  • Scale: not stated

    9.4 x 10.8 cm (neatline)

    17.4 x 10.8 cm (image)

    17.5 x 11.1 cm (sheet)

  • Manuscript title:

    A Plan of / The Battle of / FONTENOY. [top, in cartouche surmounted by the coat of arms of France, the goddess of justice (not blindfolded) and another figure representing Neptune, and a winged death's head below]


    George III heading: Battle of Fontenoy 11 May 1745.

    Other annotations: (Recto) [top right, ink:] No 1. (Verso) [bottom left, black pencil:] X/51.

    George III catalogue entry:

    Fontenoy A small drawn Plan of the Battle of Fontenoy, the of May 1745; with References: by Ja.s Gaffney.

  • Subject(s)

    Fontenoy, Walloon Region, Belgium (50°34'03"N 03°28'24"E)

Page revisions

  • 14 March 2024