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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

Plan de L'attaque des Hauts Alliées contre le Franscois proche du Village de Fontenaÿ / commandez Par S: A: R: Le Duc de Cumberland livrée l'11 May 1745


Pencil, pen, ink and watercolour on paper; some pricking through | Scale: not stated. 1:20,000 approx. | RCIN 729095

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 west to top.

The attribution to Hancko is made on stylistic grounds; this map is not drawn in his formal, ‘polished’ style, but in a quick, rough hand. The detail of the troop positions has been transferred from another map by pricking the corner points of the rectangles through to the copying sheet on which this example is drawn. The colouring subsequently applied to the rectangles has partly seeped through the pin pricks to the verso.

This is similar to, and in the same hand as RCINs 729093 and 729094. The details of the three maps show slight variations: RCIN 729093 shows three French redoubts facing the Dutch forces whereas RCINs 729094 and 729095 show only two. RCIN 729093 shows the British and Hanoverian encampment in six groups whereas RCINs 729094 and 729095 have four groups. The printed map at RCIN 729096, which is based on Hancko's original, is consistent with the detail shown in RCINs 729094 and 729095.

The map shows the first position of the Allied army, which set off from Briffoeil camp (see RCIN 729086) at break of day, as it reached the plain west of Vezon and Maubray. The British and Hanoverians went by way of Vezon, and the Dutch marched through Maubray. The first reconnaissance positions of a battalion commanded by Waldeck, in the Bois de Barry are indicated, together with their second position assaulting Fontenoy. The two parts of the Allied army - the British and Hanoverian troops - funneled between Fontenoy and the wood, and the Dutch between Antoing and Fontenoy, are clearly shown.

The intrenched and fortified positions of the French at Antoing, Fontenoy, and an 18-gun battery to the north of Fontenoy are indicated as are the squares formed by the French on retreating, and the disposition by Ligonier of rearguard troops to protect the Allied retreat.

  • François Hancko (active 1741-8) (cartographer)

  • Watermark: Fleur-de-lys in shield, crown above, a ‘4’ suspending the entwined letters WR below; countermark: I VILLEDARY

    Mark, stamped: 437

    Condition: eight fold lines; two systems of folding are apparent; double pinpricks and other pin holes in corners. Verso: induced discolouration; surface dirt

  • Scale: not stated. 1:20,000 approx.

    38.3 x 27.4 cm (neatline)

    53.6 x 28.4 cm (image)

    54.3 x 29.3 cm (sheet)

  • Manuscript title:

    Plan de L'attaque des Hauts Alliées contre le Franscois proche du Village de Fontenaÿ / commandez Par S: A: R: Le Duc de Cumberland livrée l'11 May 1745. [bottom, below map, in rectangular panel with other text]

    Additional text:

    [bottom, below title, an explanatory key, A-D, F-G, I, K-N, P-U, W-Y, to the features illustrated on the map.]


    George III heading: Battle of Fontenoy 11 May 1745.

    Other annotations: (Recto) none. (Verso) [bottom left, red pencil:] 9/25 [the ‘25’ is crossed through in black pencil]; [bottom left, black pencil, partly erased:] X/49 [or 44?].

    George III catalogue entry:

    Fontenoy Plan dessiné de l'Attaque des Hauts Alliés sous le Duc de Cumberland, contre les Francois, proche du Village de Fontenoy, livrée le 11 Mai 1745.

  • Subject(s)

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

Page revisions

  • 14 March 2024