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Mapping collected by William Augustus, Duke of Cumberland

Gaspard Bailleul le Jeune (c.1697-d.21 March 1754)

Engagement at Melle, 1745

PLAN DE L'AFFAIRE QUI SE ST PASSEE / A MELLE a une Lieue de Gand gagnée / par les Francais Commandé par M.r Duchélla / Lieutenant General le 9 Juillet 1745 a 5 heur... published c.1751

Etching and engraving; printed on paper; hand-coloured | Scale: not stated | RCIN 729130

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A map of the engagement between the French troops, commanded by Duchélla, and the Allies, commanded by Lieutenant-General Motke, at Melle on 9 July 1745. War of the Austrian Succession (1740-48). Oriented with north-east to top.

The date of 1751 has been suggested for publication because that was the year in which the dedicatee, Marc-Pierre de Voyer de Paulmy, comte d'Argenson, received the Ordre royal et militaire de Saint-Louis which forms a prominent feature of the dedication cartouche. He was, at the time of this action, sécrétaire d'État de la Guerre.

The action at Melle, which is about 27 km (16.7 miles) north of Grammont, where the Allies were encamped (see RCINs 729125-8), was the result of Cumberland's sending Lieutenant-General Moltke with 4,000 troops to secure Ghent. The French, learning of this intention, blocked the road to Ghent, waiting for the arrival of the Allies, outnumbering them by nearly three to one. The Allies suffered severe losses. As Moltke wrote to Cumberland the following day: ‘I encountered the whole of the right wing of the French army, which was posted on the chaussée, in the priory, in houses, and in hedged gardens.’ (Skrine 1906, p.228).

The priory and hedged gardens are shown on this map, which is centred on the main Ghent-Brussels road, now the Brusselsesteenweg (the N9), with the River Scheldt forming the north-eastern boundary of the action.

  • Gaspard Bailleul le Jeune (c.1697-d.21 March 1754) (publisher)

    Marc-Pierre de Voyer de Paulmy, comte d'Argenson (1696-1764) (dedicatee)

  • Watermark: None

    Condition: two fold lines; trimmed. Verso: induced discolouration and colour offsetting

  • Scale: not stated

    14.6 x 18.6 cm (image)

    15.5 x 20.0 cm (platemark)

    14.3 x 18.4 cm (neatline)

    17.0 x 21.5 cm (sheet)

  • Printed title:

    PLAN DE L'AFFAIRE QUI SE ST PASSEE / A MELLE a une Lieue de Gand gagnée / par les Francais Commandé par M.r Duchélla / Lieutenant General le 9 Juillet 1745 a 5 heur / du Soire et qui a duré jusquau jour dont / il est resté 700 morts sur le champ de Bataille du / côté des Anglois et 1471 prisoniers. [bottom right, in rectangular panel]

    Dedication:

    DEDIÉE et PRESENTEE / A Monseigneur Dargenson / Ministre Secretaire d'Etat de la / Guerre Chancelier Comandeur de / l'Ordre Militaire de Saint Louis et / Sur-Intendant Géneral des Postes et / relais de France. / Par son tres humble et / tres Obeissant Serviteur / Bailleul le Jeune. [right, above title panel, in a cartouche representing draped fringed material suspended by the coat of arms of Marc-Pierre de Voyer, de Paulmy, comte d'Argenson (1696-1764), embellished by the artefacts of war]

    Additional text:

    [bottom right, below title, in title panel. a key, A-I, K-O, to the different dispositions of the French and English troops throughout the engagement.]

    Annotations:

    George III heading: Action of Melle 9 July 1745.

    Other annotations: none.

    George III catalogue entry:

    Melle Plan de l'Affaire qui s'est passé a Melle a une lieue de Gand, gagnée par les Francois commandés par le General Duchella, le 9 Juillet 1745: par Bailleul.

  • Probably from the collection of military and naval maps and prints formed by Prince William Augustus, Duke of Cumberland (1721-65), third son of George II; subsequently acquired by George III (1738-1820)

     

  • Subject(s)

    Melle, Flanders, Belgium (51°00'08"N 03°48'18"E)

  • Bibliographic reference(s)

    F.H. Skrine, Fontenoy and Great Britain’s share in the War of the Austrian Succession 1741-1748, Edinburgh and London, 1906

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