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Mapping collected by William Augustus, Duke of Cumberland

? E. van Tiddinga (active 1744)

Order of battle of the Allied army at Merelbeke, Ghent and Bellem, 1744

Journal c.1744

Pen and ink, written on both sides of one sheet of paper | 23.0 x 18.4 cm (sheet) | RCIN 729043.b

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A journal of the march, encampments and reconnaissance of a detachment of the Allied army under the command of Lieutenant-Generals Smissaert and Chanclos at Bellem, Merelbeke and Ghent, September 1744. War of the Austrian Succcession (1740-48).

The detachment of troops recorded in this document comprised 14 squadrons of horse and 10 battalions of infantry. The Allied army was encamped near Lille, at Anstaing (see RCINs 729035-40) from 10 August to 29 September. This journal records that on the night of the 7/8 [September], the commander of the Allied army, the Duke of Arenberg, had received advice that the French had crossed the Bruges Canal at the village of Bellem with a force of several thousand men. On 8 September, d'Arenberg held a great counsel of war and the resolution was taken to send a corps of 10 battalions and 14 squadrons, as set out in the adjoining list [i.e. RCIN 729043.a] to the area. The detachment set off at 6.00 am on the morning of 9 September. The first camp was made at 'd'herines', then at 'windeken', and two days later the cavalry camped between Ghent and Meerlebeeke (Merelbeke), where troops from the garrison at Oudenaarde joined them. 12 September was a day of rest, and the following day Chanclos marched with a corps of seven squadrons and six battalions and camped a quarter of a league from Ghent. A corps of seven squadrons and four battalions under the command of Smissaert remained at camp at Merelbeke. On the 14th, Chanclos detached 120 men from his corps with orders to seek out the French at the bridgehead that they had constructed at Bellem. When they arrived near the place at 10.00 pm, the peasants informed them that the French had abandoned the fortification and broken up their pontoon bridge. This had been done in a hurry and several carts laden with hay and straw had been left. [There follows a description of the disposition of troops and the terrain on both sides of the canal.]

The order of battle of the Allied army associated with this action is at RCIN 729043.a.

These two items were formerly stored in a buff-grey rag paper folder, on which the old heading was written; the ink inscriptions 'No:s 390-391' referring to the stamped numbers on the items are written on the front cover; '(a-b) CMB Nov'86' [i.e. 1986] is written in black pencil in a modern hand.

  • ? E. van Tiddinga (active 1744) (author) [bottom right, inside neatline of RCIN 729043.b:] E. van Tiddinga [outside neatline:] Sept: 1744.

  • Watermark: Cropped; horn in shield, crown above

    Mark, stamped: 391

    Condition: four fold lines

  • 23.0 x 18.4 cm (sheet)

  • Manuscript title:



    George III heading: Intrenchment at Bellem and Orders of Battle 7 - 13 Sept.r 1744.

    Other annotations: none.

    George III catalogue entry:

    Bellem Plan dessiné du Retranchement des François a Bellem sur le Canal de Bruges; avec les Ordres de Battaile des Troupes sous les Generaux de Chanclos et Smissaert, et un Journal manuscrit des Operations des dites Troupes, depuis le 7 jusqu'au 13 Septembre 1744: par E. van Tiddinga, 1744. [The same entry appears under the heading Order of Battle.]


    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)

    Merelbeke, Flanders, Belgium (50°59'40"N 03°44'46"E)

    Ghent, Flanders, Belgium (51°03'00"N 03°43'00"E)

    Bellem, Flanders, Belgium (51°05'38"N 03°29'34"E)

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