Vast manuscript plan of Berg-op-Zoom

By DE MARNE, 1747 

Plan de la Ville de Berg-op-Zoom et des Forts du Sud, Moremont, Pinsen, et Roowwers. Le Plan en Grand d’une Partie des Galleries Majeures du Chemin Couvert avec les coupe et profiles de la ville et des forts. Leve Geometriquement apres le Siege en 7.bre 1747. Par le Sr. DeMarne Ingenieur Geog.

Europe Low Countries
  • Author: DE MARNE
  • Publication date: 1747.
  • Physical description: Manuscript plan with fine original hand-colour, dissected and mounted on linen, detail of fortifications and key to left, profiles of fortifications lower right.
  • Dimensions: 970 by 3120mm (38.25 by 122.75 inches).
  • Inventory reference: 2766

Notes

Vast and detailed plan of the Berg-op-Zoom, preceding its siege and capture by the French in 1747.

The plan shows in superb detail the fortifications of the town together with the defenses of Fort Moermont, Pinsen, and Rooweers. To the left of the plan is a large detail of part of the town’s fortifications, with profiles of the forts’ and town’s defenses to the lower right. A key to the left of the town provides information upon the town’s forifications.

The Siege of Bergen op Zoom took place during the Austrian War of Succession, when a French army, under the command of Lowendal and the overall direction of Marshal Maurice de Saxe, laid siege and captured the strategic Dutch border fortress of Bergen op Zoom on the border of Brabant and Zealand in 1747. Bergen op Zoom was defended by allies, consisting of: the Dutch, Austrians, British, Hanoverians and Hessians, that supported the Pragmatic Sanction. After seven years of brutal war, both sides in this conflict were suffering from weariness of the war. Although tentative peace initiatives had been put forward, neither side was yet willing to make meaningful concessions. The capture of Bergen op Zoom would be a signal defeat for the Dutch and would open the door for an invasion of the Dutch Netherlands. The siege was the center of attention in Europe and news of it followed eagerly in numerous reports with the Pragmatic allies confident that the fortress would withstand the French and the French determined it should fall.

At that time of the siege, Bergen op Zoom had fortifications built in the beginning of the 17th Century by Menno van Coehoorn, with the three forts of Moermont, Pinsen, and Rooweers surrounding the city and a canalized diversion of the Scheldt acting as a ditch around its walls. However, it had no second line of fortifications, nor any fortress. After seventy days of siege, the city was taken and thoroughly sacked; the garrison was slaughtered.

With the capture of Bergen op Zoom, the French now had control of the entire length of the river Scheldt. The defeat caused a rift between the Dutch and British governments. It now dawned on the British that they had demanded too much of the military capability of the Dutch Republic and that its ability to resist the French had been exhausted. The Dutch on the other hand were furious about the fact that her allies were unwilling to relieve the city. The city was key to opening up the Dutch Republic and Hanover to a potential French invasion. Lowendal was made a Marshal of France for his exploit and the French now controlled the length of the Scheldt river. Along with the defeat at Lauffeld, the defeat at Bergen op Zoom forced the British to re-enter negotiations, and to take seriously the on-going talks at the Congress of Breda, leading to a treaty in 1748.

Scale: (approx.) 40cm to 1km. 

Provenance

From the Library of the Dukes of Luynes.

Charles Louis d’Albert de Luynes (1717–1771) was a French nobleman and member of the House of Albert. He was the fifth Duke of Luynes as well as Duke of Chevreuse.

He took part in the war in 1733 in the War of the Polish Succession. He also took part in campaigns in 1735 and 1745, the latter in the War of the Austrian Succession, and was injured in combat at Sahay at the head of the Dragoons. He participated in the attack of Prague in 1742, and also assisted in various sieges and battles of the era.

In 1754, he was created a Colonel General of the Dragoons. From 1757 to 1771, he was the Gouverneur de Paris (Military governor of Paris), an ancient and prestigious rank representing the king in the capital. He also was created a Knight of the Order of the Holy Spirit at Versailles on 2 February 1759.

He died in Paris in his Hôtel. He was buried at the Chapelle de Saint Jean l’Évangeliste at the Église Saint-Sulpice, Paris.