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De Gomme, Bernard, 1620–1685

Plans for fortification and harbor works at Dunkirk.

Physical Description:
7 drawings : pen and ink and watercolor ; sheets 20 x 30 cm to 39 x 100 cm
Rare Books and Manuscripts
Folio C 2010 5b
Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection
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Copyright Status:
Copyright Not Evaluated
Maps & Atlases (manuscript)
England (under Lord Protector Cromwell) gained possession of Dunkirk in June, 1658, when an allied French-English force took the city, then part of the Spanish Netherlands. It proved to be an expensive possession, as it was in need of extensive work on the harbor facilities and the fortifications, plans for which are here described. On October 27, 1662, however, King Charles II sold the city to France for 2,500,000 livres.
Provenance: From the collection of George Legge, first Baron Dartmouth, 1648-1691 (see Sotheby's sale, March 8-10, 1948). Baron Dartmouth was Master-General of the Ordnance to Charles II and James II. His collection of maps was partly abstracted from Royal map collections, an arrangement described by Pepys in Bodleian Library MS Rawl. A. 171, 17r-20v. See also Skelton and Wallis.
Title devised by cataloger.
Saunders, A. Fortress builder, pages 85-88, 99-100, 341
Skelton, R. "The Royal map collections of England." In Imago mundi, vol. 13 (1956), p. 181-183
Wallis, H. "The Royal map collections of England." In Revista da Universidade de Coimbra, vol. XXVIII (1980), p. 466-467
Andrew Saunders credits all seven drawings to Bernard de Gomme, who in 1661 was appointed engineer in charge of all the king's castles and fortifications in England and Wales. "Three [drawings] are plans of defences to the north and west of the town at the harbour mouth. Another contains profiles through these works ... The other three concern details of the constructions: a profile of the timber foundation for a stone wall towards the sea; a cross-section of a batardeau and an indeterminate timber work which suggests a dock or sluice-like structure. The three plans of the defences relate to the same area of fortification among the sand dunes."--Saunders, page 85.
Subject Terms:
Dunkerque (France) -- Buildings, structures, etc.
Dunkerque (France) -- Maps.
Fortification -- France.
Fortification -- Great Britain.
Great Britain -- History, Military -- 1603-1714.
Maps -- France -- Dunkerque.
Ink drawings.
Dartmouth, George Legge, Baron, 1648-1691, former owner.

  • [Dartmouth no. 6] Plan of an unidentified structure. Legend "Dunkirke" on verso (visible through cloth backing). Pen and ink, with gray wash. 39 x 100 cm
  • [no. 7] "Profils of the nieuwe fortificatie of Dunckirke." Five sections, on one sheet. Pen and ink, with gray wash. 32 x 41 cm
  • [no. 8] "Bater deau" (breakwater). Plan, outline colored. 20 x 30 cm
  • [no. 9] "Part of the towne of Dunkerke" Plan for fortifications. Pen and ink and watercolor. 27 x 35 cm
  • [no. 10] "Profil of the foundation of timber ..." (for a breakwater). Pen and ink and watercolor. 23 x 36 cm
  • [no.12] "Part of Dunkirke." Plan for fortifications, signed by De Gomme and dated 1661. Pen and ink and watercolor. 37 x 48 cm
  • [no. 13] "Part of the towne of Dunkirke." Plan for fortifications, different from no. 9 (above). Pen and ink and watercolor. 46 x 56 cm.

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