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Le Charron, André-Louis-Lambert, Baron, 1759–1837

A word to the wise [cartographic material].

Great Britain, 1796.
Physical Description:
1 map : watercolor, pen and black ink ; sheet 55 x 41 cm
Rare Books and Manuscripts
Quarto Room \ South
Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection
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Copyright Status:
Copyright Not Evaluated
Maps & Atlases (manuscript)
The dedicatee of the present map is the army officer and colonial governor, Robert Melville (1723-1809), whose 18th century mansion, known as Mount Melville, is depicted in one of the vignettes. The mansion was located on the estate formerly known as Craigtoun, 2.3 miles southwest of St Andrews, Scotland. Melville was made lieutenant-general in 1777, during the American War of Independence. His last service appears to have been as diplomat, when in 1783 he successfully appealed to France to protect the property rights of British subjects in Tobago. Melville was a keen enthusiast of Roman history and antiquities, and a member of the Royal Society and the Society of Antiquaries of London, and of the Royal Society of Edinburgh.
The creator of the map is probably André-Louis-Lambert, Baron Le Charron (1759-1837). Following the French Revolution, Le Charron served in the counter-revolutionary Armée de Condé and the Régiment d'Hervilly. In 1795 he spent time in England. He may have served with (or under) Robert Melville at about this time.
Inscribed in caption at top: "To General Melville, by his most devoted servant, Le chr. Le Charron, 1796 [and below this] A word to the wise."
The border of the map is divided into panels of varied imagery, including heraldic devices, classical ornament, and vignettes (clockwise, from top left): The town of Calvi, in Corsica -- An old castle in Isle Dieu [i.e., Yeu Island] -- A view in Italy -- A view of the River Thames -- Mount Melville House.
Relief shown by hachures.
Allegorical map of morals contrasting a landscape of virtues against that of vices. Drawn by André-Louis-Lambert, Baron Le Charron, the manuscript map may have been made as a retirement gift for the dedicatee, Robert Melville. The map depicts conventional geographic features (such as rivers, mountains, and forests), labeled with terms describing human traits. The left-hand side is the realm of virtue. A river on this side springs from the "Source of happiness," passing through towns such as "Good Education," "Mildness," and "Fidelity," before ending in the "Lake of Tranquility," in which sits the "Island of Happiness." By contrast, a river on the right-hand side of the map begins at the "Sources of the torrent of human passions," passing through towns such as "Bad Education," "Self-love," "Ambition," and "Jealousy," before emptying into the "Gulph of Despair." The middle of the map depicts an "Injust attack of the people of fashion against merit," employing common conventions for depicting armies positioned for battle.
Subject Terms:
Calvi (Italy)
Imaginary places -- Maps.
Melville, Robert, 1723-1809.
Mount Melville (Fife, Scotland)
Thames River (England)
Yeu Island (France)
Manuscript maps.

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