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Fortifications in Boulogne and the Surrounding Area

Fortifications in Boulogne and the Surrounding Area

Cartographer: [Rogers, John]

Medium: Ink and tempera on parchment

Date: 1546

Shelfmark: Cotton Augustus I.ii

Item number: f.53

Length: 62

Width: 80.7

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Manuscript Map

This plan shows fortifications in Boulogne and the surrounding area and is thought to date from 1546, a time when England was at war with France. It may be the work of John Rogers, a master mason employed by the King as a military engineer. It shows in detail the fortifications on both the French and English territories, which are on opposite sides of the river. Boulogne was important to Henry VIII as it was the neighbour of the English held Calais. The signing of a peace treaty by Charles V Holy Roman Emperor and King of Spain Francis I of France in 1538 meant that the French King could concentrate his forces on repelling his remaining enemy Henry VIII. Henry arrived in the recently taken Boulogne on September 18th and was immediately concerned with its fortification against the French as he found the defences had been weakened by the English attack and would not withstand a French attack without repair. On his return to England Henry left Lord Lisle in charge of a team which included John Rogers, who had previously been master mason at Guines and was a military engineer of great experience.
Here, English territory is on the left hand side and shows the tower known as the ‘Old Man’ with a segmental bastioned wall defending it. A bastioned wall connects this to the citadel which is within the Basse Ville. The town of Boulogne was built on two levels; the Haute Ville, occupying an area of rising ground which dominated the suburb known as the Basse Ville. The Haute Ville is shown here adjacent to the Basse Ville . It is a walled and fortified area with towers and the castle in the top corner. Directly opposite the English fortifications are the three sided and five sided bastioned structures of the Fort D’Outreau and the Fort De Chatillon linked by a trench which form the focal points of the French defence system, consisting of defensive walls and enclosures. On the French side cannons are shown with projections showing their firing capacity.

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