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Plan of Brighton under Attack

Plan of Brighton under Attack

Cartographer: Anthony, Anthony

Medium: Ink and tempera on parchment

Date: 1539

Shelfmark: Cotton Augustus I.i

Item number: f.18

Length: 45

Width: 78

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Map

This is a depiction of Brighton under attack. It is by the court draughtsman Anthony Anthony, who would have worked from locally supplied information. It shows the French attack on Brighton in 1514. In 1511, Henry VIII, urged by Cardinal Wolsey, joined his father in law King Ferdinand II of Aragón, Pope Julius II,Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian I, the Swiss cantons, and the Venetians in the a war, known as the Holy League, against France.
In 1542 war with France resumed and this map, that recreates the French attack of 1514, was executed because of the present danger of a recurrence of such an invasion. England’s fears were realised when on July 19th 1545 the French entered the Solent and landed on the Isle of Wight. The presence of the English Navy and the dangerous currents in the area deterred the French from attempting to capture Portsmouth and by August the imminent threat was over.
The map reveals that it is not contemporary with the raid it depicts, as the ship types illustrated date from after 1514. Details include defence forces advancing down the road to the beach and a lit beacon that served to alert the locality.

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