Plan of the Battle of MalplaquetSKU: 7248
Plan of the Battle of Malplaquet
Date of publication:
38 x 47.5 cm
Plan of the Battle of Malplaquet gained by the Allies Sep. 11 1709
Copper engraving, 38 x 47.5 cm, engraved by James Basire, recent hand-colour, blank verso.
Plan of Marlborough’s bloodiest victory, often regarded as pyrrhic even by contemporaries; the scale of Allied casualties rendered them incapable of exploiting any advantage they had gained, and the French army retired in good order and remained a potent threat. It was published in Nicholas Tindal's continuation of Rapin de Thoyras's History of England; many of the maps illustrating the work depict military actions fought by the British during the campaigns of the War of the Spanish Succession, mostly in Spain and the Low Countries. The Allies in the context of this conflict were Spanish supporters of the Habsburg Archduke Charles of Austria, with the backing of Austrian, British, Dutch, Prussian and Portugese troops, and they faced a Franco-Spanish Bourbon army. At stake was the European balance of power, which would shift dramatically if the Bourbon Philip V was allowed to unify Spain and France. A compromise peace was achieved in 1714: Philip V remained King of Spain but was excluded from the French line of succession, precluding a union between the two kingdoms.