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Description

Extremely rare separately issued map of showing the British Seige of Havana, at the tail end of the French & Indian War. Although deeply suspicious of England's expanding commercial interests, Spain at first remained neutral in the Seven Years War. Lured by the promise of Minorca and Gibraltar, however, Charles III of Spain declared war against England in January 1762. Spain's timing was poor. England's naval supremacy had already given her the upper hand in the West Indies, and in June a large British fleet landed an army near Havana. Yellow fever and malaria took a heavy toll on these forces, but reinforcements under the Command of the Earl of Albermarle made it possible to continue the siege of Morro Castle, the key to Havana harbor. The castle fell on July 30, forcing the city to surrender two weeks later. This map, published November 1, 1762 by John Boydell, is perhaps the earliest separately issued printed map of the siege. It includes 2 keys, which include references to the town and harbor, details on the attack of the town and its defenses, and a separate key with references to the Morro and details of its attack and defenses. Marvelous topographical detail. Includes ship positions, soundings and other information. The plan is extremely rare, with only one example appearing in a dealer catalogue or at auction in the past 30 years (Bonhams June 8, 1999; Lot 339). Locations of the map include Biblioteca Nacional José Martí (Cuba), Massachusetts Historical Society and the National Maritime Museum. Nice wide margined example. Several minor tears, repaired on the verso, one of which just touches the printed image.