Detailed battle plan of the area around Namur, showing the battle fought in the area in 1695.
The plan is one of the most detailed accounts of the siege and shows in great detail the fortifications and troop positions of the combatants, with annotations.
The Siege of Namur, from July 2, 1695 to September 1, 1695, was the second siege of the city of Namur in the Nine Years' War. The Allied forces of the Grand Alliance retook the city from the French, who had captured it in the first siege in 1692. The recapture of Namur has been called the most important event in the Nine Years' War.
The French had previously captured the city of Namur in the first siege in 1692, under the command of the Duc de Luxembourg, with King Louis XIV of France present. Namur's defensive works had been designed by Menno van Coehoorn, who oversaw the citadel's defence during the first siege. His French counterpart, Vauban improved the defensive works significantly after the city was taken. Given its strategic position at the confluence of the Sambre and Meuse rivers, the Citadel of Namur became the most strategically important fortress in the Spanish Netherlands.
As France was on the defensive, the Allied army of the Grand Alliance under the command of King William III of England and Maximilian II Emanuel of Bavaria, governor of the Spanish Netherlands, laid siege to the city beginning on July 2, 1695. By 18 July, 1695, Allied forces had overcome the outer fortifications that Vauban had built. Five battalions of English and Dutch troops launched an assault on the Brussels Gate of Namur. The general assault began on August 3, and the Duc de Boufflers, the French commander, offered the surrender of the city.The offer was accepted, and the following day as part of the terms of surrender a six day truce was granted to attend to the wounded and withdraw to the citadel. The truce was guaranteed by an exchange of high ranking officers as hostages; after the six days had expired, the hostages returned to their camps and the siege of the citadel was renewed.
The Duke of Villeroi made an attempt to draw the attackers away from Namur by bombing the militarily unimportant target of Brussels, with the goal only of causing destruction to the city. The bombardment lasted from August 13 to August 15, and did not divert any Allied troops from the siege of Namur. Villeroi's army later attempted to lift the Allied siege of Namur, but it was blocked in the field by an army under the Prince of Vaudemont.
After a further month of resistance, Boufflers surrendered the citadel to the besieging army on September 1, 1685.
Nicholas de Fer (1646-1720) was the son of a map seller, Antoine de Fer, and grew to be one of the most well-known mapmakers in France in the seventeenth century. He was apprenticed at twelve years old to Louis Spirinx, an engraver. When his father died in 1673, Nicholas helped his mother run the business until 1687, when he became the sole proprietor.
His earliest known work is a map of the Canal of Languedoc in 1669, while some of his earliest engravings are in the revised edition of Methode pour Apprendre Facilement la Geographie (1685). In 1697, he published his first world atlas. Perhaps his most famous map is his wall map of America, published in 1698, with its celebrated beaver scene (engraved by Hendrick van Loon, designed by Nicolas Guerard). After his death in 1720, the business passed to his sons-in-law, Guillaume Danet and Jacques-Francois Benard.