Fine contemporary map showing the French Expedition to Gigeri (Djidjelli) commanded by the Duke of Beaufort against the Barbary Pirates in 1664.
The map celebrates what would ultimately beome an unsuccessful expedition, launched by Louis XIV of France, to the coast of Algiers. Beaufort held the title of Grand Master of Navigation and Admiral of France, commanding a French Fleet for approximately 8 years. While the Gigeri expedition was at first considered successful, it was ultimately deemed a failure.
The map provides a fine topograhical image of the town, harbor an fortifications, along with a smaller map showing the route from of Beaufort's expedition from Toulon to Mahon and then Djidjelli, on the coast of Algeria.
The key provides in meticulous detail the location of the various participants in the initial attack and seizure of Djidjelli, including the dettachments of the Maltese Battalion (Order of St. John) and the Regiment of Picardie and other details. In the harbor, the prime anchorages are noted.
The Djidelli Expedition
The Djidjelli expedition was a landing operation from July to October 1664, conducted by the Kingdom of France , with the assistance of the Order of St. John of Jerusalem in Malta , the United Provinces and England, on the port city of Djidjelli to the east of Regency of Algiers .
This military expedition aimed at seizing the city of Djidjelli and strengthening it in order to establish a permanent naval base to facilitate the fight against the Barbary corsairs of the regencies of Algiers and Tunis. The expedition was under the command of Admiral François de Vendome , Duke of Beaufort (cousin of Louis XIV and grandson of Henri IV ), while the land forces were led by Lieutenant-General Charles-Félix Of Galean, count of Gadagne.
Three months after the capture of the city, deprived of reinforcement because of the plague and besieged by the Berber and Beylical troops, the expeditionary body of Louis XIV abandoned Djidjelli and re-embarks for France. On the return trip, a shop (La Lune) was lost, with more than 700 men lost at sea.
The map is extremely rare. We locate only the copy in the British Museum, acquired in 1859 from Ellis Ellis of Bath, with the following note: "Formerly in the extra-illustrated letters of Mme de Sévigné, tom.I, part III, no.190." Marie de Rabutin-Chantal, Marquise de Sévigné (1626 - 1696) was a French aristocrat, remembered for her letter-writing. Most of her letters, celebrated for their wit and vividness, were addressed to her daughter. She is revered in France as one of the great icons of French literature. Mme de Sévigné's reference the Gigeri expedition in Lettres de Madame de Sévigné, de sa famille, et de ses amis, Volume 1 (1823, at page 98).
Pierre Duval (1618-1683) was a French geographer, cartographer, and publisher who worked in Abbeville and Paris during the 17th century. He was born in Abbeville, in northeast France. Duval was the nephew of the famous cartographer Nicolas Sanson, from whom he learned the mapmakers art. Both men worked at the royal court, having followed the royal request for artists to relocate to Paris. In addition to numerous maps and atlases, Duval's opus also includes geographic lexicons in French. Among them is the dictionary about the Opatija in France, the first universal and vernacular geographic dictionary of Europe published in Paris in 1651, and a dictionary about the ancient sites of Asians, Persians, Greeks and the Romans with their equivalent toponyms.