A Battle In France which Ultimately Freed the Duchy of Savoy From French Rule
Rare map of Saint-Quentin, illustrating a view of the battlefield where the French and Spanish armies
The map is dedicated to Philip II and to Duke Philibert of Savoy.
The Battle of Saint-Quentin (August 10, 1557) was fought at Saint-Quentin, Picardy, in northern France, during the Italian War of 1551–1559. The battle was won by Emmanuel Philibert, Duke of Savoy and forces loyal to Phillip II of Spain, who controlled the Spanish Netherlands.
The French forces under Constable Anne de Montmorency were overwhelmed, and Montmorency was captured by Philibert of Savoy and the Count of Egmont, in alliance the English. England had entered the war at the behest of Phillip II, who married Mary I of England in 1554.
After St. Quentin, "the sight of the battlefield gave Philip a permanent distaste for war"; he declined to pursue his advantage, withdrawing to the Spanish Netherlands, where he had been the Governor since 1555. The Treaty of Cateau-Cambresis ended the war two years later.
As a result of the battle, Duke Emmanuel Philibert of Savoy, having won the victory, secured a place at the conference table when the terms of peace were deliberated, resulting in the Treaty of Cateau-Cambresis. The Duke secured independence for Savoy, which had been occupied by the French a generation earlier. As part of the peace terms, Emmanuel Philibert married Marguerite d’Angoulême, younger sister of King Henry II of France, in 1559. The Duke of Savoy moved his capital across the Alps to Turin two years later, making Savoy an Italian state and refounding the dynasty of the House of Savoy, which would become the royal house of a united Italy in 1860.
Antonio Lafreri (1512-1577) (also known as Antoine Lafréry and Antoine du Pérac Lafréry) was a French mapmaker, engraver, and publisher who worked in Italy. Lafreri was born in Franche-Comté and moved to Rome around 1540. Lafreri sold sheet maps but he also bound maps into books for his clients based on their interests and needs. These are the famous Lafreri atlases, important pre-cursors to the modern atlas. He also published well known works such as the Speculum Romanae Magnificentiae (ca. 1575), a collection of engraved views and images of Rome. Lafreri was well-connected to the cartographic networks of the time, collaborating with Giacomo Gastaldi, Battista Agnese, Antonio Salamanca, Donato Bertelli, Paolo Forlani, and others.