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The Spanish Take Possession of a Port in Morocco

Extremely rare broadside, separately published and apparently unrecorded, celebrating the Cession of Larache, whereby the Spanish Monarchy took possession of the Larache, Morocco in November 1610.

The map includes 4 images of the costumes of indigenous Moroccans.

The map shows the fortifications around Larache, with a key locating major points of interest.  To the right of the main fortification placed in the middle of the map is the of coat of arms of Spain, surmounted by the crown At the bottom of the plan is a text in Latin about the geographical position of Larache 

The inset map shows Morocco and southern tip of Spain, Majorca and the Canary Islands.


Larache is a city in Morocco, near the ruins of ancient Lixus, successively a Phoenician, Carthaginian, and Roman settlement on the river’s north bank. Larache was under Spanish rule from 1610 to 1689 and from 1912 to 1956.  

Following the Arab conquest of the late 7th century CE, the broader area of North Africa came to be known as the Maghrib, and the majority of its people accepted Islam. Subsequent Moroccan kingdoms enjoyed political influence that extended beyond the coastal regions, and in the 11th century the first native Amazigh dynasty of North Africa, the Almoravids, gained control of an empire stretching from Andalusian (southern) Spain to parts of sub-Saharan Africa.

The acquisition of Larache by the Spanish Monarchy had been an important—obsessive—target of the foreign policy of the reign of Philip II. It was, however, eventually deferred to the reign of Philip III. The place was promised by Mohammed esh Sheikh el Mamun in exchange for the Spanish support in the internal struggles of the Saadi sultanate against his brother Zidan Abu Maali.

Álvaro de Bazán, the Marquis of Santa Cruz, had already tried to occupy the city in 1608. Juan de Mendoza y Velasco, Marquis of San Germán, had himself led another unsuccessful attempt in the past.

In November 1610, the Marquis was invited to take possession of the city by Mohammed esh Sheikh el Mamun, who left Spain before the Marquis to prepare for the latter's arrival to Larache, meeting in Tangier. The Marquis of San Germán, who brought a contingent of troops of about 3,000 infantrymen in the galleys of Pedro de Toledo, took possession of the port on November 20, 1610, without a fight.

Larache would remain under Spanish control until 1689, when it was seized by the troops of the Alaouite sultan Ismail Ibn Sharif.


OCLC locates a single example at the Herzog August Bibliothek. 

Condition Description
Two sheets joined.
Dominicus Custodis Biography

Dominicus Custos (1560–1612) was a Flemish artist, printer and copperplate engraver, who worked in the service of Emperor Rudolph II in Prague. 

Dominicus was born in Antwerp, the son of Pieter Balten, and settled in Augsburg as the second husband of the widow of Bartholomäus Kilian (1548–1588), a goldsmith from Silesia and the father of Wolfgang and Lukas Kilian.  They were trained by Dominicus in the art of engraving after their father's death. Dominicus was the father of David Custodis, also an Augsburg engraver.

Custos and the humanist Marcus Henning collaborated in producing the work "Tirolensium principum comitum" which appeared in 1599 and depicted 28 Counts of Tyrol from Albert IV (1190–1253) to Rudolf II (1552–1612). Custos was responsible for the engravings while Henning took care of the text and eulogies.[3] (see The Spanish Hall at Schloss Ambras)

Between 1602 and 1604, he published the "Atrium heroicum" in four parts. This was a collection of 171 engraved portraits of rulers, nobles, statesmen, dignitaries, celebrities, military leaders and important businessmen of the 16th century, and was the equivalent of a modern Who's Who. Custos' stepsons, Wolfgang and Lukas assisted in the work, and later his three own sons contributed. Portraits from his previous collections "Fuggerorum et Fuggerarum Imagine" (1593) and "Tirolensium principum comitum Eicon" (1599) were included. The wide geographical coverage of his work is noteworthy – many European and even some eastern countries are represented. The work, with a few exceptions, is completely dominated by male notables. The Latin inscriptions were again penned by Marcus Henning of Augsburg, since Custos had little proficiency in the language.

In 1605 he published a collection of engraved portraits of scholars, Clarissimorum aliquot litteris, ingenio, fama virorum effigies (Augsburg, Christophorus Mangus, 1605).

Custos also produced "Armamentarium Heroicum", a collection of 125 engravings after drawings by Giovanni Battista Fontana, and showing the arms collection of Archduke Ferdinand of Tyrol who had started an arms museum in Ambras Palace near Innsbruck. The plates are accompanied by biographical text on the original owners of the armour and written by the Archduke's secretary, Jacob Schrenck von Notzing.

Custos died in Augsburg. His sons Raphael, David and Jacob Custos continued his workshop.