Military History in the United Kingdom emerged during the eighteenth century with studies of the Napoleonic wars, especially the Peninsular and Waterloo campaigns. This interest in armed conflict remains today, with stories of campaigns and battles and the continuing assessment of leaders, tactics and their strategy. Nowadays its defined as a humanities discipline and also remains popular with antique print collectors with a passion for military history, records of armed conflict and rare prints depicting battle scenes.
One such campaign the Peninsular War is the military conflict fought by Spain and Portugal, assisted by the United Kingdom, against the invading and occupying forces of the French for control of the Iberian Peninsula during the Napoleonic Wars. Between 1808 and 1814, the British Army fought a war in the Iberian Peninsula against the invading forces of Napoleon's France. Aided by their Spanish and Portuguese allies, the British held off superior French numbers before winning a series of victories and driving them out. They then carried the war into France, playing an important part in Napoleon's first overthrow.
Above: The Sortie from Bayonne 14th April 1814 from The Martial Achievements of Great Britain and Her Allies; from 1799 to 1815. The terrible night-time clash outside Bayonne on 14th April 1814, that marked the end of the Peninsular War, but occurred after the abdication of the Emperor Napoleon on 4th April 1814.
The Battle of Bayonne of 14 April 1814 was a sortie by General Thouvenot's French garrison of Bayonne during the siege of that city conducted by Allied forces under Lieutenant General John Hope. Followed, after his wounding and capture, by General Howard, who commanded the British, Portuguese and Spanish Corps blockading Bayonne.
HOW TO IDENTIFY:
The original prints from The Martial achievements of Great Britain and Her Allies from 1799 to 1815 are aquatint engravings on a medium weight wove paper. Plates also exist that were printed on India Paper. They should clearly identify bottom left W. Heath (delt) who did the drawings and bottom right T. Sutherland (sculpt) who produced the aquatint engravings. Each plate has the date of publication and the name of the publisher beneath the engraved title. The approx engraved area of the plates are 8.5" x 7.75" (215mm x 195mm) including the engraved title text. Engraved plate mark area is approx 8.5 x 11.75 (215mm x 300mm). The large sheet size is approx 11.5" x 14" (290mm x 355mm).
You can see the full details of the aquatint print 'The Sortie from Bayonne' from Jenkins Martial Achievements HERE