Print showing the capture of Louisbourg, 1745, sold for £3800 at Kinghams.

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A View of the Landing the New England Forces in ye Expedition against Cape Breton, 1745. When after a Siege of 40 days the Town and Fortress of Louisbourg and the important Territories thereto belonging were recover’d to the British Empire… when it came up at Kinghams (23% buyer’s premium) in Moreton-In-Marsh on May 19.

The 14½ x 19in (37 x 48cm) framed print was given to a friend from Charlestown, New Hampshire, in 1947 after the Second World War, as outlined by an inscribed note on the back of the frame. It says: “Merry Christmas Peter! I thought that, as an English soldier who has just fought a war under a united Britsh-American command headed by an American you [might?] like this old print of an earlier war where Americans fought with you under a British command.”

Estimated at £60-80, it sold online instead for £3800.

The French fortress of Louisbourg was captured in six weeks by a force of around 4000 men raised in the British colonies of New England, helped by a British naval squadron (as part of the War of the Austrian Succession 1740-48). Louisbourg was traded back to the French in exchange for Madras and had to be taken again in 1758.

Busy Bowles

Copies of this print are held by the National Army Museum and Yale University Art Gallery. It is described as a coloured line engraving by J Stevens (American) after a work by John Brooks, an Irish artist active 1730-56.

The print was published by John Bowles at the Black Horse in Cornhill, London, August 1747.

John Bowles has been described as ‘one of the most active of the Bowles family of map and print sellers which dominated much of the 18th century’.