The Napoleonic Era Maps of the Honourable Robert Clifford (1767-1817)

Clifford’s maps reveal a world on the cusp of an evolutionary shift in cartography, brought about by the Napoleonic wars. Hand-coloured, manuscript maps, depicting the precise and exacting geometry of Vauban-designed fortified cities, give way to maps printed from engraved plates, incorporating new techniques and symbology to satisfy the shifting focus onto the surrounding landscape of unordered nature. Maps used primarily for the siege of cities in previous generations are replaced by those of vast expanses of territory for a new style of open warfare.

Lectures on the life of Robert Clifford, as well as the significance of his maps, by McMaster University Library's Map Specialist, Gord Beck, can be freely downloaded from The Beck Lectures on Historical Cartography webpage.