HEILBERG, J. Plan von den situation um Dresden, Dohna, Dippoldiswalde bis gegen Frauenstein, Thorand, Kesselsdorf, und jenseits der Elbe bey Wainsdorf, und Poxdorf, und anfwarts dieses flusses bis Pilnitz, worauf die van 17 Novemb: 1759 furgewesene Position der Kayzl: Konigl: unter hohen comando Sr. Excellenz des Herren General Feld Marschallen graffen Leopold von Daun stehenden Armee, und Corps, nebst des Affaire von Maxen abzunehmen, anbey angezeiget wird, we nicht allein die dermahlige Postirungen ausgestellet, sondern auch wo ermette, und jetz cantonirende haubt Armee, general der Caral: HadieKirsch und Feld Marschall lieut, BecKische Corps bey einen entstehenden Allarme ihren aber mahligen Samel-Platz, und Position nehmen sollen... und l'Affaire von Maxen. [Germany, 1759],
Fine folding manuscript map, pen and ink and colour wash (29 x 43 inches), laid down on linen in 30 sections, the title and detailed key within a large scroll cartouche upper left, centered on Dresen and showing the surrounding region in detail, with the troop positions of the Austrians under Leopold Joseph Graf Daun during the Battle of Maxen on 20th November 1759, during the Seven Years War, signed by Heilberg lower right. Preserved in a fine tree calf solander box with black and red morocco lettering-pieces on the spine.
Provenance: with the supra libros on the case, and the bookplate on the verso, of Ernest Augustus (1771–1851), king of Hanover, fifth son of George III and Queen Charlotte, as Duke of Cumberland, his sale Sotheby's 16th December 2010, lot 50
The Battle of Maxen was a major defeat for the Prussian forces during the Seven Years War. From July 1759, Austro-Imperial forces proceeded to the invasion of Saxony, capturing Dresden and several other cities. Prince Henri soon led a counter-offensive which allowed him to retake possession of most Saxon towns to the exception of Dresden. On November 13, Frederick II arrived from Silesia where he had operated against a Russian army (see operations in Lower Silesia in 1759) and made a junction with the corps of Prince Henri. Count Leopold Daun, the commander-in-chief of the Austrian forces, gradually retired towards Dresden, closely followed by Prussian forces. On November 15, Frederick detached Finck's Corps to Maxen to cut off the communications of the Austrian Army with Bohemia. However, this manoeuvre placed Finck in an isolated position. Daun resolved to encircle and attack Finck's isolated corps. On the 21st Finck was forced to surrender with his entire army, a crushing victory for the Austrians, although von Daun failed to follow up on his success.
The Seven Years War (1756–1763), is considered the last major conflict before the French Revolution to involve all the great powers of Europe. Generally, France, Austria, Saxony, Sweden, and Russia were aligned on one side against Prussia, Hanover, and Great Britain on the other. The war arose out of the attempt of the Austrian Habsburgs to win back the rich province of Silesia, which had been wrested from them by Frederick II (the Great) of Prussia during the War of the Austrian Succession (1740–1748). But the Seven Years’ War also involved overseas colonial struggles between Great Britain and France, the main points of contention between those two traditional rivals being the struggle for control of North America (the French and Indian War; 1754–1763) and India. The Seven Years War can also be seen as the European phase of a worldwide nine years’ war fought between France and Great Britain. Britain’s alliance with Prussia was undertaken partly in order to protect electoral Hanover, the British ruling dynasty’s continental possession, from the threat of a French takeover.
Created duke of Cumberland and Teviotdale, and earl of Armagh, in April 1799, Prince Ernest—"slim, tall, and handsome in his youth—wished to follow a military career and in June 1790 sought permission to train with the Prussian army. But George III insisted he should serve with the 9th Hanoverian hussars (which he entered as lieutenant in 1790 and of which he became lieutenant-colonel in 1793), later transferring him to the less dashing heavy dragoons, a move the prince bitterly resented. He was promoted major-general in the Hanoverian army in February 1794. He fought with courage in Flanders and the Netherlands against the French. When commanding the Hanoverian light battalion of grenadiers at Villers-en-Cauchi on 6 August 1793 he ‘behaved remarkably well, with the greatest coolness and spirit’ (The Later Correspondence of George III, ed. A. Aspinall, 5 vols., 1962–70, 2.72) and apparently carried off bodily a French dragoon officer as prisoner; a similar event has been ascribed to Ernest outside Nijmegen in November 1794" (DNB).
Never very popular in England, and often surrounded by the whiff of scandal, including accusations of murder and incest, from 1818 to 1828 the Cumberlands lived in voluntary exile, mostly in Berlin. As Victoria's eldest surviving uncle the duke was certain of accession in Hanover, becoming King in June of 1837.