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William Faden (1749-1836) was a London engraver, mapmaker, map- and printseller and publisher. He began his career as an employee of Thomas Jefferys, then from 1771-76 was in partnership with Jefferys’ heirs before assuming sole control of the business. His long career lasted until 1823, when he retired and transferred his firm to his former apprentice James Wyld.

Faden ascended to the apex of the London map world, becoming Geographer to both George III and IV, based in no small part on his groundbreaking cartography of the American Revolution, using as his sources original maps and plans supplied by some of the ablest British mapmakers in the American service. In many cases, Faden’s battle plans are the only contemporary plans of the events they depict, and almost all are sought after for their clean engraving, richness of information, and clear depiction of of complex events.  Many of the original manuscripts used by Faden survive in the remarkable William Faden Collection at the Library of Congress Geography & Map Division.

Examples of his excellent mapping of Revolutionary events include a 1776 plan of the Siege of Quebec; a 1777 plan of Newport, Rhode Island; a 1777 plan of the Battles of Trenton and Princeton; and this very rare 1787 plan of the Battle of Yorktown.

For an excellent biography of William Faden and a list of his publications, see Laurence Worms and Ashley Baynton-Williams, British Map Engravers, pp. 221-225.

33 results, ordered by Publication Date

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[George Vaughan Hart], SKETCH of Part of the Island of STE. LUCIE, Compiled at about 2500 feet to an Inch. London: William Faden, November 5, 1781.

The British capture of St. Lucia in 1778, by an eyewitness

Uncommon map of the British landing and capture of the island of St. Lucia from the French during the American Revolutionary War, drawn by an eye-witness. Although a less well-known theatre of the Revolutionary War, there was considerable military and naval activity in the West Indies. Britain and France each sought to dislodge the other […]

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Survey'd by Captain John Gascoigne / Engrav'd by Jefferys & Faden, Geographers to the King, A PLAN OF PORT ROYAL IN SOUTH CAROLINA. London, [1776?].

Key Revolutionary-era chart of the South Carolina coast

One of the finest charts of the southern coastline available to British mariners during the Revolution. The 25 miles of coast from Georgia’s Savannah River to Port Royal Sound, North Carolina was of great strategic import, encompassing as it did the superb harbor at Port Royal and the approaches to the city of Savannah. At […]

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[Attributed to Christoph Heinrich Korn], Geshichte der Kriege in und ausser Europa Vom Anfange des Ausstandes der Brittischen Kolonien in Nordamerka an. [History of the Wars in and outside of Europe from the Beginning of the Revolt of the British Colonies in North America.] Nurnberg: Gabriel Nicolaus Raspe, 1776-1777.

First European chronicle of the American Revolution, with many maps and plans

The earliest European chronicle of the American Revolution, issued while war was still raging. With numerous maps and views, including two based on important William Faden battle plans.  Offered here in an early binding are the first eight parts of the Geschichte, devoted entirely to events in Great Britain’s American Colonies.  The first part surveys […]

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Faden plan of the Battle of Bennington

This battle plan was issued in General John Burgoyne’s State of the Expedition from Canada, his famous defense against charges of mismanaging the disastrous British expedition from Canada in the Summer-Fall of 1777. It was drawn by an officer present on the scene, then engraved and printed by the Faden firm in London. The expedition […]

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An American debacle at Charleston

A fine example of Banastre Tarleton’s plan of the Siege of Charlestown, one of the greatest American setbacks of the Revolution. Offered here on excellent, heavy paper with very wide margins. The siege This map depicts in great detail the siege of Charleston, conducted by the British forces in early 1780 at the beginning of […]

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John Hills Position of British Forces around Elizabeth Town Point

John Hills map of the failed 1780 British invasion of New Jersey

A very nice example of this rare and finely engraved plan depicting the action around Elizabeth Town, New Jersey in June 1780, after a manuscript by the great military cartographer John Hills. The engagement around Elizabeth Town consisted of two phases fought on June 8 and 23, 1780, during the last major British campaign in […]

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Revolution-era map of the Lake Champlain-Hudson River corridor

The first large-scale map of the region, and likely used to plan the disastrous 1777 campaign that culminated in the surrender of Burgoyne’s army at Saratoga. This lovely map depicts the Hudson River-Lake George-Lake Champlain corridor, during the Colonial era a key invasion route between Canada and the Northern Colonies. The major waterways and their […]

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