Map of the city of Bethune


Map of the city of Bethune as it appeared in 1759 in: The continuation of Mr. Rapin’s History of England. The image is 48 x 37 cm in size and is in a passe partout. The card is in good condition, with 2 folds (original)

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Nicolas Tindal (1687 – 27 June 1774) was the translator and continuer of the History of England by Paul de Rapin. Very few comprehensive histories existed at the time and Tindal wrote a three-volume ‘Continuation’, a history of the Kingdom from the reigns of James II to George II. Tindal was Rector of Alverstoke in Hampshire, Vicar of Great Waltham, Essex, Chaplain of Greenwich Hospital and a Fellow of Trinity College, Oxford. Tindal’s father, John Tindal, the Rector of Cornwood, Devon and Vicar of St Ives, Cornwall, was the brother of Matthew Tindal, the eminent deist and author of ‘Christianity as Old as the Creation’. A near relation of Thomas, 1st Lord Clifford, Lord High Treasurer of Charles II,[1] the Tindal family were derived from Baron Adam de Tindale, a tenant in chief of Henry II. Tindal went up to Exeter College, Oxford, where he took an MA degree in 1713. From Oxford, he took up his rectory in Hampshire and was later appointed a Fellow of Trinity. When Tindal mastered the French language is unclear, although he was the first member of his family to bear the French spelling of his name – a very popular one amongst his descendants. However, he first engaged in his life’s work of historical translation with the publication, in monthly numbers, of his translation (from the French of Antoine Augustin Calmet) of the “Dissertation of the Excellency of the History of the Hebrews above that of any other Nation, wherein are examined the Antiquities and History of the Assyrians, Chaldans, Egyptians, Phoeninicans, Chinese &c. with the Peopling of America… Written in French by R. P. D’Augustin Calmet”, which appears to have been a considerable undertaking. Tindal went on to write a History of Essex, having become Vicar of Great Waltham, although this project never came to fruition. Tindal’s great work was his thirteen-volume translation of Rapin’s History, which was first published in 1727. We learn that he had been appointed Chaplain to the Fleet from his dedication of the earlier volumes, one of which was written in Gibraltar. Tindal enlarged the volumes in their second edition (1732) to contain notes, genealogical tables and maps of his own composition. The work was a great contribution to the development of British historiography of the eighteenth century as so few well written histories existed at the time; and none of them so comprehensive. While the works are principally of narrative form, the discursive analysis of many of the sources and contentions of a number of periods was very advanced for its time. Tindal was rewarded by the presentation of a gold medal by Frederick, Prince of Wales, to whom he had dedicated the second volume. Rapin had finished his work at the death of James II, giving Tindal the opportunity of demonstrating his own historical abilities. His Continuation brought forward the works to the reign of George II. Tindal’s work was much valued at the time, although not without controversy. Some had questioned the authorship of the Continuation; although there is no evidence to support those contentions and his many other works and literary style point to his pen.


Paul de Rapin (25 March 1661[1] – 25 April 1725), sieur of Thoyras (and therefore styled Thoyras de Rapin), was a French historian writing under English patronage. His History of England, written and first published in French in 1724–27, was an influential exposition of the Whig view of history on both sides of the English Channel. The son of Jacques de Rapin, an avocat at Castres (Tarn), he was educated at the Protestant Academy of Saumur, and in 1679 became an advocate, but soon afterwards joined the army. The revocation of the Edict of Nantes in 1685, and the death of his father led him to move to England; but, unable to find work there, he went on to the Netherlands where he enlisted in a company of French volunteers at Utrecht, commanded by his cousin, Daniel de Rapin. He accompanied William III to England in 1688, and during the Williamite war in Ireland he took part in the Siege of Carrickfergus and the Battle of the Boyne, and was wounded at the Siege of Limerick (1690). Soon afterwards he was promoted to captain; but in 1693 he resigned in order to become tutor to the Earl of Portland’s son.  After travelling with the boy, he settled with his family (he married Marie-Anne Testart in 1699) in Holland, first at the Hague, then, to save money, at Wesel, in 1707.



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