Lost drawing of Henry VIII's great victory uncovered

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A drawing of Henry VIII's famous victory over the French at the "Siege of Boulogne" in 1544 is to go on public display for the first time in more than 400 years after lying undiscovered and mislabelled in the British Library archives.

The image, drawn by a "war artist" commissioned to record the Tudor king's military achievements, dates to 1545 and is one of four "views" documenting Henry's second invasion of France.

For centuries art historians have pondered why there was never a final picture showing the surrender of the city. Just three drawings survived, one showing Henry landing in Calais, another of him on the way to Boulogne, and a third of the siege in progress.

"Everybody just assumed that the end of the siege had not been done," Peter Barber, head of map collections at the British Library, told the Observer. But due to a cataloguing error the existence of a fourth drawing had gone unnoticed. It only came to light when Barber began re-cataloguing the manuscripts of Sir Robert Cotton, which had been left to the nation by his grandson, Sir John Cotton, in 1702 and passed to the British Museum on its founding in 1753.

"It shows the very end of the siege," Barber said. "The town is in ruins. It is the final piece of the jigsaw and is a hugely significant discovery. It is not often you get something from the 16th century that is completely unknown coming to light."..

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