Sketches of Basque Scenery by Henry Wilkinson (1838)

Jon Aske sent this set of postcards originally drawn in 1838. This is part of a set of postcards that a savings bank in Donostia put out in 1975. They offer a fascinating look at some of the iconic places of the Basque Country nearly 200 years ago. A little more information about these sketches can be found here.

Update: Jon Aske’s original scans, which are higher quality than those found below, can be found here.

The twelve illustrations in this set of postcards correspond to the originals lithographed in Hullmandel’s workshops.

They are drawings whose sketches are taken from nature – of places that witnessed the courage of the English – Henry Wilkinson, a member of the Royal College of Surgeons, during his stay in the Basque Country with the British Legion.

They were published in London by Ackermann y Cia, in 1838, in memory of the British soldiers who fought here under the Duke of Wellington; to those of Lord Hay, on the Cantabrian coast; and to those of Lacy Evans, head of the British Auxiliary Legion.

They belong to the work “Sketches of Scenery in the Basque Provinces of Spain”, which also contains a selection of music that includes several “zortzikos,” as well as notes and memories related to that expedition that, in the Carlist civil war, concluded with the assault and capture of Irun, in 1837.

John Harper retouched the sketches, P. Noble drew the plain of Vitoria, and E. Hassell the cemetery of the English officers in San Sebastián. And Boys did the lithography of all of them.

The Municipal Savings Bank of San Sebastián is grateful for the valuable personal collaboration provided for the edition of this interesting series by Mr. Manuel Laborde Welinden, owner of the originals, and Mr. Julian Marinez Ruiz, secretary of the Municipal Museum of San Telmo.

Plains and City of Vitoria
Alza, Rentería and Lazo
Position of Lord John Hay, at Pasajes
Port of Pasajes
Carlist fort “El Parque,” with Fuenterrabía and the mouth of the Bidasoa
Irun, with Mount San Marcial and the bridge of Behobia
Fuenterrabía, with the Convent and the bridge of Capuchinos
San Sebastián

Burial place of British officers on Castle hill of San Sebastián

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