Map of Placentia, ca. 1696.
When the French attacked Avalon in 1696 they took the three Kirke brothers captive
and were probably hoping to ransom them. David Jr., Philip and George Kirke were
imprisioned at Placentia, where two of them died. The third brother died a short
time later in St. John's. This contemporary map, drawn by Baron de Lahontan (Louis
Armand de Lom d'Arce) around 1696, depicts the layout of Placentia as it appeared around the end
of the 17th century. Lahontan likely drew the map around 1696 based upon information
which he had collected during his 1691 and 1692 visits to Placentia. The map was drawn with special
reference to the English attack of 1692 and appears to be accurate in its details.
From Baron de Lahontan, New Voyages to North America
(Chicago: A. C. McClurg & Co., 1905) 345. Reprinted from the 1703 English
edition, includes facsimile of original 1703 map. Original housed in the National Archives of
Canada, Ottawa, Ontario. Text information partially based upon Jean-Pierre Proulx, The
military history of Placentia: a study of the French fortifications; Placentia: 1713-1811, History
and Archaeology Series, vol. 26 (Ottawa, Ontario: National Historic Parks and Sites Branch,
Parks Canada, Environment Canada, ©1979) 98.
A. Placentia fort.
B. A redoubt mark'd out.
C. The houses.
D. The gravel upon which they dry ye Cod.
E. A mountain cover'd with trees.
F. An old fort in former times.
G. The port of Placentia.
H. Placentia road.
I. The place where they catch ye Codfish.
L. The basin with little water.
M. The river where they catch Salmon.
N. The place calld ye fountain at ye bottom of ye hill.
O. The first anchorage of ye English fleet.
P. The place from ye fleet carronade ye fort.
Q. An English sloop with two English officers.
RRRR. French ships at anchor in ye port.