1739 - 1794
View of the Franciscan Church and Convent in the city of Havana, taken from the Mayor's House in Grand Square, ca. 1763,
14 x 19 1/2 inches
Born in Ringwood, England in 1739, Durnford joined the Royal Engineers in 1759 and was promoted to Lieutenant in 1762. During the Seven Years’ War, he was part of the expedition to Havana intended to cripple the Spanish West Indian colonies. The force landed at Havana and attacked its main fort, El Castillo de los Tres Reyes del Morro. Afterwards, in London, he produced a series of six engravings with views of the city of Havana, which - together with the series of 12 engravings of the siege operations by Canot and Mason - form the some of the earliest in situ representations of the island of Cuba.
In 1764, Durnford earned a commission to design new plans for British West Florida and was made Lieutenant-Governor of the area. He laid out the city of Pensacola in the Seville Square district and created a new town design based upon a classic pattern. There were separate squares built for government, public affairs, and military drills. Streets were set at right angles and named for the royal family and principal personages in government. He developed a thoroughfare along a long row of family gardens which was logically called Garden Street. The name still applies. Elias Durnford died at Tobago on June 21, 1794.