Rare ‘Oriental Pilot’ annotated by its original owner
By WHITTLE, James and LAURIE, Robert, 1799
The Oriental Pilot; Or, East-India Directory: Containing a Collection of Charts, both General and Particular; for the Navigation, not only of the Indian and Pacific Oceans, with the China Seas, but of those also between England and the Cape of Good Hope; improved and chiefly composed from the last edition of the works of Mr. d’Apres de Mannevillette, with many additions and corrections; and the insertion of All the New Discoveries made by the English, Dutch, French and Spaniards, &c. The whole compiled from Draughts, Surveys, and Journals, communicated by the Officers, and Marine Surveyors of the East-India Company and others, being a useful selection, from the Complete East-India Pilot. A New Edition, Containing forty-six Charts.
- Author: WHITTLE, James and LAURIE, Robert
- Publication place: London
- Publisher: Robert Laurie and James Whittle
- Publication date: 1799.
- Physical description: Folio (533 by 380mm; 21 by 15 inches), letterpress title-page and Index leaf listing 47 engraved maps with a contemporary manuscript note next to 44 “A New Chart of the Banda Sea” stating that it is “not yet Published”. 45 numbered engraved maps on 46 map sheets, including 42 double-page and or folding and four full-page, extra-illustrated with a manuscript map in pen and ink and colour wash on the front free endpaper. Contemporary mottled calf, gilt, loose linen cover.
- Inventory reference: 12880
Published as a practical guide to navigators aboard ships of the Royal Navy and East Indiamen, and often taken to sea, all variants of Laurie and Whittle’s ‘Oriental Pilot’ are scarce and often found in a very used condition. The present example was originally owned by James Hepburn MacFarland RN (1769–1852), who has annotated a number of the charts in the atlas.
The magnificent and often very large charts in Laurie and Whittle’s ‘Oriental Pilot’ cover the entire sea journey from Portsmouth on the south coast of England to the East Indies and Australia. The work was published under several titles, each with a different complement of charts. Variants include: ‘The Country Trade East-India Pilot, for the Navigation of the East-Indies and Oriental Seas, within the limits of the East-India Company’, ‘The Complete East-India Pilot, or Oriental Navigator’, ‘The East-India Pilot, or Oriental Navigator’, and ‘The Oriental Pilot; Or, East-India Directory’ focusing on the most important charts used for the journey, as here.
This example of the atlas includes the formidable four-sheet chart of the Atlantic Ocean, the very large two-sheet charts of the ‘British Channel’, the south coast of England, and the Indian and Pacific Oceans, as well as individual and detailed charts of the waters surrounding South Africa, and particularly the Cape of Good Hope, India, Arabia, the islands of the East Indies, and eastern Asia. Of particular note is the rare and important map “A New Chart of the China Sea,…”, which shows the future sites of Hong Kong and Singapore.
MacFarland’s detailed notes can be found on the chart of False Bay at the Cape of Good Hope in and around the bay he identifies as “Hook Bay”, now known as Fish Hook. He records the number of guns defending the two batteries there, and where to find fresh water. On the verso of the chart he identifies the main landmarks in False Bay by their relation to Whittle Rock, which does not appear on the engraved chart, and may be the first reference to the outcrop.
On the chart of the Southern Ocean, MacFarland records being off the coast of Paraguay at the mouth of the River Plate, or Rio de la Plata in May of 1801. A detailed manuscript copy of Malaspina’s chart of that coastline combining his surveys of 1789 and 1794, covers the front free endpaper of the atlas. MacFarland’s long manuscript note on the verso of the map of Madagascar shows the depth of his own knowledge of the region and that of his contemporaries by adding more recent and important information than is recorded on Laurie and Whittle’s chart: “Observe that the Chart of Madagascar gives only 2° of Latitude between Foul Point and Fort Dauphin. When the Directory gives 3° 13, The French (by Mr. D’Après’s and Mr. Le Gentil’s Observations) 3° ‘7, and Hamilton Moore’s Book of Navigation 2° 5’4.“
James MacFarland entered the Royal Navy in 1781. He rose through the ranks and served on Admiral the Earl Howe’s staff on the HMS Queen Charlotte. He was promoted to Acting Lieutenant in 1794 as a reward for his conduct on Howe’s vessel in action during The Glorious First of June, and was presented to King George III. He was stationed at the Cape of Good Hope from about 1800. After the colony was returned to the Batavian Republic at the Treaty of Amiens in March 1802, MacFarland returned home aboard the “Sloop Penguin”, formerly the Dutch national ship Komet. He has annotated both charts of the Atlantic Ocean with details of his voyage home from the Cape, between February and April of 1803.
The maps are:
[-] [MALASPINA, Allessandro]. Carta Esferica Del Rio de la Plata Levantada Por las
Corbetas dela Marina Rl. Ano de 1789 y 94. Full-page, pen and black ink and colour
wash, front free endpaper
1. A New Chart of the British Channel, from the Mouth of the Thames to Ushant, and the Scilly Islands; From an Actual Survey revised, corrected, and improved. By John Stephenson, a Master in the Royal Navy. London: Laurie & Whittle, 12th May, 1794. 2 sheets joined, double-page and folding
2. A Chart of the Downs with the Flats of the North and South Forelands and the Channel into Ramsgate Harbour from the Observations &c. of the Trinity-House Pilots and Surveyors. London: Laurie & Whittle, 4th April 1796. Double-page
3. An Actual Survey of the Coast from Arundel Haven in Sussex to St. Aldans in Dorsetshire Including chiefly The Isle of Wight, Spithead, Portsmouth Harb:r,… by Jos: Avery, revised in 1794 by George Burn. London: Laurie & Whittle, 12th May 1794. 2 sheets joined, double-page and folding
4. Plymouth Sound, Hamoaze and Catwater surveyed in 1797. London: Laurie & Whittle, 1st January 1798. Double-page
5. A New Chart of the Islands of Scilly… by A. Tovey & N. Ginver. London: 12th May, 1794. Full-page
6. A Chart of the Chops of the Channel, to the South of Scilly Islands; Containing the West Coast of Cornwall, and Scilly Islands. London: Laurie and Whittle, 10th December, 1795. Double-page
7. & 8. A New and Correct Chart From the 63. of Lat: N. to the Cape of Good Hope, and from the 71. Long: W. to the 38. E. of London, Exhibiting the Whole of the Atlantic or Western Ocean, and the Greatest Part of the Ethiopic or Southern Ocean, wherein the Respective Coasts of Europe, Africa, and America North and South, with all the Islands and Dangers in the Two Seas are carefully described. London: Laurie & Whittle, 12th May, 1794. 4 sheets joined to make 2 double-page and folding maps. Annotated in red pen and ink and pencil with the course of the Sloop Penguin, beginning at Cape of Good Hope, 24th February 1803 and ending 19th April off the coast of Ireland. Also with minor annotations in the same hand dated October and November 1799 off the coast of Trinidad.
9. A Chart of the Maderas and Canary Islands according to the Surveys Published at Madrid in 1780, by Don Thomas Lopez. London: Laurie & Whittle, 12th May, 1794. Double-page
10. The Cape Verde Islands. London: Laurie & Whittle, 12th May, 1794. Full-page
11. Chart of the Acores (Hawks) Islands, called also Flemish and Western Islands. London: Laurie & Whittle, 12th October, 1797. Double-page
12. A New Chart of the Southern Ocean. London: Laurie & Whittle, 12th May 1794. Double-page. Annotated in pen and ink and pencil with a course beginning at the mouth of the River Plate in Paraguay on the 1st of May, 1801 and ending on a course headed north-west off the coast of South Africa on the 29th.
13. An Hydrographic Survey of False Bay or Bay False, including A Sketch of the Cape of Good Hope. By Capt.n Jos: Huddart with several Additions and Improvements. Presented by Mr. Fownes. London: Laurie & whittle, 1st June 1798. Double-page. Annotated in pen and ink and pencil “Hook’s Bay”, now Fish Hook, noting the location of the two Batteries and fresh water. Laid down on verso is a single sheet of manuscript notes dated 18th April, 1800 “The Marks for the Ship’s Book in False Bay called the Whittle Rock” listing the directions from Whittle Rock of Cape Point and other landmarks, all “taken by Compass”. Whittle Rock is not shown on the map, but is located in the middle of False Bay, south of Trident Rock which is shown.
14. A New Chart of the Southern Coast of Africa, From The Cape of Good Hope to Dalagoa Bay; Including the Bank of Cape Agulhas,…Drawn Chiefly from the Papers of Mr. Gerard de Ruyter,… in 1786. London: Laurie & Whittle, 12th May, 1794. Double-page and folding. Annotated extensively in pencil with a course dated September to November 10th 1800
15. A Chart of the Inner Passage, between the Coast of Africa and the Isle of Madagascar from the Charts of D’Anville and D’Apres Compared with the Draughts & Journals of the British Navigators. London: Laurie & Whittle, 1st January, 1797. Double-page and folding. With the ink library stamp of “J. MacFarland” and his manuscript notes on verso: “Memo:” citing anomalies with the chart and referencing differences noted by “The Directory”, “Mr. D’apres’s and Mr. de Gentil’s observations”, and “Hamilton Moore’s Book of Navigation”.
16. The Bays of St. Augustin and Tullea, on the Western Coasts of Madagascar. London: Laurie & Whittle, 12th May, 1794. Double-page
17. The Mahe Islands, In the Indian Ocean 180 Leagues to the North East of Madagascar Geometrically Surveyed in the Year 1768 by L’Abbe Rochon;… London: Laurie & Whittle, 12th May, 1794. Double-page
18. Plan of Mathurn Bay on the North Side of the Island of Diego Rays, called by the French Isle Rodriguez, in the Indian Ocean; Surveyed by Wm. Nichelson in 1761. London: Laurie & Whittle, 12th May, 1794. Double-page.
19. A Chart of the Northern Indian Ocean, containing a part of the Coast of Africa from Magadasho River to the Straits of Bab-el-Mandeb, and the Coasts of Asia from bab-el-Mander to the Mouths of Ganges; with Lakedivas, Maldivas and Ceylon, from Mr. d’Apres de Mannevillette. Double-page and folding.
20. A Chart of the Red Sea, from Moka to Geddah, By Mr. d’Apres de Mannevillette, from Mr. Dodwell’s Draught, & Others. London: Laurie & Whittle, 12th May, 1794. Double-page
21. A Chart of the Gulf of Persia, from Basra to Cape Rosalgate, from the Charts and Description of Cap.n C:Niebuhr, One of the Travellers sent to Arabia in Year 1761. By the King of Denmark; and Compared with those Published in 1775, by Mr. d’Apres de Mannevillette. London: Laurie & Whittle, 12th May 1794. Double-page.
22. The Coast of India from Point Jigat to Cape Ramas, Including The Coasts of Guzarat and Concon, with the Gulf of Cambay. London: Laurie & Whittle, 12th May 1794. Double-page
23. A Plan of Bombay Harbour, on the Coast of Malabar,… by W.m Nicholson,… corrected by Capt. Watson. London: Laurie & Whittle, 12th May, 1794. Double-page and folding.
24. A Chart of the Coast of India, from Goa to Cape Comorin, Exhibiting the Coasts of Canara and Malabar, with the Lake Divas Islands, and the Channels of Eight and Nine Degrees. London: Laurie & Whittle, 12th May, 1794. Double-page and folding
25. The Coast of India from Mount Dilly to Pondicherry, including the Coasts of Malabar, Madura and Part of Coromandel, with the Draughts, Remarks and Observations of Lieut George Lewis, … with the Isle of Ceylon, and several useful additions from the survey of the East India Company in 1790, by Lieut J.o Mc.Cluer. London: Laurie & Whittle, 12th September 1798. Double-page and folding
26. Plan of the Bay and Harbour of Trincomalay, on the Island of Ceylon, Surveyd in 1762, By the order of Admiral Cornish. From Mr. D’Apres Mannevillette. N.d. Double-page
27. A New Chart of the Gulf or Bay of Bengal with Part of the Indian Ocean, as far as the Line. London: Laurie & Whittle, 25th August, 1797. Double-page and folding
28. The Coast of India between Calymere and Gordeware Points, including the Coast of Coromandel with Part of the Coast of Golconda. London: Laurie & Whittle, 12th May, 1794. Double-page
29. The Coast of India, from Point Gordeware to the Ganges Comprehending Part of the Coast of Golconda the Coasts of Orissa and Bengal, with the Mouth of Hoogly River. London: Laurie & Whittle, 12th May, 1794. Double-page
30. A New Chart of the Braces and Sea Reefs at the Entrance of Hoogly River, with the Course of that River up to the Town of Hoogly. London: Laurie & Whittle, 12th May, 1794. Double-page
31. A New Chart of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, with the Adjacent Islands, from the Draughts and Observations of Cap.tn Phin.s Hunt, Cap.tn Mackay, Cap.tn John Ritchie, and Lieut.t Mc.Cluer, &c. London: Laurie & Whittle, 12th July, 1797. Double-page
32. A Chart of the Straits of Malacca and Singapore. By Thomas Jefferys,… London: Laurie & Whittle, 12th May, 1794. Double-page and folding
33. A New Chart of the Oriental Seas and Islands with the Coasts of the Continent from the Isle of Ceylon to Amoye in China, laid down from Draughts & Journals of the British Navigators, and from the Dutch Manuscript Chart of the Moluccas or Spice Islands, the whole compared with the last Edition of the Neptune Oriental of Mons.r D’apres de Mannevillette. London: Laurie & Whittle, 12th May 1794. Double-page and folding
34. A Chart of the South Part of Sumatra and of the Straits of Sunda and Banca with Gaspar Straits Corrected and Improved from the Observations of Capt. Henry Smedley. London: Laurie & Whittle, 12th May, 1794. Double-page and folding.
35. A New Chart for Sailing Between the Straits of Sunda or Batavia, and the Straits of Banca and Gaspar By Mons.r D’Apres de Mannevillette in his Neptune Oriental, to which, Among other Improvements, has been Added the Track of the Carnatick, Capt: Le Stock Wilson, from North Watcher to North Island in 1787. London: Laurie & Whittle, 12th May, 1794. Double-page
36. Sketch of the Straits of Gaspar, by J. Huddart. London: Laurie & Whittle, 12th May, 1794. Double-page
37. A New Chart of the Java Sea, within the Isles of Sunda, with its Straits and the Adjacent Seas. London: Laurie & Whittle, 12th May, 1794. Double-page and folding
38. A New Plan of the Straits Situated to the East of Java & Madura commonly called the Straits of Bali and of Pondi and Respondi. Drawn from the Observations of the English Ships; the Winchelsea, commanded by the learned Mr. Howe, from whose surveys the Plan the Eastern Part of Madura, & the Straits has been delineated… London: Laurie & Whittle, 12th May, 1794. Full-page
39. A New Chart of the China Sea, with Its Several Entrances Drawn from a Great Number of Draughts, Journals and other Nautical Documents… London: Laurie & Whittle, 12th May, 1794. Double-page and folding. First publication of this important map which extends from the south coast of China, including the future site of Hong Kong, founded in 1841, and the “European Factories” at Canton / Guangzhou, which date from 1686, the western coast of Taiwan and the Philippines, and south to the coasts of Vietnam and Cambodia and the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula, including the future site of Singapore; Borneo, the coast of Sumatra and the Celebes also appear.
40. The Coast of India from Pulo Timon to Pulo Cambir Comprehending the Malayan Coast; the Gulf of Siam, the Coasts of Tsampa and Cochinchina, with the Adjcent Islands and Part of the Isle of Bornea. N.d. Double-page, trimmed
41. A Plan of the Bay on the South West Side of Pulo Auore, Surveyed by Will.m Nichelson 1763. London: Laurie & Whittle, 12th May, 1794. Double-page
42. A Plan of the Bay on the South West Side of Pulo Timon, Surveyed by Will.m Nichelson, 1763. London: Laurie & Whittle, 12th May, 1794. Double-page
43. A Chart of the China Sea, and Philippine Islands, with the Archipelagos of Felicia and Soloo, Shewing the whole Tract comprised between Canton and Balambangan, with the Soundings, Shoals, Rocks, &ca. Composed from an Original Drawing, Communicated by Cap.t Robert Carr, and compared with the Map of Pedro Murillo de Velarde, Engraved at Manilla in 1734, as well as Surveys of Several British Navigators. London: Laurie & Whittle, 12th May, 1794. Double-page and folding
44. “not yet Published” – Index leaf
45. The Harbour of P.ta de Gale, on the West Coast of Ceylon. 1798. London: Lurie & Whittle, 12th December, 1798. Folding
46. Laurie and Whittle’s New Chart of the Indian and Pacific Oceans between the Cape of Good Hope, New Holland and Japan, comprehending New Zealand, New Caledonia, New Britain, New Ireland, New Guinea, &c. Louisiade and New Georgia; also the Pelew, New Caroline, Ladrone and Philippine Islands &c. With the most remarkable tracks of the English, Spanish, French and Dutch navigators: and chiefly the tracks of the Walpole Eastindiaman, Capt.n Tho.s Butler, 1794 form the Cape of Good Hope to Van Diemen’s Land, and from thence to China. And the track of the Royall Admiral Cap.t Hen.y Bond in 1792 and 93 from the Cape to Port Jackson and China. London: Laurie & Whittle, January 2nd, 1797. Walpole’s tracked traced in pen and red ink. 2 sheets joined, double-page and folding.
47. A Chart of Van Diemen’s Land, the South Extremity of new Holland, with the New Discovered River by the Ships Duke and Duchess, from Cap.tn John Hayes, 1798. London: Laurie & Whittle, 12th July, 1798. Double-page and folding.
- Phillips Atlases 3169–70 and 3172 (no edition with the 1799 title-page listed).
- Phillips, P. (1909–1992). A list of goegrpahical atlases in the Library of Congress. Washington: Govt. Print. Off.