“The beautiful maps of the Red Sea … will ever remain permanent monuments of Indian Naval Science”
By MORESBY, Commander R[obert]; and CARLESS, Lieutenant T. G. ELWON, T. Captain; and PINCHING, Lieutenant H. N., 1857
The Red Sea surveyed by Captn. T. Elwon, Comr. R. Moresby and Lieuts. H.N. Pinching and T.G. Carless, Indian Navy. Additional Soundings By Captain W.J.S. Pullen… H.M.S. Cyclops 1858.
- Author: MORESBY, Commander R[obert]; and CARLESS, Lieutenant T. G. ELWON, T. Captain; and PINCHING, Lieutenant H. N.
- Publication place: London
- Publisher: The Admiralty
- Publication date: 1857 (additions to 1861).
- Physical description: Engraved chart, inset view of Port Suakin, lighthouses marked in yellow, few nicks and tears to margin, skilfully repaired, not affecting image.
- Dimensions: 995 by 665mm. (39.25 by 26.25 inches).
- Inventory reference: 14360
The charts produced from this surveying expedition proved of great importance throughout the rest of the nineteenth century, to such an extent that in his work, ‘First Footsteps in East Africa’, the explorer Richard Burton, states that they “will ever remain permanent monuments of Indian Naval Science, and the daring of its officers and men”. The present chart shows depth with isolines and soundings, relief with hachures and spot heights, and identifies key features such as lighthouses and harbours. Port Suakin is shown in particular detail on an inset map because of its importance as a British colonial base; it is from Suakin that Kitchener led a contingent of the Egyptian Army in the 1880s. Although the chart is, in general, highly accurate, the reef of El Akhawin in the Northern part of the Sea is surprisingly misplaced, and its position was not correctly established for several decades. The imprint in the lower right corner identifies the engraving of this chart as the work of John and Charles Walker. Walker Cartographers had been responsible for naval charts since the British Hydrographic Office was established in the late eighteenth century, and subsequently produced numerous charts of the colonies.
- Burton, ‘First footsteps in East Africa or an exploration of Harar
- ‘, (1894)
- Moresby, ‘A Record of Life and Service in the British Navy for a Hundred Years’, (Murray, London 1909)
- Searight, ‘The Charting of the Red Sea’, (History Today, 2003)
- Wellsted, ‘Travels in Arabia’, (Murray, London 1838).