“The best route towards China for leaky crazy ships during the strength of the S.W. Monsoon”
By HORSBURGH, James; and Captain Daniel ROSS, 1821
China Sea — Sheet I [and] Sheet II To Capt. D. Ross and His Assistants Lieut. P. Maugham, J. Crawford, and J. Houghton, of the Bombay Marine; Who under the auspices of the Hon.ble East India Company, having performed with Arduous Zeal a difficult and dangerous Exploration of the China Sea, so Essential to the safety of Navigation, This Chart — Although with an extension of Limits being Chiefly Construction from Their Valuable Surveys, is now Inscribed as a Tribute due to Those Laudable Exertions By their Sincerely Obliged Friend, James Horsburgh.
- Author: HORSBURGH, James; and Captain Daniel ROSS
- Publication place: London
- Publisher: James Horsburgh, Hydrographer to the Hon.ble East India Company
- Publication date: October 1st, 1821… with Additions to 1846 [but 1849 — and -] 1 Feb.y 1823,… Additions to 1850.
- Physical description: Two engraved charts, laid down on linen.
- Dimensions: 660 by 1000mm. (26 by 39.25 inches), each chart
- Inventory reference: 17533
S.W. Monsoon” plots a course that hugs the shores of the Malay Peninsula and Cambodia. The islands of the “Sincapour Strait”, including “Sincapour”, in shown in great detail, with numerous depth soundings, and coastal profiles. Printed updates, to the location of dangerous shoals in particular, appear to 1849.
The current charts were first published in 1821 and 1823, respectively, as part of a plan to monetize his experience by producing a series of charts of the China Sea, Malacca Strait, and Bombay Harbour. Touchingly, the lower sheet shows the “Pedro Branco Light” that was built as a commemoration to Horsburgh upon his death in 1836, at the eastern entrance to the Strait of Singapore.
The map is dedicated to Captain Daniel Ross (1780–1849) and his team of hydrographers of the Bombay Marine. In 1807, Ross was tasked by the East India Company to survey the China Seas. He spent nine years surveying the coast between 1807 and 1816, and then spent a further four years charting the seas between 1816 and 1820. On his return to England in 1821 he was rewarded with a cash sum of £1,500 from the East India Company, for his tireless work out in the Far East. He would later appear before a government Select Committee investigating the possibilities of increasing the Britain’s trade with China.
With the tracks of many voyages from the Singapore Strait to Canton, and then on to Manila, plotted, and annotated in the same hand, in pen and different coloured ink, dated: 1856, 1858, 1859, 1860, and 1864.