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Arrowsmith's wall maps of Upper and Lower Egypt

Title
A Map of Lower Egypt from Various Surveys communicated by Major Bryce and other Officers. Drawn by A. Arrowsmith 1807. [Together with] Map of Upper Egypt, drawn from various documents. By A. Arrowsmith.
Author
ARROWSMITH, Aaron
Publisher
Published A. Arrowsmith, No.10 Soho Square [and] Published A. Arrowsmith, No.10 Soho Square,
Publication place
London,
Publication date
10th November 1807 [and] 20th November 1807.
Dimensions
1230 by 1560mm (48.5 by 61.5 inches). [and] 990 by 660 (39 by 26 inches).
Price
SOLD
Reference
1070

Description

Large engraved map on four sheets, joined as two, fine original hand-colour, inset plan of the Battle of the Nile, [together with] engraved map, fine original hand-colour, inset of the bay of Cosire (El Quseir).

Notes

Two large and detailed maps of Egypt published just after the failed Alexandrian Expedition, a major operation during the Anglo-Turkish War of 1807-1809.

By 1806, Britain had become increasingly fearful of France's growing influence in Constantinople. After the failure of the Dardanelles Operation in September of that year, the British sent a naval force, under the command of Alexander Mackenzie-Fraser, to secure Alexandria as a base from which to conduct their operations against the Ottomans and French. Although initially met with little resistance, the British were hampered by supply issues and, later on, by stiff Egyptian counteraction. By the end of September they were forced to leave Alexandria having failed in their mission.

A great deal of the geographical information for the map of Lower Egypt came from Sir Alexander Bryce of the Royal Engineers (d.1832), who had served under Sir Ralph Abercromby at the Battle of Alexandria of 1801. Bryce would (together with Captain W. Mudge of Ordnance Survey renown) help in carrying out General Roy's system of triangulation for connecting the meridians of Greenwich and Paris, and in the measurement of a "base of verification" in Romney Marsh.

The map of Upper Egypt details the journey of Eyles Irwin through Egypt in 1777. Irwin was an East India Company official who set sail from India in 1777, bound for England. Unfortunately, his ship was captured by pirates. The ship was diverted to the port of Cosire, a detail of which is shown on the map, from whence they were forced to cross the dessert to Kenne (Qena), from there to Suez via Cairo, eventually arriving at Alexandria. From there he gained safe passage to England. The whole adventure took eleven months and was set down by Irwin in his work, 'A Series of Adventures in the Course of a Voyage up the Red-Sea', published in 1780.

Bibliography

BLMC Maps 64390.(4.); Maps 17.a.15.