15 HORSBURGH, J. Eastern passage to China. / Virtual Fair 163


Description: HORSBURGH, JAMES, F.R.S
Title: Eastern passage to China. sheet 1.
Published in: London, 1824

Size: 25.0 x 37.6 inches.
63.5 x 95.5 cm.

Condition: Very good condition, printed on heavy paper. Paper slightly age toned.
Condition Rating

James Horsburgh early chart of the coasts of Java, Bali, Lombok, with part of Sulawesi, and Borneo. Insets of "Sketch of Bally Strait", Sketch of Lombock Strait", Plan of Allas Strait", "Sketch of Sappy Strait".
The chart shows depth soundings & both topographical and hydrographical details, and proposed sailing directions in the Sunda Straits. Filled with several coastal profiles, which were of great help for the sailor.
In top Horsburgh thanks for the aid he has gotten for preparing this chart : "To the commanders and officers of the hon. East India Companys ships, in acknowledgement of much valuable assistance afforded by teir journals, in the construction of this chart, It is now inscribed by their faithful and obliged servant James Horsburgh".
As mentioned in his nine-lines EXPLANATION REMARKS, the mentions the areas which are well surveyed, as usual for that time the south coast of Java shows few information.

James Horsburgh was a distinguished hydrographer, and was born at Elie, Fifeshire, September 23, 1762. At the age of sixteen, having acquired the elements of mathematical science, book-keeping, and the theoretical parts of navigation, he sailed in various vessels, chiefly in the coal trade, from Newcastle and the Firth of Forth to Hamburg, Holland, and Ostend. In 1784 he bound for Bombay. In May 1786, when proceeding from Batavia towards Ceylon, he was wrecked upon the island of Diego Garcia, owing to the incorrectness of the charts then in use. On his return to Bombay he joined, the Gunjava, and bound to China. On the vessel’s arrival at Canton, he became first mate, in which capacity he continued to sail, in that and other ships, between China, Bombay, and Calcutta, for several years.
Horsburgh’s experience and observation had enabled him to accumulate a vast store of nautical knowledge, bearing especially on eastern hydrography. During two voyages to China, by the eastern route, he constructed three charts, one of the Strait of Makassar, another of the west side of the Philippine Islands, and the third of the tract from Dampier Strait, through Pitt’s Passage, towards Batavia, accompanied by a Memoir of Sailing Directions, which were published under the patronage of the court of directors of the East India Company, for the use of their ships.
In 1805 Horsburgh returned to England, and soon after he published a variety of charts. In 1810, on the death of Dalrymple, he was appointed hydrographer to the East India Company. In 1835 he published a Chart of the East Coast of China, having the names in the Chinese character and in English, translated by himself, which was his last work. He died May 14, 1836.
  • Number: 1630286
  • Dealer: Speculum Orbis Nauticum

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