Thursday, 20 December 2012

Mapping Britain's Coastline - Captain Greenville Collins

Our latest acquisition is this fascinating map of the Dartmouth estuary from Captain Greenville Collins' Great Britain's Coasting Pilot.

Dartmouth To the Right Honorable George Lord Dartmouth, Mr Generall of his Majesty's Ordnance &c. This Map humbly Dedicated, and Presented, by G. Collins Hydrographer to the King.
F. Lamb after Captain Greenville Collins
Copper engraved with hand colouring
c. 1750
472 x 567 mm

Captain Greenville Collins (1669-1696) began his career as an Officer in the Royal Navy. He is first recognised for an expedition to the coasts of South America with Sir John Narborough, later he commanded the frigate "Charles" and went on to be appointed as Hydrographer to the King.

In 1676 he was commissioned by Charles II and appointed by Samuel Pepys to survey the coastline of Britain. His Great Britain's Coasting Pilot was the first work of this kind to survey the British coastline. A significant achievement, taking about eight years, Collins' charts replaced the out of date Dutch charts on which Britain had been previously reliant. In the century to follow Collins' charts were re-issued over twenty times without revision.

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