WRIGHT, Edward (1561 -1615). Certain Errors in Navigation. Detected and Corrected... with many Additions that were not in the former Editions. London: Joseph Moxon, 1657.
4to., (7 6/8 x 5 6/8 inches). Engraved title-page with fine border of navigational instruments and a map of the world showing the east coast of North America, South America and a partial coastline of "Nova Holandia" and "Nova Zelandia", EXCEPTIONALLY FINE large engraved folding map on two sheets "A Platt of all the World" by Joseph Moxon, fine folding map "A Particular Platt, for Sailing to the Azores" four folding plates tipped-in, four engraved plates in the text, and numerous woodcut diagrams and letterpress tables throughout. Early eighteenth-century (ca 1710-1720) English panelled calf, blind-tooled tulips at outer corners of central panel (rebacked to style).
Provenance: 19th-century South Library bookplate of the Earls of Macclesfield on the front paste-down dated 1860, discreet blind-stamp on title-page.
First edition thus, first published by Wright in 1599, then with emendations including: "The Division of the Whole Art of Navigation" by Roderigo Zamorano" in 1610, and then as here with Moxon's extensive additions and improvements including his own "The Haven-finding Art, or the way to find any Haven or place appoynted at Sea". This last edition is exceptionally important for Moxon's map "a Plat of all the World... First set forth by Mr. Edw. Wright and now... by Jos. Moxon and sold at his shop in Cornhill at the sign of Atlas. 1655".
Based on Mercator's projection, Moxon made several significant revisions to Wright's original plate which had been engraved by William Kip, the most important of which is the entirely new depiction of Australia (noted as "Discoverere 1655") and a relatively accurate rendering of Hudson's Bay. Moxon has erased Wright's large royal coat-of-arms in the top left-hand corner f the map, and has re-hatched all of Wright's original coastline markings. However, Moxon retained Wright's rendering of California as an island. In spite of his Puritan upbringing Moxon was appointed Hydrographer to the King following the Reformation. Born in 1627 to a printer father, Moxon spent 40 years selling books, maps, gloves and mathematical instruments. He also produced the first English language dictionary devoted to mathematics, and in November 1678 became the first tradesman to be elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society.
Moxon's theory about the probable location of the Northwest passage heavily influenced the cours of Capatin Cook's third voyage in search of the elusive passage. "In 1589, while still a fellow of his Cambridge college, Wright temporarily forsook the life of a scholar, and with dispensations from the crown and college, he shipped, as Captain Edward Carelesse, on a boat of a fleet commanded by George, earl of Cumberland, on a raiding voyage to the Azores, confiscating 'lawful' prizes from the French, Portuguese, and Spanish there and en route. The account of this expedition, referring to Wright in the third person, is appended to his treatise "Certaine Errors of Navigation" (1599) and is presumed to have been written by him. In the same sentence in which Wright introduces himself, he says that he was captain of the "Hope" in Sir Francis Drake's West Indian voyage of 1585-6, which evacuated Sir Walter Ralegh's Virginia colony and took the settlers back to England. Wright probably had ample opportunity on the return voyage to make the acquaintance of and to discuss navigational mathematics with Thomas Harriot, one of the colonists and his near contemporary. The Azores expedition was successful in its accumulation of captured goods and ships, but the return voyage, which ran short of fresh water, was harrowing. There is no evidence of Wright's ever having put to sea again... The impetus for Wright's publication of the first edition of "Certaine Errors" came from his outrage at two apparent cases of plagiarism. A well-regarded navigator, Abraham Kendall, died at sea (1596) in possession of a manuscript copy of Wright's work, and this text, retrieved and brought to London, was taken to be Kendall's own, until it was passed to Wright for his review. At roughly the same time the cartographer Jodocus Hondius (1563-1612), who was deeply chagrined upon the discovery of his borrowing, used Wright's methods without acknowledgement in one of his maps" (A.J. Apt for DNB).
From the celebrated library of the Earls of Macclesfield at Shirburn Castle, Oxfordshire, England, accumulated from the early 18th century by generations of of the Parker family, and sold (over successive sales) by Sothebys. The first Earl of Macclesfield was Thomas Parker, 1st Baron Parker, made Viscount Parker, of Ewelm in the County of Oxford, and Earl of Macclesfield, in the County Palatine of Chester in 1716. He was Lord Chief Justice of the Queen's Bench from 1710 to 1718 and Lord High Chancellor from 1718 to 1725. Probably acquired by Thomas Augustus Wolstenholme Parker, 6th Earl of Macclesfield (17 March 1811 - 24 July 1896) Conservative Member of Parliament for Oxfordshire from 1837 until 1841. Wing W3689; Sabin 105574; Shirley, Mapping of the World 396. Catalogued by Kate Hunter