COLLINS, Capt. Greenville (1643-1694). Falmouth. London: William Mount and Thomas Page, 1738.

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COLLINS, Capt. Greenville (1643-1694). Falmouth. London: William Mount and Thomas Page, 1738.

Single sheet (23 ⅝ x 20 ⅛ inches, full margins showing the plate mark). Fine engraved map of the Falmouth River in England, with 3 insets, and the title within an elaborate cartouche (very small separation at the top of the fold, lightly toned).

THE FIRST HYDROGRAPHIC CHARTS OF GREAT BRITAIN. This map of the Falmouth River, from Falmouth and branching out to Truro and Tregony, was originally published in Greenville Collins' "Great Britain's Coasting Pilot Being a New Survey of the Sea Coast."  The large cartouche shows figures performing Cornwall’s two staple industries, mining and fishing, and dedicates the map to Sir Peter Killegrew, displaying his arms of the two-headed eagle. Killegrew had been a Royalist in the English Civil War and later secured a charter from King Charles II to found the new town of Falmouth, where he dedicated its church to the ‘martyred’ Charles I. He also owned Pendennis Castle while Collins was conducting his coastal surveys at the end of the 17th century. The castle, a highly visible landmark for sailors, was built by Henry VIII in 1540 and is marked on the map as well as illustrated in an inset captioned, “Thus Sheweth the goeing into Falmouth when Pendennis Castle beareth N:W b N: 2 Leagues.” Two more insets show a map of the Helford Sound, and a coastal profile, “Thus showeth ye going into Helford when the Harboursmouth at A beareth West 2 Leagues.”

            Captain Greenville Collins was appointed to the position of His Majesty’s Hydrographer by Charles II in 1681, and was commanded to “make a survey of the sea coasts of the Kingdom by measuring all the sea coasts with their exact latitudes, the true plots of all harbours, rivers, roads, bays, creeks, islands, soundings, and the setting and flowing of tides’ which he surveyed over the course of seven years and finally published in 1693 (Hyde 2009). Verner, MCS #58, 1969. Robinson p.40-43, 1962. British Library Cartographic Items Maps C.25.b.11. For more information about this map, or a warm welcome to see it and other books in our library at 72nd Street, NYC, please contact Tara Mishkovsky, M.A. in the Rare Book Department. Bookseller Inventory # 72TM007