GODALLES, Thomas Bonaventure. Succinte et Tres veritable, & authentique relation de la decouverte, ...de l'isle de terre-neuve, le grand Banc, & Banc-Jacquet. St. Malo: Godalles, 1710.

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GODALLES, Thomas Bonaventure. Succinte et Tres veritable, &c authentique relation de la decouverte, & frequentation, que habitation, &c parqui, & en quel temps, de l'isle de terre-neuve, le grand Banc, & Banc - Jacquet, &c. dressee selon le rapport qu'en sont tous les Historiens, & copitateurs de ces temps la, qui sont francois, Espagnols, Portugais, Anglois, Italiens, & Belges, qui traittent de touttes les anciennes decouvertes, qui ont estee faites, en faveur de la navigation, & des droits de chaque nation. A S. Malo: Par le demaine Godalles Cosmographe- & Inegenieur du Roy, & Hydrographe de - la ville & communaute de S. Malo, professeur aux Mathematiques, 1710.


Small 4to., (8 6/8 x 5 6/8 inches). Fine frontispiece coat-of-arms of the dedicatee Monsieur de Beauvais Grout, in pen and ink and grisaille wash. 39-pages of close manuscript. FINE LARGE FOLDING ORIGINAL MANUSCRIPT CHART: "Plan Geometral de l'isle de terre-neuve &c du grand Banc, & Banc Jacquet, que des autres isles & Bancs, qui luy sont adjacens, a Bise proche la coste de la nouvelle France en l'Amerique Septentrionale" (22 4/8 x 25 inches), black and red pen and ink with colour wash in part and in outline, showing the area extending from latitude 41 south to 54 degrees north degrees southeastern coast of Labrador, the whole of Newfoundland and the many other smaller islands and sandbanks that surround it, with numerous coastal place-names, the title upper middle, decorated with a fine compass rose middle right, a scale lower left, and legend lower left, watermarkED "H Cusson" (long closed repair to the Atlantic Ocean to the right of Le Grand Banc, some residual staining from early repairs, framed separately). Contemporary panelled vellum, title in manuscript on the spine.

Provenance: Dedicated to Nicolas Grout, Seigneur de Beauvais, Capitaine Garde-Costes, St. Malo (1666-1751), with his engraved armorial bookplate on the front past-down and his arms as frontispiece.

This MAGNIFICENT ORIGINAL MANUSCRIPT CHART OF NEWFOUNDLAND AND ADJACENT COAST AND ISLANDS predates the only slightly more detailed map by Jacques Nicolas Bellin (1703-1772) "Partie Orientale de la Nouvelle France ou du Canada" of 1755, by 45 years, the nmost comprehensive map of the region to be published since Champlain's map of 1613. The Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris holds four manuscript coastal charts by Godalles, one also of Newfoundland "Carte de la coste angloise de Terre- Neuve", dated 1712 (map GE SH 18 PF 128 DIV 3 P 4) and one of the coast of Argentina, "Brève et démontrée relation de la nouvelle découverte d'un grand enfoncement ou baye en la coste occidentale de la terre de feu en l'Amérique méridionale", dated Saint Malo, 15 October 1717 (map GE SH 18 PF 168 DIV 11 P 1 D); "Plan géométral du port et fort de Plaisance", dated 1712 (map GE SH 18 PF 130 DIV 4 P 13); and "Plan géométral du port et fort de Plaisance" also dated 1712 (GE SH 18 PF 130 DIV 4 P 14 D).

New France existed for 250 years, from the instigation by Cardinal Richelieu of The company of New France or the Company of the 100 Associates in 1627, but the English were the first to claim the territory shown in this map in 1606 when King James I accorded a charter to the Virginia Company for a large part of the Atlantic seaboard from 34 degrees north, north of Cape Fear, to 45 degrees, south of Bangor. Both nations were drawn to the plentiful fishing grounds on the Grand Banks off the coast of Newfoundland, and and the English established colonies along the Atlantic coast. "They also became tenacious explorers of the Northwest Passage, venturing from their Hudson Bay trading posts across the Arctic and finally reaching the Pacific Ocean. The French, convinced that they had made the best choice by colonising the Gulf of St. Lawrence and the St. Lawrence River, criss-crossed the interior of the continent, heading not only northward but also westward, as far as the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, and southward, to the mouth of the Mississippi River, establishing trading posts and forming lasting alliances with Indian nations" (Raymonde Litalien "Introduction" to "Mapping a Continent", pages 11-12). During the 17th-century, "the European spheres of influence in North America were roughly defined; England posted its markers in the game-filled regions around Hudson Bay and a vast Atlantic littoral. France set down roots in the St. Lawrence Valley, certain that an opening to the western sea had been found trough the centre of the continent. For both powers, the fur trade was the main, if not the only source of financing for exploration. France, however, had to bear the additional expenses of settlement and creating an administrative religious infrastructure" (ibid, pages 80-81). 

Godalles' map of Newfoundland extends from a brief period of French colonisation of the island which had begun with appointment of a French governor at Plaisance on the southeastern corner of the island in 1655. The manuscript text outlines the claims of the French to the island of Newfoundland, recounting the discovery of L'isle de Terre-Neuve in 1497 by Jean Cabot, and by French and Portuguese fishermen in 1500-1506, disputing English claims (based on its acquisition under Sir Humphrey Gilbert in 1583), and describing its various names, including "Newfoundland". In fact the entire island was nearly conquered by New France explorer Pierre Le Moyne d'Iberville in the 1697 during the devastating Avalon Peninsula Campaign, but the French failed to defend their conquest of the English portion of the island, clearly marked on this map to the east. The French colonization period lasted until the Treaty of Utrecht, in 1713, which ended the War of the Spanish Succession. France ceded its claims to Newfoundland to the British (as well as its claims to the shores of Hudson Bay). In addition, the French possessions in Acadia were also yielded to Britain. Afterward, under the supervision of the last French governor, the French population of Plaisance moved to Île Royale (now Cape Breton Island), part of Acadia which remained then under French control. Catalogued by Kate Hunter