1757 Schley, Bellin Antique Map VOC Fort Hoogly & Chuchura in West Bengal, India

Cartographer : Jacques Nicholas Bellin

Description: 
This beautifully hand coloured original antique map* a plan of the Dutch East Indies Fort of Hoogly in West Bengal, India and the Dutch Fort town Chuchura south of Hooghly - with separate Index of all the buildings and important places - by J V Schley, was published in the 1757 French/Dutch edition of Antoine-François Prevosts 20 volume L`Histoire Generale des Voyages published by Pierre de Hondt in the Hague between 1747 & 1785.

Hooghly district is one of the districts of the state of West Bengal in India. It can alternatively be spelt Hoogli or Hugli. The district is named after the Hooghly River.
The district of Hooghly derived its name from the town of Hooghly on the west bank of the Hooghly River about 40 km north of Kolkata. This town was a river port in the fifteenth century.
The district has thousands of years of rich heritage in the form of the great Bengali kingdom of Bhurshut. The first European to reach this area was the Portuguese sailor Vasco-Da-Gama. In 1536 Portuguese traders obtained a permit from Sultan Mahmud Shah to trade in this area. In those days the Hooghly River was the main route for transportation and Hooghly served as an excellent trading port.
Within a few decades the town of Hooghly turned into a major commercial center and the largest port in Bengal. Later in 1579-80 Emperor Akbar gave permission to a Portuguese captain Pedro Tavares to establish a city anywhere in the Bengal province. They chose Hooghly, and it became the first European settlement in Bengal. In 1599 the Portuguese traders built a convent and a church in Bandel. This is the first Christian church in Bengal known as ‘Bandel Church’ today.
The Portuguese traders started misusing their powers. They started slave trading, robbery and converting natives into Christians by pressure. At one of point they even stopped paying taxes to the Mughal Empire. As a result, Emperor Shah Jahan ordered the then-ruler of Bengal province, Qasim Khan Juvayni, to block the city of Hooghly. This eventually led to a war in which the Portuguese were defeated comprehensively.
Among other European powers that came to Hooghly were the Dutch, the Danish, the British, the French, the Belgians and the Germans. Dutch traders centered their activities in the town Chuchura which is south of Hooghly. Chandannagar became the base of the French and the city remained under their control from 1816 to 1950. Similarly, the Danish establishment in settlement in Serampore (1755). All these towns are on the west bank of the Hooghly River and served as ports. Among these European countries, the British ultimately became most powerful.
Initially the British were based in and around the city of Hooghly like traders from other countries. In 1690 Job Charnock decided to shift the British trading center from Hooghly-Chinsura to Calcutta. The reason behind this decision was the strategically safe location of Calcutta and its proximity to the Bay of Bengal. As a result, the center of gravity of trade and commerce in the Bengal province shifted from the town of Hooghly to Calcutta. Hooghly lost its importance as Calcutta prospered.
After the Battle of Buxar this region was brought under direct British rule until India’s independence in 1947. After independence this district merged into the state of West Bengal.
Though the city of Hooghly is more than 500 years old, the district of Hooghly was formed in 1795 with the city of Hooghly as its headquarters. Later the headquarters shifted to the town of Chuchura. In 1843 the Howrah district was created from the southern portion of this district. And in 1872, the south-west portion of this district was merged into the Medinipur district. The last change in area occurred in 1966.

Antoine François Prévost d'Exiles  1697 - 1763, usually known simply as the Abbé Prévost, was a French author and novelist. (Ref: Tooley; M&B)

General Description:
Paper thickness and quality: - Heavy and stable
Paper color: - off white
Age of map color: - Original
Colors used: - Yellow, green, red, brown.
General color appearance: - Authentic and fresh
Paper size: - 15in x 10in (380mm x 255mm)
Plate size: - 12 1/2in x 8 1/2in (320mm x 215mm)
Margins: - Min 1/2in (12 mm)

Imperfections:
Margins: - None
Plate area: - Folds as issued
Verso: - None

$175.00