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Description: This large extremely rare original antique map of St Helena Island is special. Special not just because of its rarity but also because the survey of the Island to construct this map, were undertaken by George Thomas onboard HMS Northumberland in 1815.
The Northumberland, under the command of Rear Admiral Sir George Cockburn, was responsible for transporting Napoleon to the Island after his defeat at the battle of Waterloo. And so the surveys would have been carried out by Thomas, after delivering Napoleon to the Island and would have been used by the Royal Navy as intelligence in case of a rescue or kidnap attempt on Napoleon. I have been able to locate only one other copy of the map in the Bibliothèque nationale de France. The map has extensive depth soundings as well as coastal navigation points with text on both the Barn & Sperry Ledge and remarks on sunken rocks off Mundens Point and James Town. The map was published by John Horsburgh Hydrographer to the East India Company on January 1st 1817.
Admiral of the Fleet Sir George Cockburn, 10th Baronet (22 April 1772 – 19 August 1853) was a Royal Navy officer. As a captain he was present at the battle of Cape St Vincent in February 1797 during the French Revolutionary Wars and commanded the naval support at the reduction of Martinique in February 1809 during the Napoleonic Wars. He also directed the capture and burning of Washington on 24 August 1814 as an advisor to Major General Robert Ross during the War of 1812. He went on to be First Naval Lord and in that capacity sought to improve the standards of gunnery in the fleet, forming a gunnery school at Portsmouth; later he ensured that the Navy had latest steam and screw technology and put emphasis of the ability to manage seamen without the need to resort to physical punishment. In August 1815 Cockburn was given the job of conveying Napoleon Bonaparte in the third-rate HMS Northumberland to Saint Helena: Cockburn remained there for some months as governor of the island and Commander-in-Chief of the Cape of Good Hope Station. He was advanced to Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath on 20 February 1818, and having been promoted to vice-admiral on 12 August 1819, he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society on 21 December 1820
HMS Northumberland was a 74-gun third rate ship of the line of the Royal Navy, built at the yards of Barnard, Deptford and launched on 2 February 1798. Northumberland participated in the Battle of San Domingo, where she was damaged, and suffered 21 killed and 74 wounded, the highest casualties of any British ship in the battle. On November 22, 1810, Northumberland, while in the company of HMS Armada, a 74-gun third rate, captured the 14-gun French privateerketch La Glaneuse. She received a measure of fame when she transported Napoleon I into captivity on the Island of Saint Helena. Napoleon had surrendered to Captain Frederick Maitland of HMS Bellerophon, on 15 July 1815 and was then transported to Plymouth. Napoleon was transferred from the Bellerophon to the Northumberland for his final voyage to St. Helena because concerns were expressed about the suitability of the ageing ship. HMS Northumberland was therefore selected instead. (Ref: M&B; Tooley)
General Description: Paper thickness and quality: - Heavy & stable Paper color: - White Age of map color: - Colors used: - General color appearance: - Paper size: - 27in x 26in (685mm x 660mm) Plate size: - 25 1/2in x 25in (650mm x 635mm) Margins: - Min 1/2in (12mm)
Imperfections: Margins: - None Plate area: - None Verso: - None