1796 Barrow Large Antique Map Sea Chart Lord Macartneys Voyage England to China

Cartographer :John Barrow

  • Title : A General Chart on Mercators Projection, To Shew The Track of the Lion and Hindostan from England to the Gulph of Pekin in China, and of their return to England, with the daily statement of the Barometer and Thermometer as observed at noon; containing also the limits of the Chinese Empire, as extended by the Conquests of the present Emperor Tchien-Lung
  • Ref #:  93409
  • Size: 39 1/2in x 26 1/2in (1.00m x 675mm)
  • Date : 1796
  • Condition: (A) Very Good Condition

This very large original copper plate engraved antique map, a chart, by John Barrow, in 1796, was issued in the atlas volume of the official account by George Staunton of Lord George Macartneys travels to China, An Authentic Account of an Embassy from the King of Great Britain to the Emporer of China in 1796..

General Definitions:
Paper thickness and quality: - Light and stable
Paper color : - off white
Age of map color: - Original
Colors used: - Yellow, green, blue, pink
General color appearance: - Authentic
Paper size: - 39 1/2in x 26 1/2in (1.00m x 675mm)
Plate size: - 38in x 24 1/2in (960mm x 620mm)
Margins: - Min 1in (25mm)

Margins: - Folds as issued
Plate area: - Light soiling along bottom folds, as issued
Verso: - Bottom folds re-enforced along bottom folds

Lord George Macartney was Britains first envoy to China, tasked with convincing Emperor Qianlong to ease restrictions on trade between Great Britain and China and to allow the 1st British embassy to be established. He was not successful in either of these endeavours.
The map shows the track of two ships, the Lion and Hindostan, on their routes from England to China and back. Each days progress was recorded along the route, with several notations to the dangers along the way.
The map was drawn by John Barrow, who was the private secretary to Lord Macartney.

The chart extends from Turon Bay (present day Da Nang, Vietnam) up the coast of eastern Asia to the Gulph of Leao-Tung in the Whang-Hai or Yellow Sea (the Gulf of Bohai in the Yellow Sea). The track of the Lion, Hindostan, and Tenders is traced, with soundings, sea bottom classifications, temperature and barometric readings, dates, and assorted notes, such as Lion and Tenders parted from the Hindostan in the fog. China is divided into several provinces, and many towns and cities are named, including Beijing (here referred to as Pekin). A portion of the Great Wall of China is depicted and rivers are accompanied by notes on their courses and sources. Taiwan is depicted with incomplete borders to the east of the ships\' track. Engraved by B. Baker and published by George Nicol.

Barrow, Sir John 1764 - 1848
Barrow, 1st Baronet, was an English civil servant, geographer, linguist and writer. Barrows legacy has been met with mixed analysis. Some historians regard Barrow as an instrument of imperialism who portrayed Africa as a resource rich land devoid of any human or civilized elements. Nonetheless, other historians consider Barrow to have promoted humanitarianism and rights for South Africans.
Barrow was born the only child of Roger Barrow, a tanner in the village of Dragley Beck, in the parish of Ulverston, Lancashire. He was schooled at Town Bank grammar school, Ulverston, but left at age 13 to found a Sunday school for the poor.
Barrow was employed as superintending clerk of an iron foundry at Liverpool. At only 16, he went on a whaling expedition to Greenland. By his twenties, he was teaching mathematics, in which he had always excelled, at a private school in Greenwich.
Barrow taught mathematics to the son of Sir George Leonard Staunton; through Stauntons interest, he was attached on the first British embassy to China from 1792 to 1794 as comptroller of the household to Lord Macartney. He soon acquired a good knowledge of the Chinese language, on which he subsequently contributed articles to the Quarterly Review; and the account of the embassy published by Sir George Staunton records many of Barrows valuable contributions to literature and science connected with China.
Barrow ceased to be officially connected with Chinese affairs after the return of the embassy in 1794, but he always took much interest in them, and on critical occasions was frequently consulted by the British government.
Some historians attribute the stagnation thesis to Barrow; that China was an extremely civilized nation that was in a process of decay by the time of European contact.
In 1797, Barrow accompanied Lord Macartney as private secretary in his important and delicate mission to settle the government of the newly acquired colony of the Cape of Good Hope. Barrow was entrusted with the task of reconciling the Boer settlers and the native Black population and of reporting on the country in the interior. In the course of the trip, he visited all parts of the colony; when he returned, he was appointed auditor-general of public accounts. He then decided to settle in South Africa, married, and bought a house in 1800 in Cape Town. However, the surrender of the colony at the peace of Amiens (1802) upset this plan.
During his travels through South Africa, Barrow compiled copious notes and sketches of the countryside that he was traversing. The outcome of his journeys was a map which, despite its numerous errors, was the first published modern map of the southern parts of the Cape Colony. Barrows descriptions of South Africa greatly influenced Europeans understanding of South Africa and its peoples. William John Burchell (1781–1863) was particularly scathing: As to the miserable thing called a map, which has been prefixed to Mr. Barrows quarto, I perfectly agree with Professor Lichtenstein, that it is so defective that it can seldom be found of any use.
Barrow returned to Britain in 1804 and was appointed Second Secretary to the Admiralty by Viscount Melville, a post which he held for forty years – apart from a short period in 1806–1807 when there was a Whig government in power. Lord Grey took office as Prime Minister in 1830, and Barrow was especially requested to remain in his post, starting the principle that senior civil servants stay in office on change of government and serve in a non-partisan manner. Indeed, it was during his occupancy of the post that it was renamed Permanent Secretary. Barrow enjoyed the esteem and confidence of all the eleven chief lords who successively presided at the Admiralty board during that period, and more especially of King William IV while lord high admiral, who honoured him with tokens of his personal regard.
In his position at the Admiralty, Barrow was a great promoter of Arctic voyages of discovery, including those of John Ross, William Edward Parry, James Clark Ross and John Franklin. The Barrow Strait in the Canadian Arctic as well as Point Barrow and the city of Barrow in Alaska are named after him. He is reputed to have been the initial proposer of Saint Helena as the new place of exile for Napoleon Bonaparte following the Battle of Waterloo in 1815. Barrow was a fellow of the Royal Society and received the degree of LL.D from the University of Edinburgh in 1821. A baronetcy was conferred on him by Sir Robert Peel in 1835. He was also a member of the Raleigh Club, a forerunner of the Royal Geographical Society.
Barrow retired from public life in 1845 and devoted himself to writing a history of the modern Arctic voyages of discovery (1846), as well as his autobiography, published in 1847. He died suddenly on 23 November 1848. The Sir John Barrow monument was built in his honour on Hoad Hill overlooking his home town of Ulverston, though locally it is more commonly called Hoad Monument. Mount Barrow and Barrow Island in Australia are believed to have been named for him.