Sign In

Forgot Password Create Account
Stock# 57931
Description

Rare separately published sea chart of the Strait of Gibraltar coast of Southern Spain and the corresponding coast of North Africa, published by Robique.

Small inset maps of:

  • Malaga
  • Rade D'Almeria
  • Port Genoves
  • Port Pedro
  • Baie de Carbonera
  • Port Aguilas
  • Baie D'Alicante
  • Melilah

The information is drawn from the work of William Henry Smyth. 

William Henry Smyth, R.N.: Master Hydrogapher

William Henry Smyth (1788-1865), often called "Mediterranean Smyth" was one of the most important hydrographers of his era, and subsequently became a leading member of the scientific community in London. Smyth went to sea at the age of 14, joining the crew of the Cornwallis, an East India merchantman. Shortly thereafter the Cornwallis was impressed into service with the Royal Navy, and aboard Smyth saw service in China, India and Australia, before returning to the European theater. In 1810, he received his first command when he became skipper of a Spanish gunboat, Mors et Gloria, during the defense of Cadiz. He subsequently joined the HMS Rodney off of Toulon, before returning to the coasts of Spain.

In March 1813, Smyth was promoted to the rank of lieutenant and posted to the Sicilian flotilla. While not engaging the French in battle, Smyth had the opportunity to conduct informal surveys of the coastlines and explore his love of antiquities and archaeology. Following the end of the war, in the summer of 1815, Smyth was promoted to commander, and placed in charge of the HMS Scylla. His highly accurate and beautifully drafted manuscript charts of Sicily so impressed the Admiralty that Smyth was officially charged with conducting advanced trigonometric and hydrographic surveys of the coasts of southern Italy and Tunisia. Ever the skillful diplomat, he forged close relationships with Austrian and Neapolitan surveyors that allowed him to complete the first scientific survey of the coasts of the Adriatic Sea, which were subsequently published as the Carta di Cabottaggio del Mare Adriatico (1822-24).

In 1817, Smyth was placed in command of the HMS Aid, a ship which was later renamed the HMS Adventure, and would become famous for accompanying the HMS Beagle on Charles Darwin's first overseas voyage. For the next seven years, Smyth greatly expanded his surveying activities, charting the coasts of northwestern Italy, Greece, Libya and Egypt. Beginning in 1821, his various regional charts were printed in London by the Admiralty, with many being compiled into an atlas, The Hydrography of Sicily, Malta, and the adjacent Islands (1823).

Attaining the rank of Rear Admiral in 1825, Smyth retired from active naval service, and dedicated the rest of his career to the pursuit of scientific and literary ventures. Returning to England, he established an observatory at Bedford, and his work in astronomy won him the Gold Medal of the Royal Astronomical Society. He also served as President of the Royal Geographical Society and was a foremost authority on numismatics. When Smyth died in 1865, he was hailed as one of the most respected and beloved intellectuals in Britain.

Condition Description
Top left corner torn away.