A714 - A Chart of Barbados 'To his Excellency The Rt. Hon. Stapleton...'
A hugely historical and significant map produced on six separate plates engraved by the firm J & C Walker. The essential content is that of a listing of all Parishes and slave plantations, and ownership, on the Island at the time.
- F. Barrallier, Captain H.H.
- h55.5" x w47"
The full title of the plan reads: A Chart of Barbados 'To his Excellency The Rt. Hon. Stapleton. Lord Combermere. Commander In Chief Of The Army In India, Colonel of the 3rd Regiment of Dragoons GCB, GCH, KTS, KSF, &.&.&. Late Commander of the forces in the Windward and Leeward Charibbee Islands &.&.&. and Governor of Barbados And to a liberal Patron Giggs Walker Jordan, Esq. F.R.S. the late Colonial Agent for that Island this trigonometrical survey is Respectfully Dedicated by their most obedient humble servant F. Barrallier. Captain H.H. 25th Light Dragoons'. London 1st June 1825. Engraved by J. & C. Wallker.
The survey which went toward the production of this map is was extremely detailed and the map is remarkable for not only the listing of plantation owners names within each 'County' but also for the names of the estates or plantations they owned. Overall, the map is, at once, one of the most exact and historically significant pieces of cartography produced at this time, especially when seen at full size, while at the same time being almost sinister in it's dark subject matter.
Many features of the island are shown in remarkable detail: land relief - a table of heights (in declining order) is also included below the main cartouche; the inclusion of all roads and rivers; monuments and forts, of which there are over 20 along the western coast of the island; hydrographical information, including reefs or rocks and depths in the major harbour of Bridgetown. The map also includes sailing directions in to Bridgetown if sailing from the east.
Perhaps the most striking detail on the chart is the title cartouche itself: Fittingly, Francis Barrallier, the man responsible for the map was every bit as remarkable a character as the title cartouche which dominates this beautiful chart itself; Barrallier first came to note when he sailed with Lieutenant-Governor King on the Speedy to Sydney Australia in 1800. It was in Australia that Barrallier started to make his name as a surveyor. At the same time he appears on the Army List as an Ensign in the New South Wales Corps. In 1801 he helped survey the Bass Strait and the Western Port. In 1802, having completed two excursions into the interior of Australia he was forced to return to England after a dispute with Governor King. Barrallier, despite this set-back continued to rise amongst the ranks. He was made Lieutenant 90th Foot in 1805: Captain 101st Foot 1809: exchanged for half pay to the 25th light Dragoons 8th Feb, 1821. He later rose to even higher ranks but in this time Barrallier served in the west Indies and continued to progress his career as a surveyor and engineer.
Barrallier died in 1853 at his residence, 24 Bedford Square. He was 80 years old. His Excellency The Rt. Hon. Stapleton. Lord Combermere... to whom this chart is ostentatiously dedicated was indeed a successful man. He had enjoyed a highly decorated career in India, Ireland, through the Peninsular war, and in the aftermath of Waterloo. Stapleton was an ostentatious man, once described by Wellington as a 'Damned fool', but clearly a valued member of Duke's command.
In 1817 he was appointed governor of Barbados and commander of the West Indian forces. Whilst holding this position Stapleton is best remembered for having the Chase Vault opened and examined in search of an explanation for the "moving coffins" therein. Interestingly, by the time the map was published in 1827, His Excellency The Rt. Hon. Stapleton. Lord Combermere.. had been out of his post as Governor of Barbados nearly 7 years, having been appointed Governor of Sheerness in 1821 and Commander-in-Chief, Ireland in 1822.
It raises the question of whether the map was commissioned privately as a tribute to the Stapleton and only released as a publication later. It is certainly extremely rare and was not, at its original size, suitable for general consumption. This edition does have copy grid-lines marked in pencil across it which is an indication that it was reduced at some point in time.
- A Chart of Barbados 'To his Excellency The Rt. Hon. Stapleton...'