NZ102 - A Chart of New Zealand explored by Captain James Cook in 1769 &c 1770
This map of New Zealand, showing the first voyage of discovery around New Zealand (1769-71) by Captain James Cook was published 1816. Cook completed his voyage in His Majesty's Bark, Endeavour.
- 1816 (1769/70)
- British Hydrographic Office
- h23.5" x w18"
- In 1816, the British Hydrographic Office under Thomas Hurd produced this chart for its vessels. It is a very rare first edition and it was continuously consulted by the Royal Navy into the twentieth century. Because of the complexity of the assignment and the great accuracy of the survey, it is also considered to be one of Cook's very finest maps, and one of the truly great achievements of Enlightenment cartography. From the 1769 exploration of New Zealand and the southern seas Cook returned with no less than 200 surveys. As early as 1773 the surveys made by Cook (with Richard Pickersgill - First Mate of the Endeavour) were used to produce charts and maps for public consumption. Most notable amongst them is one included in John Hawkesworth's 'An Account of the Voyages undertaken by the order of His Present Majesty for making Discoveries in the Southern Hemisphere' (London: W. Strahan and T. Cadell, 1773). As charts and maps were fervently produced for public, military and commercial consumption the information recorded and included varied. The chart included in Hawkesworth's work includes more cartographic (land) detail than shown here on this later but similar Admiralty edition. Close inspection of the 1816 Admiralty chart presented here shows the track of the Endeavour in 1769 & 1770 around the North and South islands but excludes the soundings (measurements of depth) included in Cook & Pickersgill's original survey work. It includes most of the original names given by Cook to the places he observed and continues with the use of the long 's' or 'f' in some of the names such as Cape 'Palliffer', as reference to the old surveys the chart is based on but a practice which was generally out of use by 1816. One of the most striking features of Cook's work is the accuracy of it. Cook was a master of the Running Survey of which his New Zealand work is a fine example. His depiction of the coast was excellent and his original survey chart of the entire country included notes written along the coast as to mountains and forests (see heritage Charts NZ101) are not included on this Admiralty version. For the record, knowledge of how to record Latitude was at the time quite accurate and, by way of example, Cook places Cape Kidnappers (Hawkes Bay) at 39° 45" which is quite accurate. Fixing Longitude in 1769 however was still in its infancy and Cook did not have a chronometer with him on this voyage. He places Cape Kidnappers somewhere within two or three arcminutes of today's values. This translates to a potential navigational error of two or three nautical miles in latitude.  A Running Survey is a rough survey made by a vessel while coasting. Bearings to landmarks are taken at intervals as the vessel sails offshore, and are used to fix features on the coast and further inland. Intervening coastal detail is sketched-in.
- A Chart of New Zealand explored by Captain James Cook in 1769 &c 1770