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  • A607 - The Bermuda Islands from the survey of Thomas Hurd
SKU: A607

A607 - The Bermuda Islands from the survey of Thomas Hurd

£159.98Price
The first published Admiralty chart of The Bermuda Islands. Nearly 30 years after Lieutenant Thomas Hurd had completed his survey of the Island of Bermuda in 1797, the Admiralty released this reduced copy of that definitive survey. It is widely believed that the Hurd survey was not reproduced or published prior to 1827 for fear that the hydrographical information may fall into American hands, and even then, when the Admiralty did eventually release this reduced copy it was only to the Admiralty Packet Service.
  • 1827

Further Information

Size of Original
Size of Original
Author
Author
Date
Date

Title

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Description

Further Information

Since the 1790s, and with much thanks to Hurd's survey, Bermuda had been of increasing strategic importance to the British as a mid-way station between Halifax, Britain and her Caribbean Colonies. Its location close to the North American mainland was no less important. The establishment of a large naval base on the Island was a further mark of its value as it was thus able to extend substantial protection to the trade routes to and from the Caribbean. Since the late 1600s the Packet Service had been responsible for the urgent delivery of important correspondence or valuable items, and was an essential service for the British Government and Military in the running of their overseas interests. The Admiralty took direct control over the service in 1823. In times of war, and indeed in the years in between, the lightly armed 'packet' ships and vessels were under constant threat, not only from not the enemy but also from pirates and privateers. The need for a direct mail service to the Island had by 1827 become a necessity, and the absence of an accurate chart which could be used by the Packet Service was a real encumbrance. It was thus the urgent need for the Packet Service to be able to navigate and negotiate Bermuda's treacherous waters safely which was directly responsible for the production of this chart. On the 14th February 1827 Captain William King, Superintendent of Packets, requested that they be 'furnished with more charts of Bermuda to be put into the boxes for the Packets'. The response from the head of the Admiralty's Hydrographic Office, Captain William Parry RN, was to 'suggest the propriety of reducing a proper one from Captain Hurd's large survey, whenever draftsmen can be spared for that purpose'. The copy was finally completed in October of that year, 8 months later, and 16 copies dispatched to Captain King at the Packet Service. Hurd's original survey (see A603a & A603b) still bears the copy gridlines made for the purpose of copying and reducing the survey, and was accomplished by the chief draughtsman employed at the Hydrographic Office, John Walker Senior. Walker took eight days to draw grid squares on the original survey and select the most important features to copy onto a similarly gridded single sheet of paper. Although containing very little detail in comparison with the original survey it was nevertheless the most detailed and accurate chart available at the time. Note that the chart has been reorientated to show the Island lying True North where the original survey (see A603a & A603b) does not. Reference: Webb, A. 'Capatin William King RN, the Admiralty Packet Service and the Hydrographic Office 1823-29' TROZE The Online Journal of the National Maritime Museum Cornwall. Sept 2009, Vol 1, No.5

Size of Original
h27.5" x w34"
Author

Lt. Thomas Hurd

Date
1827

The first published Admiralty chart of The Bermuda Islands. Nearly 30 years after Lieutenant Thomas Hurd had completed his survey of the Island of Bermuda in 1797, the Admiralty released this reduced copy of that definitive survey. It is widely believed that the Hurd survey was not reproduced or published prior to 1827 for fear that the hydrographical information may fall into American hands, and even then, when the Admiralty did eventually release this reduced copy it was only to the Admiralty Packet Service.

A607 - The Bermuda Islands from the survey of Thomas Hurd

A607

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