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Product Description


A late 18th century sea chart in old or original colour of the West Coast of Sumatra that includes Bencoolen and Fort Marlborough, where British trading interests were still active at the end of the 18th century and before period of British rule in Java and Bencoolen under Sir Stamford Raffles between 1811–1816. The chart is by Captain Joseph Huddart (1741-1816), East India Company Captain, hydrographer and civil engineer, an Elder Brother of Trinity House and Fellow of the Royal Society, with improvements and additions by John Price, Chief Mate of the ship Kent and published by Laurie and Whittle (fl. 1794-1812) of London in The Complete East India Pilot in 1798 and later.

The English East India Company set up a trading post in Bencoolen to take advantage of the lucrative pepper trade in 1685 and by 1689 had established a strong presence and encouraged Chinese colonists to settle there. In 1714 the foundations of Fort Marlborough were laid and the fort completed by 1720 where it remained as the symbol of the Company’s military might until 1782 when the magazine, in which were 400 barrels of gunpowder, was fired by lightning and blew up; providentially, few lives were lost and the fort was repaired. In 1802 an act of parliament was passed to “authorize the East India Company to make their settlement at Fort Marlborough in the East Indies, a factory subordinate to the Presidency of Fort William in Bengal”. In 1798, plants of nutmeg and clove had, for the first time, been smuggled from the Moluccas and in 1803 a number of trees planted in the Fort Marlborough area. The plantations were still flourishing when Sir Stamford Raffles was Lieutenant Governor of Bencoolen between 1820-24.

A good, strong impression in very good condition apart from a few small vertical tears along the top margin that have been repaired with archival tape; measures 524 x 610 mm.

Purchase code: M0304

Price on request.

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