Scarce engraved sea chart of the coast of coast of Mozambique and the island of Madagascar with three insets of important ports north of Mozambique.
This is an important map for Kenya as well, as it shows "Mombass Island", now Mombasa, with a pictorial depiction of the urban development there. Several forts and churches are shown. Houses, flags, and anchorages are also depicted.
The coast of Madagascar is shown in great detail, with soundings and reefs depicted.
Reunion is shown at the far right of the map, called "I. Burbon" as was the French convention at the time.
The present example of the map is from the 1734 edition of Mount & Page's publication of the English Pilot, the Third Book, which was the definitive English-language sea chart book for the voyage to the East Indies when it was first introduced in the 17th century. The English Pilot, The Third Book is very scarce on the market; the last example to appear at auction was sold for over 150,000 euros.
This state of the map obliterates the imprint found below the title.
Samuel Thornton (d. 1715) was the son of and heir to John Thornton, the preeminent English mapmaker of the last quarter of the 17th century. After John's death in 1708, Samuel continued his business, updating the imprints to include his own name. After that, many of the plates passed to Richard Mount and Thomas Page.
John Thornton was a respected and prominent chartmaker in London in the latter part of the seventeenth century. He was one of the final members of the Thames School of chartmakers and served as the hydrographer to the Hudson's Bay Company and the East India Company. He produced a large variety of printed charts, maps, and atlases in his career, but he was also a renowned manuscript chart maker. Born in London in 1641, he was apprenticed in the Drapers Company to a chartmaker, John Burston. After being made free of the company (1665), he was part of the combine that took over John Seller’ English Pilot in 1677. Thornton was trusted by the naval and navigational establishment of the day; one of his clients was Samuel Pepys, naval administrator and diarist. Thornton died in 1708, leaving his stock to his son, Samuel, who carried on the business.
Samuel, born in ca. 1665, also had apprenticed in the Drapers Company and was made free a year after his father’s death. He continued the business until 1715, when he died. His stock then passed to Richard Mount and Thomas Page.