Detailed map of the upper Indian provinces, extending to Tibet in the north and the Bay of Bengal in the south.
Th map was drawn by James Rennell F.R.S., Surveyor General of India, and engraved from the original drawing in the Possession of the East India Company. The map includes a great amount of detail and shows roads and military outposts.
Cartouche shows a bearded sea god resting his arm on a bull's head, and an alligator and leopard are beside him. At right, an Indian woman holds a bowl over a kneeling man, as two other men look on.
States of the Map
An inexhaustive census has located three states of the map:
- Cities in the Kathmandu Valley shown, but not named
- "Part of Thibet" introduced in large lettering in the upper left of the map.
- Cities in the Kathmandu Valley named. Berar also named.
James Rennell (1742-1830) was a pioneering English geographer, historian, and oceanographer. He was responsible for the first approximately accurate map of India and published the Bengal Atlas (1779). Both works were important for British colonial interests in the Subcontinent.
Rennell is best known for his survey of India, the first scientific survey of the Subcontinent ever conducted. While serving in the Royal Navy from 1756 to '63, Rennell learned the skills of an expert colonial surveyor. He accompanied Alexander Dalrymple to the Philippines in 1762. Rennell joined the East India Company in India. He served as surveyor general of Bengal (1764-77) and of Bihār and Orissa (1767-77). He left India in 1777, returning to London where he continued to work on geographical research and publishing until his death in 1830.
William Faden (1749-1836) was a prominent London mapmaker and publisher. He worked in close partnership with the prolific Thomas Jeffreys from 1773 to 1776. In 1783, Faden assumed ownership of the Jeffreys firm and was named Geographer to the King in the same year. Faden specialized in depictions of North America and also commanded a large stock of British county maps, which made him attractive as a partner to the Ordnance Survey; he published the first Ordnance map in 1801. The Admiralty also admired his work and acquired some of his plates which were re-issued as official naval charts. After retiring in 1823 the lucrative business passed to James Wyld, a former apprentice.
William Faden (1749-1836) was the most prominent London mapmaker and publisher of the late-eighteenth and early-nineteenth centuries. His father, William Mackfaden, was a printer who dropped the first part of his last name due to the Jacobite rising of 1745.
Apprenticed to an engraver in the Clothworkers' Company, he was made free of the Company in August of 1771. He entered into a partnership with the family of Thomas Jeffreys, a prolific and well-respected mapmaker who had recently died in 1771. This partnership lasted until 1776.
Also in 1776, Faden joined the Society of Civil Engineers, which later changed its name to the Smeatonian Society of Civil Engineers. The Smeatonians operated as an elite, yet practical, dining club and his membership led Faden to several engineering publications, including canal plans and plans of other new engineering projects.
Faden's star rose during the American Revolution, when he produced popular maps and atlases focused on the American colonies and the battles that raged within them. In 1783, just as the war ended, Faden inherited his father's estate, allowing him to fully control his business and expand it; in the same year he gained the title "Geographer in Ordinary to his Majesty."
Faden also commanded a large stock of British county maps, which made him attractive as a partner to the Ordnance Survey; he published the first Ordnance map in 1801, a map of Kent. The Admiralty also admired his work and acquired some of his plates which were re-issued as official naval charts.
Faden was renowned for his ingenuity as well as his business acumen. In 1796 he was awarded a gold medal by the Society of Arts. With his brother-in-law, the astronomer and painter John Russell, he created the first extant lunar globe.
After retiring in 1823 the lucrative business passed to James Wyld, a former apprentice. He died in Shepperton in 1826, leaving a large estate.