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Robert Dudley / R.H. Pease:  Carta particolare della nuova Belgia e parte della nuova Anglia . . .

Maps of the Northeast (New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey)



Title: Carta particolare della nuova Belgia e parte della nuova Anglia . . .

Map Maker: Robert Dudley /  R.H. Pease

Place / Date: Albany / 1646 (1849)

Coloring: Uncolored

Size: 18.5 x 15 inches

Condition: VG

Price: SOLD

Inventory ID: 51242


Description:

19th Century Lithographic Copy of First Sea Chart of New England and New Netherlands

Lithographic copy of Robert Dudley's chart of Northeastern United States, extending from Cape James and Cape Hinelopen at the mouth of Delaware Bay to the Maine Coastline, centered on the area between New York City and Cape Cod.

Dudley's chart is the first printed sea chart of New England and New Netherlands.  It is also the earliest obtainable sea chart to show the prevailing winds, ocean currents and magnetic variations of the compass.

Dudley compiled this chart from numerous sources, though by far the most important base map was Willem Blaeu’s Nova Belgica, which served as the source for the coast between Boston Harbor and Delaware Bay.  Some place names along the Massachusetts coast (New Plimouth, Boston, C. Anna) are clearly from later states of Smith’s New England, while yet others are based on English manuscript maps, most notably, John Daniell's manuscript chart of 1639.  According to Burden “the R:Carlo [i.e., Delaware River] is found… on a manuscript chart of Nicolas Comberford, 1646, illustrating that Dudley was adding information all the time.”  

Perhaps the most important feature of the chart for contemporary navigators was Dudley's use of the navigator-friendly Mercator projection and the inclusion of soundings in and around Massachusetts Bay as well as information about prevailing winds and variation of the compass.  As mentioned above, this is the first time such information appears on a printed map of the region.   

Dudley's chart was first published in Florence in 1646-47 and re-issued in 1661 in a second state.

The chart appeared in Dudley's Arcano del Mare, one of the rarest and most highly sought after sea atlases of the 17th Century. Dudley, an Englishman, produced this exquisite work while living in Florence. Dudley, who was believed to have received some of his information directly from Sir Francis Drake, labored for decades before finally releasing the first edition of this work when he was 73 years old.  Dudley's atlas is of the utmost importance, being the first Sea Atlas published by an Englishman and the first Sea Atlas to treat the entire world (not just Europe).  It is also the first atlas to utilize the Mercator Projection on a uniform basis and included significant advances in "Great Circle" navigation (shortest circle around the Globe).  Its inclusion of winds and currents was also a monumental first.  Completed in Manuscript form in 1636, it is among the most important works in the history of European Cartography.

Robert Dudley (1574 – 1649) was the illegitimate son of Robert Dudley, 1st Earl of Leicester. In 1594, Dudley led an expedition to the West Indies, of which he wrote an account. In 1605, he tried unsuccessfully to establish his legitimacy in court.  After that he left England and converted to Catholicism, taking up residence in Florence where he served the Grand Dukes of Tuscany in their efforts to rid the Mediterranean of Piracy. There he worked as a noted shipbuilder and designed and published Dell'Arcano del Mare, the first maritime atlas to cover the whole world. He was also a skilled navigator, mathematician and engineer. In Italy, he styled himself Earl of Warwick and Leicester, as well as Duke of Northumberland.  He was a friend of Sir Francis Drake and relative of Thomas Cavendish, both of whom corresponded with Dudley and likely supplied some of the information for his Atlas.


Condition Description: Minor foxing.


Related Categories:
Maps of the Mid Atlantic (Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Washington D.C., West Virginia)
Maps of New England (Maine, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Vermont, New Hampshire)
Maps of the Northeast (New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey)

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