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One of the Largest Obtainable English Language Maps of Manila Bay

Highly detailed chart of the Bay of Manila, published by the British Hydrographical Survey.

The map is a remarkably detailed work, based upon the Spanish Philippine Hydgrographical surveys under the direction of Captain D. Claudio Montero.

The present map is updated from earlier editions, most notably the edition updated to 1885. The following differences are noted between the 1885 and 1906 maps:

  • The text in the "Tides" note is expanded
  • A text box below S. Pedro Makati gives Storm Signals in the 1906 map.
  • The contour of the shallow water and soundings south of Manila are revised.
  • Additonal soundings east of Corregidor
  • Additional soundings south of the words "Port Subic"
  • The south coast, on either side of Mariveles is revised
  • The present example includes a pastedown in the lower left corner, which is likely intended as an update to the Mariveles region, circa 1950 (pencil notes at the bottom suggest that there are two pastedowns from 1950
  • The topography of the Dos Picos and vicinity near Port Jamilo is updated.
  • Inset box added, with an updated pastedown for Cavite City, Canacao Bay and vicinity, also likely printed 1950.

Montero, a Spanish Naval Captain, led an extensive survey for the region for Spain. He also collaborated with the British Navy in other regional surveys.

Condition Description
Minor soiling and a 2 minor tears at bottom, repaired on verso.
British Admiralty Biography

The British Admiralty has produced nautical charts since 1795 under the auspices of the United Kingdom Hydrographic Office (HO). Its main task was to provide the Royal Navy with navigational products and service, but since 1821 it has also sold charts to the public.

In 1795, King George III appointed Alexander Dalrymple, a pedantic geographer, to consolidate, catalogue, and improve the Royal Navy’s charts. He produced the first chart as the Hydrographer to the Admiralty in 1802. Dalrymple, known for his sticky personality, served until his death in 1808, when he was succeeded by Captain Thomas Hurd. The HO has been run by naval officers ever since.

Hurd professionalized the office and increased its efficiency. He was succeeded by the Arctic explorer Captain William Parry in 1823. By 1825, the HO was offering over seven hundred charts and views for sale. Under Parry, the HO also began to participate in exploratory expeditions. The first was a joint French-Spanish-British trip to the South Atlantic, a voyage organized in part by the Royal Society of London.

In 1829, Rear-Admiral Sir Francis Beaufort was appointed Hydrographer Royal. Under his management, the HO introduced the wind force scale named for him, as well as began issuing official tide tables (1833). It was under Beaufort that HMS Beagle completed several surveying missions, including its most famous voyage commanded by Captain FitzRoy with Charles Darwin onboard. When Beaufort retired in 1855, the HO had nearly two thousand charts in its catalog.

Later in the nineteenth century, the HO supported the Challenger expedition, which is credited with helping to found the discipline of oceanography. The HO participated in the International Meridian Conference which decided on the Greenwich Meridian as the Prime Meridian. Regulation and standardization of oceanic and navigational measures continued into the twentieth century, with the HO participating at the first International Hydrographic Organization meeting in 1921.

During World War II, the HO chart making facility moved to Taunton, the first purpose-built building it ever inhabited. In 1953, the first purpose-built survey ship went to sea, the HMS Vidal. Today, there is an entire class of survey vessels that make up the Royal Navy’s Hydrographic Squadron. The HO began to computerize their charts in the late 1960s and early 1970s. In 1968, the compilation staff also came to Taunton, and the HO continues to work from there today.