Rare English sea chart of the Gold Coast, published by Samuel Thornton.
The chart includes 2 sections of the West African Coastline, along the Cape Coast of Ghana.
A number of Western settlements are noted, including:
- Dutch Factory at Fort St. Jago
- Fort Nassau
- Fort Maure
- English Factory at Cormantaine (Fort Amsterdam)
Fort St. Jago: Fort Coenraadsburg or Conraadsburg, also Fort São Tiago da Mina, is a fort on the Dutch Gold Coast, built in 1652 to protect Fort Elmina from attacks. It was built on the site of a fortified chapel that the Portuguese had built and that the Dutch had burned to the ground in the Battle of Elmina (1637).
Fort Nassau: In 1612, Clantius built a reinforced fort at Mouri, which, due to the unfamiliarity of the Dutch with building in the tropics, was notorious for its unhealthy conditions. In 1624, the Dutch considerably expanded the fort. Fort Nassau served as the capital of the Dutch Gold Coast from its establishment until 1637, when the Dutch captured Fort Elmina from the Portuguese.
Fort Amsterdam is a fort in Kormantin, Central region, Ghana. It was built by the English between 1638 and 1645 as Fort Cormantin or Fort Courmantyne, and was captured by admiral Engel de Ruyter of the Dutch West India Company in 1665. It was subsequently made part of the Dutch Gold Coast, and remained part of it until the fort was traded with the British in 1868. The Fort is located at Abandze on the north-east of Cape Coast in the Central Region of Ghana.
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.