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Description

The First View of Hanoi

Striking copper engraved view of Hanoi, published by John Churchill to illustrate Samuel Baron's account of the region.

The view shows the buildings of Hanoi, Sandy Bay, the King's Arsenal, the King's Elephant's Stables and the English and Dutch factories.

Contains interesting representations of indigenous rowed galleys of the period.

Samuel Baron was born to Dutch and Vietnamese parents. His account of Vietnam was the second earliest published account of the region in English.  Baron describes life in seventeenth-century Tonkin through a series of brief compositions.  While born to a Dutch parent, Baron was ultimately in the employ of the English East India Company by 1671.  In 1686, Samuel Baron wrote from Fort St George, the East India Company headquarters in Madras, to Robert Hooke and Robert Hoskins of the Royal Society, enclosing a draft of his Description of the Kingdom of Tonqueen. The manuscript was not published immediately, but appeared in Churchill's early-eighteenth-century collection of voyages and is still considered a valuable source of information about early modern Vietnam.