Rare early English sea chart of China's Zhejiang Province, which appeared in an early edition of the The English Pilot: Third Book.
The map shows the area around Zhoushan, including Ningbo, Hangzhou and the area just to the south of Shanghai.
This chart illustrates China's modern day Zhejiang province, located on the East China sea, just south of the Yangtze Delta, an area of tremendous activity and interest for European traders during the eighteenth-century. The map shows the port of Zhousan (Chusan), the location of the entrance of the Grand Canal of China. Constructed in the 5th-century B.C., the Canal was then the oldest and longest man-made waterway in the world, which allowed barges to travel hundreds to Beijing.
In 1671, John Seller commenced work on The English Pilot, which was planned as a four volume sea atlas covering different regions of the globe, Seller's first part, entitled the Oriental navigation, first appeared on the market in 1675. Before further maps could be produced, Seller sold the plates to John Thornton, the official hydrographer to the English East India Company. Over the net decades, Thorton expanded the work, issuing the first edition of the Third Book, detailing navigation in the East Indies in 1703.
While Thornton largely based his charts on those of earlier Dutch cartographers, most notably those found in Pieter Goos' Zee-Spiegel and Lucas Janz Waghenaer's Mariner's Mirror, The English Pilot proved to be enormously popular. When John Thornton died in 1708, his brother Samuel continued the work and expansion of the book, ultimately selling out to Mount & Page, who continued the work for over half a century.