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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 Hydrographical surveys under the direction of Captain D. Claudio Montero.

The present map is updated to 1885, with large corrections to 1886 and smaller corrections to 1887.  The updates are quite extensive, including

  • addition of a significant amount of topographical details
  • complete remapping of Subic Bay
  • extensive re-sounding of Manila Bay
  • interior details and river system added to the land north of the bay.
  • Railroad line (under construction) to Lingayen Gulf shown.
  • Manila area is remapped and 3 new lighthouses are added.
  • River system north of Manila updated
  • Coastal features and topography around Punta de Kalumpan and Port Limbones significantly improved.

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.


The map is rare on the market.  

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.