Nice old color example of Laurie & Whittle's map of the Caribbean, East Florida and parts of Central and South America.
The map is a curious and fascinating departure from Laurie & Whittle's other charts of the region, published in 1794 - https://www.raremaps.com/gallery/detail/63474
The place names in Southern Florida and the Keys are of note, including:
- Hillsboro Bay
- Bay of Tampa
- Sanybel I[sland]
- C. Roman
- Chatham Bay
- Mules Keys
- Richmond Bay
- Martyrs Reefs and Shoals
- Sandwich Gulf
- Cape Florida
- "the Bleach Yard" (Hobe Mountain)
The map presents an excellent depiction of the Bahamas and the islands south of Cuba, as well as Great Cayman and Caymanbrack.
The map is deceptively rare on the market, having only been issued very briefly by Laurie & Whittle.
Richard Holmes Laurie (1777-1858) was the son of mezzotint engraver Robert Laurie, who had taken over Robert Sayer's publishing house with James Whittle in 1794. Richard Holmes Laurie joined in a partnership with Whittle when his father retired in 1812. The name of the firm then switched from Laurie & Whittle to Whittle & Laurie. Whittle died in 1818, leaving Richard Holmes to continue publishing alone as R. H. Laurie.
When the Hydrographic Office opened in 1795, it was tasked with creating and producing all the nautical charts for the Royal Navy so as to wean the Navy off dependence on foreign charts. By the 1820s, private publishers were augmenting HO charts and competing with them, including Richard Holmes Laurie. Richard gave up publishing anything except nautical materials by 1830. He also sold charts to Trinity House, the lighthouse and maritime safety fraternity. He died in 1858.
The firm continued to print under the name R.H. Laurie even after 1858. Later, the firm was managed by Laurie’s draughtsman, Alexander George Findlay, and, later, Daniel and William Kettle.
James Whittle (1757-1818) was a British engraver and map printer. Whittle was employed by Robert Sayer (ca. 1725-1794). Together with Robert Laurie (1755?-1836), he took on Sayer’s business when the older man died in 1794. The two traded together as Laurie & Whittle until 1812, when Laurie retired. They had specialized in sea charts and maritime atlases. Whittle then partnered with Laurie’s son, Richard Holmes Laurie, until he died in 1818.