Good example of Robert Blachford's sea chart of the northern part of Scotland, with inset map of the Orkney Islands.
The chart is a composite of various surveys of the North Coast of Scotland, including the Orkney and Shetland Islands, conducted by notable surveyors such as Mackenzie, Downie, and Hepburn.
Robert Blachford was a chartmaker and publisher active in the early 19th century. He was known for compiling and publishing sea charts based on the work of various surveyors, creating composite charts that were considered accurate and up-to-date. Blachford's work was highly regarded by sailors and navigators, who relied on his charts for safe navigation in the waters of the North Coast of Scotland.
Blachford was an Irish chartmaker best known for publishing blueback nautical charts. His introduction to the chart trade was likely through his father-in-law; in 1802, Blachford married Elizabeth Moore, the daughter of John Hamilton Moore, who was a renowned publisher of nautical texts and charts. Blachford only worked with Moore for two years. By 1805, he had set up his own shop in the Minories. Many of his charts from this time were derived from the Moore’s work and re-engraved by Samuel Stockley. Business was slow, however, and Blachford filed for bankruptcy in 1819. To counter this bad luck, he partnered with William Lane until 1821, working out of an address in Leadenhall. He then moved back to a Minories address and this shop would be his base of operations for over a decade. His new partner was William Blachford, possibly a relative. Their charts focused on British coastal navigation. Robert and William retired around 1835; they passed the business to Michael Blachford. Michael, in turn, partnered with James Imray and their business was successful. Imray bought Blachford out in 1846, continuing to grow his business into one of the most successful of the nineteenth century.