A nicely detailed chart showing the English Channel and North Sea, from information given to Moll by Captain G. Collins.
The map shows the Sea routes from England to Holland, France and Flanders, as well as soundings, shoals and other navigational hazards. The delicately engraved compass rose orients the map at top. Drawing upon the charts of Captain Grenville Collins, Moll created a guide that goes beyond geographic detailing to include practical information for mariners.
The map includes advice on which winds are favorable for voyages between England, Holland, France, and Flanders, providing sailors with useful knowledge to inform their trips. The document not only represents geography but also serves a functional purpose, aiding those traveling in these waters.
The map marks the landing spot of King William III in 1694, adding a historical aspect to the already detailed geographical layout. This event is annotated, providing a glimpse into the past and adding to the map's richness. The spot of the loss of a Gloucester man o' war on the Lemmon Sand in 1682 is also shown.
Moll's chart features four primary trade routes across the North Sea and the English Channel. The routes — Dover to Calais, Thames Estuary to Ostend, Harwich to Helvootsluys, and Thames to Texel — are noted along with their respective distances in English miles. This feature enhances the map's utility for those traversing these paths.
Furthermore, Moll's inclusion of rhumblines, the straight lines on a globe's surface that a ship would follow if it maintained a constant compass direction, provides an invaluable tool for sailors. Along with the depths of water, the map also identifies hazards such as shoals and sandbanks. Soundings, or measurements of water depth, are also included, adding another layer of valuable information for maritime navigation.
Full Title is:
A chart of part of ye sea coast of England, Holland & Flanders &c. Shewing the sands, banks, depth of water, bearing, and the course of the principal tracts from the River Thames, and Harwich, &c. to ye Texel, Helevoet Sluys, Ostend, Calais, and their distances in English miles, with remarks. By Herman Moll Geographer, according to Capt. G. Collins. (Printed and sold by T. Bowles next ye Chapter House in St. Pauls Churchyard, & I. Bowles at ye Black Horse in Cornhill.
Herman Moll (c. 1654-1732) was one of the most important London mapmakers in the first half of the eighteenth century. Moll was probably born in Bremen, Germany, around 1654. He moved to London to escape the Scanian Wars. His earliest work was as an engraver for Moses Pitt on the production of the English Atlas, a failed work which landed Pitt in debtor's prison. Moll also engraved for Sir Jonas Moore, Grenville Collins, John Adair, and the Seller & Price firm. He published his first original maps in the early 1680s and had set up his own shop by the 1690s.
Moll's work quickly helped him become a member of a group which congregated at Jonathan's Coffee House at Number 20 Exchange Alley, Cornhill, where speculators met to trade stock. Moll's circle included the scientist Robert Hooke, the archaeologist William Stuckley, the authors Jonathan Swift and Daniel Defoe, and the intellectually-gifted pirates William Dampier, Woodes Rogers and William Hacke. From these contacts, Moll gained a great deal of privileged information that was included in his maps.
Over the course of his career, he published dozens of geographies, atlases, and histories, not to mention numerous sheet maps. His most famous works are Atlas Geographus, a monthly magazine that ran from 1708 to 1717, and The World Described (1715-54). He also frequently made maps for books, including those of Dampier’s publications and Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels. Moll died in 1732. It is likely that his plates passed to another contemporary, Thomas Bowles, after this death.