Sign In

Forgot Password Create Account

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.  

Place/Date:
London / 1853
Size:
19.5 x 25.5 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
43365
Place/Date:
London / 1910
Size:
42 x 25 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
38925
Place/Date:
London / 1867 (additions to 1920)
Size:
41 x 29.5 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
68497
Place/Date:
London / 1883 (1927)
Size:
46 x 25.5 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
43576
Place/Date:
London / 1960 (1965)
Size:
39 x 26 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
67328
Place/Date:
/ 1911 (1949)
Size:
38 x 24.3 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
55416

Archived

Place/Date:
London / 1867
Size:
37.5 x 24.5 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
41456dc
Place/Date:
London / 1946
Size:
38 x 26 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
23099
Place/Date:
London / 1947
Size:
38 x 26 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
23098
Place/Date:
London / 1946
Size:
38 x 26 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
21328
Place/Date:
London / 1946
Size:
38 x 26 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
21170
Place/Date:
London / 1946
Size:
38 x 26 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
21326
Place/Date:
London / 1946
Size:
38 x 26 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
21327
Place/Date:
London / 1894 (1926)
Size:
27.5 x 39.5 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
43655
Place/Date:
London / 1873 (1919)
Size:
33 x 26 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
68860
Place/Date:
London / 1927 (updated to 1949)
Size:
40 x 26 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
21169
Place/Date:
London / 1854
Size:
26 x 35.5 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
42819
Place/Date:
London / 1862 (updated to 1921)
Size:
19 x 25 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
67152
Place/Date:
London / 1899 (1906)
Size:
25.5 x 18 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
68254
Place/Date:
London / 1877 (updates to 1927)
Size:
25.5 x 39 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
67103
Place/Date:
London / 1877 (updates to 1938)
Size:
25.5 x 39 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
67695
Place/Date:
London / 1860
Size:
15 x 12 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
25168
Place/Date:
London / 1882 (1913)
Size:
25.7 x 19 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
68220
Place/Date:
London / 1804 (1905)
Size:
38.3 x 24.3 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
68230
Place/Date:
London / 1836
Size:
40 x 27 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
19076
Place/Date:
London / 1844
Size:
11 x 9.5 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
42769
Place/Date:
London / 1887 (1951)
Size:
26 x 39 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
55637
Place/Date:
London / 1905 (1929)
Size:
24.5 x 38 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
67274
Place/Date:
London / 1868 (Corrections to 1938)
Size:
41 x 25 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
67358
Place/Date:
London / 1869 (updated to 1919)
Size:
48 x 26 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
67523
Place/Date:
London / 1881 (updates to 1920)
Size:
38.5 x 26 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
67834
Place/Date:
London / 1890 (1927)
Size:
42.5 x 26 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
69949
Place/Date:
London / 1843 (1846)
Size:
36 x 24 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
41430dc