Map of the East Indies published by Hendricus Hondius and dedicated to D.Christophorus Thisius.
Hondius based this map on Blaeu’s 1635 map which had in turn been based on a chart produced between 1628 and 1632 by Hessel Gerritsz, the then official cartographer of the VOC. Blaeu had obtained the copper plate to Gerritsz’s map with the help of his friend Laurens Reael, and added the map to his two-volume Atlas Novus in 1634. Hondius has removed a number of Blaeu’s decorative elements and replaced them with his own more restrained designs: including the title cartouche which has had the two figures removed, the dedication panel has been simplified and the scale of miles is now devoid of cherubs.
This is only the second printed map to record the Dutch discoveries made by Dirk Hartog of western Australia in October 1616, Jan Carstensz on the western side of Cape York Peninsula in January 1623 and de Wit’s on the northwest coast of Australia in 1628. De Wit’s discoveries had first been shown on Gerritsz’s map of 1628 under the name ‘G.F. de Wits Landt’. Also noted are the Trial Islands near present-day Dampier, named after the ship the Trial, which had sailed for Java using the new sea route to the Indies pioneered by Brouwer in 1611.
The Trial had struck unknown rocks on the night of 25 May 1622, and was wrecked with only forty-six survivors including Captain Brookes. In his subsequent report to the VOC authorities in Batavia, Brookes stated that the rocks were well west of their true position, in an attempt to avoid blame for his error. Soon after a Dutch ship, the t Wapen van Hoorn, ran aground in a storm at the land of d’Eendracht but managed to sail after the storm abated. Concerned for the viability of their trade route, the VOC prioritised the accuracy of their charting in the region, with captains and pilots being required to record all shallows and reefs in the area. Due to their incorrect placement on the Gerristz chart, the Trial Rocks remained a mystery for a further two hundred years until Phillip Parker King, sailing in the Mermaid, investigated their position in 1820 and finally confirmed that ‘there remains no doubt in my mind but that Barrow Island … are the same Tryal Rocks’.
From Atlas Novus.
References: Parry pp.105-109, ill.pl.4.21, Perry p.29, ill.pl.11, Quirino p.105, Tooley 722, p.196.