C 1859

[AUSTRALIA-NSW] Port Jackson

The first issue of this important Hydrographic chart of Port Jackson dated 11th February, 1857 surveyed by Captain Henry Mangles Denham. Shown are soundings, details of streets and large residences of the harbour side suburbs. At lower left is an … Read Full Description


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Full Title:

[AUSTRALIA-NSW] Port Jackson


C 1859


Minor repaired tears at sheet edges, centrefold reinforced, small loss to lower left corner of sheet, otherwise in good condition.


Hand coloured copper engraving

Image Size: 

x 620mm

Frame Size: 

x 840mm

Paper Size: 

x 675mm
[AUSTRALIA-NSW] Port Jackson - Antique Map from  1859

Genuine antique



The first issue of this important Hydrographic chart of Port Jackson dated 11th February, 1857 surveyed by Captain Henry Mangles Denham. Shown are soundings, details of streets and large residences of the harbour side suburbs. At lower left is an inset of The Heads and along the bottom of the map is a coastal profile from the sea, titled; Port Jackson Entrance.

This first issue of the map is identified by placement of the title which is positioned closer to the centre and the lack of an inset of North and Middle Harbour which appears at the top in later editions.

On 18 February , 1852 Denham was appointed commander of H.M.S. Herald and sailed for Port Jackson on June 9, arriving on February 19, 1853. His arrival marks a distinct change in Admiralty policy in Australian marine surveys in the use of more scientifically young surveyors rather than the explorer surveyors of earlier days. During his nine years in Australian waters Denham completed surveys totalling 200 sheets of charts and drawings. He observed 163 geographic positions, and obtained the variation of the compass, 2410 times afloat and 191 times on shore. He contoured over 700 miles of edge of soundings and erased from charts twenty-three fabulous dangers, or vigias-reported shoals, the existence of which had previously been doubtful. While the Herald was at Port Jackson undergoing a refit, her officers completed a thorough survey of the harbour. This Admiralty chart was the result of this survey and superseded the earlier charts by John Septimus Roe and Owen Stanley. Denham was assisted in this new survey of the Harbour by Lieutenant J. Hutchinson, J.H. Smith, E. Wilds, masters, and F. Howard and F. Hixon.

The regular updating of Hydrographic charts by the Hydrographic Office was to ensure that Commanders of ships, pilots and other mariners were able to have the most to date information available to safely navigate foreign waters and ports as new information of changes to sea depths, sand bars, wrecks or other any other pertinent nautical information that could hinder passage became available. As updated charts were offered for sale, the earlier outdated charts in the hands of mariners, pilots, ships owners and sailors were invariably discarded, subsequently making all British Admiralty issued hydrographic charts of the period rare but especially the first issues.

Tooley, R.V. The Mapping of Australia. London 1979: 134, p. 259.
Ingleton, G. Charting a Continent. Sydney 1944: pp.75-80.
Admiralty, Australia Directory Volume I. London 1907: pp. 802-822.

National Library Australia: Bib ID 3791286
University Library Melbourne: Call No. 810.979 aj 1857

Henry Mangles Denham (1800 - 1887)

Denham carried out major survey work around Australia and in the SW Pacific in the period 1852 to 1861 and reached rank of Admiral in the Royal Navy; Entered the navy at the age of 12; became dedicated to hydrographic work. Opened the port of Liverpool. Knighted and became F.R.S. in 1839. In 1854 (July 2): Capt Denham in HMS Herald came to complete a (chart) survey of the island of Raoul Sunday in NZ. The town of Denham in Australia is named after him.

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John Hutchinson ( - )

Hutchinson was a  surveyor who began surveying under Captain F. Bullock in 1842, examining the river Thames. From 1843-1844 he was engaged on surveying the west coast of Ireland with James Wolfe. He then was promoted to Assistant-Surveyor and joined the HMS Herald with Captain H. Kellett, employed in surveying the North-West coast of America and Behring strait until he was promoted to Lieutenant in 1850. As Lieutenant and Assistant Surveyor, he was employed from 1852-1861 working with Capt. Denam in the South sea Islands, Shark Bay, West Australia, Fiji Islands, Coral Sea and the east coast of Australia. Hutchinson as made marine surveyor of the South Australian Survey Station between 1852 and 1865, and mapped much of the Northern Territory coastline. He gained the rank of commander in 1861. In 1868, he was promoted to rank of Post-Captain, but died in July 1869 of inflammation of the lungs.

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