[AUSTRALIA-NT] Groote Eylandt to Cape Ford

Rare, hydrographic chart of northern Australia extending from Anson Bay to Groote Eylandt by Phillip Parker King. Originally issued as Plate 4 from, Charts of the coast of Australia / King, London, Hydrographic Office, [1824-1826]. This edition has had the … Read Full Description

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S/N: HYDRO-1044-NT-251318–381924
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Full Title:

[AUSTRALIA-NT] Groote Eylandt to Cape Ford




Minor spotting right hand side, otherwise in good condition, with folds as issued. Laid onto original linen.


Copper engraving.

Image Size: 

x 540mm

Paper Size: 

x 590mm
[AUSTRALIA-NT] Groote Eylandt to Cape Ford - Antique Map from 1825

Genuine antique



Rare, hydrographic chart of northern Australia extending from Anson Bay to Groote Eylandt by Phillip Parker King. Originally issued as Plate 4 from, Charts of the coast of Australia / King, London, Hydrographic Office, [1824-1826]. This edition has had the title changed from Chart of the North Coast of Australia Sheet IV and moved from top right to lower centre. This new edition was first issued October 1884, this issue 16th April, 1913, with small corrections 1918.

In 1817 the British government decided that ‘circumstances consequent upon the restoration of Peace … rendered it most important to explore, with as little delay as possible, that part of the coast of New Holland … not surveyed or examined by the late Captain Flinders, and appointed Lieutenant King to undertake the survey. The Admiralty instructed King to discover whether there existed a strait or river ‘likely to lead to an interior navigation into this great continent’. The Colonial Office also sought information about the climate, topography, fauna, timber, minerals, the natives and the prospects of developing trade with them. The search for access to the interior was stressed above all else indeed, all gulfs and openings should be the objects of particular attention, as the chief motive for the survey is to discover whether there be any river on that part of the coast likely to lead to an interior navigation into this great continent’King arrived at Port Jackson September 1817 on the Dick, with his instructions to Governor Lachlan Macquarie and by December had been supplied with the 84-ton cutter the Mermaid, bought for £2,000. King sailed on  22 December, on the first of his four surveying voyages, with a company of nineteen, including the Sydney aboriginal, Bungaree. Also on board were Allan Cunningham, the botanist and John Septimus Roe, later Surveyor General in West Australia. On this first voyage, King surveyed the Western Australian coast from North West Cape to Van Diemen’s Gulf, returning to Sydney July 1818. He made three further voyages and on his return to Port Jackson from his last voyage on 22 April, he found instructions waiting for him to return immediately to England. King who was now recognised as one of England’s foremost hydrographers, spent the next three years preparing the results of his extensive surveys for publication; Charts of the coast of Australia  Hydrographic Office, 1824-1826.

Prescott 1826.A08, Spate p.80, Map 1, Tooley 816, Wantrup p.159-161.

National Library of Australia; Bib ID 2483385 (1826 edition), Bib ID3770023 (1868 edition),  Bib ID253646 (1876)
State Library Victoria: APS 100 AJ 1795- (1044) (new ed. 1925, large corrections 1929, small corrections 1933 -1943)

Hydrographic charting of Australia History ( - )

Naval policy dictated that Admiralty charts be destroyed when superseded to avoid navigational error. It was during Rear Admiral John Washington’s period as the Admiralty’s hydrographer, 1855-1863, that a series of agreements were drawn up with the Australian colonies. These agreements provided boats and crews for use by officers lent from the Royal Navy to chart the coasts and shoal waters in the approaches to the rapidly developing towns, communication with which was seriously hampered by the the frequency of shipwrecks. It had been the discovery of gold and the consequent rush of miners and emigrants from not only England but California that added greatly the numbers of ships sailing to Australia’s east coast. This led to numerous petitions being made to Her Majesty’s Government to chart the eastern approaches to Australia to make for safer passage for shipping.

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Phillip Parker King (1791 - 1856)

Phillip Parker King (1791–1856) King was a naval officer, hydrographer and company manager, son of Philip Gidley King. Phillip sailed for England with his parents in October 1796 in the Britannia. When his father left England in November 1799 to become governor of New South Wales, his sister Maria was left in the care of Mrs Samuel Enderby, and Phillip was placed under the tuition of Rev. S. Burford in Essex. In 1802 he was nominated to the Portsmouth Naval Academy. In November 1807 he entered the navy in the Diana and became a midshipman serving for six years in the North Sea, the Bay of Biscay and the Mediterranean, being promoted master's mate in 1810 and lieutenant in February 1814.

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