C1901

[AUSTRALIA-WA] Mary Anne Passage and Approaches Surveyed by Commander J.W. Combe, R.N.

Rare large hydrographic chart of Mary Anne Passage on the north west coast of Western Australia, surveyed by Commander J.W. Combe. on H.M. Penguin, 1899-1900.  First issued 30th November 1901 with small corrections to IV-1914.  Mary Ann Harbour was named … Read Full Description

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S/N: HYDRO-3186-WA-01XX14–378906
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Details

Full Title:

[AUSTRALIA-WA] Mary Anne Passage and Approaches Surveyed by Commander J.W. Combe, R.N.

Date:

C1901

Engraver:

Davies & Co. 

Condition:

Minor split to right hand side of centre fold, otherwise in good condition. On original linen backing.

Technique:

Engraving.

Image Size: 

665mm 
x 1005mm

Paper Size: 

707mm 
x 1018mm
AUTHENTICITY
[AUSTRALIA-WA] Mary Anne Passage and Approaches Surveyed by Commander J.W. Combe, R.N. - Antique Map from 1901

Genuine antique
dated:

1901

Description:

Rare large hydrographic chart of Mary Anne Passage on the north west coast of Western Australia, surveyed by Commander J.W. Combe. on H.M. Penguin, 1899-1900.  First issued 30th November 1901 with small corrections to IV-1914. 

Mary Ann Harbour was named in 1865 by the sealer James Sale on the cutter Mary Ann. The Mary Ann was owned by whaling master John Thomas of Cheyne’s Beach, 65 kilometres (40 mi) east of Albany, who had named it after his eldest daughter.

The chart includes Barrow and Montebello Islands, which were originally identified on many early Dutch charts as the Trial (or Tryall) Islands, as their supposed discovery by Captain Brookes in 1622, placed them, directly in the path of VOC ships sailing to Batavia. See below

TRIAL ISLANDS HISTORY / present Barrow / Montebello Islands, north west Western Australia.

Their position caused great concern to Hessel Gerritsz who had been appointed the firs cartographer of the VOC in 1617 and quickly added the islands on Dutch charts. The islands were named after Brookes ship the Trial, which had sailed for Java using the new sea route to the Indies pioneered by Brouwer in 1611 struck unknown rocks on the night of 25th May 1622, and 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 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 Gerritsz and the VOC prioritised the accuracy of their charting of the region, with captains and pilots being required to record all shallows and reefs in the area. Due to their incorrect placement on the Gerritsz 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’.

Collections:
National Library Australia: All c.20th (no early issues; 1967, 1991, 2009, 2013,)
State Library Victoria: MAPS 100 AJ 1795- (3186) (1928 issue)
State Library WA: Record no: 77860 (1935 issue)

 

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.

View other items by Hydrographic charting of Australia History

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