[Singapore] China Sea - Singapore Road


Henry Percy Douglas (1876 - 1939)

$A 7,500

In stock

S/N: HYDRO-1995-ASI-SINGA–341425

Full Title:

[Singapore] China Sea – Singapore Road




Henry Percy Douglas (1876 - 1939)


Small repaired tears to sheet edges, otherwise in good condition, with folds as issued.


Hand coloured copper engraving.

Image Size: 

x 975mm

Paper Size: 

x 1005mm


Rare and important large scale detailed hydrographic chart of Singapore, based on the original surveys made by Commander Henry Percy Douglas. The map has numerous notes, a list of ‘Conspicuous Objects’.

The map extends from Government House in the north and south to the Sister Islands (Pulau Subar Laut & Pulau Subar Darat in Malay).

Shown is Keppel Harbour which was named after Captain Henry Keppel who had a long association with Singapore until 1903. He had surveyed the new harbour of Singapore, which was formed from his plans and completed in 1886. The harbour was originally simply known as New Harbour but it was renamed Keppel Harbour by the Acting Governor, Sir James Alexander Swettenham, on 19 April 1900 when Admiral Keppel visited Singapore at the age of 92.

The Tanjong Pagar Dock Company, (1864–1905), the forerunner of today’s Port of Singapore Authority, was founded by Guthrie and Company and Tan Kim Ching. The company was expropriated by the Government in 1905 who replaced it with the Tanjong Pagar Dock Board. In 1907 works were carried for the extension of Tank Road-Kranji Railway between Keppel Harbour and the town centre, the Telok Ayer reclamation and the construction of the Offshore Mole, a granite-rubble breakwater, which created a second entrance to Singapore Harbour.

First issued in 1911 this chart like most Admiralty hydrographic charts has been updated, in this case up to 1915. The regular updating of the charts was to enable Commanders of ships, pilots and other mariners to safely navigate foreign waters and ports as new information of changes to sea depths, sand bars, wrecks or other any other information that could hinder passage became available. As updated charts were offered for sale, the older outdated charts in the hands of mariners were invariably discarded, subsequently making all British Admiralty issued hydrographic charts of the period very rare.

Extensive information is included, such as:

Shores uncovered at 2/3 ebb, swamps, jungles and scrubs, cultivated slopes and valleys, roads, rivers, reservoir, quarry, lunatic asylum, burial grounds, buildings, hill shading, islands, Meander Shoal, Palawan Reef, docks, coal sheds, Borneo Wharf, Jardine’s Wharf, P & O Company, New Harbour Dock Co, Docks No 1 and 2, place names, barracks and tin works on Pulo Brani, Hantu Island (Pulau Keppel), Mount Faber signal station, Mount Siloso (fort), Mount Imbeah, and Mount Serapong (fort) with summit heights in feet, St James, Belayer River, Chermin River, Bukit Chermin, Pasir Panjang Road, Alexandra Road, Keppel Road, Telok Blangah Road, and others.


Henry Percy Douglas (1876-1939)

British naval officer who specialised in surveying and was Hydrographer of the Navy.

Henry Percy Douglas was educated at Eastman’s Royal Naval Academy, Southsea before entering the Royal Navy training ship HMS Britannia as a cadet in 1890. In 1892 he was appointed to HMS Cleopatra as a midshipman. In 1894 he was part of a landing party at Bluefields during the Nicaraguan campaign to annex the Mosquito Coast. In 1895 he was transferred to the newly launched Majestic as acting sub-lieutenant; his promotion was confirmed in March 1896 and he was appointed to HMS Stork, the first of the many surveying ships in which he served at various times all over the world. In 1898 he was promoted to lieutenant.

In 1908, still with the rank of lieutenant, he was given his first command, the surveying ship Waterwitch. From 1910 to 1914 he was Superintendent of Charts in the Hydrographic Department of the Admiralty. He was promoted to Commander on 31 December 1910. In February 1915, at the beginning of the Dardanelles Campaign, Admiral John de Robeck asked the Admiralty for a good surveying officer and Douglas was sent out to join the flagship Inflexible. Later he transferred to Queen Elizabeth and Lord Nelson.

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