A chart, shewing the track of the Centurion round the World

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This map reflects the track of a ship, and actually an entire squadron, but the ship was called the Centurion and it was commanded by a Commodore George Anson. This voyage probably goes down as one of the most horrific in the history of exploration and voyaging. Commodore Anson started out with a squadron of seven ships and 1,800 sailors. Three years later when they finally returned to England, fully 90% of those 1,800 had died and there were only approximately 180 crew members left. When the voyage was undertaken, the British and the Spanish were in the midst of a war, and their ships preyed on one another. Part of Anson’s job was to disrupt Spanish shipping and, perhaps, capture some of the galleons – the ships that carried the great gold and silver hoards that Spain was bringing back to its country. And Anson had that as one of his goals.

But the track on this map shows is the actual pathway of the Centurion and it’s marvelous for several reasons, one of which is the portion of the track that goes up on the western side of South America, and, if you look closely, you’ll see that that track jiggles a little bit about halfway up the coast, just about where the Juan Fernandez Island is located, and Anson got close to that island- wanted to get it, but had no way of knowing, in those days, exactly how far east or west he was. Thinking he was in the wrong direction, he headed east and all of a sudden found himself about to bump into the coast of Chile. Realizing his mistake, he turned around and finally found the Juan Fernandez Al- Island, and of course later on, much later on after many adventures he did cross the Pacific and finally returned to England, having captured one of the big prizes, in fact the biggest prize that a British ship had ever found and was acclaimed a hero on his return back to Great Britain.



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Ins kleine gebrachte karte von den Süd-Lændern : zur Historie der Reisen

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This map is by a French cartographer, named Jacques Bellin. Bellin was a great recorder of the oceans and the landmasses and the islands around the world. His pathbreaking work is still highly regarded. Bellin was a Frenchman, and one of the subjects, the subject that he took on here, was the continent, or huge island, of Australia. Well, this was in an early day in the middle of the 18th Century. And even as of that date it was not clear whether Australia was separate and apart from the mainland or whether it was connected. In this particular case, the assumption was that it was connected. And one of the reasons that I love this map is that, like so many others in the collection, it shows a best effort at getting the facts straight, but falling short for lack of better information.



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Carte du Golphe du Méxique et des isles de l’Amérique

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This map is a map by a French mapmaker by the name of Bellin. This particular map is a map of the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean islands entitled Carte du Golphe du Méxique et des isles de l’Amérique. It was done in 1754 and as one can see by looking at it, not all of the land masses are shaped just the way they are today. Florida, for example, looks fairly much like a rectangular peg, as does the Yucatan peninsula. Nevertheless, Bellin’s work was important work, and he was the Chief of Cartography, of the so-called Depot de La Marine, which was the French cartography service that was so prominent in the middle of the 18th-century. In fact, it was the work of that group of cartographers, led by Bellin, that gave France much of its world power, because it had, at the time, the best maps that were available to anybody of many if not all of the – many parts, if not all, of the world. This particular map again was made in 1754 is nicely colored, is pleasing to the eye, and gives a snapshot of the way in which the world looked at that time.



For more details, view the catalog record: https://library.villanova.edu/Find/Record/1935646

Carte De La Partie Meridionale du Royaume de Suede avec une Table des Provinces et des Villes Principales

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This is a map by Guillume de L’Isle, reflecting the Baltic Sea and a variety of the lands surrounding it. To the right of the Baltic are the small republics including Estonia, what was then called Livonia, soon-to-become Lithuania, countries which have as we know from modern history, been shaped and reshaped and re-reshaped as warring parties and empiring nations take them over and dictate new geography. Even today, the Baltic republics are regularly threatened by the existence of a very large Russian neighbor. Above them, across the Gulf of Finland, is Finland itself and then across to the left are depictions of both Norway, in green, and Sweden, in pink. Right in the middle of the Baltic is the island of Gotland, with the city of Visby, well-known because it was from Visby that a great mercantile trading arrangement was created and ran commerce throughout the Baltic region for many, many years. Down to the left we see Denmark, and a portion of what was to become Germany, but which still at the time of this map in 1719, is a series of small duchies and kingdoms not yet gathered together into the great country of Germany. So, this map is dramatically colored and tells a wonderful story of the way in which those lands were arrayed and what their loyalties and national associations were back in the early 18th century.



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Ierusalem : niewlicks uyt de Schriften Iosephus

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This is a map of the city of Jerusalem, but it is a highly selective map of the city of Jerusalem – most of the features simply do not appear. So it’s mostly a curiosity, but it does show how a variety of the features of this famous, old, walled city – one of the most famous, of course, in the world – how they relate to one another and how they were seen in the early 17th century.



For more details, view the catalog record: https://library.villanova.edu/Find/Record/1700124

Carte des Antilles Françoises et des isles voisines

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This is a map by Guillaume de L’Isle, a famous French cartographer, reflecting most of the Windward Islands, that is the islands of the Caribbean that front the Atlantic Ocean. Most of these islands were, at the time the map was prepared in the early 1700s, were possessions or controlled by France and therefore they are gathered together as a group of the French Antilles. The map being designated Carte des Antilles Françoises et des isles voisines, and the neighboring Isles. Off to the right, we see Barbados, which is an English possession, but virtually all of the others – Martinique, St Lucie, St Vincent, et cetera – are most all of them French at the time. So it’s a single-purpose map, but a nice depiction and a very nice compass rose, and lots of detail for all of those French islands.



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America Septentrionalis

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This is a map by Tobias Lotter. Lotter created this map in about 1760 and it depicts virtually all of North America and the Caribbean. However, one of its most distinguishing features is that there is all blank space above what is called “Nova Mexico” and west of what is called “Canada” or “Nova Francia.” So, in this particular case, Lotter decided not to speculate and consciously simply left the upper left-hand portion of the map un-filled in altogether. Like so many of the maps of the period, it has a glorious cartouche in the upper left-hand corner, and Lotter pays due respect, something that mapmakers never- or frequently failed to do, to a mapmaker by the name of De L’Isle, whose geographic work, cartographic work, preceded that of Lotter, and Lotter clearly made considerable use of it.

[1] “Cartouche, in architecture, ornamentation in scroll form, applied especially to elaborate frames around tablets or coats of arms. By extension, the word is applied to any oval shape or even to a decorative shield, whether scroll-like in appearance or not.” Encyclopaedia Britannica, https://www.britannica.com/art/cartouche Accessed 9 Mar. 2021.



For more details, view the catalog record: https://library.villanova.edu/Find/Record/1935559