St. Helena, Moll, 1732

Herman Moll's Atlas minor: or, A set of sixty-two new and correct maps of all the parts of the world (London, 1729) has a map of St. Helena, titled St. Helena (size 200 by 135 mm) which is the top half of a full page plate (plate 43) that has a map of The Bay of Agoa de Saldanha in the bottom half of the page. The legend to the St. Helena map states This island belongs to ye English East India Company, which onley serfs to supley ships with frish-water & provision. By H. Moll Geographer 1729.

There were numerous subsequent editions of Moll's atlas from 1732 on through the mid-1760s. In these later editions the text in the legend to the St. Helena plate (reproduced above from the 1732 edition) has been changed to This island belongs to ye English East India Company whose ships usually touch here for a recruit of fresh water and provisions. The Lat. of James Fort 15D-32m S. Long. from London 6-30 W. By H. Moll Geographer. with no year stated after Moll's name. There also is additional text on the right hand side of the plate which states that St. Helena is 13 miles long, 7 broad, and 80 square miles in surface. Tis situated in the Atlantick Ocean, about 550 leagues West from Cape Negro in lower Guinea; which is farther from the continent than any other island in the known world. and the number 43 (for plate 43) is in the top right corner, just outside the margin of the plate.

Moll's map mostly is derived from an earlier map by John Seller but has some notable differences. The overall outline of the island is smoother and Sugerlofe Pt is not as prominent as on Seller's map. Landing Place and Watering Place have been added at the mouth of James Valley, and, compared to Seller's map, George Island has become St. Georges I., Horse Pasture Point has become Horse and Pasture Pt, Banckes Platform has become Blankerts Platform, Manate Bay has become Manata Bay, and Powells Bay has become Pervels Bay.

A pirated version of Moll's Atlas minor was published by George Grierson in Dublin in 1739 and 1745. The plate with the map of St. Helena and the Bay of Agoa de Saldanha is a close copy of Moll's original, but is distinguished by the text on the right side of the St. Helena map being lower on the plate than on Moll's plate and the plate number (top right) is 48 rather than 43. The plate from the 1739 edition has zz at the lower right margin whereas the plate from the 1745 edition has zzz at the lower right margin.

British Library shelfmark: Maps C.39.b.4.
Library of Congress call number: G1015 .M62 1729 [1729; LC also has editions of 1732, 1736, 1745, 1763]


Last updated: 19 December, 2011


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