A New Mapp of the Island of Saint Hellena, Seller/Thornton, 1675-1716

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A new map of St. Helena, very distinct from the Langenes/Bertius map, first appeared in various nautical atlases published in London by John Seller between 1675 and circa 1710. This is the first map of St. Helena to be published in English and initially appeared in Seller's Atlas Maritimus, or the Sea-Atlas; being a book of maritime charts, describing the sea-coasts, capes, headlands ... in most of the known parts of the World, etc. in 1675. The plate is titled A New Mapp of the Island of St. Hellena (plate 24, 540 430 mm in the 1675 edition), and is engraved by John Oliver (Io. Oliver fe). The text in the title cartouche states that "The Body of this Island lyeth in 16 deg. South lat." and text at the bottom of the plate, underneath a vignette of fighting ships, says "This Island was taken by the Dutch in the year 1672 and in the begining of the year 1673 it was in this manner retaken by the prudent conduct of that valiant Commander Sr Richard Munden in his Majesties Ship Assistance."

Copies of Seller's atlases typically were made to individual order and the contents consequently vary widely between copies. In fact, later editions of the Atlas Maritimus have a smaller plate of Seller's St. Helena map, a 1682 edition having a plate titled The Island of Saint Hellena by Iohn Seller (plate 14, 145 110 mm).

Seller's St. Helena map was copied and published subsequently by other cartographers. The image shown here is of a copy of Seller's map engraved by Samuel Thornton, A New Mapp of the Island of Saint Hellena (515 425 mm), which first appeared in The English Pilot. The Third Book, Thornton, London, 1703. Thornton's plate is a direct reproduction from Seller but with the addition of a small inset map A draught of the island of Trinidada.

British Library shelfmark: Maps C.22.d.30. [1703] and Maps C.22.d.15. [1711]
Library of Congress call number: G2201.P5 T5 1703a [1970 facsimilie of 1703 edition]

Other digital images:
National Library of Australia: map and description.


Last updated: 19 December, 2011


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