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1798 Laurie and Whittle Nautical Map of Phuket Island, Thailand and Berguy, Burma

A Plan of the Isles of Merguy on the Coast of Tanasserim.  Plan of Junkseylon Island and of its Harbour on the Coast of Queda. - Main View

1798 Laurie and Whittle Nautical Map of Phuket Island, Thailand and Berguy, Burma


Scarce early nautical chart detailing Phuket, Thailand (Siam).



A Plan of the Isles of Merguy on the Coast of Tanasserim. Plan of Junkseylon Island and of its Harbour on the Coast of Queda.
  1798 (dated)     19 x 14 in (48.26 x 35.56 cm)     6.291666667


This is a fine example of Laurie and Whittle's 1798 nautical chart or maritime map of the Island of Phuket, Thailand and the Mergui Archipelago (on the coast of the Tenasserim Division), Burma (Myanmar). Essentially two maps on a single sheet, the righthand map details the Island of Phuket or Junk Ceylon along with its harbors and the coast of Queda (Kedah). One of the earlier maps to show Phuket in detail, the map notes the course of the HMS Heroine as it anchored in Phuket harbor in 1796, along with a note providing anchoring guidelines. Near the bottom border, the map includes coastal profile views of 'Appearances from the Heroine at an Anchor in Junkseilon Harbor, May 1796.' Today Phuket is one of the most visited islands in the world a major center of Thai tourism. In the 18th century Phuket was located on one of the important trading arteries between India and China, as well asa being itself a rich source of tin and rubber.

The right hand map features Burma's Mergui Archipelago (consisting more than 800 islands) centered on Kings Island or the modern Kadan Kyun. When this map was issued this region was at the time under Imperial Burmese rule. Following the First Anglo-Burmese War the archipelago was ceded to Great Britian.

The map offers rich detail including countless depth soundings, notes on the sea floor, commentary on reefs, rhumb lines, shoals, place names and a wealth of other practical information for the mariner. This chart is cartographically derived from Jean-Baptiste d'Apres de Mannevillette's similar chart issued for the 1745 Neptune Oriental with updates and rivisions by M. Forten, Master of the HM's Ship Heroine. This map was published by Laurie and Whittle from their offices at 53 Fleet Street, London, on January 1, 1798.


Laurie and Whittle (fl. 1794 - 1858) were London, England, based map and atlas publishers active in the late 18th and early 19th century. Generally considered to be the successors to the Robert Sayer firm, Laurie and Whittle was founded by Robert Laurie (c. 1755 - 1836) and James Whittle (1757-1818). Robert Laurie was a skilled mezzotint engraver and is known to have worked with Robert Sayer on numerous projects. James Whittle was a well-known London socialite and print seller whose Fleet Street shop was a popular haunt for intellectual luminaries. The partnership began taking over the general management of Sayer's firm around 1787; however, they did not alter the Sayer imprint until after Sayer's death in 1794. Apparently Laurie did most of the work in managing the firm and hence his name appeared first in the "Laurie and Whittle" imprint. Together Laurie and Whittle published numerous maps and atlases, often bringing in other important cartographers of the day, including Kitchin, Faden, Jefferys and others to update and modify their existing Sayer plates. Robert Laurie retired in 1812, leaving the day to day management of the firm to his son, Richard Holmes Laurie (1777 - 1858). Under R. H. Laurie and James Whittle, the firm renamed itself "Whittle and Laurie". Whittle himself died six years later in 1818, and thereafter the firm continued under the imprint of "R. H. Laurie". After R. H. Laurie's death the publishing house and its printing stock came under control of Alexander George Findlay, who had long been associated with Laurie and Whittle. Since, Laurie and Whittle has passed through numerous permeations, with part of the firm still extant as an English publisher of maritime or nautical charts, 'Imray, Laurie, Norie and Wilson Ltd.' The firm remains the oldest surviving chart publisher in Europe. Learn More...


Laurie, R., and Whittle, J., The East-India Pilot, or Oriental Navigator, on One Hundred and Eighteen Plates: Containing a Complete Collection of Charts and Plans, &c., &c. for the Navigation not only of the Indian and China Seas, but of those also between England and the Cape of Good-Hope; Improved and Chiefly Composed from the Last Work of M. D'Apres de Mannevillette; with Considerable Additions, from Private Manuscripts of the Dutch, and from Draughts and Actual Surveys Communicated By Officers of the East-India Company A New Edition, Containing One Hundred and Five Charts. (London: Laurie and Whittle) 1797.    


Very good. Original platemark visible. Two maps on one sheet.