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1740 Gentleman's Magazine Map of the Atlantic Ocean

A New Map or Chart of the Western or Atlantic Ocean, with part of Europe Africa and America: Shewing the Course of the Galleons, Flota, and c. to and from the West Indies. - Main View

1740 Gentleman's Magazine Map of the Atlantic Ocean


Illustrates the Atlatic Slave trade during the War of Jenkins' Ear.


A New Map or Chart of the Western or Atlantic Ocean, with part of Europe Africa and America: Shewing the Course of the Galleons, Flota, and c. to and from the West Indies.
  1740 (dated)     14.5 x 11.75 in (36.83 x 29.845 cm)     1 :15000000


A fascinating map of the Atlantic Ocean engraved by Emmanuel Bowen in June, 1740 for issue in the June edition of Gentleman's Magazine. Centered on the Azores, this map covers from Labrador and Newfoundland eastward to including all of England and Ireland, Spain, and much of western Africa. It extends southwards to northeastern South America. The map includes the Cape Verde Island, the Azores, the Canary Islands, and the Grand Banks. Trans-Atlantic trade routes, including the galleon toute from Cartagena and Havana, and the route from England to the West Indies, among others, are noted.

This map was issued during the War of Jenkins' Ear, or as it is known in Spain the Guerra del Asiento. The Asiento was a lucrative c. 1713 trade agreement between Spain and Great Britain that allowed the British to sell slaves in Spain's New World colonies. The Spanish had begun to resent the British slave trade, which they rightly perceived as a gateway to piracy and smuggling, and regularly harassed British traders -leading to the War of Jenkins' Ear, a conflict intended to prevent Spain from reneging on the Asiento. Consequently, this map covers much of English West Africa, including its slave trading forts in the Gambia and elsewhere.

The map's most prominent feature is the dramatic illustration, at top center, of two British Admirals, Robert Blank and Edward Vernon. Both were considered heroes in Great Britain and had emerged victorious from naval engagements with Spanish forces. As colonists, themselves dependent on the slave trade, many American colonials took part in the war. Among them was, incidentally, a young Lawrence Washington. Lawrence was so impressed with the naval acuity and brilliant strategies of Admiral Vernon, pictured top right, that he named his Virginia ancestral home Mount Vernon. Lawrence died without heirs passing his estate to his half-brother, George Washington.


The Gentleman's Magazine (fl. c. 1731 - 1922) was an English periodical founded by visionary Edward Cave. Considered the world's first monthly general interest magazine, GM was also known as Trader's Monthly Intelligencer. Cave's innovation was to create a monthly digest of news and commentary on any topic the educated public might be interested in, from commodity prices to Latin poetry. It carried original content from a stable of regular contributors, as well as extensive quotes and extracts from other periodicals and books. Cave, who edited The Gentleman's Magazine under the pen name "Sylvanus Urban", was the first to use the term "magazine" (meaning "storehouse") for a periodical. The iconic illustration of St John's Gate on the front of each issue (occasionally updated over the years) depicted Cave's home, in effect, the magazine's "office". Among the important firsts of the The Gentleman's Magazine are the first use of the term "magazine" for a periodical and the first regular employment of lexicographer Samuel Johnson. More by this mapmaker...

Emanuel Bowen (1694 - May 8, 1767) had the high distinction to be named Royal Mapmaker to both to King George II of England and Louis XV of France. Bowen was born in Talley, Carmarthen, Wales, to a distinguished but not noble family. He apprenticed to Charles Price, Merchant Taylor, from 1709. He was admitted to the Merchant Taylors Livery Company on October 3, 1716, but had been active in London from about 1714. A early as 1726 he was noted as one of the leading London engravers. Bowen is highly regarded for producing some of the largest, most detailed, most accurate and most attractive maps of his era. He is known to have worked with most British cartographic figures of the period including Herman Moll and John Owen. Among his multiple apprentices, the most notable were Thomas Kitchin, Thomas Jeffreys, and John Lodge. Another apprentice, John Oakman (1748 - 1793) who had an affair with and eventually married, Bowen's daughter. Other Bowen apprentices include Thomas Buss, John Pryer, Samuel Lyne, his son Thomas Bowen, and William Fowler. Despite achieving peer respect, renown, and royal patronage, Bowen, like many cartographers, died in poverty. Upon Emanuel Bowen's death, his cartographic work was taken over by his son, Thomas Bowen (1733 - 1790) who also died in poverty. Learn More...


Gentleman's Magazine, (London) June, 1740.    


Very good. Margins narrow as in all examples. Blank on verso.


Jolly, D. C., Maps in British Periodicals, GENT-14.