This item has been sold, but you can enter your email address to be notified if another example becomes available, or purchase a digital scan.

1776 Rennell - Dury Wall Map of Bihar and Bengal, India


1776 Rennell - Dury Wall Map of Bihar and Bengal, India




An Actual Survey, of the Provinces of Bengal, Bahar & c. by Major James Rennell Esq. Engineer to the Honorable the East India Company. Published by Permission of the Court of Directors from a Drawing in their Possession by A. Dury.
  1776 (dated)     39 x 59 in (99.06 x 149.86 cm)


An altogether spectacular wall sized map of those parts of Bengal and Bihar, India. Follows the course of the Ganges River from Varanasi (Benares) eastward to the Ganges Delta and the Bay of Bengal. Includes Varanasi (Benares), Dacca (Dahka, Bengladesh), and Patna among many other important Indian cities. Bounded on the north by the Himalaya Mountains and the border with Bhutan. One of the first accurate maps of the interior of India. Laid out from primary surveys done by James Rennell, the first modern cartographer to map the interior of India. Notes cities, markets, battlefields, fortresses, roads, rivers, offers political commentary, and features some geographical references. Elaborate title in the lower left quadrant. Upper right quadrant features a dedication and letter of thanks written by Andrew Dury, the publisher, to the board of the East India Company. This is the first edition of this rare map – 1776 – as published by Dury. Later editions were published by Sayer and Bennet and by Laurie and Whittle.


James Rennell (December 3, 1742 - March 29, 1830) was an English geographer, historian and seminal oceanographer, known as 'the Father of Indian Geography'. He would become, in 1830, one of the founders of the Royal Geographical Society in London. Rennell was born near Chudleigh in Devon, England. At 14 he joined the British Navy as a midshipman and served in the Seven Years' War. During his time in the Navy he mastered marine surveying; when his ship, HMS Grafton, saw service in India, he began lending his services to the East India company, accompanying hydrographer Alexander Dalrymple and drawing charts between 1759 and 1764. Following the Seven Years' War, seeing no prospect of advancement in the Navy he left the navy and joined the British East India company's sea service, where he continued survey work. Eventually he would be commissioned with the Bengal Engineers, and his surveys in India proper began in earnest. He would become surveyor-general for the EIC in Bengal, remaining in service until 1777. He would retire from active duty with the rank of Major in the Bengal Engineers. From London, he published extensively: his 1779 Bengal Atlas, and his 1783 map of India set the standard for the mapping of the subcontinent. He set his career to paper in the 1788 book Memoir of a map of Hindoostan.

Andrew Dury (fl. 1742 - 1778) was a London based engraver and map publisher working in the mid to late 18th century. Little is known of Dury's life, however, his imprint often appears on the work of a number of prominent London publishers from Sayer and Bennet to Laurie and Whittle and Gentlemans' Magazine. At some point, from 1754 to 1757, he also seems to have had an office in Dublin where he worked with John Rocque.


The Bengal Atlas ??, Rennell, James, (1779 first edition)    


Very good condition. Four sheets joined. Full professional restoration. Margins added. Backed with heavy linen.


Rumsey 2310.065 (1794 edition). OCLC 7160203. Phillips (Atlases) 699. Shirley R., Maps in the atlases of the British Library, T.LAU-1c (1799 ed.). NMM 375 (3rd ed. 1801)