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 (1742 -1830) is known as the Father of Indian Geography". Rennell was born near Chudleigh in Devon, England. At the tender age of 14 he joined the British Navy and served in the Seven Year War. Following the war he left the navy and joined the army of the British East Indian company where he was appointed surveyor of the Company's dominions in Bengal with a rank of Captain in the Bengal Engineers. Rennell was fascinated with the cartography of India and using both colonial and Indian sources composed the first accurate European maps of India. The fascinating saga of his venture can be found in Rennell's own book entitled "Memoir of the Map of Hindoostan", published in 1788 and available electronically for free through Google. Rennell is also called the "Father of Oceanography" for his work charting ocean currents in the Indian and Ocean and around Africa. Rennell retired as a Major with a pension of 600 Sterling per annum.
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)