1828 H.A.C. / Crawfurd View of Bangkok, Thailand

View of the City of Bangkok. - Main View

1828 H.A.C. / Crawfurd View of Bangkok, Thailand


Earliest known view of Bangkok.


View of the City of Bangkok.
  1828 (undated)     7.5 x 10.5 in (19.05 x 26.67 cm)


A striking early view of Bangkok, Thailand, issued in 1828 shortly following John Crawfurd's diplomatic mission to the royal courts of Siam. The view looks eastward across the Chao Phraya River towards what is today Bangkok's Chinatown. Chinese riverfront shops line the Chao Phraya. Dusit Maha Prasat, King Rama I's (1737 - 1809) great throne hall, built in 1789, rising in the background. A large Chinese junk occupies the foreground.
Crawfurd on Bangkok
When Crawfurd arrived Bangkok it was not yet an exceptionally large city, but nonetheless had been made capitol of Siam in 1782 by Rama I. The larger population center and old capital was further north at Ayutthaya. Crawfurd dedicates significant attention to the city,
Bangkok extends along the banks of the Manam, to the distance of about two miles and a half; but it is of no great breadth, probably not exceeding one mile and a half. The principal portion of the town is on the left bank of the river, where the palace is situated. The accounts which we received of it population were very vague and little to be relied on. Some of them made it amount to as much as one hundred and fifty thousand. Judging by the extent of ground on which it stands, I should not be disposed to estimate the inhabitants at more than one-third of this number.
Census and Publication History
The map view drawn by the mysterious H.A.C. in late 1822 or early 1823, but was not printed until John Crawfurd included it in the 1828 publication of his Journal of an Embassy from the Governor-General of India to the courts of Siam and Cochin-China: exhibiting a view of the actual state of those kingdoms.. It was engraved in London by John Heaviside Clark and was published by Henry Colburn. The view was included in all editions of Crawfurd's work, but is rarely found separately and is scarce to the market.


John Heaviside Clark (December 7, 1771 - October, 1863), a.k.a. 'Waterloo Clark', was a Scottish engraver and painter active in Edinburgh and London in the first half of the 19th century. Clark was born in Edinburgh, Scotland. He specialized sea and landscape acquaints. He is best known for his sketches of the Battle of Waterloo (1815) made first-hand on the field of battle - earning him the nickname 'Waterloo Clark. Clark specialized sea and landscape aquatints, which were regularly exhibited at the Royal Academy between 1801 and 1732. He was the author of A practical essay on the art of Colouring and Painting Landscapes, with illustrations, published in 1807, and A practical Illustration of Gilpin's Day, 1824. Clark died in Edinburgh in 1863. More by this mapmaker...

Henry Colburn (1784 - August 16, 1855) was a British publisher. Colburn started off in the publishing profession in the Albemarle Street shop of William Earle, a bookseller in London. His next move was to become an assistant at a circulating library on Conduit Street called Morgan's Library, which he took over in 1816. Eventually he signed this business over to Messrs. Saunders and Otley and opened his own publishing firm. He gained initial success with the roman à clef novel Glenavron by Lady Caroline Lamb and which was published in 1816. It went through four editions and sold well. Colburn later expanded on the success of Glenavron and published a series of so-called 'Silver Fork Novels', a series of books that afforded readers the thrill of peering into the lives of rich and aristocratic families. Colburn also started several periodicals, including the New Monthly Magazine, the Literary Gazette, the earliest weekly newspaper dedicated to literature, science, and the arts. Colburn married twice. His second marriage was to Eliza Anne, who survived him. Learn More...


Crawfurd, J., Journal of an Embassy from the Governor-General of India to the courts of Siam and Cochin-China: exhibiting a view of the actual state of those kingdoms, (London: H. Colburn), 1828.    


Very good. Slight wear on original fold lines.


Andaya, B. W., and Andaya, L. Y., A History of Early Modern Southeast Asia, 1400 - 1830, page, 322, fig. 7.4.