1793 Barrow / Parish Chart of Turon (Da Nang) Harbor and Environs, Vietnam

A Chart of part of the Coast of Cochin-China including Turon Harbour and the Island Callao. - Main View

1793 Barrow / Parish Chart of Turon (Da Nang) Harbor and Environs, Vietnam


A quick stop at Da Nang on the way to Beijing.


A Chart of part of the Coast of Cochin-China including Turon Harbour and the Island Callao.
  1793 (dated)     17.25 x 13.25 in (43.815 x 33.655 cm)     1 : 66327


A map central Vietnamese coast near Da Nang and Hoi An, drawn in 1793 by John Barrow and Henry William Parish, engraved by Benjamin Baker, and included in the first edition of George Leonard Staunton's 1797 An Authentic Account of an Embassy from the King of Great Britain to the Emperor of China.
A Closer Look
The coastal region around Da Nang in central Vietnam is depicted. Da Nang's original name in Vietnamese was Cửa Hàn, a reference to its location at the mouth of the Hàn River, which flows parallel to the coast as seen here. The French called the area Tourane or Turon, perhaps a garbled transliteration of the indigenous name. The Vietnamese name 'Da Nang' is possibly derived from the Cham word daknan, meaning 'big river.'

Although an ancient settlement, Da Nang was for much of its history overshadowed by the cosmopolitan port of Hoi An (here as Fai-fo) just to the south. In 1835, the Nguyen Emperor Minh Mạng designated Da Nang as the only port where trade with European and American ships would be permitted, leading to the city's rapid growth (akin to Shanghai and Yokohama). The island of Callao mentioned in the title is Cù Lao, which along with the mountains on either side of the harbor, is mostly maintained as parkland today, a refuge from the nearby rapid urban development. At bottom is a view of the harbor looking northwest from the Tien-tcha (Sơn Trà) Peninsula.
The 'Jackall'
The track of the ship the Jackall is noted, along with soundings, shoals, hazards, anchorages, and a number of features on land, including a 'boat builders village' near the main town of Da Nang. The Jackall was one of the Macartney Embassy's original retinue of ships that left Portsmouth in 1792, along with the HMS Lion, a Royal Navy warship, and the Hindostan, a ship belonging to the East India Company. However, the fleet was soon hit by a storm off the English coast and the Jackall was separated from the other two ships and presumed lost. Macartney's mission continued on, eventually replacing the Jackall with another ship, but after returning to England for repairs the Jackall managed to catch up to the rest of the fleet at Jakarta (then Batavia).
The Macartney Mission
The Macartney Embassy was a diplomatic mission by Great Britain to the Qianlong Emperor of the Qing Dynasty meant to expand British trading rights in China and establish a permanent embassy in Beijing. Thirty-five years earlier, British traders of the East India Company (EIC) were confined to trading with an officially sanctioned set of Chinese traders in Canton (Guangzhou). Although the Canton System was profitable, the EIC found it too cumbersome and restrictive, while also feeling that a direct line to Beijing was necessary to resolve disputes, rather than working through several layers of intermediaries and bureaucrats. A mission led by Charles Cathcart had been sent to Beijing in 1787, but Cathcart died before reaching China and the embassy was abandoned.

George Macartney's mission left Britain in September 1792 with a retinue of translators, painters, secretaries, scholars, and scientists. The embassy traveled via Madeira, Tenerife, Rio de Janeiro, the Cape of Good Hope, Indonesia, and Macau, before moving up the Chinese coast and reaching Beijing on August 21, 1793. Macartney's second in command was George Leonard Staunton who served as the expedition's secretary and chronicler. Staunton's eleven-year-old son, George Thomas Staunton, nominally the ambassador's page, learned Chinese during the voyage, became very adept at the language, and served as a translator for the mission alongside the Catholic priests Paolo Zhou (周保羅) and Jacobus Li Zibiao (李自標). The younger Staunton later became chief of the East India Company's factory at Canton, translated works between Chinese and English, and helped found the Royal Asiatic Society.

The embassy was poorly managed from the beginning and, despite considerable pomp from the English perspective, appeared poor and rag-tag to the Qianlong Emperor. Partly through lack of preparation, partly through arrogance, and partly due to the emperor's distaste for the British, the embassy failed in all its primary objectives. This disappointing result was compounded by a now famous letter from Qianlong to King George III that chided the British monarch for his audacity in making demands of the Qing and his ignorance of the Chinese system, ending with a reminder not to treat Chinese laws and regulations lightly, punctuated with the memorable phrase 'Tremblingly obey and show no negligence!' (a common phrase used by the emperor in communications to his own subjects).

Macartney's Mission highlighted cultural misunderstandings between China and the West, and has often been taken as a turning point in Chinese history. Qianlong's dismissal of foreign objects as mere toys and his insistence of the centrality of China in the world's hierarchy of kingdoms have been seen as sign of Chinese intransigence and a harbinger of China's awful course in the 19th century. At the time the embassy visited, Qianlong had been in power for nearly sixty years and had increasingly turned over management of the empire to a small group of self-serving officials, particularly Heshen, remembered as the most corrupt official in Chinese history. In the countryside, overpopulation and famine provoked millenarian religious movements and uprisings. On the southern coast, the EIC began importing opium in larger and larger quantities, eventually causing a severe social and economic crisis throughout southern China. In retrospect, both Chinese and foreign historians of every ideological bent have seen the Macartney Mission as a missed opportunity for the Qing to recognize the tremendous changes taking place in Europe and address the underlying problems that would eventually sink the empire.
Publication History and Census
This view was sketched by John Barrow and Henry William Parish, and was engraved by Benjamin Baker for inclusion in the first edition of George Leonard Staunton's An Authentic Account of an Embassy from the King of Great Britain to the Emperor of China, published in London by George Nicol in 1797. It is independently cataloged in the holdings of the Victoria and Albert Museum, the National Maritime Museum, the National Library of Scotland, and the National Library of Australia, while the full Authentic Account is well-represented in institutional collections.


John Barrow (June 19, 1764 – November 23, 1848) was an English statesman, cartographer, and writer active in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Barrow was born in the village of Dragley Beck, in Ulverston, Cumbria. His first recorded work was as a superintending clerk at a Liverpool iron foundry, but by his early 20s, transitioned to teaching mathematics at a private school in Greenwich. One of his pupils, the young son of Sir George Leonard Staunton, favored him and he was introduced to Lord George Macarteny. Barrow accompanied Macartney as a comptroller of household, on his 1792-1794, embassy to China. Having acquitted himself well, Barrow was hired by Macartney as private secretary on a political mission to the newly acquired Cape Colony, South Africa. Barrow was given the difficult task of reconciling Boer settlers with the indigenous African population. In the course of this voyage he traveled throughout the Cape Colony, coming to know that country well. There he married botanical artist Anna Maria Truter, and, in 1800, acquired a home with the intention of settling in Cape Town. Following the 1802 Peace of Amiens, the British surrendered the colony and Barrow returned to England where he was appointed Second Secretary to the Admiralty, a post he held with honor for the subsequent 40 years. In his position at the Admiralty Barrow promoted various voyages of discovery, including those of John Ross, William Edward Parry, James Clark Ross, and John Franklin. The Barrow Strait in the Canadian Arctic as well as Point Barrow and the city of Barrow in Alaska are named after him. He is reputed to have been the initial proposer of St Helena as the new place of exile for Napoleon Bonaparte following the Battle of Waterloo in 1815. He was a member of the Royal Society and the Raleigh Club, a forerunner of the Royal Geographical Society. In 1835 Sir Robert Peel conferred upon him a baronetcy. Learn More...

Henry William Parish (fl. c. 1792 - 1797) was a British artillery officer best known as a draughtsman and head of the artillery detachment on Lord Macartney's embassy to China. Several of his drawings were published in George Leonard Staunton's An Authentic Account of an Embassy from the King of Great Britain to the Emperor of China in 1797. Parish also surveyed portions of the Great Wall of China as the embassy moved towards Chengde, the summer residence of the Qing emperors. Learn More...

Benjamin Baker (1766 - June 29, 1841) was British engraver active in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Baker was born in London, the son of instrument maker Edward Baker (1730 - 1797). As a young map he was apprenticed to Thomas Beresford, a watchmaker. This likely did not work out, as he was turned over to the engraver, mapmaker, and globemaker William Palmer (1739 - 1812). Baker rose to prominence as an engraver for the British Admiralty and British Ordnance Survey. In time he became the principal engraver for the Ordnance Survey, not only engraving himself, but overseeing the entire team of Ordnance engravers. His son, Benjamin Richard Baker (1792 - 1876) was also a mapmaker, engraver, draughtsman, lithographer, and printer. Learn More...


Staunton, G., An Authentic Account of an Embassy from the King of Great Britain to the Emperor of China, (London: G. Nicol) 1797.    


Very good. Even toning. Soiling in the bottom margin.


OCLC 1073018177, 316357921. Victoria and Albert Museum, Accession Number E.578-1945. Harrison, H., 'The Qianlong Emperor’s Letter to George III and the Early-Twentieth-Century Origins of Ideas about Traditional China’s Foreign Relations' The American Historical Review, Volume 122, Issue 3, June 2017, pp. 680–701.