Folio (18 4/8 x 12 4/8 inches). 11 large folding engraved charts, 11 double-page and 4 full-page charts, numerous woodcut coastal profiles and vignettes in the text (a bit browned). Contemporary speckled calf (rebacked to style, extremities a bit worn).
Provenance: with the ownership inscription of William Willding dated 1768 on the front free endpaper; gift inscription of to Thomas Pugh from his mother at the head of the title-page dated 1906.
"THE FIRST SIGNIFICANT COLLECTION OF CHARTS EXCLUSIVELY OF THE AMERICAN COASTS TO BE PUBLISHED IN ENGLAND" (Cumming)
Of the sixty-four separate chart titles noted by Verner this copy contains 11 large folding charts of:
"...the Western and Southern Oceans",
" ... the Coast of New Foundland from Cape Raze to Cape Bonavista...",
"... the Coast of New-England, from Cape Codd to Casco Bay",
"Virginia, Maryland, Pennsilvania, East & West New Jarsey",
the West Indies,
"Cuba, Streights of Bahama, Windward Passage, the Current through the Gulf of Florida...",
"... the Coast of Guyana, from the Entrance of the river Orinoco... to the Entrance of the River Amazon",
"...the Trading Part of the West Indies",
"...the Gulf of Darien & the Coast to Porto Bello with Panama in the South Sea & the Scotch Settlement in Calledonia".
The double-page charts are of the:
"North part of America from New Found Land to Hudson's Bay",
"...The West Indies",
"...The Western Ocean",
"...the Sea Coast of New Foundland, New Scotland, New England, New Jersey with Virginia and Maryland",
"The Harbour of Casco Bay and Islands Adjacent",
"...part of the Sea Coast of New Foundland from the Bay of Bulls to Little Placentia",
"A Draught of New York from the Hook to New York Town",
"A Draught of Virginia...",
"... the Island of St. Christophers...",
"A Large Draught of South Caroline from Cape Roman to Port Royall",
"...the Caribee Islands";
and the full-page charts are of Barbados, Antigua, Bay of Matanzas, and Bermuda.
The series of English Pilot books was started in 1671 by John Seller, whose charts derived from the Dutch pilot books of Pieter Goos. "Seller's English Pilot initiated the independent production of pilot books in England which ultimately overcame Dutch predominance" (Koeman).
The work was so popular that 37 editions were published from 1689-1794, with the number of charts varying from 18 in the first edition to 26 in the last. "For British trading in North America and for the colonists there, the publication of The English Pilot: The Fourth Book must have been a godsend. For the first time an English sea atlas presented charts of the whole eastern seacoast of North America. To modern eyes the charts are crude and sparse of detail; but to the navigator of American waters in that period, it was his Bible. Whatever its shortcomings, there was really no substitute, no real competitor, for over sixty years" (William P. Cumming, British Maps of Colonial America, Chicago & London 1974, p.39). (William P. Cumming, British Maps of Colonial America, Chicago & London 1974, p.39). Catalogued by Kate Hunter