ROUX, Joseph (1725-1793). Carte de la Mer Mediterranée en Douze Feuilles, Dediee a M.gr Le duc de Choiseul Colonel General des Suisses et Grisons Ministre de la Guerre et de la Marine. Marseille: J. Roux, 1764 [but 1772].
Folio (23 2/8 x 13 4/8 inches). 12 fine engraved double-page and folding maps that join to create a large wall map of the Mediterranean (some insignificant spotting and a little browning, the last map with one margin a bit darkened). Fine binding of contemporary panelled limp calf, two pairs of linen ties (one or two stains, and a little scuffed at the extremities).
Provenance: with the ownership inscription of William Wilde on the front free endpaper "for the Brig Albatross", and on the lower cover, dated 1804
First edition, and a superb copy, in a contemporary binding. The detailed charts show depths, ports, fortifications and towns of the entire Mediterranean coast: for Cadiz and the Strait of Gibraltar to Oran and Tunis; Algeria and the Balearic Islands; Languedoc to Corsica and Elba; Tyrrhenian Sea; Minorca, Sardinia and Tunisia; Sicily, Malta and Libya; Adriatic Sea; Libya; Crete, Libya and Egypt; south of Turkey, Cyprus, Palestine and Egypt; south of the Egadi Islands and Crete; and north of the Egadi Islands and the Dardanelles.
Joseph Roux owned a chart-publishing and selling business in Marseilles during the middle and latter part of the eighteenth century. A copy of this atlas was used aboard Nelson's flagship, HMS Victory, in 1802 and 1803 - a fact which shows that the Royal Navy was relying on British and foreign privately printed charts even after Alexander Dalrymple had established the Admiralty Hydrographic Office in 1795.
The HMS albatross with built by Charles Ross and Mrs Mary Ross, at Acorn Wharf shipyard in Rochester in 1795, she was the first HMS Albatross. Charles Ross died in 1808 and his widow carried on the ship yard until she died in 1814. The yard then passed to her son-in-law John Foord.
The Albatross has 16 guns was 96 feet in length, 30 at beam, and drew 11 feet. Her naval record is scant: on the 8th September 1797 she captured the Dutch privateer De Braave, a schoner with 5 guns S.W. of the Naze of Norway; on the 14th of November, 1797 she captured the French privateer Emouchet; between about March and June of 1799 she chased some French gunboats into the harbour at Suez in the Red Sea; on the 12th of November 1800, she captured the privateer Adele/Adelle; on the 23rd of March, 1801, she captured the French privateer Gloire. Apparently in 1804 she was in the Mediterranean with a young William Wilde on board, listed in 1800 as a private marine; but in 1805 she was in the East Indies, and in 1807 she was sold. Blackmer 1455; NMM 3: 267; Phillips 195; Shirley, BL, M.Roux 2-a; Tooley 550. Catalogued by Kate Hunter