A good example of this very rare map.
Philip Durell was an important surveyor in the British Royal Navy, a Lieutenant at the time of the War of Jenkins’ Ear, but finishing his career as an admiral. Durell served aboard Sir Edward Vernon’s fleet during that admiral’s campaign against the Spanish in the West Indies and littoral of Spanish South and Central America.
As a talented surveyor, and eye-witness to the main battles and sieges of the campaign, Durell’s many charts and plans are an important record of these events, and were eagerly published by the leading London cartographic publishing-houses to entertain and inform the domestic market anxious for news of the campaign.
This fine plan is of Cumberland Bay on the south coast of Cuba, named in honour of the dedicatee, with regard to what the Spanish possessors might think. It is better known today as Guantanamo Bay, the site of the American base on Cuba.
After his failure to capture Cartagena, Vernon landed at ‘Cumberland Bay’ with the intention of attacking Santiago de Cuba and subduing the whole island. However, it soon became apparent that the plan was doomed to failure, and the British sailed away. Evidently, while based there, Durell carried out the survey, and assigned English names to the landmarks – notably ‘Durell’s Cove’, a particular foible of his – but these names lasted only as long as the British took to sail over the horizon.
Of great rarity, presumably because the expedition it depicts was a failure. The British Library has an original manuscript version of this map, as well as this printed version, but they are the only British institutional examples listed on COPAC, with no example in the National Maritime Museum or Library of Congress, for example.
The imprint notes that the map could be purchased for 1s. black and white or 2s. coloured.
Engraved map, once preserved by being folded to pocket format. Dimensions: widest: 471 by 574mm.
Stock ID: 81863