Rare set of sailing directions from England to China
By HUDDART, Captain Joseph , 1801

The Oriental Navigator; or, New Directions for Sailing to and from the East Indies, China, New Holland, &c.&c.&c... Second Edition–With Considerable Additions.

Travel & Voyages
  • Author: HUDDART, Captain Joseph
  • Publication place: London
  • Publisher: Robert Laurie and James Whittle, map chart and printsellers, No.53 Fleet Street
  • Publication date: 1801.
  • Physical description: 4to. (275 by 210mm) title, engraved frontispiece portrait of Captain Joseph Huddart, xi, [1], 655, [1] pages, small stain in lower outer corner of approximately 20 leaves toward end, contemporary quarter russia over boards, flat spine decorated with maritime motifs separated by roll tool bands, lettered in gilt, top of spine chipped, cover edges rubbed.
  • Inventory reference: 12624


Rare set of sailing directions to accompany Laurie and Whittle’s monumental ‘The Complete East India Pilot’, the most accurate sea atlas of the day, charting the route between England and China.

The author of the work was Captain Joseph Huddart (1741-1816) a British hydrographer who, in 1778, had carried out important surveys of India and Sumatra, and would later make his fortune from improving the design and manufacture of rope.

The title states that the information contained within had been collected “from the manuscripts, journals, memoirs, and observations, of the most experienced officers in the Honourble East India Company’s Service, or Commanders of the Ships in the Country Trade; from those of foreign navigators acquainted with the India and East Seas; and from the last edition of the French Neptune Oriental, by Mons. D’Apes de Manvillette”. Throughout the work, where possible, Huddart has referenced his sources: of particular note are the entries on Chinese waters by James Horsburgh, these include:

1. Remarks on the Eastern Passage to China from India, through the Straits of Macassar…
2. Instructions for sailing from Batavia through the Straits of Saleyer to Pitt’s Straits, and Dampier’s Straits.
3. Account of Pitt’s Straits, &c.
4. Account of Dampier’s Straits.
5. Instructions for Sailing from the Straits of New Guinea to China, through the Pacific Ocean.
6. Directions for the Passage of China, to the Westward of the Philippines.
7. Instructions of Sailing Back from China.

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