Alexander Dalrymple

Alexander Dalrymple. An Historical Collection of the Several Voyages and Discoveries in the South Pacific Ocean. London, 1770-71.

Alexander Dalrymple. An Historical Collection of the Several Voyages and Discoveries in the South Pacific Ocean. London, 1770-71.

Alexander Dalrymple (1737-1808) was hydrographer to the East India Company from 1779 to 1795 and then to the Admiralty. He produced something like 1,000 maps and charts of the lands bordering the Indian Ocean and the Pacific. The present collection of voyages was compiled by him while admiralty hydrographer.

The first volume contains translations from Spanish voyages beginning with Ferdinand Magellan in 1519 and ending with Pedro Fernandes de Quirós in 1606. Volume two consists of the Dutch voyages of William Schoten and Jacob Le Maire, Abel Tasman, and Jacob Roggeveen. Dalrymple was the first critical editor of discoveries in Australasia and Polynesia. This work was published to strengthen his claim for the existence of a southern continent, finally dispelled by Cook's second voyage. Dalrymple theorised that the unexploited lands of the South Pacific would serve to augment England's expanding trade.

Copyright