The first large-scale chart of the waters around New York City, by Mark Tiddeman

Mark Tiddeman (hydrographer?) / I. Mount & T. Page (publishers), A Draught of NEW YORK from the Hook to NEW YORKTOWN by Mark Tiddeman. London: W. Mount & T. Page upon Tower Hill, [1729 / 1760].
Engraving, 17 ¾”h x 22”w plus margins, uncolored. Some residual soiling and staining, loss at lower-left corner with small area of image reinstated, upper margin trimmed close with slight loss of neat line.

A very appealing 1729 chart of the waters around New York City, with much information on the early European settlement in the region. 

This appealing chart provides much hydrographic detail, with particular emphasis on the challenging approaches to New York Bay and Harbor. It also provides much terrestrial information, including New York City at the base of Manhattan Island as well as the area’s many other communities, the fort at the Battery, “Schyler’s Copper Mine” in the vicinity of present-day Passaic, and an “Iron Mill” to the south of Sandy Hook.  Many of the place names remain in use today—with adjustments in spelling, of course. “Barbados,” just to the west of Bergen, New Jersey refers to New Barbadoes Township, founded in 1710 and only superseded when the City of Hackensack was created in 1921.

While master of the sloop HMS Tartar between 1724 and 1728, hydrographer Mark Tiddeman conducted surveys of New York Bay and Harbor as well as Chesapeake Bay. The latter was published as A Draught of Virginia, also in the 1729 edition of The English Pilot. The Tartar’s log and pay books for that period survey at the UK National Archives (Adm. 52/506), and would likely shed much light on the two surveys.  After returning to Great Britain he conducted surveys in the Scottish Highlands, which resulted in his Draught of Part of the Highlands of Scotland (1730). In 1741 he was commissioned Lieutenant in the Royal Navy and eventually rose to the rank of Captain, making several voyages to the Americas.  A Captain Tiddeman commanded the HMS Superb during the capture of Louisbourg in 1745.

According to Augustyn and Cohen the chart was first issued in the 1729 edition of the English Pilot. Fourth Book. It was reissued for many years thereafter, with only minor cosmetic changes and changes to the imprint.  The present example was issued in a 1760 edition of the Pilot.

The English Pilot was originally developed by London publisher John Seller, who conceived it as an effort to break the Dutch monopoly on chart publication. While the two-volume first edition focused on European waters, later editions achieved worldwide coverage, with the Fourth Book focusing on the Americas first appearing in 1689.  During its publication history of over a century, the Fourth Book went through 37 editions.  Presumably supported by its strong “brand,” it continued to be re-issued even well after far more accurate and useful atlases such as Sayer and Bennett’s North American Pilot and Des Barres’ Atlantic Neptune became available. For example, in Augustyn & Cohen’s Manhattan in Maps Tiddeman’s Draught of New York is damned with faint praise: “Although the Tiddeman chart is not nearly as poor as others of the day, it, for example, makes the entrance to the Lower Bay of New York Harbor appear to be less of a challenge than it really is.” (p. 66)

Augustyn and Cohen, Manhattan in Maps, pp. 66-67; Haskell, Manhattan Maps, #254-256; Seller & Van Ee, Maps and Charts of North America and the West Indies, #1220; Verner, A Carto-Bibliographical Study of The English Pilot The Fourth Book, pp.65-68.