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Thomas Jefferys: A General Map of the East Indies

Map: IC2752
Cartographer: Thomas Jefferys
Title: A General Map of the East Indies
Date: 1781
Published: London
Width: 28 inches / 72 cm
Height: 23 inches / 59 cm
Map ref: IC2752
Richly detailed map of India and mainland Southeast Asia showing the political divisions after the collapse of the Mughal Empire, as well as lands held by the British East India Company. The map extends from Afghanistan in the west to Vietnam, Borneo, and southern China in the east, incorporating the entire region known in the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries as "the East Indies". A great number of towns and even roads are marked in India, while elsewhere detail is a little bit more sparse with mountain ranges, rivers and important trading towns being the prominent features.

This map was compiled and drawn by Thomas Jefferys. Royal Geographer to King George III, and possibly the most influential English geographer of his age. This example was published by Robert Sayer in 1781, ten years after Jefferys's death. Sayer, a shrewd businessman, purchased most of Jefferys's stock and plates from his widow, and continued to publish and update many of the maps with great commercial success, something that Jefferys never achieved during his lifetime.