This chart is from “The first systematic survey of British coastal waters and the first marine atlas of British waters engraved and printed in London from original surveys” (Verner). Since the late sixteenth century navigators in the waters of the British Isles had utilised the printed charts of the Dutch. During the mid-seventeenth century England fought three wars with the Dutch and her reliance on the work of the enemy was a clear source of embarrassment. The Dutch had private charts which were clearly superior to English sources.
On 23 June 1681 Charles II commissioned Captain Greenville Collins to make a survey of the coasts of Great Britain, a task undertaken between 1681 and 1688. Collins was an officer in the Royal Navy who from 1669 to 1671 had sailed with Sir John Narborough on his expedition to the Straits of Magellan and the Chilean coast. He was master of the frigate ‘Charles’ from 1676 to 1679 and served extensively in the Algerian war. He was promoted to Commander in 1679 and retained that rank until his death in 1694.
It displays prominently Holy Head Island on the coast of North Wales and nearby Anglesey. The ‘Coasting Pilot’ is a remarkable surveying achievement, and a landmark in the charting of British coastal waters. NMM 335; Shirley ‘Atlases in the British Library’ M.Coll 1d; Verner ‘Captain Collins’ ‘Coasting Pilot”, in Map Collectors’ Circle no. 58.