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THE BALTIC AND THE BIRTH OF A MODERN ENGLISH MARITIME COMMUNITY: THE MUSCOVY COMPANY AND NAUTICAL CARTOGRAPHY, 1553-1665

 

Alistair Maeer

Southeastern Oklahoma State University, Email: amaeer@se.edu

 

 

Abstract:

English merchants and navigators began developing their skills in the late sixteenth century to reach Baltic shores and in the process birthed a distinct English nautical charting tradition which continued to service and reflect English interests for over a century. Specifically, the efforts of the Muscovy Company and the emergence of a distinct master-apprentice relationship of chart makers within the Drapers’ Company instigated the emergence of a modern maritime community in England replete with the financial structures, ships, and skills necessary to encompass the globe. As a result of various setbacks in the late-sixteenth century, English merchants and mariners shifted from coastal trading ventures to direct long-distance overseas commerce. This transformation was initiated through the efforts of the Muscovy Company and its accompanying introduction of marine charts for navigating distant shores. The introduction and expansion of direct long-distance overseas trade and modern navigational techniques then spurred the creation of a domestic charting industry to service these English navigational needs, the Thames School of English marine charting. Born out of a close association with English commerce to the Baltic, members of the Thames School continued to produce nautical charts of the globe that reflected ever-expanding English interests until the early-eighteenth century. This paper argues that trade to and from the Baltic acted as a proving ground, the venue, within which both the origins of English long-distant overseas trade and nautical cartography emerged—two fundamentally necessary components for the Empire which followed.

 

 

Rezumat:

Comercian?ii ?i navigatorii englezi au început sa-?i dezvolte abilita?ile de a ajunge pe ?armurile baltice la sfâr?itul secolului al XVI-lea ?i astfel a luat na?tere o tradi?ie engleza distinctade cartografie maritima, care a continuat sa deserveasca ?i sa reflecte interesele engleze timp de peste un secol. Concret, eforturile Companiei Moscova ?i apari?ia unei rela?ii distincte maestru-ucenic în rândul cartografilor din cadrul Companiei Postavarilor au generat apari?ia unei comunita?i maritime moderneîn Anglia ce abunda în structuri financiare, nave ?i abilita?i necesare pentru a cuprinde globul pamântesc. Ca urmare a diferitelor obstacole întâmpinate la sfâr?itul secolului al XVI-lea, negustorii ?i marinarii englezi?i-au deplasat interesul de la negustoria de coasta catre comer?ul maritim extern pe distan?e lungi. Aceasta transformare a fost ini?iata prin eforturile Companiei Moscova ?i a fost înso?ita de elaborarea unor har?i maritime destinate naviga?iei catre ?armuri îndepartate. Introducerea ?i extinderea comer?ului extern direct pe distan?e lungi ?i a tehnicilor moderne de naviga?ie au stimulat ulterior crearea unei industrii na?ionale cartografice pentru a deservi aceste nevoi engleze de naviga?ie, ?coala Tamisa de cartografie maritima engleza. Nascuta dintr-o asociere strânsa cu comer?ul englez la Marea Baltica, membrii ?colii Tamisa au continuat sa produca har?i nautice ale globului ce reflectau interesele permanente engleze de expansiune pâna la începutul secolului al XVIII-lea. Aceasta lucrare sus?ine ca schimburile comerciale catre ?i dinspre Marea Baltica au ac?ionat ca un teren de încercare, în care î?i au sorgintea atât comer?ul extern de lunga distan?a cât?i cartografia nautica, doua componente fundamentale necesare ale imperiului care a urmat.

 

Keywords: Muscovy Company, Charts, England, nautical cartography

 


05. Maeer.pdf

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