Beschrijuinge van een deel vann Schottlandt van Bambourg tot Aberdein daer Edenburg de princepaele. Lucas Janszoon Waghenaer, Amsterdam, c1589

Beschrijuinge van een deel vann Schottlandt van Bambourg tot Aberdein daer Edenburg de princepaele.
Lucas Janszoon Waghenaer, Amsterdam, c1589

At first sight this Dutch sea chart confuses the eye, for though it depicts the east coast of Scotland from Aberdeen south to Berwick-upon-Tweed, and thence south along the English coast to Dunstanburgh (Dunstabourg), it is depicted from an unusual angle, looking at the coast of east Scotland as if head-on from the North Sea.

It was engraved by Johannes van Doeticum, an important continental engraver, and is from a later edition (c1589) of the first printed sea atlas of Europe (1584), which contained charts to accompany a pilot book giving navigational directions.  The brainchild of Lucas Janszoon Waghenaer (1533-1606), a sailor and pilot of considerable experience who hailed from the port of Enkhuizen in The Netherlands, it was a great commercial success, running into a number of editions and produced with texts in Latin, English, German and French, as well as the original Dutch text.

Waghenaer shows the soundings and safe anchorages along the coast and up the Firth of Forth, the latter somewhat modified from earlier versions, which did not include evidence of the Water of Leith entering the Forth, and located the island of Inchkeith (Inskig) in the wrong place (not a good thing for the safety of passengers aboard any ship hoping to disembark safely!).  Around the coast, Waghenaer records castle settlements such as Bamburgh (Bambourg), Seton (Sethon), Dunbar, and Tantallon (Tamtallon), but places Chirnside (Chyruside) erroneously on the Berwickshire coast where Eyemouth should be.  Across the top of the chart are two coastal profiles intended to give seamen some idea of the look of the land from the sea, and the inland areas (not of importance to the navigator except as sighting points) are filled in either with fanciful topography or with the title in a heavily ornamented cartouche typical of the period.