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LEAKE, W[illiam] M[artin], Lieutenant Colonel, Royal Engineers (1777-1860)
Map of Egypt [With Inset] Supplement to the Map of Egypt or Course of the Nile from Essouan to the Confines of Dongola.
London: J. Arrowsmith, 1840. A very large outline hand coloured copper engraved map ca. 130x76 cm (51x30 in). The map is dissected into 40 sections and backed on linen. The map is in very good condition. "This extremely detailed map of the course of the Nile was produced by William Martin Leake, a leading British authority on the topography of the region. In March 1802, Leake was employed to make a general survey of Egypt together with W.R. Hamilton and Charles Hayes. On his return to England, his ship sank and all Leake's valuable notes on the Egyptian survey perished. His chart was subsequently published in 1818 after his retirement, incorporating additional material from Sir Alexander Bryce, M. Nouet, and others. The map provides extensive information on the Nile, ancient ruins, the Suez Canal, roads and railways, and is filled with voluminous notations. It extends south to Aswan, and beyond in an inset, as far as Dongola" (Old World Auctions). "A journey through Asia Minor in 1800 to join the British fleet at Cyprus inspired [Leake] with an interest in antiquarian topography. In 1801, after travelling across the desert with the Turkish army to Egypt, he was, on the expulsion of the French, employed in surveying the valley of the Nile as far as the cataracts; but having sailed with the ship engaged to convey the Elgin marbles from Athens to England, he lost all his maps and observations when the vessel foundered off Cerigo in Greece. Shortly after his arrival in England he was sent out to survey the coast of Albania and the Morea, with the view of assisting the Turks against attacks of the French from Italy, and of this he took advantage to form a valuable collection of coins and inscriptions and to explore ancient sites. In 1807, war having broken out between Turkey and England, he was made prisoner at Salonica; but, obtaining his release the same year, he was sent on a diplomatic mission to Ali Pasha of Ioannina, whose confidence he completely won, and with whom he remained for more than a year as British representative. In 1810 he was granted a yearly sum of £600 for his services in Turkey. In 1815 he retired from the army, in which he held the rank of colonel, devoting the remainder of his life to topographical and antiquarian studies. He was admitted a Fellow of the Royal Society on 13 April 1815. He died at Brighton on the 6 January 1860. The marbles collected by him in Greece were presented to the British Museum; his bronzes, vases, gems and coins were purchased by the University of Cambridge after his death, and are now in the Fitzwilliam Museum. He was also elected a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, received the honorary DCL at Oxford (1816), and was a member of the Berlin Academy of Sciences and correspondent of the Institute of France" (Wikipedia); Tooley K-P, p.104.