Emmanuel Bowen; c1690-1767.
Thomas Bowen, son; c1740-1790.
Bowen set up his map and print selling business in London
in 1714. His prolific work made him prominent, and recognized
with royal appointments by both George II of England, and
Louis XV of France.
He teamed up with his most influential peers, to publish renowned
works, such as "Britania Depicta" with John Owen in 1720,
parts of "A Complete System of Geography" and of "Complete
Collection of Voyages" with Thomas Jefferys in 1744, "Atlas
Minimus" with John Gibson in 1758.
But his claim to fame came from his collaboration with Thomas
Kitchin on "The Large English Atlas" in 1755, which was considered
the most reliable geographic work on the English counties
until the Ordinance Surveys of the 19th century.
The heavy demand for ever newer maps, due to the rapidly changing
situations of the French and Indian war, the conflicts with
Spain in the Caribbean, the seven year war and the American
war of independence, provided steady activity for his trade,
but little revenues. Upon his death, his son Thomas continued
the practice. He was not more fortunate than his father: he
too died near poverty in 1790.
A plan of the town and harbour of Cartagena.
Cropped to neat line on three sides, this small (6" 1/8
X 3" 3/8) map was an inset to a larger map of harbors in America
and the West Indies.
It was published in 1744, as part of a French edition of the
"A Complete System of Geography". It shows details of the
Cartagena bay: anchorage soundings, the two entrances, and
its strong fortifications.
Of note, are the representations of two prominent landmarks:
the convent of La Popa, and the castle of St Philip of Barajas,
both atop rocky bluffs.
Established by the Spanish in 1533, San Sebastian de Cartagena,
known as Cartagena de Indias, was a significant center of
administration, and a wealthy place of trade. As such it attracted
the attention of pirates and privateers (among others, Francis
Drake sacked it in 1586). Later, colonial rivals of Spain
targeted the town: in 1741, the English fleet of admiral Edward
Vernon laid an unsuccessful three month siege to the city
defended by Blas de Lezo. Cartagena was the first south american
city to declare independence from Spain.
No text on verso.