[HORSBURGH, JAMES. 1762-1836.]
Manuscript Chinese-Latin dictionary. [Canton? c.1800.] Approximately 970 pp, mostly recto and verso, folio, in black ink on red-ruled paper. Original blind-ruled red calf binding with paper labels. Few scuffs to binding, else fine.
Provenance: James Horsburgh; A.H. Pope (ownership inscription and a later note that Pope was Horsburgh's friend in Bombay); Sir Thomas Phillips (MS 14874); Philip Robinson (his sale, "The Chinese Collection," Nov 22, 1988, lot 214).
EXTREMELY RARE MANUSCRIPT CHINESE DICTIONARY: no other copy of this manuscript is recorded in Cordier. James Horsburgh, hydrographer, served in merchant ships trading in the Indian Ocean and China Seas from 1783-1805. In Bombay in April 1798 Horsburgh was appointed to the command of the Anna, which post he held during successive voyages to Canton. It was at this juncture that Horsburgh presumably acquired the present manuscript and that he developed his interest in scientific observation and charting. When Horsburgh retired to London he was elected a fellow of the Royal Society. Upon his death a memorial fund raised in Canton (Guangzhou) resulted in the construction of the Horsburgh lighthouse on the rock of Pedro Branca in the eastern entrance to the Strait of Singapore, for the safety of shipping arriving from China (OBND).