The first map dedicated to Australia in English
Tasman, Abel Janszoon & Bowen, Emanuel
Date of Creation:
Tasman’s map of New Holland was first published in Melchisedech Thevenot’s 'Relations de divers voyages curieux' in 1663 and then revised until 1696. “Thevenot ensured that his book included maps at every juncture. Of the many maps, plans and drawings in the work, the map of New Holland/Terra Australia is perhaps the most politically charged... The map shows ‘Hollandia Nova, detecta 1644’ (New Holland, revealed 1644), consigned to the western side of the continent. A vast undescribed expanse between New Guinea, New Zealand and Van Dieman’s Land, is give the French appellation ‘Terre Australe, decouverte l’an 1644’ (Terra Australia, discovered 1644). Thevenot divided the continent in two at longitude 135 E. The line separating ‘Hollandia Nova’ and 'Terre Australe’ correlated to the western limit of Spanish claims in the South Pacific arising from the Treaty of Tordesillas of 1494. Thevenot was essentially reusing the Spanish boundary to open up the land east of New Holland to French interests. In effect, he was signalling what many in the French administration were then advocating : that France should emulate the Dutch in ensuring that the fledgling French East India Company had access to foreign markets... when the British government drew up the boundaries of the colony of New South Wales in 1788, it set the western limit at the meridian of 135 degrees east of Greenwich, just as it appeared on Thevenot’s“ (Martin Woods for 'Mapping our World: Terra Incognita to Australia', National Library of Australia, page 143).