Browsing Richardson, W. A. R. (Bill) by Issue Date
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ItemIs Jave-la-Grande Australia? The Linguistic Evidence Concerning the West Coast(The Globe, 1983) Richardson, W A RAlexander Dalrymple was by no means alone in assuming that Jave-la-Grande was Australia. James Burney stated that he found too many similarities between the east coast of Jave-la-Grande and the then known outline of Australia's east coast to be produced solely by chance. The author sets out the evidence to counter this view. ItemJave-la-Grande: A Place Name Chart of its East Coast(The Great Circle, Australian Association for Maritime History, 1984) Richardson, W A RThe Harleian and other Dieppe maps made in France in the mid-16th century are manifestly based on Portuguese originals, yet no surviving Portuguese maps show any evidence of this mysterious landmass. Suggestions that the discovery of Australia was successfully kept secret seem hardly credible in view of the well-known presence in France of Portuguese cartographers, the defection to Spain of Magellan and the cartographer Diogo Ribeiro amongst others, and the fact that an Italian, Alberto Cantino, could illegally purchase in Lisbon in 1502 so important a world map as the one commonly called the 'Cantino' after him. ItemReview of Lawrence Fitzgerald, Java La Grande: The Portuguese Discovery of Australia, Hobart: The Publishers Pty Ltd, 1984(The Great Circle. Australian Association for Maritime History, 1985) Richardson, W A RIn this book Brigadier Fitzgerald summarises the arguments for and against the identification of the apparent continent of Jave-la-Grande as Australia, as provided by some, but by no means all of those who have written on the subject. Evidence is now available which authoritatively supports his outright dismissal of Kenneth McIntyre's widely accepted thesis regarding the imagined distortion of the east coast of 'Australia' on the Dieppe maps. The Brigadier does not really explain his reasons for this rejection, but by implication he obviously includes Kenneth McIntyre amongst those researchers who "were out of their depth in murky waters". It is difficult, however, to view his quoting of Professor Spate's observation regarding the futility of "any attempt to match each cape and bay with corresponding features on modern charts" as anything but a direct challenge, for in essence his book is precisely such an attempt. ItemThe Portuguese Discovery of Australia: Fact or Fiction?(National Library of Australia, 1989) Richardson, W A RThe Dutch, under Willem Janszoon in the Duyfken, and the British, under James Cook in the Endeavour, have long been known to have reached Australia's shores in 1606 and 1770 respectively. For more than two centuries a debate has been going on about whether any other Europeans preceded them. ItemAn Indian Ocean Pilgrimage in Search of an Island(The Great Circle. Australian Association for Maritime History, 1989) Richardson, W A RAs late as 1817, a chart of the Indian Ocean by L.S. de la Rochette was published in London by William Faden and approved by the Chart Committee of the British Admiralty. Among the numerous fascinating features on it is an island in approximately latitude 28 degrees south and longitude 74 degrees east; against it is the inscription 'Ilha dos Romeiros / in the Portuguese charts / very doubtful'. No island with any variation of that name exists on any chart today and there is no island anywhere near the indicated position. Yet an island with some version of the name appears on practically every map and chart on which the Indian Ocean is included, from the 16th century to the early 19th. ItemThe Origin of Place-Names on Maps(The Map Collector, 1991) Richardson, W A RMany inscriptions on early maps and charts present problems of meaning and identity which can only be resolved beyond reasonable doubt by tracing them back to their earliest recorded appearance and reducing the risk of being misled by versions that have become corrupted over time. ItemThree Sixteenth Century Indian Ocean Shipwrecks: Maps as Historical Evidence(The Flinders University of South Australia, 1992) Richardson, W A RFor two centuries the landmass named Jave-la-Grande, which appears south of Indonesia on a number of French manuscript world maps made between 1542 and 1566, has been claimed by some to be an early map of Australia, owing to its position and to the superficial similarity between part of its east coast and part of the east coast of Australia. However, place-name studies begun in 1980 seem to have provided incontrovertible proof that the landmass concerned has nothing whatsoever to do with Australia, but was composed from primitive, large-scale, Portuguese sketch charts of parts of the coasts of Java and Vietnam. The French cartographers, unable to identify them, but convinced that they were genuine, attached them to the southern coasts of Java and Sumbawa which were left blank on Portuguese 16th century charts. ItemToponymy and the History of Cartography(Royal Australian Historical Society, 1992) Richardson, W A RWithin the last few years historians of cartography have become increasingly aware of the potential value of toponymy for the elucidation of early cartographical enigmas. One of the most notorious of these is the real identity of the apparent continent of Jave-la-Grande which figures exclusively on a number of French manuscript maps made in Dieppe in the mid-sixteenth century. Its position south of Java gave rise to the understandable supposition that it was an inaccurate, primitive map of Australia, since Australia is the only landmass that really does exist very approximately in that position. The east coast of Jave-la-Grande, though vaguely similar to Australia's east coast, has one feature which conspicuously fails to correspond to any on Australia's east coast, namely the huge triangular projection of cap de fremose. Only the most vivid imagination can find any resemblance whatsoever between the two west coasts. ItemMercator's Southern Continent(The Globe. The Australian Map Circle, 1992) Richardson, W A RThe age-old concept that a vast southern landmass must of necessity exist to counterbalance that in the northern hemisphere was given graphic expression by many cartographers, including Ptolemy, Johannes Schoener and Oronce Fine, but undoubtedly the most famous one is that depicted by Gerard Mercator. ItemLyonesse and The Wolf: A Case Study in Place-Name Corruption(The English Place-Name Society, University of Nottingham, 1992) Richardson, W A RA valuable, though seldom exploited, source of place-name research material is that provided by early manuscript and printed maps and charts, and sailing directions or rutters. Most, if not all, of the earliest maps and charts which include reasonably detailed outlines of the southern coasts of the British Isles are by Italian, Catalan, Majorcan, French and Portuguese cartographers, whilst most of the earliest surviving rutters are also of southern European origin. ItemCartographical Clues to Three Sixteenth-Century Shipwrecks in the Indian Ocean(The Great Circle. Australian Association for Maritime History, 1992) Richardson, W A RRecent place-name studies dealt with two variant, migratory inscriptions: the island of los romeros, actually Amsterdam Island in the southern Indian Ocean; and Psitacorum regio ('The Region of Parrots'), on a fictitious part of Gerard Mercator's southern continent. It is the purpose of this article to examine the background behind three shipwrecks in the Indian Ocean which have been recorded on maps and charts: all three wrecks are connected in one way or another with the above two inscriptions. ItemJave-La-Grande is not Australia(The Globe. The Australian Map Circle, 1992) Richardson, W A RThe continent of Jave-la-Grande on the mid-16th century manuscript Dieppe maps has been the subject of much speculation for over two hundred years and has been claimed to provide evidence of an early Portuguese discovery of Australia. Mathematical and navigational arguments used by some writers to transform the outline of Jave-la-Grande into something more closely resembling that of Australia, and seeking to 'correct' its location and scale, have proved unsustainable. ItemThe Smalls, Hats and Barrels: Navigational and Toponymic Hazards(Nomina. The Society for Name Studies in Britain and Ireland, 1994) Richardson, W A RThe earliest surviving manuscript charts which include reasonably legible inscriptions around the more southerly coastlines of the British Isles are by Italian or Majorcan/Catalan cartographers of the late thirteenth and early fourteenth centuries. The earliest surviving manuscript sailing directions including the same area are in Low German, Italian, French, Portuguese and English. They date from the fifteenth century, but undoubtedly contain some matter copied, probably several times, from originals perhaps a century or more older. ItemA Critique of Spanish and Portuguese Claims to Have Discovered Australia(Investigator. Geelong Historical Society, 1995) Richardson, W A RClaims that the Spanish and especially the Portuguese discovered Australia before the Dutch and English have gained a good deal of credence since they were first advanced. The matter is of some interest to the Geelong area particularly as Bonito's treasure at Queenscliff, the Geelong Keys and the Mahogany Ship near Warrnambool are often cited as "evidence". In this article Bill Richardson makes a detailed examination of these claims. ItemA Cartographical Nightmare - Manuel de Godinho de Eredia's Search for India Meridional(Center for Portuguese Studies, University of California Santa Barbara, 1995) Richardson, W A RThe author examines the writings and maps of Manuel Godinho de Eredia from the early 1600s, and concludes that Eredia's "increasingly contradictory and far-fetched written and cartographical portrayals of India Meridional" should not be used to prove an earlier discovery of Australia. ItemNorthampton on the Welsh Coast? Some Fifteenth and Sixteenth-Century Sailing Directions(Cambrian Archaeological Association, 1995) Richardson, W A RThose fourteenth-, fifteenth- and sixteenth-century mariners who were literate almost certainly relied much more upon sailing directions than upon charts. A mere glance at some of the earliest surviving charts of areas other than the Mediterranean and the Black Sea will show why, for they amounted to little more than aides-memoires. ItemCoastal Place-Name Enigmas on Early Charts and in Early Sailing Directions(The English Place-Name Society, 1997) Richardson, W A RThose 14th, 15th, and 16th century mariners who could read almost certainly relied much more upon sailing directions (Rutters) than upon charts. Illiterate ones relied mainly upon practical experience, the lead-line and compass, some knowledge of the heavens, and upon sailing directions learned by rote. ItemEnigmatic Indian Ocean Coastlines on Early Maps and Charts(The Globe. The Australian Map Circle, 1998) Richardson, W A RMaps by early non-Iberian cartographers tended to rely heavily on Ptolemy's hopelessly inaccurate maps, and on a literal acceptance of Marco Polo's unreliable, second-hand writings. The identification of dubious, frequently imaginary coastlines on such maps is thus usually based on guesswork, or wishful thinking. Only critical examination of the inscriptions can provide reliable identifications. Maps of the Indian Ocean improved as Portuguese charts slowly supplanted Ptolemaic and Poloesque information. Item'Imaginography': sensational pseudo-discoveries(Geography Teachers' Association of South Australia, 1999) Richardson, W A RThe latter half of the 20th century has witnessed a veritable spate of reports in the press about the finding of historical artifacts concerning whose significance sensational claims have been made.