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The London Years of Felipe Bauzá: Spanish Hydrographer in Exile, 1823–34

  • Ursula Lamb

I am very pleased to be with you on this occasion which gathers annually the friends and admirers of Professor Eva G. R. Taylor to honour her memory. My presence here reflects the globe-circling impact her work continues to have, as more and more people from many disciplines rely on her varied contributions. As for the distance of the echo to her work, I qualify, coming from close to half way around the globe, or from Long. 110° 58′ 08″ west of Greenwich. I have elected to talk about Felipe Bauzá who, on an autumn day of 1823, presented himself to the Royal Geographical Society here in London, some way north and east from his birthplace, Palma de Mallorca, and his port of departure, Gibraltar. For he was one of the Spanish liberals with a price on his head under orders of that treacherous puppet of the Holy Alliance, Ferdinand VII.

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1de Navarrete, Martin Fernández, Colección de Opúsculos, vol. 11 (Madrid, 1848), pp. 109114, ‘Felipe Bauzá; Juan Llabrés Bernal, Breve notícia de la labor científica del capitán de návio Don Felipe Bauzá de sus papeles sobre America 1764–1834 (Palma de Mallorca, 1934), pp. 8–9.
2Aug. 1810, Cadiz: ‘D. Eusebio de Bardaji y Azara comunica al Secretario Del Despacho de Marina que el Consejo de Regencia concede permiso al Teniente Coronet D. Felipe Bauzá para que puede asistir y dirigir a los oficiales de ingenieros británicos en la isla de León…’, Museo Naval Madrid, MS 2111 Miscellanea, doc. 41, fol. 128.
3Museo Naval Madrid, MS 1190, fol. 35, Hoja de servicio.
4Museo Naval Madrid, MS 1821, Testamento, Gibraltar, 22 Oct., 1823. He was married to Doña Teresa Ravera, native of Madrid, and there were three children, Felipe aged 21, and two minor daughters, Ana and Amalia. A discussion of family news reflecting political conditions is not within the scope of this paper.
5Collection of Navarrete papers at Ábalos in custody of D. Francisco Fernández de Navarrete, Marqués de Legarda, who has generously given permission to use the legajo containing the letters by Felipe Bauzá, and some papers concerning the Depósito Hidro-gráfico.
611 June 1823 (N.B., a date without further reference refers to a letter).
7Castillo, Vicente Llorens, Liberales Románticos. Una emigración española en Inglaterra (1823–1834), 36 ff.: Un Barrio español en Londres; Claire Gobbi, ‘The Spanish Quarter of Somers Town: An Immigrant Community, 1820–1830’, Camden History Review (1978) VI, 6–9.
8Museo Naval Madrid, MS 1820, fol. 1, ‘Partido de defunción…’, Death certificate and register of burial at the Catholic chapel, Moorfields, in the Parish of St Stephen, Coleman St, in the City of London, vault 6, 8 March 1834. Among a number of papers received by Bauzá there is one addressed to No. 48 Union Street in Somers Town, 8 July 1823 (British Library, MSS Add. 17,649, fol. 170). The street still exists, and among a row of houses are some facing north with an ample bay window. The current numbering, however, does not coincide with one of them. Bauzá only mentions that he did not live alone, and was in cramped quarters as far as storing his papers was concerned. In the papers accompanying the copy of the death certificate, made in Gibraltar, the street name is given as Johnson St, now Cranleigh St, also in Somers Town. I have been unable to ascertain date and circumstances of the change.
9de Navarrete, Martín Fernández, Biblicteca Marítima, 2 vols (Madrid, 1851). For full bibliographical detail, 11, 776–777. This atlas covered both the Mediterranean and Atlantic coasts. A second revised edition was published by the Hydrographic Office in Madrid in 1832. There were separate editions of parts of the atlas made in Paris and Copenhagen. The atlas was a standard reference work for the coastlines covered until well into the 1820s. For Bauzá's part and promotion see Museo Naval Madrid, MS 2141, doc. 19, fol. 62, 14 Feb. 1789.
10Bernal, Llabrés, op. cit. 17, cites the Memorias published by the Hydrographic Office in 2 volumes, with various appendices. Vol. 1, pp. 169182, brings an article entitled ‘Observaciones de la velocidad del sonido, de latitud, longitud y variación, hechas en Santiago de Chile por cl teniente de navio don José de Espinoza y el alférez de navio don Felipe Bauzá en 1794.’ For the Malaspina voyage see ibid. pp. 17–19.
11de Espada, Marcos Jiménez, ‘Una causa de estado”, Revista Contemporánca, 28 Feb. and 15 March 1881, year VII, vol. XXXII.
12Bernal, Llabrés, op. cit. pp. 4347.
13For final admittance see Royal Society, Certificates, 1801–1819; 1 April, 1819. The certificate is signed: Melville, Vassal Holland, Wm. Marsden, Wm. Lambert, Wm. Barrows. It reads as follows: [Felipe Bauzá,] ‘assistant of Tofiño, later Malaspina, author of a chart and memoir between Chile and Buenos Aires; compiler of ancient voyages of the Spaniards in the Pacific from original MSS now in the course of publication; and superintendent of the Hydrographic Depot at Madrid, a gentleman well skilled in astronomy and hydrography, being desirous of becoming a fellow of the Royal Society of London. We whose names are hereunto subscribed do, from our personal knowledge, from his works, and scientific reputation, recommend him as highly deserving that honour and as likely to become an useful and valuable member on the foreign list. Read fourteen times.
14The Spanish Journal of Elizabeth Lady Holland, ed. The Earl of Ilchester (London, 1910), PP. 359360.
1518 Nov. 1824.
1611 March 1824.
1728 Jan. 1824; 17 Jan. 1825; for Library, 11 March 1824.
18Ritchie, G. S., The Admiralty Chart: British Naval Hydrography in the Nineteenth Century (London, 1967), p. 159.
198 Aug. 1825.
20Roberts, Captains and Willoughby, are also mentioned as discussing their work with Bauzá, 20 Nov. 1824.
2129 May 1824.
22Beaufort papers, Huntington Library, San Marino, California, letter by Smyth, W. H. to Francis Beaufort, 18 Dec. 1833.
2328 April 1824, Bauzá calls him ‘un hombre sumamente prolixo y exacto…’; also on 6 Jan. 1825 he comments with enthusiasm on the map of Sicily; 11 Jan. 1831 on a visit for copying.
24Navarrete, , Biblioteca Marítima, II, 776777.
25Bauzá himself had surveyed the area in 1814, letter of 21 July 1829. Admiral Fleming's chart had the entry from the Spanish surveyor Luyando. Later survey data were available from Captain Purdy and more recent Spanish surveys. Beaufort had sent out a survey party as well (ibid). A drawing of the shoal of Tarifa appears in the letter of 13 Aug. 1831.
26The ‘desengaño’ of Smyth, , 12 Oct. 1832.
2726 April 1824; 28 March 1824; 28 April 1824. Barrow, John Sir, Bart, , An Autobiographical Memoir, London, 1847, does not mention Bauzá. It suggests the contrast in the temperaments of the two men.
2815 June 1825; he was delighted with the countryside near the house about twenty miles from Windsor.
2931 July 1829. The holdings of various libraries of the Spanish publications are substantial. Collation would only be useful and it would be necessary if one were to check out any individual item. Ursula Lamb, ‘Martín Fernández de Navarrete Clears the Deck: the Spanish Hydrographic Office, 1795–1823’, appendix 11, ‘Apuntes’, in Centro de Estudos de Cartografia Antiga, Sepcrata C XXXI, Coimbra, 1980.
309 April 1828: ‘Only one person knows Spanish…’
3111 March 1824.
32He also mentions that there is no tradition of printing data equivalent to those in the Spanish Memorias, a lack partially made good later by the appearance of the Nautical Magazine in 1831, and subsequently to the regular publication of Notices to Mariners (1833).
331 Aug. 1828; Bauzá recommended two refugee children, eighteen years old, one trained by Cardano and very skilled. They were apparently rejected.
3425 May 1827; on the Espinoza voyage see: A Spanish Voyage to Vancouver and the North West Coast of America being the narrative of the voyage made in the year 1792 by the schooners Sútil and Mexicana to explore the Strait of Fuca. Translated with an introduction by Cecil Jane (London, 1930), these had been published by the Madrid Depósito in 1802. See also Museo Naval Madrid, MS 2406.
35Navarrete, Colección, Ábalos, , Noticias históricas de la Dirección Hidrográfica. Lamb, Ursula, ‘Early Spanish Plans for Lithographic Production of Maps: a fruitful failure’, paper presented at the annual meeting of the Society for the History of Discoveries, Charleston, S.C., 1 Oct. 1972.
36Navarrete, Colección, Ábalos, , ibid. 37. Lamb, Ursula, op. cit., Navarrete's ‘Apuntes’.
37Lamb, Ursula, ibid.
38On 26 August 1826 the death sentence on Bauzá was confirmed and any chance for a resumption of office was ended. Navarrete was confirmed as proprietary holder of the directorship of the Spanish Hydrographic Office (Llabrés Bernal, op. cit. p. 10); On 25 August Bauzá congratulated Navarrete on succeeding to the office: ‘No puede Ud. figurarse cuanto he celebrado que la propriedad de ese Depósito haya recaido en Ud…’
3915 Sept. 1827.
40Castillo, Lloréns, op. cit., especially chapter v. The book is a publication of the Nueva Revista de Filología and it covers literary interests extensively.
41Ritchie, G. S., op. cit. pp. 160161.
42Ministry of Defence, Royal Navy, Hydrographic Department Archive at Taunton, Somerset, has among the papers by Bauzá lists of positions which were used by British surveyors Captain P. P. King and Commander Henry Foster of HMS Chanticleer, though there is no mention of Bauzá in the published account. I owe this and other information concerning Bauzá's papers at Taunton to the kind help of Lieutenant-Commander A. C. F. David and I would like to express my thanks for his personal attention to my inquiries.
43Friendly, Alfred, Beaufort of the Admiralty, the life of Sir Francis Beaufort 1774–1857 (London, 1977), chapter 24: ‘Hydrographer: The Right Man’.
4412 Nov. 1829; Bauzá was received as member on 14 Oct. 1831. He published in the Transactions ‘The Tables of Heights of various Points of Spain, alphabetically arranged’, vol. 11 (1832), pp. 269–273; Bauzá also contributed to the first number of the Nautical Magazine. Thanks for this and other items are due to Dr David V. Proctor, Head of printed books and MSS department of the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich.
45In March 1830 and March 1832, Beaufort sent Bauzá three charts to compare with Spanish data of the Mediterranean (Cadiz) to San Lucar (no days given) on the Smyth chart, 14 June 1830.
4611 Jan. 1831; Lieutenant-Commander David sent me the translation of letter No. B 914 from the archive in Taunton. Don Felipe Bauzá writes to Captain Beaufort regarding the proposed voyage of Captain Fitzroy. It has mainly position fixes and is about one-and-a-half pages of single-spaced text. There are also many lists of comparative position fixes submitted by Bauzá in the Archive.
4728 May 1824; Fitzroy, Robert, Narrative of the Surveying Voyages of H.M. Ships Adventure and Beagle, 3 vols. (London, 1839); vol. 11, p. 24 contains the ‘Memorandum’ with the instructions for the voyage of the Beagle sent to Plymouth Harbour. There are various mentions of Spanish charts, of their insufficiency, of the fact that there are none other, and on p. 31 the text reads: ‘At the Gulf of Peñas the last survey terminated. Of the Peninsula de Tres Montes, and of the islands between that and Chiloe, a Spanish manuscript has been procured from Don Felipe Bauzá, which may greatly abridge the examination of that interval.’
48The entry for 1 Jan. 1827 mentions that the exchange got under way on the suggestion of Humboldt. A sample of their correspondence was published in the German periodical Hcrtha (Berlin), vol. XII (1828), entitled ‘Hydrographie und Geographie von Amerika. Auszuege aus Briefen des Spanischen Schiffskapitaens Don Felipe Bauzá an den Freiherrn Alexander von Humboldt und Professor Oltmanns.’ The first letter is dated London, 12 Feb. 1827. He cites Malaspina, Brown, and Hall, as well as Humboldt. The frontispiece of the issue is a portrait of Captain W. E. Parry, R.N.
496 June 1827; von Zach, Franz Xaver Baron (4 June 1754–2 Sept. 1832), editor of Allgemeine Geographische Ephemeriden, 26 vols. from 1798. My reference is to vol. 13 of Correspondance astronomique, géologique, hydrographique et statistique, 14 vols. (1818–1826), for a contribution by Bauzá, but from the mention in the letters one would expect more. The publication is rare, and since it was irregular in appearance it is seldom complete.
50Zach's, death from cholera is recorded on 12 Oct. 1832. Cholera in London is mentioned as it ‘rises and abates with the change in the weather.‘
5130 Aug. 1825; Goodman, Edward J., ‘The Search for the Mythical Lake Parima’, Terrae lncognitae, VII (1975), pp. 2331. The article by Bauzá is entitled ‘Discurso sobre el estado de la geografia de la América Meridional’ and was translated by Wilhelm Friedrich Freyherr von Karvinsky: ‘Ueber den Zustand der Geographie von Sued-Amerika’ for the Bayerische Akademie der Wissenschaften, Denkschriften (Munich), VIII, 81–124.
52From London, 2 Oct. 1826. On 4 Sept. 1828 Bauzá, mentions an application for a passport to France.
5325 May 1827; the visit to the tunnel took place on 26 April, in the company of the architect Marc Isambard Brunel.
54Ivan Fedorovich Kruzenshtern (1770–1846) (the spelling is so varied in the letters and even in modern transcriptions that I stay by the currently accepted version). In 1827 he issued his Atlas de l'Océan Pacifique. St Petersburg, engraved by S. Froloff, elephant folio. On the title page of the Atlas it says that an accompanying volume is the ‘Recueil de memoire s hydrographiques, pour servir d'analyse et d'explication a l'atlas de l'océan Pacifique’, par le Commodore de Krusenstern, Saint Petersbourg, de l'Imprimerie du Département de l'Instruction Publique, 1824. In vol. 1, pp. 293–295 appear words of high praise for Espinoza's Memorias sobre las observaciones astronomicas etc…. (Madrid, 1809), cited above. The text intended to present the work of the Spanish hydrographers is a very good summary of the significance attributed to it by a foreign colleague. Bauzá is mentioned as preparing a third volume of Memorias of which he speaks in his letters but which were never published. A part of the Memoria may well be documents at Taunton, Miscellaneous papers, Data Book, No. 125, dated London, 1 April 1828, which concerns positions on the West coast of Mexico and the Gulf of Honduras.
5524 Sept. 1824; repeated inquiry 18 Nov. 1824.
56An article by Kruzenshtern had actually appeared in the Memoirs of the Russian State Admiralty Department (1815), part III. Professor Raymond H. Fisher of the University of California at Los Angeles found the item and transcribed the Russian title as follows: ‘Information about the Spanish expedition undertaken for discovery in the years 1791, 1792 and 1793 under the command of Captain Malespina (sic)’. We have not been able to obtain a copy thus far.
5711 Nov. 1824. Bauzá reports that Kruzenshtern is said to have announced a publication of the Malaspina voyages in two volumes. This must have been a rumour built upon the favourable mention of Spanish work cited above. On 4 Oct. 1825 Bauzá, who had only checked the American coast of the Atlas – which is in Russian – doubts that there is any improvement over the Spanish data and those of ‘Hall, Brown, Byron, Roberts, Ferguson, Bremmer, Duprey, Lartigue, Maclean, Hunter etc., etc. and other Spaniards’. The controversy over the quality of the Russian atlas can be followed in the introduction to his voyages by the English translator who says the lack of plates is no loss, and an article in the North American Review, no. LVI (July, 1827), pp. 1–32, which pronounces in his favour. Kruzenshtern did name a cluster of islands in the Pacific (Marquesas Islands) after Washington rather than any specific ‘discoverer’.
5819 Oct. 1826. Bauzá says that there is a copy in the Real Académia, and that there may also be one in the Depósito. Rich (American book dealer ) whom Bauzá calls a friend, should be advised in this and other matters, so that he would be helped ‘without hurting us’ and he pleads for information about the state of these affairs. On 4 Oct. 1827 he mentions French pirating of Spanish editions.
59The references are miscellaneous but of interest to non-literary historians. They shed light on the epoch when public collections of museums, academies, and learned societies entered the literary market to rival royal collections and private bidding. Yet on 18 July 1826 Bauzá records a depression when no one will buy books. There were many bankruptcies which were getting public attention. For Ackermann see Pedro Grasses, La primera editorial inglesa para Hispano América (Caracas, 1955).
6016 Nov. 1824.
61Carta Esférica que comprehende las costas del Seno Mexicano, Construida de Órden del Rey en el Depósito Hidrográfico de Marina…Ano de 1799. This is no. 21 in the Atlas Marítimo. There are various editions; one says: corregida en 1805…F. Bauzá la delineó. It was this chart which he kept under continual revision. It showed Florida Peninsula and the Gulf Coast. An interesting discussion of this work is in the catalogue of the Lowery Collection, A descriptive list of Maps of the Spanish Possessions, by Phillip L. Phillips (Washington. G. P. O. 1912).
62Hydrographic Dept. Archives, Miscellaneous papers, vol. 49, pp. 29–44 and 206—207. The letters have many pages of comparative position fixes and there are many more in the Museo Naval in Madrid, dispersed in various MSS. The major collection of Bauzá's papers in the British Library Manuscript collection contains a wide variety of subject matter. The holdings are primarily identified in one purchase made on 2 Dec. 1848, Add. 17556–17676. The collation of those holdings from various lists, Gayangos, Fernández Duro, and the BM catalogue does not appear to be of any use except when one wants to track down one specific item. On 7 Aug. 1827 he writes ‘I have constructed a chart of the Seno Mexicano from 70° to 90° 30′ of longitude East from Cadiz and Latitude 18° to 31°, matching the degrees to the chart of 1799 printed at the time of Lángara. It is heavily corrected and I am finishing an analysis of the data which I have used for the construction. I decided to make that chart to that measurement, because the old one was very much appreciated, and was of a good size for navigation…I have it engraved, although not yet lettered, and I am consulting you as to whether it would be possible that the Depósito would buy it from me. In that case, you might take the one of 1799 for the lettering and I would give you a rebate’. He then mentions that he could not afford to make a gift of the chart to Madrid. Bauzá did not want to send the unlettered version for fear someone else would use it, and he implies that he needed to be paid for his work (20 Nov. 1827). Hydrographic Dept. Archives, Geographic Positions, Q 12, Minute Book No. 1, (2), 289, Captain Beaufort directs Mr Barrow to pay the sum of Lb100 for charts of the West coast of North America. Bauzá reports selling two charts and handing over ten more.
63José de Cardano, nephew of Bauzá, made a naval career in the Hydrographic Office as delineador (draughtsman-cartographer). He was sent to Munich to learn the lithographic process with Senefelder, and went from there to Holland, and on to London, where he settled with his family. Bauzá thought him somewhat mad and suffered from his importunities. ‘Hay locos en el mundo dignos de compasion…’ (4 Nov. 1832).
64Archivo Histórico de Simancas, Catálogo XVI, p. 400; Mapa geográfica de los Pirineos que pretende publicar don José Cardano e intervencion de Don Felipe Bauzá. He describes his full commission in: Museo Naval Madrid, MS 1436, fol. 14: ‘Memoria de la comision nombrada para formar un proyecto de division del territorio de la Peninsula, por D. Felipe Bauzá’. 18 March 1821, Madrid.
656 Jan. 1834; Bauzá reports that he is packing his papers and that he has 1230 maps and plans for the hydrography and geography of Spain alone. The British Museum Catalogue of Printed Maps and Charts, vol. II (1964), lists nine charts by Bauzá posthumously published by the Admiralty, the last in 1876. I have also been informed of extensive holdings in the Library of Congress by Dr John A. Wolter, Chief of the Geography and Map Division, Dr John Hebert, Acting Chief, Hispanic Division and Mr Robert S. Martin, Director of the Library of the University of Texas at Arlington, to all of whom I express my thanks.
66von Humboldt, Alexander, Mexico Atlas, ed. Hanno, Beck and Wilhelm, Bonacker (Stuttgart, 1969), elephant folio. Introduction p. 12, ‘Pasiegraphie’ (= allgemeinverstaendliche Schriftzeichensprache).
67Deacon, Margaret, Scientists and the Sea, 1650–1900, a study of marine science (Academic Press, London, 1971), pp. VII and 220–223; the Hydrographic Department Archives possess a booklet in Spanish and English translation sent by Bauzá which concerns icebergs sighted off the Cape of Good Hope (Miscellaneous Papers, vol. 81, pp. 335–340). Rennell is mentioned Oct. 1833; Bauzá was doubtful concerning his work, probably with reference to a north Atlantic current.
68Note 1, and Duro, Cesareo Fernández, Disquisiciones Náuticas IV, ‘Los Ojos en el cielo’ (Madrid, 1881), pp. 319, 333, 336, 343 ff. Llabrés Bernal, op. cit.; in the Memoirs of the Royal Astronomical Society, vol. VIII (London, 1835), pp. 288–289 appears the following text: ‘Signor Don Felipe Bauzá was among the foremost of those officers, whose hydrographic talents reflect such credit on the Spanish navy. He made his escape to England in company of Admiral Valdes…but even in exile his industry did not forsake him as was evinced by his reconstructing the maps and charts of South America, and the compilation of a luminous memoir of the data on which they were founded. He expired at an advanced age in Somers Town…[he is] remembered for several important papers especially that by D. José Ferrer on the longitude of Havannah inserted in our memoirs.’ The London Times carried an obituary with less detail on 11 March 1834, 36.
69Taylor, E. G. R., Tudor Geography, 1485–1583 (London, 1930).
70Lamb, Ursula, ‘Cosmographers of Seville, Nautical Science and Social Experience’ in First Images of America, Fredi, Chiappelli ed. (Los Angeles, 1978), vol. 2, pp. 675–686, note 21.
7127 Sept. 1831, Bauzá reports on a visit to the house of Captain Smyth who showed him the chart of the Columbretes and asked him to supply some biographical data about his colleagues to be published with the new list of names. These were of the various people concerned with the Spanish survey of Tofiño, or other Spanish Mediterranean surveys which Smyth had consulted for his charts.
72The Museo Naval in Madrid sent me a blow-up of the Columbretes from the chart of 1833. I am obliged to the staff of that institution for their continued help and advice.
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