When London Became An Island
Soochong, Shoguns and the Saracen’s surveys
Below are the sources from which the graphic content of this part of the website have been taken.
In 2019, when researching material on the voyage of the Saracen held in the archives of the United Kingdom Hydrological Office (UKHO) in Taunton, I was able to access the Remarks Book, written by Richards, which detailed his impressions of visits made to Port Hamilton and in Japan. I did not copy the complete book, a good deal of which is devoted to detailed survey results and observations about currents, weather and sailing conditions, but found interesting general material in relation to visits to Port Hamilton, Hakodadi (Hakodate) and Nangasaki (Nagasaki). I would like to thank the staff of the UKHO archives for the help they gave me in my research.
The sketch maps were all done by the author.
Chapter 1 Introduction
1 Author’s own photograph.
2 Cartoon in the public domain.
3 Author’s own photograph.
Chapter 1 - The Hydrographer and the Hydrographic Office
Hong Kong. Drawing and watercolour on paper, by the English painter George Chinnery.
This comes from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Visualizing Cultures (MIT VC) website.
Visualizing Cultures was launched at MIT in 2002 to explore the potential of the Web for developing innovative image-driven scholarship and learning. The VC mission is to use new technology and hitherto inaccessible visual materials to reconstruct the past as people of the time visualized the world (or imagined it to be).
HMS Beagle. Painted by Owen Stanley. Stanley was an officer in the Royal Navy and a surveyor. He was responsible for surveys around the Great Barrier Reef and the Torres Strait.
Chapter 2 - Why sail, not steam?
There are several images on the Internet of HMS Virago. This one comes from
This website has very detailed information about HMS Virago and is easy to translate from Russian.
Chapter 3 - The Captain and his preparations
Sir Edward Belcher - from Wikipedia, Painting by Stephen Pearce 1859.
The plan of the holds comes from the ship’s log, which is kept in the National Archives in Kew.
Chronometer photograph is from the British Museum website
Chapter 4 - The problem of longitude
1 and 2 From Wikipedia (I added Greenwich to 2)
Author’s own photographs of the Thames at Greenwich and Flamsteed House. Flamsteed House dates from 1675 and was designed by Sir Christopher Wren. It housed the original observatory.
Chapter 5 - Exporting free trade importing tea
Author’s photograph of Free Trade Wharf
Picture of Lin Tse-hsü is from the MIT VC website.
The opium ships at Lintin, China by William John Huggins from
Chapter 6 - Plymouth to the Sunda Strait February to June1854
First photograph shows an inscribed ship’s biscuit. This biscuit was baked in Sydney and supplied to H.M.S. Galatea. Captain H.R.H. Prince Alfred was the son of Queen Victoria. From the Museum of New Zealand website.
The photograph of the currents is from the Blue Planet Society@Seasaver website.The photograph of the Martello Tower is from the website of the Simon’s Town Museum and Historical Society.
Lithograph of Krakatoa from Wikepedia.
Chapter 7 - The Sunda Strait to Hong Kong - June to August 1854
Painting of Java seascape at Anjer point By Abraham Salm in the 1860s. From the Tropenmuseum in Amsterdam via Wikipedia.
Pagoda picture from UK Government Art Collection.
Congreve’ rockets from the ‘Facility of Application of the Congreve Rocket System’. On the US Naval Academy Nimitz library website.
Pictures of Raffles, the Keying and Brooke both from Wikipedia. The painting of Brooke dates from 1847 and was done by Francis Grant.
Chapter 8 - Trouble in China
The Anglicised Chinese words in Soochong, Shoguns and the Saracen’s surveys are generally based on the Wade-Giles system.
The photographs of;
Queen Victoria was taken by J J E Mayall in 1860.
The Forbidden City comes from the chasingthevine.com website
The Dragon Empress comes from the website of smithsonianmag.com
The painting of Robert Morrison was by George Chinney and is on Wikipedia, as is the portrait of Hung Hsin-ch’uan.
Chapter 9 - An American squadron, an American pirate
Both photographs and the illustration of USS Porpoise from Wikipedia
Chapter 10 - Tea to the Pagoda Anchorage
First illustration from Wikipedia. By Thomas Allom it is from a book published in 1843. The title was Woo-e-shan, or Bohea Hills, Province of Fo-kien.
East Indiaman (Repulse) in East India Dock basin by Charles Henry Seaforth. From Wikipedia
Chapter 11 - Eclipsing clippers
Both illustrations from Wikipedia. The painting is by Fitz Henry Lane of the ‘Southern Cross’ leaving Boston Harbour in 1851.
Chapter13 - Richards imposes the ‘red-checked shirt’
The illustration of Fleetwood Pellew by George Chinnery c1806. From Wikipedia.
The illustration of Sir John Bowring is taken from www.macstudies.net
Chapter14 - From Gull Point to Saracen Head
The chart of the track is from the log book of the ‘Saracen’
The two maps of the survey area between Gull Point and Saracen Head by the author.
Painting of Sir Francis Beaufort by Stephen Pearce. From Wikipedia (Dutch language)
Chapter15 - Hunting Putiatin
Picture of Sir James Stirling from Wikipedia.
Painting of Nikolai Muravev by Konstantin Makovsky. From Wikipedia. Interesting that Muravev is shown on board a ship, presumably in the Sea of Okhotsk.
‘Black Ship’ print on MIT website.
American whaler Morrison in 1845. From the website of chelseagreen.com
Putiatin in Japan on Wikipedia.
Chapter 16 - To Port Hamilton
The chart of the track is from the log book of the ‘Saracen’
Illustration of the sinking of the Diana from the Illustrated London News. From Wikipedia.
Chapter 17 - To Hakodadi
Picture of Tokugawa Ieyasu on Wikipedia
Picture of Japanese junk from Nimitz Library, US Naval Academy.
Chapter 18 - Escape and Capture
Illustration printed in ‘Narrative of The Expedition of an American Squadron to the China Seas and Japan, Performed in the Years 1852, 1853, and 1854, Under the command of Commodore M.C. Perry, United States Navy’
Chapter 19 - To Nagasaki
Both the painting and the reproduction of the woodblock print are from Wikipedia. The painter of the portrait is unknown. The woodblock, by Toshimaya Bunjiemon, was copied into Isaac Titsingh's Bijzonderheden over Japan, which was published in the 1820s.
Chapter 20 - A new focus
The map is from Wikipedia. The original was published with ‘A Dissertation on the Soil and Agriculture of the British Settlement of Penang’ by James Lowe.
Chapter 21 - Bowring and Siam
The picture of the Great Exhibition was downloaded from the about.com website
The photograph of King Mongkut dates from 1865 and was taken by the Scottish photographer John Thomson. From Wikipedia.
Chapter 22 - To the Gulf of Siam
The lithograph is from the Library of Congress, Washington D.C. Digital file number LC-DIG-rpusca-0569
The photograph was originally posted to Flickr by Jun as ‘Tomb for Chinese people in Ishigaki Island’. Evidently there was a rebellion on a ship bound for California during which approximately 400 emigrants died.
Chapter 23 - A tricky time in Siam
The photograph of Harry Parkes is from Wikipedia, but the name of the photographer is not given.
Chapter 24 - Gulf of Siam surveys - To Tringano
The photograph of Bhai Maharaj Singh is from www.siknet.com.
The photograph of Bukit Puteri is taken from a blog;
It is not clear when the photograph was taken, perhaps around 1900?
The quotation from King Mongkut is taken from ‘The Writings of King Mongkut to Sir John Browning’ which was published by The Historical Commission of the Prime Minister’s Secretariat (Bangkok 1994) The quotations in chapter 25 are from that publication too.
Chapter 25 - Gulf of Siam surveys - The Kra isthmus
Some of the details about the expedition on the Isthmus of Darien are taken from Inskip’s own Remark’s Book. It is a great pity the ones covering his time on the Saracen have disappeared, but the story of how the two which do exist ended up in the British Columbia Archives is fascinating. Copy and paste the link below to read about it.
Chapter 26 - Gulf of Siam surveys - Return to the Chao Phraya River
The photograph of the two rocks off Koh Krah (called Koh Kra today) was taken from the Sea Undersea website. The caption on the site photo reads;
Hin Sung - the two smaller islets off Koh Kra, from above the water.
The link to the website is;
The photograph of La Capricieuse in Quebec is held in the archives of the University of Montreal. It was downloaded from on the website of the Encyclopédie du patrimoine culturel de l'Amérique française.
Chapter 27 - Crisis in Bangkok
The photograph of Bangkok was taken by John Thomson in 1865. However, the view would have changed very little since 1856. It is from the Wellcome Collection. See
for more of Thomson’s images.
I would like to thank the Royal Mint Museum in Llantrisant for the help I was given in finding information about the screw press exported to Cambodia from Birmingham and the manufacture of coins during the reign of King Ang Duong.
All photographs taken by the author.
Photograph by the author.
A copy of the 1857 ‘Koh Tron and channels leading to the anchorages off Kamput’ chart is displayed at the Cambodian National Archives in Phnom Penh.
Photograph of Bumbi Cone by the author.
In the section entitled ‘The woman who launched a thousand coal barges’ the reproduction of the painting of the 5th Duke of Argyll is taken from Wikipedia and that of the Older Duke from the Berkhamsted Castle Trust website.
Sources and acknowledgements