[Plans for Plymouth Docks. Drophead title on p. 1:] Notes on the First & Second Draughts. [- Notes on the Eighth Draught.]



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The text describing the eight "draughts" is followed by a 3.5 page letter to Edmund Dummer, Surveyor to His Majesty's Navy, from the Officers of the Dockyard dated from "Hamoze-Dock, the 7th of January 1697/8" signed by Tho. Stollord, Elias Waff, T. Holms, Rich. Lea, J. Pownoll, Rich. Stace, Thoas Yeo & Robert Waters. 


Folio. [Text: 295 x 200 mm.]. 27, [1](blank)] pp. (text cropped at the foot removing catchwords, signatures and some bottom lines); folding engraved 'Chart of the harbour of Plymouth' ['From Captn. Collins's Survey' added in pencil [Greenvile Collins, Great Britain's Coasting-Pilot, 1693] (trimmed at the foot, losing about an inch, mostly sea, but including the scale); eight folding engraved architectural and topographical plans, numbered "First - Eight Draught" (the first slightly trimmed at the foot), an folding engraved bird's-eye plan showing the surrounding field boundaries, and a folding plate  'The view of ye yard near Plymouth from the river or westward' engraved by Johannes Kip.



The plans are for the new King's Dock at Point Forward / Froward where the River Tamar enters Plymouth Sound (just to the west of Plymouth). The new dock comprised an outer wet dock and an inner dry dock. It was accompanied by a grand Neo-classical Officers' Dwelling House, a great Store House, and a Rope House (1056 feet long).


The text, which describes the first eight folding plates, has no title or author but was composed by Edmund Dummer (1651-1713), shipbuilder and Surveyor of the Navy (from August 1692, Assistant Surveyor from April 1689). It includes: a short report dated "Plymouth, 4th of November, 1692" following an inspection by Henry Greenhil, Commissioner of the Navy, Henry Hook, Deputy-Governor of the Citadel, four Officers of the Yard at Plymouth (Elias Waff, Thomas Stollard, John Addis, Richard Lea) and seven Gentlemen of Plymouth (p. 10-11); a Letter from Captain St. Lo [George St Lo (1658-1718), His Majesty's Commissioner at Plymouth to the Navy-Board dated 1 Dec. 1695 benefits from acquiring the estate of Mountwise and accommodating the workmen there instead of two miles away (p. 11-13); a letter from the Officers of the Yard at Plymouth (Thomas Stollord, Elias Waff, T. Holms, Richard Lea, J. Pownall, Richard Stace, Thomas Yeo, Robert Waters) to Edmund Dummer, dated from Hamoze-Dock, 7 January 1697/8 (p. 24-27) on the same subject of acquiring the lands of the 'Bartin of Montwise' [i.e. Barton (= demesne-land) of Mount Wise] an area immediately north of the new dockyard for workers' accommodation.


The printed text is based on (with variations and without the later letters from St Lo and the Officers of the Yard) and the plates are copied from the nine illustrations in an earlier manuscript version, An account of the general progress and advancement of his Majesties New Docks and Yard at Plymouth, made by Dummer which was presented to Sir Robert Harley, a member of the Commission of Public Accounts, in December 1694. It survives in the British Library (MS Lansdowne 847).


First Draught. "The Plott of the Ground about Point Froward" with an outline of the docks with two coastal profiles at the top and two at the left side. (Slightly shaved at the foot)

Second Draught. "The Yard and Docks Compleat"

Third Draught. Ground-plan of the Wet and Dry Docks.

Fourth Draught. "The Officers Dwelling Houses." Elevation and ground-plan.

Fifth Draught. Elevation and ground-plan of the Great Store House. 

Sixth Draught. "The Rope house 1056 foot long and 25 foot Broad". Elevation and ground-plan. (On thicker paper, slightly discoloured; stab-holes at the fore-margin show it has previously been bound the other way round).

Seventh Draught. "These Buildings belong to the Rope Yard" [White Yarn House, Wheel & Kettle House, Tarred Yarn House. (Stab-holes at the fore-margin show it has previously been bound the other way round).

Eighth Draught. Smith's Shop, two Mast Houses, Boat House, Joyner's and House Carpenter's Shop: elevation and ground-plan.


These are followed by two more folding plates:


A plan of the field-enclosures of "The Barton of Mountwise" with the Docks.

"The View of ye Yard near Plymouth from the River or Westward" by "I. Kip" [Johannes Kip] showing the completed buildings [presumably an artist's impression]. This illustration does not appear in the MS version.


Not in ESTC. We have traced only one other copy of this printed work in the British Library (Cartographic Items Additional MS 9329, ff.156-18).


The manuscript version was published and edited by Michael Duffy, "Edmund Dummer’s ‘Account of the General Progress and Advancement of His Majesty’s New Dock and Yard at Plymouth’, December 1694," in The Naval Miscellany (Navy Records Society, Vol. 6, 2003, pp. 93–147. It is also discussed in an extended essay on Dummer by Celina Fox, "The Ingenious Mr Dummer: Rationalizing the Royal Navy in Late Seventeenth-Century England", British Library E-Journal (2007): www.bl.uk/eblj/2007articles/pdf/ebljarticle102007.pdf 


Provenance: Earls of Macclesfield, Shirburn Castle, Oxfordshire, with armorial bookplate dated 1860; originally (with 2 other items) at North Library 115.G.18.


Stock Code: 220658

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