Exhibitions

III. 18th Century – The Imaginary Isle of O’Brazil

John Green, [né Bradock Mead] (ca. 1685-1757)
Chart of the Atlantic Ocean, with the British, French, & Spanish settlements in North America, and the West Indies : as Also on the Coast of Africa
London, 1753.
Courtesy of the Richard H. Brown Revolutionary War Map Collection.
By the mid-18th century, the former “physical” island of Hy-Brasil had morphed into legend. Irish mapmaker John Green, born Bradock Mead, includes the island on his 1753 chart of the Atlantic Ocean. However, in this case, Green provides the following description near the site “Imaginary Isle of O Brazil.” Green, along with English mapmaker Thomas Jefferys, produced a number of maps during the 1750s and 1760s. These highly detailed maps were based on the latest knowledge gained from expeditions across the Atlantic Ocean, and by the mid to late 19th century, mariners were certain there was no physical island of Hy-Brasil where is had been reported to be for nearly 400 years. Despite this, the island would remain on some maps for the next century.
34d
 
 
Thomas Jefferys (c. 1710-1771)
Chart of the Atlantic Ocean, with the British, French, & Spanish settlements in North America, and the West Indies
London, [1768]
35d
 
 
John Green, [né Bradock Mead] (ca. 1685-1757)
Chart of the Atlantic Ocean, with the British, French, & Spanish Settlements in North America, and the West Indies : as Also on the Coast of Africa
London, 1768.
36d

PART II

Back to Main

PART IV