London, British Library, King's MS 48
Greenwich - London, National Maritime Museum, P/48
Saint Peter Port, Royal Court of Guernsey

King's Survey of the Channel Islands Facsimile Edition

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In 1679 King Charles II ordered a survey of the Channel Islands and their defences, harbours and forts. He was concerned that there should be “a consultation of all the ablest pilots of Normandy and Brittany to know what ports the King of France might make useful to his fleet”.

George Legge, later Earl of Dartmouth, and his fellow engineer Sir Bernard de Gomme set off from Portsmouth, taking with them the artist, cartographer and military engineer, Thomas Phillips. The lavishly illustrated work they created for the king became known in the Channel Islands as The Legge Report.

The book, part report and part pictorial atlas, contains numerous carefully crafted watercolours of the Channel Islands, their approaches, forts and harbours, executed by Phillips as he sailed between the islands.

Thomas Phillips was hugely ambitious and this was a great opportunity to impress the King. He transformed what should have been a standard military survey into a stunning manuscript, ideally suited to the theatricality and flamboyance of Charles’ court. His use of colour washes, his eye for detail and his extraordinary birds eye views make this the most beautiful of all Channel Island books.

Legge’s report itself is concise and to the point, outlining the action the Crown must take to safeguard the Islands. He also includes documents entitled “Brief State of Guernsey” and “Some short observations on the Island of Jersey”.

The text covers the ecclesiastical, legal and civil administrations of the Bailiwick including the Royal Charters, the Papal Bull of 1480, the roles of the Crown Officers and the standing orders for manning the garrison. There are lists of the clergy, the masters of all vessels belonging to the Islands, the officers of the court and the governors to the year 1680. The result is a fascinating collection of old Channel Island names many of which we recognise today: de Sausmares, Guille, Le Mesurier, Gosselin, de Beauvoir, Falla, Mansell, Le Marchant, Carey, de L’Isle, Mahy and many more which resonate down the age.

There are three known copies of The Kings Survey. The artist’s originals are held by the National Maritime Museum in London, the King’s copy resides in the British Library, and Guernsey’s Royal Court has the third.

We have 4 facsimiles of the manuscript "King's Survey of the Channel Islands":

#1 King's Survey of the Channel Islands - The Pilots Version

Saint Peter Port: The Clear Vue Publishing Partnership Limited, 2011

  • Commentary (English) by Hutchinson, Gillian
  • Limited Edition: 75 copies
  • This facsimile is complete (full-size color reproduction of the whole original document).

Each finished book includes some 38 reproductions of Thomas Phillips’ watercolour illustrations, which fold out from twice page size to over three and a half page size.

The book has been printed on specialist archive-quality, acid-free paper, with the foldouts on a heavier stock. This has enabled the printer to recreate the original images in all their detail and with stunning clarity. Each volume is then quarter-bound by hand in top-grade leather and finished with a handmade marbled paper, created especially for this edition and which will be a different colour for each version.

Binding

Blue marbled paper.

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#2 King's Survey of the Channel Islands - The Jersey Version

Saint Peter Port: The Clear Vue Publishing Partnership Limited, 2011

  • Commentary (English) by Hutchinson, Gillian
  • Limited Edition: 75 copies
  • This facsimile is complete (full-size color reproduction of the whole original document).

Each finished book includes some 38 reproductions of Thomas Phillips’ watercolour illustrations, which fold out from twice page size to over three and a half page size.

The book has been printed on specialist archive-quality, acid-free paper, with the foldouts on a heavier stock. This has enabled the printer to recreate the original images in all their detail and with stunning clarity. Each volume is then quarter-bound by hand in top-grade leather and finished with a handmade marbled paper, created especially for this edition and which will be a different colour for each version.

The Jersey Version comes complete with 5 additional half-size prints, of Thomas Phillips’ illustrations of Jersey including a triptych of The Prospect of the Bay of St Hilary, held in an archival pocket within the book cover.

 

Binding

Red marbled paper.

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Only for Registered Users

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#3 King's Survey of the Channel Islands - The Guernsey Version

Saint Peter Port: The Clear Vue Publishing Partnership Limited, 2011

  • Commentary (English) by Hutchinson, Gillian
  • Limited Edition: 75 copies
  • This facsimile is complete (full-size color reproduction of the whole original document).

Each finished book includes some 38 reproductions of Thomas Phillips’ watercolour illustrations, which fold out from twice page size to over three and a half page size.

The book has been printed on specialist archive-quality, acid-free paper, with the foldouts on a heavier stock. This has enabled the printer to recreate the original images in all their detail and with stunning clarity. Each volume is then quarter-bound by hand in top-grade leather and finished with a handmade marbled paper, created especially for this edition and which will be a different colour for each version.

The Guernsey Version comes complete with 4 half-size prints of Thomas Phillips’ illustrations of Guernsey including maps of Guernsey and Sark, held in an archival pocket within the book cover.

Binding

Green marbled paper.

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Only for Registered Users

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#4 King's Survey of the Channel Islands - The Fortress Version

Saint Peter Port: The Clear Vue Publishing Partnership Limited, 2011

  • Commentary (English) by Hutchinson, Gillian
  • Limited Edition: 50 copies
  • This facsimile is complete (full-size color reproduction of the whole original document).

Each finished book includes some 38 reproductions of Thomas Phillips’ watercolour illustrations, which fold out from twice page size to over three and a half page size.

The book has been printed on specialist archive-quality, acid-free paper, with the foldouts on a heavier stock. This has enabled the printer to recreate the original images in all their detail and with stunning clarity. Each volume is then quarter-bound by hand in top-grade leather and finished with a handmade marbled paper, created especially for this edition and which will be a different colour for each version.

The Fortress Version comes complete with 4 half-size prints of Thomas Phillips’ illustrations of Fort Elizabeth and Castle Cornet and their ground plans, held in an archival pocket within the book cover. 

Binding

Brown marbled paper.

Our Price

Only for Registered Users

REQUEST INFO

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