MIDDLETON, Christopher T. To the King, This Chart of Hudson's Bay & Straits, Baffin's Bay, Strait Davis & Labrador Coast . is most humbly Dedicated. London: 1743. Double-page engraved map (plate mark 503 x 690mm) of north-eastern Canada, illustrating Middleton's discoveries of the Hudson's Bay Company in 1742. (Fore-edges lightly creased and frayed, faint soiling.) Provenance: printed date of 1691 altered in ink to 1619 (in description of Christian Sea).
EXTREMELY RARE: only 3 copies are known in US institutions, at the universities of Illinois, Michigan and Minnesota, and according to ABPC and RBH, only 2 copies have sold at auction in past 40 years (the Streeter copy at Sotheby's 13 May 2004, lot 246; and Bloomsbury 7 October 2010, lot 100). Middleton's chart is 'the first attempt at an accurate survey of the west coast of Hudson Bay ...' (Schwartz). Middleton, at the behest of Arthur Dobbs, an Irish MP, sailed for Hudson's Bay in June 1741, overwintering at The Hudson's Bay Company's Old Factory on the Churchill River. The following summer, Middleton sailed north as far as Repulse Bay, which Middleton named for being thwarted by pack ice. Upon his return, Middleton was accused by Dobbs to deliberately failing to find the Northwest Passage, in order to maintain the monopoly of the Hudson's Bay Company. Curiously this map was not included in Middleton's response to these accusations. Schwartz, The Mismapping of America (2003), pp. 90-91; Cumming et al, Exploration of North America (1974) p.188.