Original of the 1855 map of the British Settlement

The oldest known map of the British Settlement at Shanghai is an 1855 map representing the basic street layout, cadastral lots and even buildings. This rare map can be found at the U.K. National Archives as well as the Shanghai Municipal Archives.

The initial survey that served as the basis for the drawing of the 1855 map is a manuscript map entitled “Shanghai – English quarter“. This document was produced in the U.K., most probably at the Hydrographic Office of the Admiralty. A hand-written note says “Traced from drawing received from Commander Sanderson, 21th May 1855”.

The initial survey was done by an officer of the British Navy at a time when there was hardly any form of municipal administration in the British Settlement. More data must have been provided to produce the final 1855 map, although the actual process of elaboration is not known. This original manuscript map is available at the archives of the UK Hydrographic Office at Staunton.


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