domingo, 14 de fevereiro de 2016

Macao Roads: parte I

This chart of the different passages leading to Macao Roads, is respectfully dedicated to the Honourable the Court of Directors for the affairs of the United East Indian Company, by Daniel Ross & Philip Maughan, lieutenants of the Bombay Marine, 1810; engraved by J. Bateman.
Carta náutica de 1810 (gravada por J. Bateman) com as várias rotas de acesso a Macau - daí o título Macao Roads - da autoria dos militares estacionados em Bombaim e dedicada ao responsável da Companhia das Índias Orientais, empresa criada no início do século XVII para incrementar o comércio dos britânicos com o Oriente. Existe ainda uma versão a cores que publicarei no post seguinte.

De seguida, apresento um excerto do livro "Oriental commerce: containing a geographical description of the principal places in the East Indies, China, and Japan, with their produce, manufactures, and trade", da autoria de William Milburn, publicado em Londres em 1813.
Para além de contextualizar a importância estratégia de Macau no acesso à China no início do século 19, o texto aborda também os aspectos relacionados com os primeiros contactos dos portugueses na costa do sul da China e os primórdios da presença portuguesa em Macau.

"The south coast of China from the Gulf of Tonquin to the entrance of Canton and harbours capable of receiving large ships but they are not visited by Europeans exclusion from all ports in the empire except Canton unless in cases of distress is Tienpak in latitude 12 22 North and longitude 111 13 East where immense made and several hundred junks are employed transporting it to Canton and the The entrance of the river of Canton is fronted by an Archipelago of islands southernmost of these is the Great Ladrone in latitude 21 57 North and longitude approach to this river is very safe and there are no hidden dangers Ships frequently nearest convenient channel for Macao roads without waiting for a pilot to conduct them.
Macao belongs to the Portuguese and is the only settlement possessed by Europeans within the limits of the Chinese empire The town which is in latitude 22 IO North and longitude 113 32 East is on the southern extreme of a large island separated from the continent by a small arm of the sea The peninsula upon which the town stands is connected with the remainder of the island by a long narrow neck of land not exceeding 100 yards in breadth across it a wall has been erected which projects into the water at each end having a gate and guard house in the centre for Chinese troops.
Beyond this boundary of their possessions the Portuguese are seldom permitted to pass The extent of their territory which is completely under the jurisdiction of the Viceroy of Canton although the Portuguese are permitted to retain the nominal government of the town is from NE to SW about three miles and its breadth not quite a mile Macao is a place of some extent the houses are of stone constructed on the European plan but without exterior elegance the streets are very narrow and irregular.
The public buildings consist of churches convents and the senate house the latter terminates the only spacious and level street in the town The Governor's house is situated on the beach opposite the landing place and commands a beautiful prospect but is not remarkable for external appearance or interior accommodation. Contiguous to it is the English factory a plain commodious building the other factories are in the samestyie and all of them surrounded with gardens.
The harbour does not admit vessels of hurthen large ships generally anchor six or seven miles of the town (...) The town is defended by several strong forts mounted with heavy cannon and garrisone d with Portuguese troops seldom exceeding 250 in number. There are a Portuguese custom house and quay on the south side of the town where all ships coming into the bay are obliged to send their boats When a ship arrives among the islands a pilot generally comes on board to carry her into Macao roads Immediately she is brought to anchor which is generally about six or seven miles from the town he proceeds to Macao to acquaint the Mandarin with what nation she belongs to Should there be any women on board application vmust be made to the Bishop and Synod for permission to send them on shore as they will not be permitted to proceed to Vh ampoa in the ship.
As soon as the Mandarin is satisfied in his enquiries he orders off a river pilot who seldom comes on board until the ship has lain 24 hours in the roads who brings a chop or licence to pass the Bocea Tigris or mouth of Canton river and carries the ship to Whampoa.
The Chinese treat the Portuguese very cavalierly on many occasions exacting duties sometimes in the port and punishing individuals for crimes committed against the natives and whenever resistance is attempted against such proceedings the Mandarin who commands the Chinese troops at the guard house immediately stops the supply of provisions from their market until they quietly submit.(...)

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