A Treatise on Ship-Building and Navigation.


In three parts wherein the theory, practice, and application of the necessary instruments are perspicuously handled. With The Construction and Use of a new invented Shipwright’s Sector, for readily laying down and delineating Ships, whether of similar or dissimilar Forms. Also Tables of the Sun’s Declination, of Meridional Parts, of difference of Latitude and Departure, of Logarithms, and of artificial Sines, Tangents and Secants. By Mungo Murray. Shipwright, in his Majesty’s Yard, Deptford. To which is added by way of appendix, and English abridgment of another treatise on naval architecture, lately published at Paris by M. Duhamel, Mem. of the R. Acad. of Sciences, Fellow of the Royal Society of London, and Surveyor General of the French Marine. The whole illustrated with eighteen Copper Plates

London: Printed by D.Henry and R.Cave. 1754.

First edition. [4], iv, [4], 3-268, 73 [1]; [4], 70, [4]. Eighteen folding engraved plates including one with a volvelle. Contemporary calf, spine with red morocco label lettered in gilt. Upper cover slightly creased, corners bumped and a little worn. Head of spine rubbed and foot of spine chipped with loss of c1cm. Front pastedown has armorial bookplate of Thomas Hall. Internally very good with only a little foxing and browning in places. 'The elements of naval architecture: .. By M. Duhamel du Monceau' has a separate titlepage, pagination and register.Loosely inserted is a leaf from a manuscript ship's logbook (370x240mm) dated 11th-14th June describing part of a voyage of the Ship Prince Augustus (an East Indiaman) commanded by Francis Gostlin. but overall a very good copy of this exhaustive, detailed and ground-breaking work on ship-building. As Murray says in his preface, "though the art of Ship-building is of the utmost consequence to the trade and security of this nation...I cannot think of a subject which has been so little treated of in our language". ESTC records ten copies of this first edition in the UK and eight in the US with a further two elsewhere.
Mungo Murray (1705-1770) joined the naval dockyard at Deptford in 1738 where he worked as a shipwright. Sixteen years of experience led to this book but he also, as he explains in the advertisement on the verso of the title page, had a sideline as a teacher of "the several Branches of Mathematicks treated of in this Book", offering evening classes every day except Wednesday and Saturday. The hard working Murray also qualified as a teacher, serving on board ships as a tutor in navigation. He wrote a further book on this subject and a short note on an eclipse of the sun.

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