This is a fine example of Laurie and Whittle's 1794 nautical chart or maritime map of the west coast of Sumatra in the vicinity of Bencoolen or Fort Marlborough. The map is divided into three sections, the left hand side being a general nautical chart of the approaches to Bencoolen and Fort Marlborough, the right hand plans are details of Rat Island and Poolo Bay. Bencoolen (Bengkulu) was established as a pepper-trading center by the British East India Company in 1685. By the time this map was drawn Bencoolen has been renamed 'Old Bencoolen,' being superseded in 1714 by Fort Marlborough just to the south. The map offers considerable detail on the approaches to Bencoolen for which Rat Island (top right submap) is an important marker, as well as a staging post were vessels could dry anchor and dry nets. Poolo Bay (Pulau Bay) (bottom right submap), some seven miles south of Fort Marlborough, was at the time an excellent harbor and anchorage. There our map identifies godowns or warehouses as well as lime kilns and a fresh water source.Laurie and Whittle prepared this chart for their 1799 issue of the East-India Pilot. Though most charts in the East-India Pilot were derived from earlier maps prepared for Jean-Baptiste d'Apres de Mannevillette's 1745 Neptune Oriental, this particular chart is a new production unique to Laurie and Whittle. The map offers rich detail including countless depth soundings, notes on the sea floor, commentary on reefs, rhumb lines, shoals, place names and a wealth of other practical information for the mariner. Cartographically it was derived from surveys by Captain Joseph Huddart, John Price, and one Mr. McDonald. This map was registered by Laurie and Whittle from their offices at 53 Fleet Street, London, on May 12, 1794.