Map background and details:
Extremely rare and early detailed map of Sokotra. Size 61 by 97 cm. Published by James Horsburg , hydrographer to the Hon. East India Company , August I st 1835 . Corrections at the Admiralty , April 1867. Sold by J.D Potter , Agent for the Admiralty , 31. Poultry and II King St. Tower Hill engraved by R . Bateman. As second lieutenant on the East India Company's survey brig Palinurus under Captain Robert Moresby, Wellsted took part in the detailed survey of the Gulf of 'Aqabah and the northern part of the Red Sea in 1830. He then returned to Bombay in 1833 and was reassigned under the command of Captain Stafford B. Haines to survey the southern coast of Arabia. In January 1834 the ship Palinurus crossed over to Socotra and Wellsted spent two months on the island. He published the results of his journey as Memoir on the island of Socotra. Capitan S.B. Haines of the East Indian Company Navy surveys Socotra as a commander of the survey ship "Palinurus". Lieutenant J. Wellsted of the surveying mission records 236 Socotri words - the first words of MSA languages recorded by Europeans. The Sultan 'Amr ben Sa'ad refused to hand over his island to the British and the island was occupied by the East Indian Company forces. For a detailed and extensive description of the surveying of Sokotra by Haines and Wellsted see the book "South Arabia The Palinurus journals of Jessop Hulton" published by the Oleander Press 2003. Note that the surveying trips by Haines / Wellsted are shown on the chart by connecting straight lines, also key observations e.g. availability of water resources are indicated on the map.
The islands passed under the control of the Mahra sultans in 1511. In 1834 the United Kingdom stationed a garrison on the island. Plans were made to make it a coaling station for ships bound for India, but the climate was considered unsuitable and the British left in 1839. In January 1876 it became a British protectorate along with the remainder of the Mahra State of Qishn and Socotra. The P&O ship Aden sank after being wrecked on a reef near Socotra, in 1897, with the loss of 78 lives. In October 1967, the Mahra Sultanate was abolished. On 30 November 1967 Socotra became part of South Yemen. Since Yemeni unification in 1990, it has been part of the Republic of Yemen.The island is very isolated and a third of its plant life is found nowhere else on the planet. It has been described as "the most alien-looking place on Earth"