Level 3 Mortlock Wing State Library of South Australia North Terrace Adelaide SA 5000

Basil Hall in Corea

A voyage of discovery to the west coast of Corea ( Korea) by Captain Basil Hall RN.  

This was the first description by the English of the west coast of what is now Korea. This book is very rare because it contains original pencil sketches, samples of oriental calligraphy, charts of the coastline as well as coloured plates showing the costumes of the people.

Account of a Voyage of Discovery to the
West Coast of Corea and the Great Loo-Choo Island
With an Appendix containing charts, and various hydrological and scientific notices
by Captain Basil Hall RN, London 1818.

And a Vocabulary of the Loo-Choo Language by HJ Clifford Esq.

Hall Corea Coast 2 crop

As part of the diplomatic mission to China under Lord Amherst in 1816, Captain Basil Hall under took surveys of the west coast of Corea and the Ryuku Islands. This book records this journey and was one of the first descriptions of Korea by a European.

The embassy to China under the Right Honourable Lord Amherst left England in HM frigate Alceste under Captain Murray Maxwell 9 February 1816. They landed near the mouth of the Pei-Ho River in the Yellow Sea 11 August.  Shortly afterwards the Alceste and the sloop of war Lyra, under the command of Captain Basil Hall, sailed to the coast of Corea on the eastern side of the Yellow Sea. A series of charts were prepared by Captain Hall showing the track of both ships along the west coast of the Peninsular of Corea and also of the Great Loo-Choo Island.

Captain Hall pays tribute to the assistance given him by Lieut. HJ Clifford who accompanied him on the journey and "- was able to devote himself entirely to the acquisition of knowledge." Clifford was also responsible for the creation of the vocabulary of the Loo-Choo language.  In the Preface Hall states -"The drawings of scenery and costumes were made by Mr William Havell, the eminent artist who accompanied the Embassy, from sketches taken on the spot by Mr CW Browne, mid-ship-man of the Alceste, and my self."  

Some of the sketches pasted into the book are folded and many are faint but it is very rare to have such items in a published book. This would appear to be unique and this book a true "treasure".

Basil Hall's Corea

RGSSA catalogue rgsp 910.45 H174c