An Indian Ocean Pilgrimage in Search of an Island
Richardson, W A R
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As late as 1817, a chart of the Indian Ocean by L.S. de la Rochette was published in London by William Faden and approved by the Chart Committee of the British Admiralty. Among the numerous fascinating features on it is an island in approximately latitude 28 degrees south and longitude 74 degrees east; against it is the inscription 'Ilha dos Romeiros / in the Portuguese charts / very doubtful'. No island with any variation of that name exists on any chart today and there is no island anywhere near the indicated position. Yet an island with some version of the name appears on practically every map and chart on which the Indian Ocean is included, from the 16th century to the early 19th.