Francis Davenport’s Tonkin Tidal Report

By Paul Hughes and Alan D. Wall, published February 2006


Written in 1678 and published in1684, Francis Davenport’s report of once a day tides in the Kingdom of Tonkin had a direct influence on Newton’s equilibrium theory of tides.  This essay describes the recently discovered original manuscript of the report (part of a set of sailing directions for entering the Cua Cam River), presents an expanded life of Davenport, explains the relationship of the manuscript to the printed version, and discusses the importance of the newly discovered tidal pattern to seventeenth-century scientific thought.

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Filed under: Other (Early Modern) | Pacific
Subjects include: Science & Exploration

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