Excerpts from the Ordinance Survey of Jerusalem
by Captain Charles W. Wilson, R. E., 1886
The Survey of Jerusalem was undertaken with the sanction of the Right Hon. Earl de Grey and Ripon, Secretary of State for War, in compliance with the request of the Very Rev. Dean Stanley; who, on the part of a Committee interested in endeavouring to improve the sanitary state of the city, requested his Lordship to allow a survey of it to be made under my direction, with all the accuracy and detail of the Ordnance Survey of this country, the Committee undertaking at the same time to pay the entire cost of the proposed survey, which was estimated at about 500 pounds.

I consequently drew up minute instructions for making the survey; and selected Capt. Charles W. Wilson, R.E., and the following party of Royal Engineers from the Ordnance Survey, to execute the work, viz., Serj. James McDonald, Lance-Corp. Francis Ferris, Lance-Corp. John McKeith, Sapper John Davison, Sapper Thomas Wishart; and they left England on the 12th September 1864, arrived in Jerusalem on the 3rd October, and immediately proceeded to the work of selecting and measuring base lines, and establishing the triangulation for the survey of the city and the neighbourhood, which is represented on Plate I.

In addition to the requirements of the Committee, I sent out a Photographic Apparatus to enable Serj. McDonald, who is both a very good surveyor and a very good photographer, to take photographs of the most interesting places in and about Jerusalem; and I instructed Capt. Wilson to examine the geological structure of the country, and to bring home specimens of all the rocks, with their fossils.

I also made application through the Foreign Office for a letter to be sent to the Turkish Government, requesting that instructions might be sent to the Governor of Jerusalem to afford Capt. Wilson and the party every assistance and protection in the execution of their work; and our thanks are due to his Excellency Izzet Pasha, for the cordial manner in which, under his orders, they were enabled to enter the Mosque of Omar, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, the Citadel, and other public buildings, and to make minute surveys of them.

To Noel T. Moore, Esq., Her Majesty's Consul, to the Consuls of other nations, and to the principal residents, our thanks are also due, as well as to Sir Moses Montefiore, who was so obliging as to send out letters of introduction for Capt. Wilson to the Hatram Banhi and principal resident Jews in the city.

Our thanks are also due to the Directors of the Peninsular and Oriental Company for their liberality in allowing the party to go in their steamers to and from Alexandria at a reduced rate, and thus contributing towards the cost of the Survey.

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