Quarto (185 x 140 mm.), full contemporary speckled calf, with blind ruled panelling, spine with blind ruled compartments, lightly worn top and bottom. With typographic title page, the verso of the following leaf ‘The use of all the ensuing Tables’ copied from the plates 2 and 3 of the ‘English Traviller’. Thirty-seven plates each bearing a triangular distance table with accompanying small map of the county on a leaf of text. pp. 197 paginated 6-197 with the following errors in pagination: 34 for 43, 54 and 55 transposed, 64 and 65 for 58 and 59, 70 for 71, 90 for 89, 104 is omitted as before so that from 105 onwards even numbers appear on the recto as in the prior edition, 256 for 156. With 3 (of 4) folding plates, lacking the table only of ‘The high Wayes …’. Light toning to the edges of the first and last few leaves as often the case, otherwise in very good contemporary condition.
Matthew Simmons (fl.1635-54) is most associated with printing John Milton’s works but in 1635 he published his one and only cartographic work ‘A Direction for the English Traviller’. Known famously as the thumbnail maps due to their size the three editions of this work are all exceedingly scarce. The maps were engraved by Jacob van Langeren and incorporated into a plate containing a distance table for the county, an invention of John Norden’s in 1625. In 1643 Thomas Jenner published an improved edition with four extra folding plates, three of which were maps of England, Wales and Yorkshire. For this new work the van Langeren maps were entirely re-engraved slightly larger.
In 1649 he added text and published it under the title of ‘A Booke of the Names of all the Hundreds’, of which only one complete example is known. This was followed in 1657 by a slightly renamed work, which was effectively an expansion here listing all the towns and hundreds. Accompanying each map are printed from type lists of towns and their hundreds in three columns continued on additional leaves. These all derive from the lists in John Speeds ‘Theatre of the Empire of Great Britaine’. Thomas Jenner died 2 January 1673 and was succeeded by his wife Anne. Some money was left to John Garrett and his wife to take care of his widow. It was Garrett who acquired Jenner’s business and stock shortly after. In 1677 he re-issued the ‘Book of the Names’ using the existing leaves of text but with a completely reset title page. The practice of combining typographic text and engraved plate on the same leaf required two runs through the press. The printer S. S. is quite probably Samuel Simmons, son of Mary Simmons, the widow of Matthew Simmons the originator of the plates. Garrett (fl.1667-1718) was probably the son of William Garrett and therefore brother-in-law of John Overton. Bennett (1996) p. 8; Chubb 52; ESTC R31276; Fordham ‘Road Books’ p. 10; Shirley BL T.Lang 1l; Skelton 98; Tyacke (1978) p. 118.