Quarto (185 x 140 mm.), full contemporary calf, blind panelled, rebacked with blind ruled compartments. With typographic title page, the verso of the following leaf ‘The Use of all the insueing Tables’ from type, 37 engraved cartographical county mileage tables with ‘thumbnail’ maps set within text, complete with all four folding plates, pp. 197 paginated 5-197 with errors in pagination of 90 for 89, 104 is omitted so that from 105 onwards even numbers appear on the recto as in the prior edition, in addition 156 printed as 256, browned and chipped on the edges, only just into the lined border at the top of the title, otherwise in good condition.
This is the second, largely corrected, edition dated 1668, the first to be issued following the Great Fire of London. The city would still be largely in ruins. 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 (lacking in this example). For this new work the van Langeren maps were entirely re-engraved slightly larger.
In 1649 he added text and published it as ‘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, listing all of 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 those in John Speeds ‘Theatre of the Empire of Great Britaine’. This 1668 edition has an entirely reset title and text. Despite the revision of errors for this corrected 1668 edition, many are repeated. The practice of combining typographic text and engraved plate on the same leaf required two runs through the press. The printer ‘M.S. is quite likely Mary Simmons, the surviving widow of Matthew Simmons. Bennett (1996) p. 8; Chubb (1927) 51; ESTC R170715; Fordham (1924) p. 10; Shirley (2004) T.Lang 1k; Skelton (1970) 88; Tyacke (1978) p. 118.