John Andrews was a surveyor, cartographer, mapseller and engraver. However, despite the best efforts of Worms and Baynton-Williams, we do not know his date or birth, or death. He flourished from about 1766 to 1798. In 1766 he produced with Andrew Dury the large-scale map of Hertfordshire. A note on that map states that ‘The Western Part of this County from Chipping Barnet along the North Road, was Survey’d by Jno. Andrews’. The town plans of Hertford and St. Albans sometimes included, were his work also in collaboration with Mathew Wren. Andrews and Dury went on to produce further large-scale maps of Kent in 1769 and Wiltshire in 1773. All three were issued at the remarkable scale of two inches to the mile; very few county surveys were undertaken to that level in the eighteenth century.
Twelve of the plates were first issued in the ‘Historical Atlas of England’ published in 1797. Shirley records two examples in the British Library, both with map number ‘1’ missing. In both works though, the Index states that it should be the ‘Title and Preface’. The plates were numbered in roman from 2 to 13 and dated between 17 June 1796 and 18 November 1797. In this retitled work, twelve of the original maps are reprinted except for the last plate. The penultimate plate is listed as plate 13 but is not renumbered. None of the five examples cited on COPAC extend beyond page 116, all indicating that none was published beyond that. Curiously, the additional maps found in this ‘Geographical Atlas’ are dated between 1 December 1797 and 27 January 1798 and are all engraved by Andrews. Plate XVIII is dated even earlier, the 17 June 1796. Clearly production was halted for some reason, even though further plates were available. The conclusion might be that the accompanying text was not forthcoming, or that any partnership fell through.
There appears to be no record of John Andrews beyond 1798. It has been concluded that Andrews might have died sometime after this date. Some of his work, including these plates, passed into the hands of John Stockdale (1750-1814) from around 1800. In 1809 he reissued the plates in this newly entitled work. Both titles appear to be rare.
The maps illustrate a variety of natural, physical and historical features of England. Shirley described the work as ‘one of the first generally thematic atlases’. It was a pre-cursor to Heinrich Berghaus’ ‘Physikalischer Atlas’ in 1836, generally considered the first thematic atlas ever published. The maps describe several fascinating features amongst which are the chains of mountains and hills on a map with no coastline. One of the mineral waters and bathing places of the country. An ‘Astronomical and Trigono-graphical Map’, one of the Forests and one illustrating the horse racing courses. The final ‘Naval Map’ records the 29 maritime counties and their seaports and promontories. A large folding circular map, centred on London, records relatively the ‘Situation of Places, by the Rays of the Sun, the Rumb of the Wind, and hours of the Day, from the Meridian and Parallel of London, on which are delineated the Zones and Climates …’
Map 15 in the index is identified as one of ‘South Britain, or England and Wales’. In the British Library example from 1797-98, it is represented by Wallis’s ‘New & Correct Map of the Post Roads of England & Wales’ and is so numbered. In this example we find Stockdale’s own key map to John Andrew’s ‘Map of England and Wales’ in twenty sheets published by Stockdale in 1809 but lacking any plate number. Provenance: with bookplate pasted inside upper cover of Mr. J. P. Brown Westhead, Lea Castle; Bonhams London 27 November 2018 lot 58; private English collection. Hodson (1974) no. 45; Shirley (2004) T.AND-2c; Worms & Baynton-Williams (2011).