THE EXTREMELY RARE FIRST EDITION OF GREENOUGH’S GEOLOGICAL MAP OF ENGLAND AND WALES. One of the most significant geological maps of England and Wales ever published. George Greenough (1778-1855) was accused of plagiarism at the time of publication, copying the landmark work or William Smith published in 1815. Greenough was one of the founding members of the Geological Society of London and was its first president. ‘In 1808 he first sketched the boundary-lines of the various strata in England and Wales, and in 1810 he travelled over a great part of the country for the purpose of mapping it. At the request of the Geological Society he then, with the help of Conybeare, Buckland, and Henry Warburton, coloured a large scale-map drawn by Webster, and in 1820 published it in six sheets’ (DNB).
It began a bitter feud, Greenough published a ‘Memoir of a Geological Map of England’ in which he defended his work. Smith, whose social status did not amount to much, suffered and eventually found himself in debtors’ prison. Recognition of Smith’s contribution to geology took years, in 1831 he was finally awarded the Woolaston medal by the Geological Society. Greenough’s map is now recognised as a separate work of scholarship which drew on other surveyors which he then collated. This example of the map is numbered in hand beneath the title imprint number ’76’. It is very rare with only a handful having appeared at auction. Bassett p. 18; Challinor 91; Henry (2014) n. 39; Ward & Carozzi 952.