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DONN, Benjamin

A Map of the County of Devon

London, 1765
Folio (540 x 450 mm.), recent half calf, cloth boards with gilt embossed calf label, raised bands with two gilt title labels. With title page, general index map of the county on one sheet (540 x 495 mm.) on a scale of a quarter inch to the mile and twelve sheets each 465 x 600 mm. engraved by Thomas Jefferys on a scale of 1 inch to the mile. In early outline colour. With large guards, light offsetting to most leaves, otherwise in good condition.
In 1762 the Royal Society of Arts announced a prize of 100 guineas for an accurate survey of any county. The first winner was this, Benjamin Donn’s map of the county of Devon. Published in 1765 it was the result of a five year survey which required measuring 6000 miles of roads and rivers etc. Along with the accepted inclusions may be found copper and tin mines, both Roman and Danish forts and usefully the distances between towns. With inset plans of Exeter, Plymouth and Stoke Town undertaken at the scale of 132 yards to an inch, as well as one of Lundy Island. Donn (1729-98) was a surveyor and mathematician at Bideford, Devon. In undertaking this survey he states he used both trigonometry and astronomy. The whole was beautifully engraved by Thomas Jefferys. The survey was sold in two forms, as a simple atlas as here, and with a Pronouncement by Donn, 6 page index of towns etc. and a list of 540 subscribers. The format offered here was available for 1 and a half guineas and for an extra 5 shillings may be coloured, again as here. Provenance: Beeleigh Abbey Books 1992; private collection of Rodney Shirley. Batten & Bennett 44; ESTC T172671; Ravenhill, W.L.D. (1965) Introduction to the facsimile.
Stock number: 7245

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