Although the first plan of London dates to the sixteenth century, the first map of the environs of London was not engraved until that of John Ogilby by Wenceslaus Hollar in 1670. Only two known examples survive of a later state by William Morgan dated 1683; in the Royal Collection at Windsor Castle and in a private English collection. It was intended to accompany a multi volume atlas by Ogilby, but he died with only the road book ‘Britannia’ being published. Shortly afterwards two further maps were published extending 20 miles around.
This map by Philip Lea (fl.1683-1700) was published c.1690 and is in the first state of three. It came from a William Berry atlas published at the same time. The map takes in the home counties and extends outwards to Hemel Hempstead, Hatfield, Chipping Ongar, Brentwood, Gravesend. Sevenoaks, Guildford, Chertsey, Uxbridge and Rickmansworth. The map is marked by squares of 3 miles and displays an extensive road network. The Explanation states that market towns are illustrated by a ‘Round Roman Hand’. The county borders are marked by dotted lines as are the Hundreds. Degrees of longitude and latitude are in the margins along with letters and numbers for grid referencing.
Examples are found in the British Library’s copy of the Lea edition of Saxton’s atlas, c.1693 and the Custis atlas at Colonial Williamsburg, one of only four composite world atlases known by Lea. It is also listed as a separate publication in Lea’s catalogue of c.1698 with ‘an Alphabetical Table for the easie finding any place in the Map’. Provenance: acquired c.1975 for a private English collection. Barber (2012) pp. 106-7; Darlington & Howgego (1964) 41.(1), see also 34; Pritchard & Taliaferro (2002) p. 331 no. 16; Shirley (2004) T.Sax 1h 30; Worms & Baynton-Williams (2011).