This map is the work of John Cowley (fl.1733-44) who was a political writer, geographer to the King from about 1741, and about whom little is known. It was produced for inclusion in Robert Dodsley’s ‘Geography of England’ and as indicated on the map to be ‘Place this at the end of the Book’. Dodsley (1704-64) was a successful writer, poet and publisher born in Mansfield as the son of a schoolmaster. From 1735 to his death, he published mainly the literary material of his day including that of his friend Dr Samuel Johnson. Indeed, it is believed Dodsley was one of those encouraging Johnson in the undertaking of the ‘Dictionary’. The title cartouche features surveyors measuring the roads with a waywiser. An Explanation below describes the map.
Provenance: J. Coombes 1999; private English collection. Chubb 181; ESTC T57743; Hodson 194; Shirley Atlases in the British Library T.Cowl 1a; Marston (1902). Sketches of Some Booksellers of the Time of Doctor Johnson. pp. 45-55; refer Shirley (1988) p. 163 (not listed); refer Woodward, David (1978). ‘English Cartography, 1650-175-: A Summary’, in ‘The Compleat Plattmaker’ edited by Norman J. W. Thrower pp. 174-5; Worms & Baynton-Williams (2011).