Clive A. Burden LTD. Rare Maps, Antique Atlases, Books and Decorative Prints

The Mapping of North America

Mr. Philip D. Burden‚Äč
P.O. Box 863,
Chalfont St. Giles, Bucks HP6 9HD,
Tel: +44 (0) 1494 76 33 13

This very rare item falls into the rare group known as diagrammatic maps of the roads of England and Wales which are after John Ogilby’s road book entitled ‘Britannia’. The roads are the main feature of the map and are laid down in virtually straight double ruled lines. The computed distance in miles between towns is plotted. There were very few ever published of England and Wales, the majority were separately issued and are extremely rare. The first map derived from the work of Ogilby was published by John Adams in twelve sheets in 1677. That map and his two-sheet derivative published in 1679 were both accurate maps in that the shape of the country portrayed was accurate at the time. The first diagrammatic map published was that of William Berry in 1679, this did not even bear a coastline, only double ruled lines across the map to indicate the roads. John Overton published a similar map next bearing a crude geographical outline and is given the date c.1685 by Shirley.

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).


A New and Correct Map of the Roads of England

London, 1744
315 x 280 mm., with folds as issued, lower margin missing as bound, in good condition.
Stock number: 10571
£ 495
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