This is a reduction of a large-scale map drawn by Peter Perez Burdett (c.1734-93), a surveyor, mapmaker, draughtsman and engraver although he was not responsible for producing this plate. He began his career in Derbyshire before moving to Liverpool in 1771. It is not so well known that Burdett produced the first aquatint published in England and sold the process to Thomas Sandby. He was part of a circle of friends who met in Derby to discuss advances in the arts and sciences. Amongst the group was the artist Joseph Wright. Burdett produced just two large scale county maps, one of Derbyshire in 6 sheets c.1767 and one of Cheshire c. 1777.
The Society for the Encouragement of the Arts launched an award of £100 for the best large-scale map in 1762. ‘Out of a total of eleven applicants in the first years of the Society’s initiative, only two were eventually judged to be worthy … Benjamin Donn, for his map of Devon, and Peter Burdett for his map of Derbyshire’ (Delano-Smith). Although the engraver of this map is not identified it seems probable that it was Thomas Kitchin.
The map is published by Robert Wilkinson (1752?-1825) who took over the business of John Bowles following his death in 1779. Despite being a reduction, the map accurately depicts an extensive road network with mileage markers recorded. An interesting aspect of the map is its early geological content. Beds of limestone and coal are recorded pricked and solid lines accordingly according to the notation upper right. Delano-Smith (1997) pp. 120-22; Delano-Smith & Kain (1999) pp. 94-5; ODNB; Rodger (1972) no. 78; not in Tooley ‘Large Scale English County Maps and Plans of Cities not Printed in Atlases’, Map Collector 27 pp. 36-8; Tooley (1999-2004); Worms & Baynton-Williams (2011).