This map was first published separately and in a VERY RARE atlas begun by Thomas Dix (1769/70-1813) which was completed with the help of William Darton (1781-1854) in 1822. Dix was a schoolmaster before becoming a surveyor in Northamptonshire and Norfolk. One of his earliest cartographic items was the ‘Juvenile Atlas’ published by Darton. On Dix’s death he had been working on a folio county atlas. The title of the first edition states ‘commenced by the late Thomas Dix, of North Walsham; carried on and completed by William Darton’. That first edition appeared in 1822 and is extremely rare. Darton was the son of William Darton (1755-1819), the founder of a family of engravers, book and mapsellers, publishers and printers. Our William Darton was apprenticed to his father and made free in 1802. He formed his own business in 1804 in partnership with his brother Thomas Darton (1783-1855) which lasted until 1810.
In 1830 Darton’s son John Maw Darton (1810-81) joined him in the business and the name was changed around that time to Darton & Son, the imprints on these maps were changed accordingly. The undated atlas is normally ascribed to c.1835. The partnership was dissolved when William Darton retired in 1837. This map of Leicestershire bears an attractive uncoloured vignette view of Belvoir Castle. One of the main alterations is the addition of Parliamentary information drawn from the Representation of the People Act, otherwise known as the Reform Act, of 1832 which spurred its issue. Deadman and Brooks record this Post Office issue but do not note that it is in a different state. The railways are added and the population data is updated, other alterations are noted. Not in Chubb (1927); Deadman & Brooks (2010) pp. 156-7; Tooley’s Dictionary (1999-2004); Worms & Baynton-Williams (2011).