Octavo (220 x 135 mm.), modern half calf by H. Smith, Norwich, marbled paper boards, spine with raised bands blind ruled, gilt date and titles, later endpapers. With typographic title page, pp. vi, 865, (1), 152, 867-1054, with folding engraved general map of the British Isles, 40 English county maps (Yorkshire folding) and folding maps of Wales, Scotland (2 maps) and Ireland (2 maps), tape repair to p. 292, light offsetting, otherwise in good condition.
This is a later edition of a work first published by Richard Phillips (1767-1840) under the same title in 1808. Born in London to a Leicestershire family he founded the Leicester Herald in 1792. He was sentenced to 18 months in jail for selling Thomas Paine’s Rights of Man the following year. In 1795 his premises burnt to the ground and with the insurance money he returned to London where he founded The Antiquarians’ Magazine and Monthly Magazine. He became Sheriff of London and Middlesex in 1807 and was knighted in 1808.
In the same year he published the Topographical Dictionary by Benjamin Pitts Capper (1772-1844) who worked in the Secretary of State’s office. The first edition states that the ‘compiler having assisted in preparing the abstracts of the answer and returns made to the Population Act, as well as in arranging the returns of the Cultivation of the Kingdom, which were laid before Parliament, in 1802, he has been enabled to correct in this Work every error which appeared in the account printed for the Parliament’.
To accompany the work, he employed Henry Cooper (fl.1804-19) to engrave a series of plates. They are loosely drawn on those of Cary. Phillips was bankrupted in 1811 and sold the rights in the book to the new publishers Longman, Hurst, Rees and Co. Ownership would change hands again to George Whittaker for later editions in 1825 and 1826. By 1829 however, Phillips appears to have regained control and published this edition.
The work was priced at £1. 11s. 6d. according to the title page. The alphabetical text is broken into three sections: England and Wales, Scotland and Ireland. Pagination is continuous if the Scottish section is removed. A fifth edition was issued in 1839. Provenance: private English collection. Carroll (1996) no. 64; Chubb (1927) 331; Worms & Baynton-Williams (2011).