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

The Mapping of North America

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

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The first half of the eighteenth century saw the first few signs of fresh surveys of counties published as large scale maps. Most were published in two sheet format by people with local interests. It was not until later at the hands of John Rocque and Isaac Taylor particularly that an attempt was made to depict several counties in similar styles. Jean Rocque (c.1704-62), to use his native name, was a Huguenot émigré who at an early age settled in England. By 1734 he was a surveyor, engraver and publisher. His work is renowned for its beauty as well as its accuracy and several important large scale maps were produced by him. Amongst them are only four large scale county maps, the first was of Shropshire in 1752 followed by Middlesex, 1757, Berkshire 1761 and Surrey posthumously in c.1768. Rocque was ahead of his time in showing towns and villages in plan.

This particular map of Berkshire is in fact the only pre-1800 large scale map of the county and is published in the superb scale of 2 inches to the mile, one of just thirteen published at this scale. It was originally conceived in 1751 with the publication of a Proposal (BL and Bodleian) for one inch survey’s of Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire and Berkshire. Only that of Berkshire was ever published. The project started at an early date but apparently stalled. Plates 1 and 2 are dated 1752 in their earliest state and the first five were prepared by 1754. At this point Rocque was beginning to spend more time in Ireland and the project fell by the wayside. Sheet 6 was published in 1756 and 7 in 1759/60. It was finally completed in 1761 in 18 sheets. The early sheets may be found in various states and this example bears them in the numbered but early state (detail below).

The map was surveyed by Josiah Ballard (fl.1733-78) and engraved by Richard Benning ((fl.1743-81) and L. F. Deharme (fl.1752-53). One notable feature of the map is that unlike many large scale maps it displays similar details across the county boundaries into Surrey (Chertsey), Buckinghamshire in particular displaying Beaconsfield, Amersham, the Chalfont’s and Jarrets Cross (Gerrard’s Cross), but less is shown of Oxfordshire beyond that immediately across the River Thames including the city of Oxford on sheet 16. With inset plan of Reading to sheet 3 accompanied by a short account of the town, an exquisite cartouche with cherubs playing with surveying tools on sheet 8, and ‘An Alphabetical List of the Parishes’ on sheet 9. The general map of the county was first published by John Rocque’s widow Mary Ann in the year in which her husband died. It contains a fine large scale plan of Oxford. Neither of the two examples known is bound with the atlas but the later state offered here frequently is. The extensive typographic Index at the front is keyed to the sheet numbers. Across the whole map in sheets is a further title in both English and French reflecting Rocque’s country of origin.

Baynton-Williams ‘John Rocque’ nos. 121 & 122; Burden ‘Berkshire’ nos. 34 & 39.ii (Sheet 1 st. 3 dated 1752, Sheet 2 st. 3, Sheet 3 st. 3, Sheet 4 st. 3, Sheet 5 st. 2, Sheet 6/7 st. 2, Sheet 7/12 st. 2); Eden, Peter (1975). Dictionary of Land Surveyors and Local Cartographers; ESTC T213151; Laxton, Paul (1973). Introductory Notes to ‘John Rocque’s Map of Berkshire, 1761’; ODNB; Rodger (1972) 11-13; Tooley Berkshire Be11 in ‘The Map Collector’ no 6; Varley, J. (1948). ‘John Rocque: engraver, surveyor, cartographer and map-seller’, in ‘Imago Mundi’, 5, pp. 83–91.


A Topographical Survey of the County of Berks in Eighteen Sheets. In which is expressed, His Majesty's Royal Palace of Windsor, its Parks and Forrest; the Seats of the Nobility and Gentry

London, 1761
Folio (535 x 385 mm.), half calf preserving original marbled paper boards, blind ruled with gilt decorated ribbed spine, red calf title label. Typographic title page dated 1761, engraved title (sheet XV), 12 pp. description with reference map to the sheets and index of towns and villages, 15 further sheets comprising the map, bound with the double page general map by Mary Ann Rocque. In all 12 double page and 6 half page sheets, with early outline colour. Paper crease to sheets 1 & 12, small centrefold split to 7 just into the image & 12, small margin tear to sheet 8. Complete with blank endpapers. In good condition with original boards.
Stock number: 7769


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