Octavo (210 x 125 mm.), contemporary quarter red calf, marbled paper boards, rebacked preserving original spine, gilt ruled compartments, gilt title. With typographic title page, Contents leaf, and 46 maps, one unnumbered double page general map, 40 maps of the English counties, 2 maps of Scotland, Wales and 2 maps comprising Ireland, Yorkshire and general maps all double page, all in early wash colour. General map of the British Isles with centrefold repair, also northern Scotland, light foxing affecting some maps, otherwise in good condition.
FIRST EDITION. This extremely rare atlas by Richard Phillips (1767-1840) appeared in just the one edition in 1808. It contains a series of maps engraved by Henry Cooper (fl.1804-19). The same series of maps are also found in ‘A Topographical Dictionary of the United Kingdom’ also published by Phillips in 1808. Phillips although born in London was of a Leicestershire family and founded the ‘Leicestershire Herald’ in 1792. However, the following year he was sentenced to 18 months in gaol for selling Paine’s ‘Rights of Man’! After his sentence his house and business burnt down and with the insurance money he moved back to London. He became Sheriff of London and Middlesex in 1807 and received a knighthood the following year. However, bad fortune struck again when he was declared bankrupt in 1811. Only the one recorded example of this work is known in the Cambridge University Library, although we have handled another example in 2008 and another is known in a private collection. Provenance: manuscript ownership inscription of ‘H W Hayward February 9th 1832’ on first free endpaper and again on last upside down; Hereward Books, December 1996; Burden Collection duplicate. Refer Beresiner (1983) p. 80; Carroll (1996) 64; Worms & Baynton-Williams (2011).