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

This is an UNRECORDED STATE of John Adam’s reduced two-sheet map of England and Wales. Adams was from Shropshire and after moving to London became a barrister in the Inner Temple. It seems that for a while at least he flourished as a surveyor or civil engineer from circa 1672 to 1688. In this career he saw the need for a large distance map of the market towns of England and Wales. The stimulus for this was a meeting with fisherman whereby Adams plotted the market towns within 100 miles of his port. On returning to London he produced a draft in a similar manner of the whole of England and Wales. With the help of Gregory King a fine 12-sheet map was published in 1677. King had helped John Ogilby in the production of his own road atlas entitled ‘Britannia’ and would provide much of the figures for this work.

The is the first published reduction of Adam’s wall map was advertised in the ‘London Gazette’ in July 1679. It stated ‘Mr. Adams of the Inner-Temple, having formerly published a new large Map of England … hath now contracted the same into two Imperial sheets of paper’. The map is a faithful reduction with four ornamental cartouches one surmounted by the Royal Coat of Arms. The descriptive panels either side contain alphabetical tables listing the major towns and markets with their grid references, latitude and longitude positions and distances from London. The whole is surrounded by a wide ornamental border.

There are a few states of this map, all extremely rare. The main alteration is the King’s dedication, Charles II is followed by James II and William III. The latter state was published by the map seller Philip Lea. This entirely UNRECORDED STATE is by Thomas and John Bowles. Philip Lea’s widow Anne Lea sold much of her stock to Thomas Bowles c.1720. John Bowles was apprenticed to his brother Thomas from 1717-23. This example is dedicated to George II who attained the throne in 1727. An Advertisement lower right on the map refers to an edition of Herman Moll’s ‘Atlas Minor’ which was first published by Bowles in c.1732. It is feasible that the imprint of John Bowles was added and that George II had originally been George I in a previous state. Therefore this example dates from 1723 to 1752 when Carington Bowles joined his father John in the business. Adams would go on to approach the Royal Society in 1681 with plans for a complete triangulated survey of the country which came to nothing.

DNB; Heawood ‘John Adams and his Map of England’, Geographical Journal 1932; Ravenhill ‘John Adams his Map of England, its Projection, and his “Index Villaris” of 1680’, Geographical Journal 1978; Ravenhill ‘Projections for the Large General Maps of Britain, 1583-1700’, in Imago Mundi 33 pp. 21-32, refer to pp. 26-7; Shirley (1991) Adams 2.6.


Angliae Totius Tabula cum Distantijs notioribus in Itinerantium usum accomodata

John Bowles and Thomas Bowles, London, 1679-[c.1735]
UNRECORDED STATE. 695 x 985 mm., in 2 sheets joined, with early outline colour, very minimal trimming just into the neatline upper centre not affecting the title, small tear near the lower centrefold with no loss, further repair at the folds, otherwise in good condition.
Stock number: 7087


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