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CAMDEN, William

Britannia: or, a Chorographical Description of Great Britain

James and John Knapton, John Darby, Arthur Bettesworth, Francis Fayram, John Osborn and Tho. Longman, John Pemberton, Charles Rivington, Francis Clay, Jeremiah Batley, and Aaron Ward, London, [1730]
Folio (410 x 265 mm.), two volumes. Full contemporary calf, gilt panelled, rebacked with ribbed spine, gilt ruled compartments to the spine, calf gilt title labels. Volume 1; with engraved portrait of Camden by R. White, typographic title page printed in red and black, 36 double page county maps by Robert Morden, 9 engraved plates. Volume 2; typographic title page, 15 double page county maps by Robert Morden. pp. (66), cclxviii (double column numeration), (2), 696 (double column numeration); (2), 697-1526, (176). Small area of waterstain to the lower centrefold of the very end of the first volume otherwise a good example.
Robert Morden is arguably best known for the series of maps he produced for the first edition of Dr. Edmund Gibson’s translation of William Camden’s ‘Britannia’. Gibson (1669-1748) had first projected the work in 1692 when a Fellow of Queen’s College, Oxford. He turned to Morden (d.1703) to provide the maps. His sources are varied and are analysed by Skelton. The atlas was published in later editions in 1722, c.1730 offered here, 1753 and 1772. The original publisher Awhsham Churchill died in April 1728 and his interest in Camden’s ‘Britannia’ was acquired by ten different booksellers whose names appear on the title page. It appears that the ownership was split equally into ten shares as evidenced by later share transactions. Soon after a new edition was published utilizing the existing text sheets. A new title page was included which is undated. The date of issue however can be determined from the placement of adverts in the ‘Daily Post’ for 15 January 1729/30 and the ‘London Evening Post’ on 13 January 1729/30.

The English Short Title Catalogue identifies two versions of the work depending on in which order the author’s and edition statements are bound. Here the edition statement is bound first. Provenance: manuscript ownership inscription above the title page of ‘George Wroughton. Wilcot’, Wroughton (will dated 2 August 1779 at Kew) was from Wilcot in Wiltshire; bookplate of Sidcot School pasted inside front cover. Beresiner pp. 157-60; not in Chubb; ESTC N43508; Hodson 170; not in Shirley British Library; refer Skelton 117.
Stock number: 8812

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