Octavo (160 x 100 mm.), recent quarter calf, cloth boards, with ribbed spine, gilt ruled compartments, with gilt date and title. With engraved title, Dedication, 5 tables, 6 general and 40 county maps, engraved throughout, minor paper fault to Derbyshire, part of left margin to Huntingdonshire missing, minor ink stain to Westmoreland, otherwise in good condition.
Thomas Badeslade (fl.1719-1745) was a surveyor and engineer who was involved in many schemes to improve the waterways. He was also an established author and in 1742 he had William Henry Toms (fl.1723-61) engrave a series of maps from his draughts and publish them as the ‘Chorographia Britanniae’. It is the first pocket size English county atlas published in the eighteenth century. It is surprising that it took so long considering the runaway success of the ‘Britannia Depicta’ of 1720. The first edition of the atlas is found in four variants and was on sale for only a short period of time. Within two or three months a new edition was published.
The second issue placed plate numbers ‘8’ and ‘9’ on the two where it had been omitted. This example is one of only four identified of the extremely rare third issue of the first edition of the ‘Chorographia Britanniae’. Following the immediate addition of plate numbers to those of Cambridgeshire and Cheshire which had been omitted on publication, Toms ordered the addition of the price to the end of the imprint on the title page. Even though all evidence shows the price of the atlas was 6 shillings from the start, ‘Price Bound 5s’ was added. The error was picked up immediately and corrected for the fourth and last variant of the first edition. Hodson could only find one example of this rare issue, that in the Royal Geographical Society (Ford 146). Two further examples have have passed through our hands and now this fourth has been identified. In all three of those we have had the price has been inked over to show 6s. Provenance: ownership inscription of Christopher Wilson on front free endpaper; private English collection. Beresiner (1983) pp. 49-50; Chubb (1927) 170; ESTC T165385; Hodson (1984-97) no. 188 (atlas C p. 164); refer Shirley (2004) T.Bad 1a; Worms & Baynton-Williams (2011).