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The Mapping of North America

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George Frederick Cruchley (1797-1880) had learned his trade with Aaron Arrowsmith and began to work for himself in 1823. His early days were concentrated on publishing maps of London but following the death of John Cary in 1834 he acquired much of the stock from the surviving heirs. This included the plates that were originally published by Cary as the ‘New and Correct English Atlas’, 1809. Cruchley made lithographic transfers from the plates and sold them largely as individual county maps. Cruchley retired to Brighton in 1876 and his stock was auctioned at Hodgson’s on 16 January 1877. Much of it was acquired by the firm of Gall & Inglis.

James Gall (1783-1874) established his own business in Edinburgh in 1810. His son, also James (1808-95) joined him briefly before being replaced by Robert Inglis c.1848 to form Gall & Inglis. They continued to issue this series of county maps individually and published this one last edition of the atlas with similar title retaining the Cruchley imprint. The maps now all bear the imprint of Gall & Inglis. The names of the new parliamentary divisions following the ‘Representation of the People Act’ of 1885 have been overprinted. There are new maps of Cambridgeshire and Huntingdonshire as one, and one of Westmoreland and Lake District. That of Monmouthshire is also from a new plate.

All twenty-one of the maps previously altered to illustrate geological information are present. Each is coloured politically, but the geological information remains. Those of Lincolnshire, Northamptonshire, Somerset, and Wiltshire which were unpublished geologically are also present. Somerset was unfinished and signs of geological work are present, it is very rare. That of Surrey was re-engraved in 1863 to record additional geological data by Sir Joseph Prestwich, it is not present here. Wiltshire also contains more recent geological information.

The Contents page boasts that the maps bear a number of ‘distinctive characters’. Amongst these are that they are on the ‘largest scale yet adopted for any similar purpose’, and that the ‘continuation of each Railway into adjoining Counties is accurately delineated, exhibiting at a glance facilities of intercommunication and thus supplying an important desideratum to Commercialists’.

There were no later editions. Copies of the later editions are just as rare as the geologically coloured earlier ones. Provenance: Donald Hodson collection. Beresiner pp. 93-5; Carroll (1996) 57N (this copy); not in Chubb; Davis (1952); Eyles (1969); refer Fordham (1925) pp. 82-5, 106; Hodson (1974) 60 I.ii (this copy); Nicholson (2003); Smith (1989b); Tooley’s Dictionary (1999-2004).

CRUCHLEY, George Frederick

Cruchley's Railway and Telegraphic County Atlas of England and Wales

(Gall & Inglis), London, c.1887
Folio (520 x 320 mm.), quarter calf, rebacked preserving the original cloth boards bearing gilt title, gilt calf title. With lithographic title, Contents, 42 maps of the English Counties, North and South Wales, all in early wash colour, light waterstain to first two leaves, light tears and splits to a number of maps, otherwise in good condition.
Stock number: 9586
£ 4,500
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