Mr. Philip D. Burden
P.O. Box 863,
Chalfont St. Giles, Bucks HP6 9HD,
Tel: +44 (0) 1494 76 33 13
Following the earliest known issue of the maps whilst in Overton’s possession, two further distinct periods of issue can be defined before this atlas edition. Following the Jacobite rising in 1715 five of the northern county maps were revised to include Henry Overton’s imprint, those of Cumberland, Durham, Lancashire, Northumberland and Westmoreland. They all included roads and in the case of Northumberland, this can be sourced to the John Warburton map of the county published in August 1716. Of this Speed—Overton II as it is called there are two known examples. During this period the plates became very worn and Overton had many of them retouched. There are two known examples falling into this classification of which only one survives.
For this final issue in atlas form, many of the old dates on the plates were removed crudely. Also, for a reason unknown, the date 1738 was added to that of Huntington. This Speed — Overton IV as it is classified, contained the same engraved title page by Robert White (1646-1703), with the addition of ‘by John Speed. Reprinted Anno, 1743.’ The typographic index is entirely re-set with the title ‘A Sett of the Counties of England and Wales, with their Ilands, containing Fifty Eight MAPS; each on a Sheet of Royal Paper. By JOHN SPEED. Reprinted in the YEAR, 1743. With ADDITIONS.’ There follows a list of the 58 maps after which is an advert stating ‘Sold either in Compleat Setts, Bound, or Single, either Coloured or Plain … Neatly Bound in Marble Paper, with Leather Back, and Corners, Coloured, Price 1l. 4s.’ Overton’s two sheet atlas of the world is also noted.
Known complete examples:
Cambridge University Library (Atlas 3.74.3)
Phillips auction, 30 April 1987 lot 477 to Burgess
Bonham’s, London 27 March 2007 lot 469 (with other maps)
Bonham’s, London 11 November 2015 lot 146 (with 6 additional maps)
Sizergh Castle, Cumbria, National Trust
The Speed — Overton atlas, or collection of maps, was still available for sale on 7 October 1745 during the Jacobite rising when an advert was placed in the ‘General Advertiser’. The atlas no doubt continued to be available until his death in 1751 and was probably still available at the hands of his successor, his son, also Henry Overton. Although Henry the Younger remained in business until at least 1763, it is known that by 1754 he had sold the Speed plates to the firm of William and Cluer Dicey who list them in their catalogue of that date (Bodleian 258.c.109).
Provenance: undeciphered manuscript inscription upper corner inside front board; bookplates of Richard Heywood Thompson (1850-1935) and Lieut.-Col. Cecil Henry Fairer Thompson D.S.O., O.B.E., T.D., both of Nunwick Hall, Penrith, both at one time High Sheriffs of Cumberland; Sotheby’s, 21 June 1977 lot 345 to Francis Edwards; Clive A. Burden Ltd., June 1990; private foreign collection. Chubb (1927) 31; not in the ESTC; Hodson (1984) 138; Shirley (2004) T-Spe 1n; Worms & Baynton-Williams (2011) pp. 503-5.