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,
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In 1720 John Warburton advertised his intention to complete a series of large scale maps of the English counties. Warburton (1682-1759) was born in Lancashire and became a antiquary, herald, collector and publisher. He at first stayed in the north of England and in 1716 he published a large scale map of Northumberland in 4 sheets. He followed this with another fine four sheet map of Yorkshire in 1720. The previous year he had been admitted to the Royal Society and in 1720 was admitted to the Society of Antiquaries. He was indeed a bit of a rogue and was formally expelled from both Societies later in life. Hodson recounts an incident when he scammed a Mr Stainbank for apparently displaying the Royal Coat of Arms of Portugal. Something which had been noted by the Portuguese Ambassador who had instructed so Warburton said for a law suit to be undertaken. Warburton – for a fee of £40 – offered to devise a similar Coat of Arms which might appease the Ambassador. This he duly did taking a sizeable cut along the way.

Both of his maps bore one notable feature, the extensive inclusion of Coats of Arms of various nobility. Warburton extended a practice begun in the previous century and perfected by Richard Blome of encouraging subscribers by offering to engrave their Arms on the plate. This method brought in extra revenue as the his advert for the map of Yorkshire attests. “The Price of each Map is 10s. in Sheets, and 12s. 6d. if pasted on Cloth and colour’d, Half to be paid down, and the Remainder on Delivery; and for such as have a Right to bear Arms, 10s. more towards the Charge of Engraving the same …” (‘Evening Post’ 14-17 June 1718). In February 1720 Warburton announced his intention to complete surveys for each of the counties of England and Wales.

Printed ‘Proposals’ of 25 October 1720 announced his intention to survey Essex, Hertfordshire and Middlesex, It seems clear that by now his intention was to produce maps including up to four counties each. By early 1722 he announced that the surveys of Middlesex and Essex were nearly finished. On 28 January 1725 they announced the finished map would be delivered to Subscribers in 3 months time. It stated that there were a total of 724 Coats of Arms engraved upon it. Indeed in April the College of Arms wrote complaining that Warburton had not set foot in the building to identify Arms and that there had been several irregularities on his two earlier maps. The precise date of the maps issue is unknown but the letter from the College and the statement in the advert in January would indicate that April 1725 was the date. It was certainly available in August of that year.

The map was surveyed by Payler Smyth and it appears Joseph Bland role was to collect and deliver to subscribers. It was finely engraved by Samuel Parker on seven sheets to a scale of two-thirds of an inch to the mile. It covers the northern home counties in great detail and is praised for its accuracy. That portion of Hertfordshire was not surpassed until the survey of Andrews and Dury circa 1766. This example and two others noted by ourselves over thirty years bears a difference in the Arms that might support that supposition. The earliest known issue actually includes 736 Coats of Arms indicating that Warburton was actively seeking new subscribers right up to the end. Each one is numbered and keyed to the owner’s location on the map. Indeed the latest additions spill over onto the map itself. The seventh sheet contains 3 strips of Arms to be pasted across the top of the map, two extra Arms for a total of 738 are engraved. The strip beginning with Arms numbered 226 and 227 bears quite a gap to its left. This was filled in with the Arms of ‘Dakyn Gent.’ and ‘Mangey DD’. Thomas Mangey (1688–1755) was an English clergyman and scholar. In 1719 or earlier he was Chaplain to the Bishop of London, John Robinson and in July 1725 achieved DD (Doctor of Divinity). This issue is therefore a previously unrecorded second state which can be dated to quite probably the summer of 1725.

This map bears the distinction of quite probably bearing the most Coats of Arms on any British engraved map. It seems that Warburton was never far from trouble and was constantly lacking money. It is thought that he may have even spent some years in Fleet Prison for debt. The historian Thomas Pennant wrote scathingly “I knew Warburton well. He was the most illiterate man I ever met with. Ignorant not only of the learned and foreign languages, but even his own” (Worms and Baynton-Williams). Ironically he spent his last days in the College of Arms where he died 11 may 1759. Despite the apparent large number of copies printed it is one of the rarest large scale maps published. This may be due to the fact that it was tempting to display such a visually appealing map. Such examples would not have survived the ravages of time. Armitage (2012) pp. 33, 36-7; Hodson Hertfordshire III; Hodson (1984) I pp. 169-79; Rodger (1972) 288; Tooley ‘Large Scale English County Maps. Essex’, in ‘The Map Collector’ no. 36 pp. 36-8 E23; Worms & Baynton-Williams (2011) p. 703.


Essex, Middx & Herts

London, c.1724
1165 x 1845 mm., 7 sheets cut and dissected into 32 sheets laid on new linen, with some minor repairs here and there otherwise in good condition.
Stock number: 7154


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