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MUDGE, William

General Survey of England and Wales ... County of Kent

William Faden, London, 1801
1190 x 1760 mm. cut, dissected and mounted on contemporary linen in four sections, each with publishers sold label on the verso. Preserved in contemporary marbled paper slipcase with inner sleeve and publishers title label on the front, light wear, in good condition.
This is the FIRST PUBLISHED MAP OF THE ORDNANCE SURVEY, a monumental moment and achievement in British cartography. Despite being published for the Ordnance it was never incorporated into the National Series. The second map to be published and the first of the National Series was that of Essex. Interestingly those of Kent were not included until 1816 to 1819 but would still be numbered 1 to 4. Although the imprint is dated 1 January 1801 its publication appears to have been slightly later according to the advertisement in ‘The Times’ on 13 January. The first triangle of what is now the national grid was observed by Captain Mudge from the tower of Lympne Castle to Dungeness Lighthouse. From here the survey spread out over the whole of Great Britain. Its accuracy is a testament to the work, recent satellite mapping was compared by the Ordnance Survey with Mudge’s map which was found to be only a few inches out.

A rare map in any state but particularly so in the early impressions. According to Burgess’ study of the map the north-west and south-west sheets are in state 3, those of the north-east and south-east are in state 2. The main roads are coloured in brown as usual and the detail is remarkable. The whole was engraved by Thomas Foot. The Ordnance Survey evolved in 1824 into the format that we are familiar with which ignores county borders. Up to that date the traditional county format was maintained. Burgess (2009) no. 81; Hellyer, Roger (1999) ‘Ordnance Survey small-scale maps’ no. 1.1; Rodger (1972) no. 235; Worms & Baynton-Williams (2011).
Stock number: 8975

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