In the ‘London Evening Post’ for 21-23 July 1747 was an advert stating that ‘Now Engraving, In a beautiful Manner, and of proper Size to carry in the Pocket, or to bind with the Tour … A Complete Set of Maps of all the Counties in England, Scotland, and Wales … on a larger Scale than any Pocket Map hitherto publish’d’. The ‘Tour’ referred to the well known book by Daniel Defoe of the period, it was partly owned by the same publishers. There appears to have been a minor delay in the first issue as it was not advertised as being complete until the ‘General Evening Post’ of 8-10 November 1748. Despite naming Scotland the two were made available separately and we may normally find England and Wales together, as in this example which was originally priced at 6s. Numerous adverts were placed in the ensuing months and no doubt this was due to the competition of Thomas Badeslade & William Toms’ ‘Chorographia Britanniae’ and the Thomas Kitchin and Thomas Jeffery’s ‘Small English Atlas’.
This second and final edition of the ‘Geographia Magnae Britanniae’ was issued utilising the original letterpress material. The date of 1748 remains on the title page which has otherwise been retouched and had its imprint altered to reflect the new partners. John Osborne had left the trade by November 1751 and Samuel Birt had died in November 1755. The transfer of their shareholding is not recorded but the revised title records the new shareholders are William Johnston and P. Davey and Bedwell Law. No advert has been located for this edition, it is presumed that it was issued shortly after and the date of circa 1756 is generally accepted. Evidence for this date also comes from the fact that the companion atlas of Scotland was issued dated 1756. The maps are unaltered including the errors of numeration and in this example the letterpress follows them. The leaf containing the Tables and unaltered advert is placed at the end of the atlas. The maps of England and Wales and Gloucestershire in the atlas are signed by Thomas Hutchinson as engraver and although there are similarities in style with the remainder of the maps, Hodson does not believe he was responsible for them all.
With genealogical table of the Swift family by hand. The original owner was Deane Swift (c.1702-83], cousin of Jonathan Swift (1667-1745), author of ‘Gulliver’s Travels’. In 1755 Deane published an essay on the life of Jonathan Swift. Deane’s son Theophilus (d.1815) and grandson Deane were both writers also. Pasted inside is a letter and notes in the hand of Herbert Robertson detailed the Swift family genealogy. The letter records the gift of this book to a member of the Jonathan Swift family. Provenance: with ownership inscription of ‘Deane Swift Worcester 1764’; bookplate of Herbert Robertson and Helena and Alex Durbin pasted inside upper board (letter describing family genealogy dated 16 September 1910 signed Herbert Robertson, Huntington Castle, Clonegal, Ireland pasted on front free endpaper; ‘G. D. Ramsay 14 xii 37′ on front endpaper. Chubb (1927) 189; Compendium of Irish History’ ESTC N18304; Hodson (1984-97) 206; ODNB.
Geographia Magnae Britanniae. Or, Correct Maps of all the Counties in England, Scotland, and Wales; with General ones of both Kingdoms, and of the several Adjacent Islands …