MORDEN, Robert – COX, Thomas – NUTT, Elizabeth
Quarto, six volumes (230 x 180 mm.), full contemporary mottled calf, ribbed spines, gilt ruled compartments with ornate central gilt decoration, gilt volume numbers and gilt calf title labels affixed to each volume. Volume 1: pp. (4), viii, 752, with 17 maps, 12 tables and 3 plates. Volume 2: pp. (2), 753-1516, with 11 maps and 9 tables. Volume 3: pp. (2), 762, with 4 maps and 4 tables. Volume 4: pp. (2), 912, with 5 maps and 5 tables. Volume 5: pp. (2), 920, with 5 maps and 5 tables. Volume 6: pp. (2), 710, with 5 maps and 4 tables. Volumes 1 and 2 only have continuous pagination. The work contains 47 maps, 39 tables and 3 plates. Lacks engraved frontispiece to volume one.
Robert Morden was by 1701 a successful publisher on the London scene. His most notable cartographic contribution to date was arguably the county maps for Gibson’s edition of Camden’s ‘Britannia’ in 1695. A smaller more manageable atlas seemed to be called for and in 1701 he teamed up with Thomas Cockeril and Ralph Smith to produce ‘The New Description and State of England’. Morden contributed 54 small maps known as miniature Morden’s. The work was issued in differing formats in the same year, and re-published similarly in 1704. In 1708, they appeared under the title of ‘Fifty Six New and Accurate Maps’ which was in fact 57. There final publication in 1720-31 was printed by Elizabeth Nutt, and sold by Thomas Cox in a six-volume work entitled ‘Magna Britannia’.
The remaining text sheets and maps left over from the edition were offered for sale on 5 October 1738 in a ‘Catalogue’ at the Queen’s Head Tavern in Pater-Noster-Row. Hodson illustrates a copy of the ‘Catalogue’ which bears at its foot the manuscript note ‘Sold for Two Hundred Pounds to Messrs. Ward Chandler’. Ward and Chandler wasted no time in putting out a second edition. They ordered 150 new title pages which were delivered 15 January 1738/9 and dated 1738. At the same time sets of the text to the first part which had sold out by the sale were ordered reset exactly word for word with one notable exception. The title on leaf B1r was altered to remove the reference to Ireland which was never included in the work. Five days later the work was announced as available to the public.
At the sale there were also thirty-six complete sets which presumably were the first to be sold. It was stated that there were no copies of Part 1 available. This part with signatures B-G had to be re-printed word-for-word. The only deviation was to B1r where the original reference to Ireland is removed as it was never included in the work. A rare work. Provenance: each with ‘Inner’ and a shelf reference inside front cover: private English collection. Chubb (1927) 128; Hodson (1984-97) 129; Shirley (2004) T.Mord 4f.