Clive A. Burden LTD. Rare Maps, Antique Atlases, Books and Decorative Prints

The Mapping of North America

Mr. Philip D. Burden‚Äč
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FIRST EDITION. 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 included in fact 57 maps.

The next phase in the life of the quarto Robert Morden plates was to accompany one of the earliest serialised published works. The first part of the Magna Britannia was published in January 1714, a total of 92 parts would be issued before completion in April 1731. The original conception was to be a part of another substantial work entitled the Atlas Geographicus. However, it was soon realised that with so much material available for the work that a separate publication for the British Isles was justified.

At first it was the publisher’s intention to issue one part per month but inevitably it fell behind. John Nicholson who had been behind many of the newly engraved plates died about May 1717. From part 21, issued in April 1718, each one was printed and sold by Nutt and Morphew. Then Morphew died on 18 November 1720 and publication inevitably slowed. The ‘Evening Post’ 21-23 March 1723 the new publisher Elizabeth Bell announced ‘The Occasion of the great Delay that has attended this Work was owing to the Decease of several of the Proprietors.’ She herself died in April 1724 and ownership changed for the last time to Thomas Cox. The final 92nd part for England appeared in April 1731, seventeen years after it began. The remainder of Great Britain and Ireland was never published.

Of the original Morden copper plate maps only the 40 representing the English counties were utilised. The three general maps introduced in 1708, the 12 Welsh counties and Monmouthshire are all unused. Six new plates were introduced, all in the first volume; a general map of the British Isles, two historical maps of the same, a map in two parts of the River Thames derived from Philip Lea, a map of the rivers and coasts of England and finally a reduction of Sir Jonas Moore’s map of the Fenns. Hodson does not call for the map of the Smaller Islands but it is here present bound with the Hampshire section as is usual in the earlier works in the series. Each county map is accompanied by a table of distances derived from those of John Norden in 1625.

This example is extra illustrated with numerous plates inserted into the text and two further maps. One is the John Speed of Berkshire in an early issue with George Humble’s imprint alone and no text on the verso. The other is Thomas Kitchin’s plan of ten miles around London first published in 1747. Provenance: bookplates of ‘Ja. Baldwin Rr: de Bunwell’ and James Beethom Whitehead pasted inside front covers: private English collection. Chubb (1927) 127; Darlington & Howgego (1964) no. 97; ESTC T107759; Hodson (1984-97) no. 128; Shirley (2004) T.Mord 4d; Tyacke (1978) 400.
MORDEN, Robert – COX, Thomas – NUTT, Elizabeth

Magna Britannia et Hibernia, Antiqua & Nova or, A New Survey of Great Britain, wherein to the Topographical Account given by Mr. Camden, and the late Editors of his Britannia, is added a more large History ...

In the Savoy: Printed by Eliz. Nutt; and Sold by M. Nutt in Exeter-Exchange in the Strand, and J. Morphew near Stationers-Hall, London, 1720-31
Quarto, 6 volumes (225 x 175 mm. each), full contemporary blind panelled mottled calf, ribbed spine with gilt ruled compartments, each with central gilt feature, gilt calf title and volume labels, lightly worn. Volume 1: dated 1720 pp. (4), viii, 752, with 19 maps, 12 tables and 3 plates. Volume 2: dated 1720 pp. (2), 753-1516, with 10 maps and 9 tables. Volume 3: dated 1724 pp. (2), 762, with 5 maps and 4 tables. Volume 4: dated 1727 pp. (2), 912, with 5 maps and 5 tables. Volume 5: dated 1730 pp. (2), 920, with 5 maps and 5 tables. Volume 6: dated 1731 pp. (2), 710, with 5 maps and 4 tables. Volumes 1 and 2 only have continuous pagination, the publishers imprint for volumes 3-6 is ‘Printed by E. and R. Nutt; and sold by T. Cox’. The work contains 48 maps, 40 tables and 3 plates, extra illustrated with 2 maps and several eighteenth century engravings, some browning occasionally as usual, some waterstaining to volumes 1, 4 & 5, otherwise in good condition.
Stock number: 9901


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