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

The Mapping of North America

Mr. Philip D. Burden‚Äč
P.O. Box 863,
Chalfont St. Giles, Bucks HP6 9HD,
Tel: +44 (0) 1494 76 33 13

This map of the county of Leicestershire is the first of the county at the scale of one inch to the mile and is here offered in its FIRST STATE. It is one of the rarer of the eighteenth century surveys and is notable for the fact that unlike his major competitors John Rocque and Thomas Jefferys with lots of experience in this field John Prior was a teacher, clergyman and mathematician. Despite this apparent lack of capability he was awarded the Silver Medal by the Society of Arts and 20 guineas. The survey itself was undertaken by Joseph Whyman from 1775-77 and lower right on the map we find rather unusually a complete triangulation of the county showing how the work progressed. It was published by Prior in 1779.

On the map the parallel and meridian of Leicester are shown with the boundaries of the hundreds coloured. Turnpike roads have their Tollbars and Milestones identified. An indication of the importance of industry to this county is shown by the identification of Coal Pits, Lime Works, Wind Mills and Water Mills. The inset lower left is a detailed plan of the city of Leicester which was criticised for inaccuracies. Indeed it was excused for a lack of time to survey it properly. The whole map is engraved by John Luffman who completes it with a beautiful cartouche including both title and dedication to the Earl of Huntingdon. The apparent bucolic depiction in fact appears to bear a quantity of coal in front. Further editions were published in 1804 and 1819 and all are rare. Baum (1972) pp. 37-9; Deadman & Brooks (2010) p. 100; Harley (1965) pp. 56 & 63; Rodger (1972) no. 262.

PRIOR, Reverend John

Map of Leicestershire from an Actual Survey, Begun in the Year 1775, and Finished in the Year 1777

William Dawson, London, I. Gregory, Leicester and Rev. John Prior, Ashby-de-la-Zouch. , London, 1 January 1779
Folio (535 x 380 mm.), quarter calf, blue paper boards, gilt ruled bands and title to the spine. In 4 sheets all in fine early wash colour, 565 x 600 mm. each. The whole forms a map c.1170 x 1270 mm.
Stock number: 5856


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