The FIRST EDITION IN OBLONG FOLIO with the MAPS OF THE WORLD. For many years John Harrison’s ‘Maps of the English Counties’ was first thought to have been published in 1791. Then in 1974, Hodson identified an advertisement in ‘The Morning Herald’ for 2 May 1787 which stated ‘This day are published, by J. Harrison … Specimens of Maps of the Counties of England and Wales’. Hodson believed that they may have been published in Harrison’s edition of ‘The History of England’ by Paul Rapin de Thoyras, although he was unable to locate an example. John Harrison (fl. 1784-1815) was a printer and publisher. Three examples have since been identified but all are without the full complement of maps, none are dated beyond July 1790. The last few maps were issued after the event, those of Lincolnshire and Yorkshire were dated 1 February 1791 and Sussex 1 March 1791. That of North and South Wales is dated 26 February 1791. This made up the full set of 38 maps.
In 1791 Harrison published the ‘Maps of the English Counties’. It included 38 maps which were made up of 37 of English counties, three being paired, and a sheet with two maps of north and south Wales. There were curiously no general maps of England and Wales, Scotland or Ireland despite all being in Harrison’s stock. Early copies note the price on the title pages as 3l. 9s. 6d. Clearly it struggled to sell, this example, that in the British Library and Cambridge University Library examples all have an altered price of 3l. 3s. The price came down further for the second edition the following year at 2l. 2s. Apart from the county descriptions there are eight folio pages of tables to be found at the beginning. These contains tables of distances and eight pages of distances making up each road. Little recorded is this much rarer edition including six extra maps of world and continents. Also included are the three general maps Harrison possessed of England and Wales, Scotland and Ireland, all bound with the British atlas. A fine example of a rare atlas in the preferred early outline colour format. Provenance: Brian Kentish Catalogue 2012 item 27; Dominic Winter Auction 11 April 2018 lot 71; private English collection. Chubb (1927) 291; Carroll (1996) 52, n. 5; ESTC N64293 (English County atlas only); Hodson (1974) no. 50; Shirley (2004) T.Harr 2a not including the world atlas; Tooley’s Dictionary (1999-2004); Worms & Baynton-Williams (2011).