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

The Mapping of North America

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An early issue of the Boundary Commission report of 1885. The Commission reported on proposed boundary changes to the election of Members of Parliament. It was the third occasion in which an attempt was made to equalise the representation of the population across the United Kingdom in the Houses of Parliament. The first major reform was undertaken in the Reform Act of 1832. This was followed by another distribution during the Reform Acts of 1867 and 1868 which proved unsatisfactory. By 1885 the industrial growth of the country and the population movements this had encouraged, had made the imbalance worse. This third Bill was the result of long and difficult negotiations between William Gladstone of the ruling Liberal Party and Lord Salisbury of the Conservative Party. It required the intervention of Queen Victoria to settle the course of action.

The Reform Bill of 1885 was to draw upon the Ordnance Survey maps to determine the boundaries of divisions. The direct consequence of the Bill was the decline of the control of Parliament by the aristocracy. For the first time the number of MPs who represented industry and commerce outnumbered those connected with the landed gentry. This is the first volume only, containing the complete set of county maps. Volume two included town plans and volume three covered Scotland and Ireland. A good example of one of the most influential ‘atlases’ in British history. Batten & Bennett (2010) 162; Carroll (1996) 139; Smith (1985) pp. 133-4, XIV.
BOUNDARY COMMISSION

Report of the Boundary Commissioners for England and Wales

London, 1885
Folio (355 x 270 mm. each), modern cloth binding, spine with gilt ruled compartments and title, later endpapers. Part I, Counties pp. 196, with 50 largely folding county maps in early outline colour, in good condition.
Stock number: 10329

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