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

The Mapping of North America

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ONE OF ONLY TWO KNOWN EXAMPLES. T. Laurie Murray was a surveyor, publisher and founder member of the Royal Geographical Society. His major cartographic work was the English county atlas entitled ‘An Atlas of the English Counties’ first published in 1830. It contained forty-four maps engraved by Edward Hoare and James Reeves and identified Murray as the publisher. A second edition the following year involved the imprint dates being altered to each plate.

The further history of the plates is murky, particularly after they left Murray’s possession. William Robson is not even listed in the revised edition of ‘Tooley’s Dictionary of Mapmakers’. Some of the county bibliographies refer to him issuing later states of the respective county maps and one complete collection of the maps in this state exists in a private English collection. Robson issued commercial directories from 1819 to about 1842 and it appears also issued the Murray maps separately. From about 1838 he expanded into producing county directories, often bound along with that for London. According to Shaw and Tipper’s work on English and Welsh Directories, Robson published eight of them between the years of about 1838 and 1840. These covered all but the following counties: Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Northamptonshire, Nottinghamshire, and Rutland in the midlands, and Cumberland, Northumberland and Westmoreland in the north. That of Lancashire is represented by Liverpool only, Staffordshire and Warwickshire by Birmingham and Yorkshire only by the West Riding and Sheffield. It is notable that the first eight counties above are the only ones lacking any imprint. This is the case in both known examples. Similarly, those of Wales, Scotland and Ireland are also omitted.

His Directories were compilations of earlier publications including the Murray maps and were poorly assembled. This was a fiercely competitive arena and one in which it appears he suffered against the more professional and thorough opposition of the likes of James Pigot and Co. The most notable change to each map is the replacement of Murray’s imprint with that of ‘William Robson & Co Directory Office London’. Most county bibliographies do not record the imprint at all. Further revisions include those to the railway network and the addition of the poor law unions on each map. The Poor Law of 1834 brought about the grouping of local parishes to form Poor Law Unions, each with its own workhouse. No other example of this atlas could be located online, only the one example in a private collection is known. Beresiner (1983) pp. 164-5; Burgess (2009) 125/v; not in Carroll (1996); Hodson (1974) no. 90; not in Tooley’s Dictionary.
ROBSON, William

[Robson's County Atlas]

London, c.1839
ONE OF ONLY TWO KNOWN EXAMPLES. Folio (475 x 370 mm.), full recent blue cloth boards with gilt title to upper cover and spine, with original endpapers. With 43 (of 44) maps comprising three general of Ireland, Scotland and Wales (lacking that of England and Wales) and 40 maps of the English counties with that of Yorkshire being in two sheets, minor tissue repair to last two leaves, some light foxing, otherwise in good condition.
Stock number: 9803
£ 1,250
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