The maps in this series were originally published as a set of exceedingly rare card maps of the counties by Thomas Crabb. They were then issued by Robert Miller (fl.1810-21) as the ‘New Miniature Atlas’ of 1821. The plates were then acquired by the great publishing house of William Darton [1755-1819], by now in the hands of his son also William [1781-1854]. They were issued as ‘Darton’s New Miniature Atlas’ undated although post-dating 1821. This date is referred to in the text of the Yorkshire map when citing the census of that year. It was most likely issued as a reduced compliment to the folio ‘Complete Atlas of the English Counties’ dated 1822. Certainly by 1823 he had changed address. All early issued of the plates are extremely rare, particularly those separately issued on card by Darton.
These plates were famously issued later in the much better-known atlas by Reuben Ramble (1810-75), whose name was a pseudonym for the Reverend Samuel Clark. He became a partner to William Darton, and in 1843 he would publish the famous ‘Reuben’s Rambles’ in which he surrounds the wide margins of the maps with a series of ornate vignettes. William Darton, the founder, was a Quaker and engraver who established a bookshop in the City of London in 1787. As a publisher of prints and books, his work was intended for a youthful audience. His son, also William, began independently of his father marketing to the same age group. Beresiner (1983) p. 96; Carroll (1996) 74.iv; Chubb (1927) 341; Tooley (1999-2004); Worms & Baynton-Williams (2011).