An original printed proposal for a large-scale map of Suffolk, extremely rare. Andrew Bryant (fl.1822-35) was a surveyor and publisher at 27 Great Ormond St., London. He is best known for his incomplete series or large-scale maps of English counties, only twelve were completed. His main rival, the brothers Christopher and John Greenwood, managed to publish thirty-four. Both also faced the competition of the Ordnance Survey maps, with government backing, eventually both were forced out of the business.
Bryant followed Greenwood into the business and published his first county survey of Hertfordshire in 1822, the last being that of Herefordshire in 1835. This Proposal is pre-printed ‘Suffolk … Under the Patronage of the Nobility, Clergy & Gentry … the County of Suffolk’ added in manuscript by quite possibly Bryant himself. The type refers to a four-sheet map on the scale of ‘one inch and a quarter to a mile’. However, the final map was produced on six sheets. The race to produce up-to-date large-scale maps is exemplified by Suffolk. The Ordnance Survey completed Suffolk in 1824, Greenwood in 1825 and Bryant in 1826. So, it is likely the surveyors were in the field at the same time.
The Proposal refers to the completed surveys of Hertfordshire, Surrey and Oxfordshire. The latter was published 1 May 1824 whilst that of Gloucester not mentioned was issued 1 November 1824. The Proposal was therefore likely printed in the summer of 1824. It is interesting to note that he reduced the price by hand from Four Guineas to ‘three’. Bryant’s map of Suffolk was finally published on March 1st, 1826.
The second leaf is headed ‘British Atlas’ and projects a completed work to include 44 maps including the 40 English counties, Yorkshire to consist of three of the Ridings and North and South Wales. They are to ‘be published separately, as soon as the respective Surveys can be completed and engraved.’ He describes the great need for a new larger scale atlas due to the great changes to the landscape that have occurred, both industrial, in land ownership and political. There follows details of those of Hertford, Surrey and Oxfordshire already published and a full list of the maps to be produced each with their proposed scale, number of sheets and intended price. It concludes by stating ‘In progress – Gloucestershire, Bucks’, which were published 1824 and 1825 respectively. No reference was found to the proposal bibliographically, not in ‘Library Hub Discover’ (Copac) or the British Library. Refer Rodger (1972) 421; Tooley’s Dictionary.