This charming little map is from an extremely rare atlas by William Green entitled the ‘Picture of England’ and printed in 1804. It was first issued by Robert Butters as ‘An Atlas of England’ the previous year. Of that work only two known examples survive. Butters (fl. 1785-1808) was a printer in London who took over and completed the ‘Political Magazine’ series of county maps by John Lodge. In the same year it was published as ‘The Picture of England’ by John Hatchard (1769-1849), the only known example of which was broken up. Hatchard was the founder of the bookshop which still bears his name on Piccadilly, London.
This edition published the following year also by Hatchard is the first to recognise William Green (1760-1823) on the title page and alludes to him being the author. Green was born in Deansgate, Manchester, and trained as a surveyor. He produced the fine large scale map of Lancashire by William Yates in 1786. Although an ‘artist, draughtsman, surveyor, etcher and engraver’ it is not clear if he was responsible for these plates. The map is derived from that of John Cary issued in the ‘Travellers Companion’ but is notable for its curious orientation. North is to the left although the compass indicator is pointing south. Green died at Ambleside in the Lake District, his epitaph was written by William Wordsworth.
Hatchard after completing his apprenticeship to a printer and bookseller went to work for the leading bookseller Thomas Payne in 1789. Leaving his employ in 1797 he opened his first shop at 173 Piccadilly and struggled. But not without considerable industry he made it work and moved again in 1801 to 190 Piccadilly. His son joined him in 1808 and in 1823 they made their final move to 187 Piccadilly where they remain to this day. Hatchard borrowed from Payne who was the first to combine a coffee house and booksellers and offered the same convivial surroundings. Carroll (1996) 58; Chubb (1927) 318; ODNB; Worms & Baynton-Williams (2011).