Tall octavo (230 x 130 mm.), contemporary quarter calf, marbled paper boards, rebacked with ribbed spine, red calf gilt title label affixed. With engraved title, 1 map in two parts and 6 large folio sheets varying in height from 275 to 410 mm. and with a width of about 510 mm. Sheet 4 and 5 with a little strengthening to folds, otherwise in excellent condition.
The SYSTON PARK and JOHN BARTHOLOMEW copy. An excellent example of the last known issue of the Quartermaster’s Map with only one recorded example in the King’s Topographical Collection at the British Library (K.Top.V.49). The ONLY KNOWN COMPLETE EXAMPLE. It acquired the name because in its first edition the title referred to its usefulness to ‘all Comanders for Quarteringe of Souldiers, & all sorts of Persons, that would be informed, Where the Armies be; never so Commodiously drawne before this. 1644’. It was as stated used widely during the English Civil War particularly by the Parliamentarians with whom the publisher Thomas Jenner’s sympathies lay. Jenner (fl. c.1618-73, d.1673) was a print and mapseller who set up in business at the White Bear in Cornhill about 1618. Until the impending Civil War Jenner was not known for cartographic material. Then in 1643 he published a revised edition of the ‘Direction for the English Traviller’ whose plates he had acquired from his printer Matthew Simmons. Jenner had timed his move perfectly. Demand for maps and tools to help the large numbers of people moving about the country at the time of the Civil War was on the increase. The market for the little atlas clearly proved so great that he was attracted to do more. He engaged the services of the noted engraver Wenceslaus Hollar to etch a reduction of Christopher Saxton’s great wall map of 1583. This would enable his customers to have a more detailed and yet still portable map of England and Wales.
Hollar (1607-77) is described by Pennington in glowing terms: ‘Of all etchers, Hollar is certainly the most varied in subject, one of the most accomplished in technique, and with a style that is full of a charm, a humour, and a good nature that are evidently the character of the man himself’. He was born in Prague and made his way to England in the party of Lord Arundel arriving in London in late December 1636. By 1644 Hollar had already done some work for Jenner which included working on at least two of the re-engraved plates for the ‘Direction for the English Traviller’ published in 1643.
The published history of the Quartermaster’s Map is long and complicated extending to 1824. Its earliest form is considered that which bears the date 1644 on the title. This was revised for the second edition in 1671. The plates were then acquired by John Garrett (fl.1676-1718) who issued the third and fourth editions. It is last known in Garrett’s hands in his catalogue of 1718, the year of his death. Its whereabouts after that is not known for sure but according to Tyacke his business was taken over by Thomas Glass (‘Daily Post’ 4 August 1720) at the Royal Exchange. He appears to have flourished from 1720 to 1750, the earliest and latest references found to him. He was succeeded by Philip Glass who appears to have sold the plates to John Rocque. Jean Rocque (c.1704-62), to use his native name, was a Huguenot émigré who with his family settled in England by about 1709. By 1734 he was a surveyor, engraver and publisher and worked first in the region of Soho, a known centre for French emigrants. Rocque’s importance to map making in the eighteenth century should never be underestimated. For this edition the bibliographers note a few alterations were made to the plates. Amongst these is the addition of a French title to sheet 5 dated 1752 bearing Rocque’s imprint. On this sheet also lines radiation from the compass rose are inserted, but not on any other sheet. The small engraved title still bearing Garrett’s imprint is reworded slightly.
Previously thought to exist in the one issue an earlier one was recently identified lacking Hadrian’s Wall. In 1745 Bonnie Prince Charlie began a rebellion in Scotland and crossed the line of Hadrian’s Wall to conquer Carlisle. He was eventually defeated the following year and forced to withdraw. Interestingly from our perspective, in the early 1750s a military road was built along the line of Hadrian’s Wall from Newcastle to Carlisle. It was seen by many at the time as a reincarnation of the Roman Wall. We therefore conjecture that c.1750-51 Rocque acquired the plates to the Quartermaster map and made some immediate changes. It was not until the early 1750s that the new military road was constructed and its significance was such that Rocque added it to the plate.
Only one example known is later still, that in the King’s Topographical Collection at the British Library is described by Harley and Skelton. That is until we discovered this example. All six larger plates have been retouched, notably to the hatchuring along the coastlines, scales and compass roses just as described by Skelton. He recorded single line roads converted to double lines on sheets 3 and 4. Notably south east from ‘Darbye’ to ‘Lecester’ and Shrewsbury to Newport. The King’s copy lacks a title page which is present here, unaltered from its previous issue. One further difference noted is that on sheet 5 the date 1752 is still present. This therefore is a complete example of a previously unrecorded issue.
Sir John Thorold’s copy from Syston Park. Thorold was one of the ‘leading figures of the ‘bibliomania’ of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, when bibliophiles such as William Beckford, the third Duke of Roxburghe, and the second Earl Spencer vied to outbid one another in the sale rooms. He began collecting about 1775; the pace of acquisitions is believed to have slacked somewhat round about 1800′ (ODNB). A new library was constructed by his son, Sir John Hayford Thorold, tenth baronet (1773-1831), from 1822-24. ‘This was visited by T. F. Dibdin and described by him as ‘perhaps one of the most splendid and taking book repositories in Europe’ (ODNB). The library was sold off in two main sales in 1884 and 1923.
Provenance: Sir John Thorold (1734-1815), Syston Park, Lincolnshire, and noted book collector, bookplate pasted inside upper cover; John (Ian) Bartholomew (1890-1962), great grandson of the engraver George Bartholomew (1784-1871) and grandson of the founder of the cartographic publishers John Bartholomew (1831-93), note of change of address dated 1931 with notes on the Hollar map in manuscript on the verso; Sotheby’s, London, 2 July 1990 lot 137, sold for £462 to Jackman; private English collection. ESTC refer T301097; Harley & Skelton (1972) refer state F; ODNB; Pennington (1982) 652-7; refer Shirley (1991) no. 537; Tooley (1999-2004); Tyacke (1978) p. 11-16; Worms & Baynton-Williams (2011).