Small quarto (230 x 175 mm.), original brown paper wrappers with title and contents on upper cover, adverts on the back cover, later cloth spine, further advertisement of Heywood printed inside upper cover. With title page as above containing allegorical vignette, folding map of England and Wales, regional maps of South and North Wales and 42 county maps, general map folding with old binder’s tear and 1 small split at a fold, otherwise in good condition.
Henry Teesdale (1776-1855) was a successful publisher in London who is best known for two English county atlases. In 1829, he acquired the county plates to Robert Rowe’s exceedingly rare ‘English Atlas’ and after revision published them as the ‘New British Atlas’. Encouraged by its undoubted success he embarked on a reduced sized county atlas which he published the following year entitled ‘A New Travelling Atlas’. In this work, the roads are made the principal feature. For some reason, it was not a great success, at least judging from the fact that only two examples survive: Cambridge University Library and a private English collection. For the second edition in 1843 plate numbers were added as were railways in the counties where they had been introduced. It appears that he took in a partner D. W. Martin, which might explain the possible delay in publication. This is similarly extremely rare with only about a half dozen examples known.
Both series of copper plates became the property of Henry George Collins (fl.1832-58) and this series of maps was re-issued in lithographic transfers with his imprint as the ‘Travelling Atlas’ in 1849. By 1857 the business had failed and ownership of the atlas had passed to William Somerville Orr whose one edition is given the date of c.1852, although possibly later. Then they passed in to the hands of John Heywood (1804-64) who would issue a number of editions. This issue dates from circa 1868 which is generally accepted based on the state of the railway network depicted and a series of quotes from the press on the back cover, the latest of which dates from 20 October 1867. Burgess (2004) no. 124; Carroll (1996) no. 92; Chubb (1927) no. 531; Tooley’s Dictionary (1999-2004); Worms & Baynton-Williams (2011).