RARE LARGE-SCALE MAP OF SURREY. This is the fourth and last map of the county illustrated on a large scale of at least one inch to a mile before the Ordnance Survey. It was undertaken by Joseph Lindley (1756-1808) and William Crosley who fortunately for us, were one of the few who left their working notes on its production in a published memoir. Lindley worked in the Time Department at Greenwich and rose to become Head of the Department. His observational skills meant that he was sent to Paris with William Roy (1726-90) to help with the triangulation between Paris and London. It was Roy’s measurement of the Hounslow Heath base line in 1784, shown on the map, which formed the basis of the London-Paris triangulation.
After receiving permission from Roy to use his five measurements within Surrey, he proceeded to survey the remainder of the county drawing on 85 stations or high points. Lindley then sought the partnership of the draughtsman William Crosley (d.1794). An experienced Estate Surveyor who also worked considerably on the Rochdale Canal. Crosley undertook the topographical survey. The survey was completed in 1790 and a study of the orthography followed. This was a check on the spelling of placenames. The finished work was then sent to Benjamin Baker (1766-1841), the engraver at Islington. A first undated state was issued in c.1792 of which according to Rodgers only one example survives, in the British Library. A second state, quite likely first published, was issued dated as here 15 April 1793. The map includes not only the whole county but rudimentary outlines of the suburbs of London north of the river Thames. This also enables the map to record the Hounslow Heath base line and the parallel of latitude of the Royal Observatory Greenwich.
All the usual features are identified. A couple of unusual features are the inclusion of windmills in visual form and all milestones on the roads are noted with small round circles. The whole is finished with a fine architectural title cartouche and in full early wash colour. The project was not a success, hence the map’s rarity. Harley (1965) p. 63; Rodgers (1972) 439; this edition not in Sharp (1929); Worms & Baynton-Williams (2011).