Chorographia Britanniae. Or A Set of Maps of all the Counties in England and Wales: to which are prefix'd the following general Maps
Imprint: London, c.1749
Oblong octavo (165 x 195 mm.), half early calf, marbled paper boards, blind ruled, rebacked with gilt ruled compartments, gilt date and gilt calf title label, early wove endpapers. With engraved title, dedication, 7 tables, 6 general and 40 county maps, engraved throughout and in fine full early wash colour. With the last line of the title page imprint shaved as often the case.
RARE OBLONG QUARTO EXAMPLE. Thomas Badeslade (fl.1719-1745) was a surveyor and engineer who was involved in many schemes to improve the waterways. He was also an established author and in 1742 he had William Henry Toms (fl.1723-61) engrave a series of maps from his draughts and publish them as the Chorographia Britanniae. It is the first pocket size English county atlas published in the eighteenth century. It is surprising that it took so long considering the runaway success of the Britannia Depicta of 1720. The first edition of the atlas is found in four variants and was on sale for only a short period of time. Within two or three months a new edition was published. This is an example of the final edition of the atlas. Usually the oblong quarto examples found are from the first issues. I cannot recall seeing a later edition clearly bound so. All of the plates were redated in the imprint to 1742, in that year. In 1745 Toms sold part of his copyright to Charles Hitch and for the edition of that year two new plates numbered 49 and 50 bearing details of the rates for Hackney coaches, chairmen and watermen. Around 1746 John Clark joined Hitch and Toms in owning the work but shortly after his share had come into the hands of William Johnston before December 1748 when Johnston placed an advert in the General Evening Post for it. Clark died in April 1746 and his business was continued by his wife Anne. It appears Johnston acquired the business premises of the Golden Ball as well as much of the stock from his widow. However not everything, she retained her interest in the London Magazine. The exact date of issue is not known. Hodson states that William Toms was still in Holborn in December 1748 and was at the present address by July 1750. By May of 1755 he had moved again. Hodson speculates therefore a date early in this period as Johnston would have been eager to get an edition published. Two similar atlases were being published at the time, the Geographia Magnae Britanniae by Thomas Osborne, 1748, and the Small English Atlas by Thomas Kitchin and Thomas Jefferys. Provenance: private English collection. Beresiner (1983) pp. 49-50; Chubb (1927) 174; ESTC N15269; Hodson (1984-97) no. 193 (atlas O p. 164); Shirley (2004) T.Bad 1e; Worms & Baynton-Williams (2011).