Category Archives: Maps

Item of the Day: Cary’s New and Correct English Atlas (1793)

Full Title: Cary’s New and Correct English Atlas: Being a New Set of County Maps from Actual Surveys. Exhibiting All the Direct & Principal Cross Roads, cities, Towns, and most considerable Villages, Parks, Rivers, Navigable Canals &c. Preceded by a General Map of South Britain, Shewing the Connexion of one Map with another. Also A General Description of each County, and Directions for the junction of Roads from one County to Another. London: Printed for John Cary, engraver & Map-seller, No. 181, near Norfolk Street, Strand, Published as the Act directs Jany. 1st, 1793.


For the more ready application of the Turnpike Roads given in this work, it is to be observed, that they are connected on the Maps from one country to another by reference letters at the extremity of each Map, unless adjacent places belonging to the adjoining county are given to each, so as to answer the same purpose of connecting by affording a similar reference.

The Route to London is also particularly described by London Road, or to London being added to such roads as lead to the Metropolis, so, on the contrary, may be traced the road from London to any distant place, being vice versa of the foregoing rule, and which, it is presumed, will answer the purpose intended, that of rendering a route, however detached in separate Maps, as easy to trace as if wholly connected.


The liberal encouragement which the Public are always ready in shewing to works where utility and improvement have been a principal object, induced the Proprietor to undertake the present Publication, full of the idea that his labour, in proportion to its merit, would find its reward: possessed of that opinion, he determined that no exertion on his part should be wanting to render the ENGLISH ATLAS as complete as the size of it could possible admit: that it is more so than any other work of this kind now extant, he thinks himself warranted in asserting: from having recurse to better materials than hitherto used for a work of this nature. The kind encouragement already shewn to this publication, by a very numerous and respectable subscription, has been a flattering testimony of the approbation of the Public, to whom the Proprietor begs leave to tender his sincerest acknowledgments for the partiality they have shewn him.

Added to the Descriptions of the Counties, the Directions for the Junction of the Roads (which was all that was at first intended to accompany the Maps) a complete Alphabetical List of the Market Towns is given, with the Days on which their Markets are held, and their distance from the metropolis; to which is subjoined, a Correct List of all the Post and Sub-Post Towns, with the Receiving Houses under each, throughout England and Wales; shewing the Rates of Postage, the Time of Arrival of the Post in the Country, and its Dispatch for London. –For which Information, as well as other Material Assistance in the completion of this work, the Proprietor is indebted to the liberal permission he was honoured with by the Right Hon. the Post-Masters-General, to resort to such official documents as enable him to vouch for the correctness and accuracy of these important articles.

Sanctioned by the kind protection the Public have shewn him, he presumes to offer to their notice a large MAP of ENGLAND and WALES, upon a scale of five miles to an inch, a size which enables him to lay down every Parish, (those excepted which are situated in large Towns) with the principal Gentlemen’s Seats, Roads, Rivers, and Navigable Canals, as well as other useful matter; and a particular attention will be paid to the Orthography of this Map, a circumstance so frequently complained of, (owing to the difference of pronunciation from the locality of situation) and which experience only can obviate.

N.B. A Specimen of the Work may be seen at J. Cary’s, Strand.




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Filed under 1790's, Atlas, England, Geography, Great Britain, London, Maps, Posted by Caroline Fuchs

Item of the Day: Dampier’s Voyage to New Holland (1699)

Full Title:

A Voyage to New Holland, &c. In the Year, 1699. Wherein are described, The Canary-Islands, the Isles of Mayo and St. Jago. The Bay of All Saints, with the Forts and Town of Bahia in Brasil. Cape Salvadore. The Winds of the Brasilian Coast. Abrohlo-Shoals. A Table of all the Variations observ’d in this Voyage. Occurrences near the Cape of Good Hope. The Course to New Holland. Shark’s Bay. The Isles and Coast, &c. of New Holland. Their Inhabitants, Manners, Customs, Trade, &c. Their Harbours, Soil, Beasts, Birds, Fish, &c. Trees, Plants, Fruits, &c. Illustrated with several Maps and Draughts, also divers Birds, Fishes, and Plants, not found in this part of the World, Curiously Ingraven on Copper-Plates. Vol. III. By Captain William Dampier. London: Printed for James Knapton, at the Crown in St. Paul’s Church-yard, 1703.

The Preface.

The favourable Reception my two former Volumes of Voyages and Descriptions have already met with in the World, gives me Reason to hope, That notwithstanding the Objections which have been raised against me by prejudiced Persons, this Third Volume likewise may in some measure be acceptable to Candid and Impartial Readers, who are curious to know the Nature of the Inhabitants, Animals, Plants, Soil, &c. in those distant Countries, which have either seldom or not at all been visited by any Europeans.  

It has almost always been the Fate of those who have made new Discoveries, to be disesteemed and slightly spoken of, by such as either have had no true Relish and Value for the Things themselves that are discovered, or have had some Prejudice against the Persons by whom the Discoveries were made. It would be vain therefore and unreasonable in me to expect to escape the Censure of all, or to hope for better Treatment than far Worthier Persons have met with before me. But this Satisfaction I am sure of having, that the Things themselves in the Discovery of which I have been imployed, are most worthy of our Diligentest Search and Inquiry; being the various and wonderful Works of God in different parts of the World: And however unfit a Person I may be in other respects to have undertaken this Task, yet at least I have given a faithful Account, and have found some Things undiscovered by any before, and which may at least be some Assistance and Direction to better qualified Persons who shall come after me.

It has been Objected against me by some, that my Accounts and Descriptions of Things are dry and jejune, not filled with variety of pleasant Matter, to divert and gratify the Curious Reader. How far this is true, I must leave the World to judge. But if I have been exactly and strictly careful to give only True Relations and Descriptions of Things (as I am sure I have;) and if my Descriptions be such as may be of use not only to my self (which I have already in good measure experienced) but also to others in future Voyages; and likewise to such Readers at home as are more desirous of a Plain and Just Account of the true Nature and State of the Things described, than of a Polite and Rhetorical Narrative: I hope all the Defects in my Stile, will meet with an easy and ready Pardon.

Others have taxed me with borrowing from other Men’s Journals; and with Insufficiency, as if I was not my self the Author of what I write, but published Things digested and drawn up by others. As to the first Part of this Objection, I assure the Reader, I have taken nothing from any Man without mentioning his Name, except some very few Relations and particular Observations received from credible Persons who desired not to be named; and these I have always expressly distinguished in my Books, from what I relate as of my own observing. And as to the latter; I think it so far from being a Diminution to one of my Education and Employment, to have what I write, Revised and Corrected by Friends, that on the contrary, the best and most eminent Authors are not ashamed to own the same Thing, and look upon it as an Advantage.   

Lastly, I know there are some who are apt to slight my Accounts and Descriptions of Things, as if it was an easie Matter and of little or no Difficulty to do all that I have done, to visit little more than the Coasts of unknown Countries, and make short and imperfect Observations of Things only near the Shore. But whoever is experienced in these Matters, or considers Things impartially, will be of a very different Opinion. And any one who is sensible, how backward and refractory the Seamen are apt to be in long Voyages when they know not whither they are going, how ignorant they are of the Nature of the Winds and the shifting Seasons of the Monsoons, and how little even the Officers themselves generally are skilled in the Variation of the Needle and the Use of the Azimuth Compass; besides the Hazard of all outward Accidents in strange and unknown Seas: Any one, I say, who is sensible of these Difficulties, will be much more pleased at the Discoveries and Observations I have been able to make, than displeased with me that I did not make more.

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Filed under 1690's, Explorations, Geography, Maps, Posted by Matthew Williams, Travel

Item of the Day: Love’s Surveying (1768)

Full Title:

GEODASIA: Or, The Art of Surveying and Measuring Land made Easy. Shewing by Plain and Practical Rules, to Survey, Protract, Cast up, Reduce or Divide and Piece of Land whatsoever; with new Tables for the Ease of the Surveyor in Reducing the Measures of the Land. Moreover, A more Facile and Sure Way of Surveying by the Chain, than has hitherto been taught. As Also, to lay out New Lands in America, or elsewhere: And how to make a Perfect Map of a River’s Mouth or Harbour; with several other Things never yet Published in our Language.  By John Love. The Eighth Edition. Corrected and Improved by Samuel Clark. London: Printed for J. Rivington, St. Paul’s Church-Yard; G. Keith, in Gracechurch-Street; and Robinson and Roberts, in Paternoster-Row. MDCCLXVIII.

The Preface to the Reader.

It would be ridiculous, to go about to praise an art that all mankind know they cannot live peaceably without, and is near hand as ancient (no doubt on it) as the world: for how could men set down to plant, without knowing some distinctions and bounds of their land? But (necessity being the mother of invention) we find the Egyptians, by reason of the Nyle’s overflowing, which either washed away all their bound-marks, or covered them over with mud, brought to this measuring of land first into art, and honoured much the posessors of it. The usefulness, as well as the pleasant and delightful study, and wholesome exercise thereof, tempted so many to apply themselves thereto, that at length in Egypt (as in Bermudas) every rustic could measure his own land.

From Egypt, this art was brought into Greece by Thales, and was for a long time called Geometry; but that being too comprehensive a name for the measurance of superficies only, it was afterwards called Geodaesia; and what honor it still has continued to have among the antients, needs no better proof than Plato. And not only Plato, but most, if not all the learned men of those times, refused to admit any into their schools, that had not been first entered in the mathematics, especially geometry and arithmetic. And we may see, the great monuments of learning built on these foundations continuing unshaken to this day, sufficently demonstrate the wisdom of the designers in chusing [sic] geometry fro their ground-plot.

Since which, the Romans have had such an opinion of this sort of learning, that they concluded that man to be incapable of commanding a legion, that did not possess at least so much geometry, as to know how to measure a field. Nor did they indeed either respect priest or physician, that had not some insight into the mathematics.

Nor can we complain of any failure of respect given to this excellent science by our modern worthies, many noblemen, clergymen, and gentlemen affecting the study thereof: so that we may safely say, not but unadvised men ever did, or do now speak evil of it.

Besides the many profits this art brings to man, it is a study so pleasant, and affords such wholesome and innocent exercise, that we seldom find a man that has once entered himself into the study of Geometry or Geodaesia, can ever after wholly lay it aside: so natural is it to the minds of men, so pleasingly insinuating, that the Pythagoreans thought the mathematics to be only a reminiscience [sic], or calling again to mind things formerly learned.

But no longer to light candles to see the sun be, let me come to my business, which is to speak something concerning the following book; and if you ask, why I write a book of this nature, since we have so many very good ones already in our own language? I answer, because I cannot find in those books many things, of great consequence, to be understood by the surveyor. I have seen young men in America so often at a loss, that their books would not help them forward; (particularly in Carolina,) about laying out lands, when a certain quantity of acres has been given to be laid out five or six times as broad as long. This I know is regarded as a mere trifle by a mathematician; yet to such as have no more of this learning, than to know how to measure a field, it seems a difficult question: and to what book of surveying shall they repair to be resolved?

Also concerning the Extraction of the Square Root; I wonder that it has been so much neglected by the teachers of this art, it being a rule of such absolute necessity for the surveyor to be acquainted with. I have taught it here as plainly as I could devise, and that by the best method now in use, using fewer figures, and being once well learned, charges the memory less than any other way.

Moreover, sounding the entrance of a river or harbour is a matter of great import, not only to seamen, but to all such as seamen live by, I have therefore done my endeavor to teach the young artist how to do it, and draw a fair draught thereof.

Many more things have I added, such as I thought to be new, and wanting; for which I refer you to the book itself.

As for method, I have chose that which I thought to be the easiest for a learner; advising him first to learn some arithmetic, and after, teaching him how to extract the square root. But I would not have any neophyte discouraged; for if he find the first chapter too hard for him, let him rather skip it, and go to the second and third chapters: those he will find so easy and delightful, that I am persuaded he will be encouraged to conquer the difficulty of learning that one rule in the first chapter…

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Filed under 1760's, Maps, Mathematics, Posted by Matthew Williams

Item of the Day: Dampier’s New Voyage Round the World (1697)

Full Title:

New voyage round the world. Describing particularly, the isthmus of America, several coasts and islands in the West Indies, the Isles of Cape Verd, the passage by Terra del Fuego, the South Sea coasts of Chili, Peru, and Mexico; the Isle of Guam on to the Ladrones, Mindanao, and other Philippine and East-India Islands near Cambodia, China, Formosa, Luconia, Celebes, &c. New Holland, Sumatra, Nicobar Isles; the Cape of Good Hope, and Santa Hellena. Their soil, rivers, harbours, plants, fruits, animals, and inhabitants. Their customs, religion, government, trade, &c. By William Dampier. The second edition with corrections. Includes dedicatory epistle, preface contents, introduction; ills. with 5 maps (4 fold); list of books sold by James Knapton. First published London, same year, 1697. Printed in London for James Knapton, at the Crown in St Paul’s Church-yard, 1697.

From “Mr. William Dampier’s Voyage Round the Terrestrial Globe, The Introduction”:

The Author’s Departure from England, and arrival in Jamaica. His first going over the Isthmus of America into the South Seas: his Coasting along Peru and Chili, and back again, to his parting with Captain Sharp near the Isle of Plata, in order to return over Land.

I First set out of England on this Voyage, at the beginning of the year 1679, in the Loyal Merchant of London, bound for Jamaica, Captain Knapman Commander. I went a Passenger, designing when I came thither, to go from thence to the Bay of Campeachy, in the Gulph of Mexico, to cut Log-wood: where in a former Voyage I had spent about three years in that employ; and so was well acquainted with the place and the work.

We sailed with a prosperous gale without any impediment, or remarkable passage in our Voyage: unless that when we came in sight of the Island Hispaniola, and were coasting along on the South side of it, by the little Isles of Vacca, or Ash, I observed [C]aptain Knapman was more vigilant than ordinary, keeping at a good distance off shore, for fear of coming too near those small low Islands, as he did once, in a voyage from England, about the year 1673, losing his Ship there, by the carelessness of his Mates. But we succeeded better; and arrived safe at Port Royal in Jamaica some time in April 1679, and went immediately ashore.

I had brought some goods with me from England which I intended to sell here, and stock my self with Run and Sugar, Saws, Axes, Hats, Stockings, Shoes, and such other Commodities, as I knew would sell among the Campeachy Log-wood Cutters. Accordingly I sold my English Cargo at Port Royal; but upon some maturer considerations of my intended Voyage to Campeachy, I changed my thoughts of that design, and continued at Jamaica all that year, in expectation of some other business.

I shall not trouble the Reader with my Observations at that Isle, so well known to English men; nor with the particulars of my own Affairs during my stay there. But in short, having there made a purchase of a small Estate in Dorsetshire, near my Native Country of Somerset, of one whose Title to it I was well assured of, I was just embarking my self for England, about Christmas, 1679, when one Mr Hobby invited me to go first a short Trading Voyage to the [c]ountry of the Moskito’s, of whom I shall speak in my first chapter. I was willing to get up some money before my return, having laid out what I had at Jamaica; so I sent the Writing of my new purchase along with the same friends whom I should have accompanied to England, and went on board Mr Hobby.

Soon after setting out we can to an anchor again in Negril Bay, at the West end of Jamaica; but finding there [C]aptain Coxon, Sawkins, Sharp, and other Privateers, Mr Hobby’s men all left him to go with them, upon an expedition they had contrived, leaving not one with him beside my self; and being thus left alone, after 3 or 4 days with Mr Hobby, I was the more easily perswaded to go with them too.

It was shortly after Christmas 1679 when we set out. The first Expedition was to Portobel; which being accomplished, it was resolved to march by Land over the Isthmus of Darien, upon some new Adventures in the South Seas. Accordingly on the 5th of April 1680, we went ashore on the Isthmus, near Golden Island, one of the Sambaloes, to the number of between 3 and 400 men, carrying with us such Provisions as were necessary, and Toys wherewith to gratify the Wild Indians, through whose [c]ountry we were to pass. In about nine days march we arrived at Santa Maria, and took it, and after a stay there of about three days, we went on to the South Sea [c]oast and there embarked our selves in such [c]anoas, and Periago’s us our Indian friends furnished us withal. We were in sight of Panama by the 23rd of April, and having in vain attempted Puebla Nova, before which Sawkins, then Commander in Chief, and others, were kill’d, we made some stay at the Neighbouring Isles of Quibo.

Here we resolved to change our course, and stand away to the Southward for the Coast of Peru. Accordingly we left the Keys or Isles of Quibo the 6th of June, and spent the rest of the year in that Southern course; for touching at the Isles of Gogonia and Plata, we came to Ylo, a small town on the Coast of Peru, and took it. This was in October, and in November we went thence to Coquimbo on the same Coast, and about Christmas were got as far as the Isle of John Fernando, which was the farthest of our Course to the Southward.

After Christmas we went back again to the Northward, having a design upon Arica, a strong Town advantageously situated in the hollow of the Elbow, or bending of the Peruvian Coast. But being there repulsed with great loss, we continued our course Northward, till by the middle of April we were come in sight of the Isle of Plata, a little to the Southward of the Equinoctial Line.

I have related this part of my Voyage thus summarily and concisely, as well because the World hath Accounts of it already, in the relations that Mr Ringrose and others have given of Captain Sharp’s Expedition, who was made chief Commander, upon Sawkins’s being kill’d: as also, because in the prosecution of this Voyage I shall come to speak of these parts again, upon occasion of my going the second time into the South Seas: and shall there describe at large the places both of the North, and South America, as they occurred to me. And for this reason, that I might avoid needless Repetitions, and hasten to such particulars, as the Publick hath hitherto had no account of, I have chosen to comprize the Relation of my Voyage hitherto, in this short compass, and place it as an Introduction before the rest, that the Reader may the better perceive where I mean to begin to be Particular; for there I have plac’d the Title of my first Chapter.

All therefore that I have to add to the Introduction is this: That while we lay at the Isle of John Fernando, Captain Sharp was, by general consent, displaed from being Commander; the Company being not satisfied either with his Courage or Behaviour. In his stead, Captain Watling was advanced: but he being killed shortly after before Arica, we were without a Commander during all the rest of our return towards Plata. Now Watling being killed, a great number of the meaner sort began to be as earnest for choosing Captain Sharp again into the vacancy, as before they had been as forward as any to turn him out: And on the other side, the abler and moreexperienced men, being altogether dissatisfied with Sharp’s former Conduct, would by no means consent to have him chosen. In short, by that time we were come in sight of the Island Plata, the difference between the Contending Parties was grown so high, that they resolved to part Companies; having first made an Agreement, that which Party soever should, upon Polling, appear to have the Majority, they should keep the Ship: And the other should content themselves with the Lanch or Long-boat, and Canoas, and return back over the Isthmus, or go to seek their fortune otherways, as they would.

Accordingly we put it to a Vote; and upon dividing [C]aptain Sharp’s party carried it. I, who had never been pleased with his management, though I had hitherto kept my mind to my self, now declared my self on the other side of those that were Out-voted; and according to our agreement, we took our shares of such Necessaries, as were fit to carry over Land with us, (for that was our Resolution:) and so prepared for our Departure.

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Filed under 1690's, Geography, Maps, Posted by Carrie Shanafelt, Travel

Item of the Day: Geographia Antiqua Delineata (1775)

Full Title: Geographia Antiqua Delineata; or, Antient Geography, Exhibited in a Set of Thirty-one Maps: Comprehending all the Several States of Greece, and the Numerous Parts of the Roman Empire, contained in the Greek and Latin Classicks, viz. Homer, Virgil, Ovid, Lucan, Eutropius, Corn. Nepos, Justin, Quin. Curtius, Sallust, Livy, Caesar, Plutarch, Xenophon, Herodotus, and Others. To which is added, A Map of the Places Mentioned in the Old and New Testament. The Whole Containing Several Hundred Places not laid down in Former Publications, with their Numerous Errors rectified. Designed for use of Schools. By Sol. Bolton; and engraved by the late Mr. Thomas Jefferys, Geographer to the King. London: Printed for R. Sayer, and J. Bennett, map and print sellers, 1775.


The utility of the following collection of Maps, is too obvious to need any apology for their appearance, as the great omissions and considerable errors in all former collections for the use of Students, render it absolutely necessary to have a complete and correct set published; which was in great forwardness before the death of the Editor, since when it has been finished with as great care and exactness as their size will admit of. They are designed chiefly for the Students of Universities, and gentlemen of learned academies, to whom, their time being employed in literature with Greek and Latin authors, a correct set of Antient Maps cannot but be entertaining, useful, and improving.

All gentlemen who make their studies regular, will endeavour to be masters of the ancient geography, at the same time they study the modern; because the present system of maps and charts can be imperfectly useful without a collection of Antient ones to explain, not only what we read in the Jewish history, and Bible geopgaphy, but the multitude of places, and remarkable events, that we observe in perusing the celebrated works of Greek and Roman authors; and consequently Justin, Nepos, Sallust, Caesar, and Livy, have been, in our schools, taught with as much success as Terence, Virgil, Horace, and Cicero. And notwithstanding care has been taken to explain, by notes, in school-books, the names of hills, rivers, and cities; pointing out what kingdom or province they are situated in, yet for want of draughts to describe these kingdoms, and their divisions into provinces, neither the distance nor the respective situations of the places want of which distinction great confusion must necessarily arise in the mind. For which reason, to all the valuable editions of such schools-book as have wanted them, maps have been added; but as these editions have been necessarily held at so great a price, as not to be easily obtained for the youth at schools, for whom it was needful to print editions of a cheaper sort, so consequently in them these helps were omitted; to supply which this collection of Maps of the Antient World, and of such parts of it chiefly as are mentioned in the Classic Authors, is designed; wherein are described the chief citi4es, towns, rivers, and mountains, in as perfect a manner as so confined a size will admit; whereby the scholar will be able, by inspection, to see their situations, and, observing that each degree in the scale on the sides of the maps, contains about 60 miles, he may, in some tolerable manner, judge of their distance from each other.


  1. A Map of the World, as known to the Antients.
  2. The World, with Greece and Italy, according to Justin.
  3. Ancient Greece, in its whole Extent.
  4. Hellas, or Greece, with the Kingdom of Croefus, according to Herodotus.
  5. The Roman Empire, at its Beginning, according to Florus.
  6. The Roman Empire in its growing State, according to Florus.
  7. The Roman Empire, according to the Commentaries of Caesar.
  8. The Roman Empire, according to Lucan.
  9. The Roman Empire at its highest State, in the Reign of Trajan.
  10. The conquests made my Pyrrhus, King of Epirus, according to Plutarch, ante Christum 280.
  11. The Expedition of Hannibal into Italy, ante Christum 216.
  12. A View of the Civil War between Pompey and Caesar.
  13. The African War, according to Julius Caesar.
  14. Syria, and Assyria, according to Ptolemy and others.
  15. The Persian Empire under Cyrus the Great.
  16. The Persian Empire, divided by Darius Hystaspis into 20 Provinces.
  17. The Return of so many of the 10,000 Greeks as survived the Battle of Cunaxa, according to Xenophon, ante Christum 400.
  18. The several Expeditions of Alexander the Great, according to Q. Curtius, Arrian, and others, ante Christum 330.
  19. The Dominions that were subdued by Demetrius Poliorcester, whose father, Antigonus, was killed at the Battle of Ipsus, in Phrygia.
  20. The Compass of the Trojan war, according to Dirtys and Dares, ante Christum 1184.
  21. The Navigation of Ulysses, according to Homer, from his Birthplace Ithaca, to the Siege of Troy.
  22. The Navigation of Aeneas from Troy to Rome, according to Dionysius.
  23. The Navigation of Aeneas, according to Virgil.
  24. The Expeditions of Agesilaus, King of Sparta, according to Xenophon.
  25. Antient Gaul, according to Caesar.
  26. Boeetica, or the South Part of Spain, as described by Caesar, in the Spanish War.
  27. Places mentioned in the Church History of Eusebius.
  28. Lybia, according to Herodotus.
  29. Egypt, according to Herodotus.
  30. The Journeyings of the Israelites mentioned in the Mosaick History. Also the Land of Canaan, shewing the Divisions of the Twelve Tribes of Israel, and the most remarkable Places in Joshua and Judges.
  31. The Extent of St. Paul’s Travels, mentioned in the New Testaments.

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Filed under 1770's, Maps, Posted by Caroline Fuchs

Item of the Day: Guthrie’s Geographical Grammar (1786)

Full Title: New system of modern geography: or, a geographical, historical, and commercial grammar; and present state of the several kingdoms of the world. Containing, I. The figures, motions, and distances of the planets, according to the Newtonian system and the latest observations. II. A general view of the earth considered as a planet; with several useful geographical definitions and problems. III. The grand divisions of the globe into land and water, continents and islands. IV. The situation and extent of empires, kingdoms, states, provinces, and colonies. V. Their climates, air, soil, vegetable productions, metals, minerals, natural curiosities, seas, rivers, bays, capes, promontories, and lakes. VI. The birds and beasts peculiar to each country. VII. Observations on the changes that have been any where observed upon the face of nature since the most early periods of history. VIII. The history and origin of nations; their forms of government, religion, laws, revenues, taxes, naval and military strength. IX. The genius manners, customs, and habits of the people. X. Their language, learning, arts, sciences, manufactures, and commerce. XI. The chief cities, structures, ruins, and artificial curiosities. XII. The longitude, latitude, bearings, and distances of principal places from London. To which are added, I. A geographical index, with the names and places alphabetically arranged. II. A table of the coins of all nations, and their value in English money. III. A chronological table of remarkable events from the creation to the present time. By William Guthrie, Esq. The astronomical part by James Ferguson, F.R.S. Third edition, with great addtions and improvements, and a copious index, illustratd with a set of large and accurate maps. London: Printed for C. Dilly, and G. G. J. and J. Robinson, 1786.

[In his Travelling Memorandums, Lord Gardenstone makes the following observation regarding this work of William Guthrie: “Gurthrie’s geographical grammar is the best book of its kind so far as I know. It is concise, accurate, and instructive. –And I think it is one very proper Vade mecum for travellers.”]


To a man sincerely interested in the welfare of society and of his coutnry, it must be particularly agreeabe to reflect on the rapid progress, and general diffusion of learning and civility, which, within the present age, have taken place in Great Britain. Whatever may be the cae in some other kingdoms of Europe, we, in this island, may boast of our superiority to those illiberal prejudices, which not only cramp the genius, but sour the temper of man, and disturb all the agreeable intercourse of society. Among us, learning is no longer confined within the schools of the philosophers, or the courts of the great; but, like all the greatest advantages which Heaven has bestowed on mankin, it is become as universal as it is useful.This general diffusion of knowledge is one effect of that happy constitution of government, which, towards the close of the last century, was confirmed to us, and which constitutes the peculiar glory of this nation. In other countries, the great body of the people possess little wealth, have little power, and consequently meet with little respect; in Great Britain the people are opulent, have great influence, and claim, of course, a proper share of attention. To their improvement, therefore, men of letters have lately directed their studies; as the great body of people, no less than the dignified, the learned, or the wealthy few, have an acknowledged title to be amused and instructed. Books have been divested of the terms of the schools, reduced from that size which suited only the purses of the rich, and the avocations of the studious; and adapted to persons of more ordinary fortunes, whose attachment to other pursuits admitted of little leisure for those of knowledge. It is to books of this kind, more than to the works of our Bacons, our Lockes, and our Newtons, that the generality of our countrymen owe that superior improvement, which distinguishes them from the lower ranks of men in all other countries. To promote and advance this improvement, is the principal design of our present undertaking. No subject appears more interesting than that we have chosen, and none seems capable of being handled in a manner that may render it more generally useful.

The knowledge of the world, and of its inhabitants, though not the sublimest pursuit of mankind, it must be allowed, is that which most nearly interests them, and to which their abilities are best adapted. And Books of Geography, which describe the situation, extent, foil , and productions of kingdoms; the genius, manners, religion, government, commerce, sciences, and arts of all the inhabitants upon earth, promise the best assistance for attaining this knowledge. . . .

Next to Great Britain, we have been most particular upon the other states of Europe; and always in proportion as they present us with the largest field of useful reflection. By comparing together our accounts of the European nations, an important system of practical knowledge is inculcated; and a thousand arguments will appear in favour of a free government, religious toleration, and an extended, unrestrained commerce.

Europe having occupied so large a part of our volume, Asia next claims our attention; which, however, though in some respects the most famous quarter of the world, offers, when compared to Europe, extremely little of our entertainment or instruction. In Asia, a strong attachment to ancient customs, and the weight of tyrannical power, bear down the active genius of the inhabitants, and prevent that variety in manners and character, which distinguishes the European nations.

In Africa, the human mind seems degraded below its natural state. To dwell long upon the manners of this country, a country immersed in rudeness and barbarity, besides that I could afford little instruction, would be disgusting to every lover of mankind. Add to this, the inhabitants of Africa, deprived of all arts and sciences, without which the human mind remains torpid and inactive, discover no great variety in manners or character. A gloomy sameness almost every where prevails; and the trifling distinctions which are discovered among them, seem rather to arise from an excess of brutality on the one hand, than from any perceptible approaches towards refinements on the other. But though these quarter of the globe are treated less extensively than Europe, there is no district of them, however barren or savage, entirely omitted.

America, whether considered as an immense continent, inhabited by an endless variety of different people, or as a country intimately connected with Europe by the ties of commerce and government, deserves very particular attentions. The bold discovery, and barbarous conquest of this New World, and the manners and prejudices of the original inhabitants, are objects, which, together with the description of the country, deservedly occupy no small share of this performance.

In treating of such a variety of subjects, some less obvious particulars, no doubt, must escape our notice. But if our general plan be good, and the outlines and chief figures sketched with truth and judgment, the candour of the learned, we hope, will excuse imperfections which are unavoidable in a work of this extensive kind. . . .

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Filed under 1780's, Geography, Maps, Posted by Caroline Fuchs, Travel

Item of the Day: Part of London shewing the Improvements propos’d about the Mansion-House, Royal-Exchange, Moor-Fields, &c. (1766)

Full Title: London and Westminster Improved, Illustrated by Plans. To which is prefixed, A Discourse on Publick Magnificence; with Observations on the State of Arts and Artists in this Kingdom, wherein the Study of Polite Arts is recommended as necessary to a liberal Education: Concluded by Some Proposals relative to Places not laid down in the Plans. By John Gwynn. London: Printed for the author, 1766.

[One of the four engraved and hand-colored maps showing the proposed improvements to Westminster and London found in Gwynn’s London and Westminster, Improved.]

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Filed under 1760's, London, Maps, Posted by Caroline Fuchs

Item of the Day: Gordon’s Geographical Grammar (1719)

Full Title:

Geography Anatomizd: or, the Geographical Grammar. Being a Short and Exact Analysis of the Whole Body of Modern Geography, After a New and Curious Method, Comprehending, I. A General View of the Terraqueous Globe. Being a Compendious System of the true Fundamentals of Geography; Digested into various Definitions, Problems, Theorems, and Paradoxes: With a Transient Survey of the Surface of the Earthly Ball, as it consists of Land and Water. II. A Particular View of the Terraqueous Globe. Being a clear and pleasant Prospect of all Remarkable Countries upon the Face of the whole Earth; shewing their Situation, Extent, Division, Subdivision, Cities, Chief Towns, Name, Air, Soil, Commodities, Rarities, Archbishopricks, Bishopricks, Universities, Manners, Languages, Government, Arms, Religion. Collected from the Best Authors , and Illustrated with Divers Maps. The Eighth Edition, Corrected and Somewhat Enlarg’d. By Pat. Gordon, M.A. F. R. S.

Written by Patrick Gordon. Contains 15 folded maps. Printed for J. and B. Sprint, and S. Burroughs, in Little Britain; R. Knaplock and D. Midwinter in St. Paul’s, and R. Cruttenden in Cheapside, 1719.

From the Preface:

My principal Design in publishing the following Treatise, is, To present the younger sort of our Nobility and Gentry, with a Compendious, Pleasant and Methodical Tract of MODERN GEOGRAPHY, that most useful Science, which highly deserves their Regard in a peculiar Manner. It be alledg’d, That the World is already overstock’d with Composures of this Nature; I freely grant the Charge; but withal, Ill be bod to say, That there’s none as yet publish’d, which is not palpably Faulty, in one or more of these Three Respects. Either they are too Voluminous, and thereby Fright the Young Student from so much as ever attempting that Study: Or, Secondly, too Compendious, and thereby give him only a bare Superficial Knowledge of Things: Or finally, Confus’d (being writ without any due Order or Method) and so confound him before he is aware. But all these are carefully avoided in the following Treatise; for in framing of it, I’ve industriously endeavour’d, to make it observe a just Mean, between the Two Extreams of a large Volume and a narrow Compend. And as to the Method in which it now appears, the same is (I presume) so Plain and Natural, that I may safely refer the Trial thereof, to the Impartial Judgment of the Severest Critick.

From the Contents:

Part I. Giving a General View.

38 Geographical Definitions.
48 Geographical Problems.
41 Geographical Theorems.
39 Geographical Paradoxes.
Concerning Land and Water

Part II. Giving a Particular View, Comprehends,

Chap. I. Of EUROPE.
Scandinavia, containing Sweden, Denmark, Norway
Germany, divided into Lower Holland and Flanders and Upper Germany
Spain and Portugal
Turky in Europe as Hungary, Greece, Tartary, Danubian Provinces
European Islands as Britain (Scotland, England, and Wales) and Ireland

Chap. II. Of ASIA
Turky in Asia
The Asiatick Islands

Zaara, or the Desart
African Islands

New Spain
Nova Granada
Terra Canadensis
Terra Arctica
Terra Firma
Terra Magallanica
Terra Antarctica
The American Islands


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Filed under 1710's, Maps, Posted by Carrie Shanafelt

Item of the Day: Sketch of the Western Countries of Canada (1791)

(Click on map to enlarge.)


Voyages and Travels of an Indian Interpreter and Trader, Describing the Manners and Customs of the North American Indians; with an Account of the Posts Situated on the River Saint Laurence, Lake Ontario, &c. To which is added, a Vocabulary of the Chippeway Language. Names of Furs and Skins, in English and French. A List of Words in the Iroquois, Mohegan, Shawanee, and Esquimeaux Tongues, and a Table, shewing the Analogy between the Algonkin and Chippeway Lanugages. By J. Long.

Printed in London for the author; and sold by Robson, Bond-street; Debrett, Piccadilly; T. and J. Egerton, Charing-cross; White and Son, Fleet-street; Sewell, Cornhill; Edwards, Pall-Mall; and Messrs. Taylors, Holborn, London; Fletcher, Oxford; and Bull, Bath, 1791.

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Filed under 1790's, American Indians, Language, Maps, Posted by Carrie Shanafelt, Travel

Item of the Day: Map of Pozzoli (1708)

Click the map to enlarge.

Hic Jacent Puteolorum Bajarum, Miseni Cumarium, Rudera vix dignoscenda Imperiosa Fortvnæ Levitas, Sacra Profanis impic miscens, Delubra Numinum. Principumque Domas, Statuas, Astria, Sepulchra, Ciros Arcus Theatra Thermas Lucos, Vireta, Regina quondam Italiæ, Decus Deliciasque Nefande perdidit. Neque (Ferox) ipsis Elysorum Beatis Sedibus indulsit… The present Map of this most Curious and renowned Tract of Land has been sent from Naples to London by M. Bulifon in 1708 as being newly corrected by himself…

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Filed under 1700's, Maps, Posted by Carrie Shanafelt