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The English cartographer Robert Morden

ROBERT MORDEN

A popular series of county maps illustrating Camden's Britannia for many editions

1695 - Two series of county maps of England and one of Wales.
Also Playing Card maps.

Robert Morden was an English publisher, bookseller, mapseller, cartographer, globe and instrument maker. He worked in London at the Atlas in New Cheapside and at the Atlas in Cornhill from 1675 to 1703. His output in cartographical works was quite large and varied. It included geographical playing cards, large scale maps in a number of sheets, the most important being a 12 sheet plan of London by William Morgan.

He is probably best known for his series of county maps in Camden's Britannia. This work had last been published in 1637 and illustrated with county maps by William Hole and William Kip. The new edition was published in 1695 by Edmund Gibson, Bishop of Lincoln, printed by F. Collins for Abel Swalle at the West end of St. Paul's Church yard and for Awnsham and John Churchill at the Black Swan in Paternoster Row.

Gibson in the preface describes how the maps were prepared.

The Maps are all new engraved, either according to Surveys never before published, or according to such as have been made and printed since Saxton and Speed. Where actual Surveys could be had, the were purchased at any rate; and for the rest, one of the best Copies exant was sent to some of the most knowing Gentlemen in each County; with a request to supply the defects, rectified the positions, and correct the false spellings. An that nothing might be wanting to render them as complete and accurate as might be, this whole business was committed to MR. ROBERT MORDEN, a person of known abilities in these matters, who took care to revise them, to see the slips of the Engraver mended, and the corrections, returned out of the several Counties duly inserted. Upon the whole, we need not scruple to affirm, that they are much the fairest and most correct of any that have yet appeared.

There were four editions of Camden's Britannia illustrated with the county maps by Robert Morden.

1695. Paper thinner than the later editions. Margins small and cropping to the images is seen often.

1722. Thicker paper than the 1695 edition and wider blank margins. Most specimens I have seen have a watermark of a horse within a circle.

1753.

1772. Impressions a bit lighter. Most specimens I have seen have had wide blank margins.

Morden later produced in 1701 a series of smaller county maps often known as Miniature Mordens. These appeared in The New Description and State of England published jointly with Thomas Cockeril and Ralph Smith. There were further editions of these maps until 1738.

Stacks Image 3528
Stacks Image 3531

List of Maps in Camden's Britannia

Stacks Image 3540
  • England
  • Roman Britain
  • Saxon Britain
  • Cornwall
  • Devonshire
  • Dorsetshire
  • Somersetshire
  • Wiltshire
  • Hampshire
  • Berkshire
  • Surrey
  • Sussex
  • Kent
  • Gloucestershire
  • Oxfordshire
  • Buckinghamshire
  • Bedfordshire
  • Hertfordshire
  • Middlesex
  • Essex
  • Suffolk
  • Norfolk
  • Cambridgeshire
  • Huntingdonshire
  • Northamptonshire
  • Leicestershire
  • Rutlandshire
  • Lincolnshire
  • Nottinghamshire
  • Derbyshire
  • Warwickshire
  • Worcestershire
  • Staffordshire
  • Shropshire
  • Cheshire
  • Herefordshire
  • South Wales
  • Monmouthshire
  • North Wales (Decorative cartouche on the 1695 edition map, replaced by a simple box on later editions of the atlas)
  • Yorkshire West Riding
  • Yorkshire East Riding
  • Yorkshire North Riding
  • Durham
  • Lancashire
  • Westmorland
  • 46 Cumberland
  • 47 Northumberland
  • 48 Scotland (Map of the whole country in the 1695 edition. Replaced by separate maps of North and South Scotland in later editions.)
  • 49 Ireland
  • 50 The Smaller Islands in the British Ocean

Illustrations

  •  Map of Devonshire by Rober Morden

    Devon

  •  Map of Shropshire by Robert Morden

    Shropshire

  •  Map of North Riding of Yorshire by Robert Morden

    North Riding of Yorkshire

Titlepages

  •  Robert Morden 1701 Titlepage

    Robert Morden 1701 Titlepage

AN ANTIQUE MAP OR PRINT MAKES THE PERFECT GIFT

RICHARD NICHOLSON of CHESTER

Stoneydale
Pepper Street
Christleton
Chester
CH3 7AG

Telephone
01244 336004

International
44 1244 336004

email:
richard@antiquemapscom

Richard Nicholson

I have been buying and selling antique maps since the early 1960's during which time I had a gallery in Watergate Street, Chester for 30 years. I am now able to offer through my websites a personal service to map and print collectors.

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