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Unusual 18th century bird's eye view maps by George Bickham

RICHARD NICHOLSON of CHESTER

A WORLD OF ANTIQUE MAPS AND PRINTS

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THE CARTOGRAPHER

GEORGE BICKHAM

A unique series of 18th century Bird's Eye Views of the Counties

18th century gentleman
Titlepage to George Bickham's British Monarchy 1743
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The Bickam family were a family of engravers printers, publishers an bookseller working in London in the 18th century

  • George Bickham senior 1684 - 1758. Studied engraving under John Sturt. He lived and worked in James Street, Burnhill Fields and Fetherstone Street, Burnhill Fields
  • George Bickham junior c.1706 - 1771

When Michael Drayton's Poly-Olbion was published in 1612 it introduced us to a completely new and unique design for county maps. We have to wait for over 100 years for such a break in tradition to appear again when George Bickham published The British Monarchy: Or, a new chronographical description of all the dominions subject to the King of Great Britain.. The work was first published in parts and would eventually contain 188 copperplates including 5 general maps and 43 maps of the English counties plus a map of North Wales and another of South Wales.
The maps portray each English county in a most curious way. A view from the air as if by some magical 18th century drone. But more simply they are referred to as Birds Eye Views.

The map plates were engraved by George Bickham junior and and some are dated from 1750 to 1754 so it is unlikely that the complete edition was published before 1754.

Gallery - 1754 Edition

18th century gentleman
18th century gentleman
18th century gentleman
  •  Titlepage to Bickham's Monarchy dated 1743

    Titlepage to Bickham's Monarchy dated 1743

  •  Map of the British Isles from Bickham's Monarchy 1743

    Map of the British Isles from Bickham's Monarchy 1743

  •  Map of Ireland by George Bickham 1743

    Map of Ireland by George Bickham 1743

  •  Mp of Scotlnd by George Bickham 1743

    Mp of Scotlnd by George Bickham 1743

  •  Birds eye map of England and Wales by George Bickham 1754

    Birds eye map of England and Wales by George Bickham 1754

  •  Birds eye map of Cornwall by George Bickham 1754

    Birds eye map of Cornwall by George Bickham 1754

  •  Birds eye map of Devonshire by George Bickham 1754

    Birds eye map of Devonshire by George Bickham 1754

  •  Birds eye view map of Dorsetshire by George Bickham 1754

    Birds eye view map of Dorsetshire by George Bickham 1754

  •  Birds eye view map of Somersetshire by George Bickham 1754

    Birds eye view map of Somersetshire by George Bickham 1754

  •  Birds eye view map of Wiltshire by George Bickham 1754

    Birds eye view map of Wiltshire by George Bickham 1754

  •  Birds eye view map of Hampshire by George Bickham 1754

    Birds eye view map of Hampshire by George Bickham 1754

  •  Birds eye view map of Berkshire by George Bickham 1754

    Birds eye view map of Berkshire by George Bickham 1754

  •  Birds eye view map of Surrey by George Bickham 1754

    Birds eye view map of Surrey by George Bickham 1754

  •  Birds eye view map of Sussex by George Bickham 1754

    Birds eye view map of Sussex by George Bickham 1754

  •  Birds eye view map of Kent by George Bickham 1754

    Birds eye view map of Kent by George Bickham 1754

  •  Birds eye view map of Gloucestershire by George Bickham 1754

    Birds eye view map of Gloucestershire by George Bickham 1754

  •  Birds eye view map of Oxfrodshire by George Bickham 1754

    Birds eye view map of Oxfrodshire by George Bickham 1754

  •  Birds eye view map of Buckinghamshire by George Bickham 1754

    Birds eye view map of Buckinghamshire by George Bickham 1754

  •  Birds eye view map of Bedfordshire by George Bickham 1754

    Birds eye view map of Bedfordshire by George Bickham 1754

  •  Birds eye view map of Hertfordshire by George Bickham 1754

    Birds eye view map of Hertfordshire by George Bickham 1754

  •  Birds eye view of Middlesex by George Bickham 1754

    Birds eye view of Middlesex by George Bickham 1754

  •  Birds eye view of Essex by George Bickham 1754

    Birds eye view of Essex by George Bickham 1754

  •  Birds eye view of Suffolk by George Bickham 1754

    Birds eye view of Suffolk by George Bickham 1754

  •  Birds eye view of Norfolk by George Bickham 1754

    Birds eye view of Norfolk by George Bickham 1754

  •  Birds eye view of Cambridgeshire by George Bickham 1754

    Birds eye view of Cambridgeshire by George Bickham 1754

  •  Birds eye view of Huntingdonshire by George Bickham 1754

    Birds eye view of Huntingdonshire by George Bickham 1754

  •  Birds eye view of Northamptonshire by George Bickham 1754

    Birds eye view of Northamptonshire by George Bickham 1754

  •  Birds eye view of Leicestershire by George Bickham 1754

    Birds eye view of Leicestershire by George Bickham 1754

  •  Birds eye view of Rutlandshire by George Bickham 1754

    Birds eye view of Rutlandshire by George Bickham 1754

  •  Birds eye view of Lincolnshire by George Bickham 1754

    Birds eye view of Lincolnshire by George Bickham 1754

  •  Birds eye view of Nottinghamshire by George Bickham 1754

    Birds eye view of Nottinghamshire by George Bickham 1754

  •  Birds eye view of Derbyshire by George Bickham 1754

    Birds eye view of Derbyshire by George Bickham 1754

  •  Birds eye view of Warwickshire by George Bickham 1754

    Birds eye view of Warwickshire by George Bickham 1754

  •  Birds eye view of Worcestershire by George Bickham 1754

    Birds eye view of Worcestershire by George Bickham 1754

  •  Birds eye view of Staffordshire by George Bickham 1754

    Birds eye view of Staffordshire by George Bickham 1754

  •  Birds eye view of Shropshire by George Bickham 1754

    Birds eye view of Shropshire by George Bickham 1754

  •  Birds eye view of Cheshire by George Bickham 1754

    Birds eye view of Cheshire by George Bickham 1754

  •  Birds eye view of Herefordshire by George Bickham 1754

    Birds eye view of Herefordshire by George Bickham 1754

  •  Birds eye view of Monmouthshire by George Bickham 1754

    Birds eye view of Monmouthshire by George Bickham 1754

  •  Birds eye view of South Wales by George Bickham 1754

    Birds eye view of South Wales by George Bickham 1754

  •  Birds eye view of North Wales by George Bickham 1754

    Birds eye view of North Wales by George Bickham 1754

  •  Birds eye view of Yorkshire by George Bickham 1754

    Birds eye view of Yorkshire by George Bickham 1754

  •  Birds eye view of County Durham by George Bickham 1754

    Birds eye view of County Durham by George Bickham 1754

  •  Birds eye view of Lancashire by George Bickham 1754

    Birds eye view of Lancashire by George Bickham 1754

  •  Birds eye view of Westmorland by George Bickham 1754

    Birds eye view of Westmorland by George Bickham 1754

  •  Birds eye view of Cumberland by George Bickham 1754

    Birds eye view of Cumberland by George Bickham 1754

  •  Birds eye view of Northumberland by George Bickham 1754

    Birds eye view of Northumberland by George Bickham 1754

References:
  • Tooley's Dictionary of Mapmakers Revised Edition A - D
  • Antique Maps of Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly by R. C. E. Quixley, Expanded by J. M. E. Quixley
  • Bickham's Birds Eye County Views and the British Monarchy, including the North American Supplement, in full reproduction by D. Schrire. Map Collectors'' Circle No 27

More Information to Come

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.

Unusual 18th century bird's eye view maps by George Bickham

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