Part 5: Copies & Revisions – The Fate of the Copper

Introduction

Some of the large scale county maps were published in more than one edition, many incorporating revisions. A great deal depended on the ownership of the copper-plates. A major publisher of reprints and revised editions was William Faden who took charge of the business after Jefferys’ death in 1771. Chapman himself had experience of revising county maps. He acquired the copper-plates of Burdett’s Derbyshire map and was in the process of engraving revisions and additions at the time of his death. What was the fate of the plates for the Nottinghamshire map? Was the map reprinted and revised? If so are there surviving copies?

The Copper-plates

We know that Chapman died in 1778 (Gough 1780 p.369) but not the date, nor the place, nor the circumstances. For whatever reason, it would appear that his ‘stock’ remained in his rented room at Pall Mall until it was auctioned, ‘by order of the Executors’, by John Christie in December 1784. The contents of the sale might more accurately be described as the ‘assets’ of Chapman’s business and his personal collection of maps and prints, there was no stock of printed maps. Included in the auction were all the plates of Chapman’s own maps together with plates of Armstrong’s Durham map, which Chapman had published, and the plates of Burdett’s map of Derbyshire which Chapman had acquired and was revising’. The Essex plates were purchased by William Keymer, a Colchester printer, who had subscribed for the map. The Nottinghamshire and Newmarket plates were sold to William Faden, and the Derbyshire plates to William Snowden. The fate of the Durham plates is unknown.

 

Christie's Auction Catalogue, 14th December 1784 (Image courtesy of Essex Record Office)
Christie’s Auction Catalogue, 14th December 1784
(Image courtesy of Essex Record Office)

 

Christie's Auction Catalogue, 14th December 1784 (Image courtesy of Essex Record Office)
Christie’s Auction Catalogue, 14th December 1784
(Image courtesy of Essex Record Office)

 

Christie's Auction Catalogue, 14th December 1784 (Image courtesy of Essex Record Office)
Christie’s Auction Catalogue, 14th December 1784
(Image courtesy of Essex Record Office)

 

Reprints and Revisons

Faden reissued the Nottinghamshire map without amendments in 1785. Only 2 extant copies of that edition have been traced. Faden went on to publish a ‘Second Edition: corrected’, 1792. There are more extant versions of the second edition, and interestingly, one in the Bibliothèque Nationale de France in Paris (of which more later).

Extant copies of copies of Chapman’s Map of 1774, published in 1785 & 1792

Whereas all the extant copies of the 1776 edition are joined sheets mounted on linen, five of the second edition are described as ‘1 map on 4 sheets’. That is not the case for Map92(1) which is mounted on linen and attached to rollers.

 

Map92(1) - Chapman's Map of Nottinghamshire 1774, published in 1792 (Image courtesy of Manuscripts and Special Collections, University of Nottingham)
Map92(1) – Chapman’s Map of Nottinghamshire 1774, published in 1792
(Image courtesy of Manuscripts and Special Collections, University of Nottingham)

 

The nature of the amendments compared to the 1776 map reflected developments in transport and land use. The first edition included the course of the recently constructed Chesterfield Canal in the north of the county. The second edition shows three additional canals: the Erewash Canal on the western boundary of the county, completed in 1779; the course of the Grantham Canal to the south east of the county which opened in 1797; and the sinuous course of an ‘intended canal to Nottingham’, which opened in 1796. As well as canal developments the second edition recorded the effects of enclosures that had taken place over the intervening 20 years and the resulting loss of common land.

 

Erewash & Nottingham Canals 1776 & 1792 Editions (Images courtesy of Nottingham Local Studies Library and the Manuscripts and Special Collections, The University of Nottingham - Not1.B8.D92)
Erewash & Nottingham Canals 1776 & 1792 Editions
(Images courtesy of Nottingham Local Studies Library and the Manuscripts and Special Collections, The University of Nottingham – Not1.B8.D92)

 

The County Atlas

Faden continued in business well into the 19th century, he died in 1836, and as far as we know he retained ownership of the copper-plates of Nottinghamshire and the other county maps he acquired. We know that the business of map-making had a long tradition of copying, if not outright plagiarism, and the large-scale surveys soon became the ‘latest surveys’ and the ‘best authorities’ on which publishers relied. Since the 16th century the most popular format for publishing county maps had been the atlas. In the late 18th century the ‘old’ maps were steadily replaced by reduced versions of the ‘new’ large-scale county maps. Generally published at scales of more than 6 miles to the inch, the utility of such atlases depended on the skill of the engraver, and one exceptionally skillful engraver was John Cary (1755-1835). He published two atlases in 1791 and 1793, which included maps of Nottinghamshire (Wadsworth 1930), and Wadsworth was satisfied that ‘they were derived from that of John Chapman, as a comparison of the two … will shew’ and ‘such details as roads, mileage, etc., follows closely Chapman’s Map’ (p.114).

Cary’s Traveller’s Companion

Cary’s New and Correct English Atlas

New Surveys

Chapman’s map remained the authority for the next fifty years until a crop of new surveys were completed in the 1820s and 30s. John Greenwood’s one inch map on six sheets was published in 1826 (Greenwood) and George Sanderson published ‘Twenty Miles Around Mansfield’, a 21/4 inch map, in 1835. Meanwhile the surveyors of the Ordnance Survey were advancing across the country and their one inch map of Nottinghamshire was published on seven sheets between 1824 and 1840 (One-inch Old Series map of England and Wales).

Conclusions

The experience of Chapman’s Nottinghamshire map is not unusual. Nearly all the large-scale county maps were reprinted, revised or reduced for the atlas market, whether by the original surveyors, or by map-publishers who had acquired the plates, such as William Faden. Once the survey was completed and the original map published it was subject to the fortunes of the market. It is to this stage in the life-story that we now turn.

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