120. F P Becker / Henry Fisher, Son & Co. 1845


Henry Fisher (fl.post-1816) was a publisher with premises at Caxton Press, Angel St., St. Martin-le-Grand, London. Although Henry died in 1837 the firm continued to operate as Fisher, Son & Co. The company had already printed and published an attractive map of Devonshire engraved by J & C Walker for Devonshire Illustrated c.1831 (102).

The preparation of Fisher's County Atlas of England and Wales was started by James Gilbert and the earliest maps1 bear both his name and imprint: London, Published April 1. 1842 for the proprieter M. Alleis, by James Gilbert, 49 Paternoster Row or Published for the proprieters by Grattan & Gilbert, Map agents by appointment to the Hon. Board of Ordnance, 49, (removed from 51) Paternoster Row. These maps were Drawn and Engraved by J. Archer, Pentonville, London. for GILBERT'S COUNTY ATLAS. Apart from those noted above, only the map of England and Wales is dated - 1845.

The project seems to have been taken over by Fisher, Son & Co. at a very early stage and his imprint was substituted on the maps of Gloucester and Oxford although the reference to Gilbert’s atlas was retained. The remainder of the maps all bore Fisher’s imprint and usually the draughtsman’s and engraver’s signatures but the maps were sometimes trimmed losing these. Although the first ten maps were engraved by Joshua Archer, the later maps were prepared by Francis Paul Becker who went on to produce a large number of maps including others of Devon (see 121, 128 and 132).

Most of the maps were based on J & C Walker’s maps of 1836 (116) as is Devon which is a lithograph map with hand colouring with emphasis placed on the eight boroughs. The railway is shown as far as the outskirts of Exeter, which it reached in 1844, and some canals are shown, e.g. Bude to Launceston (1825-1891), but neither the Tavistock (1817-1832) or Stover canals. The Haytor granite tramway is shown which was in operation from 1820 to 1858.

 Size: 355 x 505 mm.                                                                                                                                      SCALE OF MILES (20 = 90 mm).

DEVONSHIRE. Signatures: Engraved on Steel by the Omnigraph, F. P. Becker & Co. Patentees. (EeOS) and Drawn by F. P. Becker & Co. 12, Paternoster Row. (AeOS). Imprint: FISHER SON & CO. LONDON & PARIS (CeOS)2. Railway to Exeter with (erroneous) line from Exeter north to Tiverton.

1. 1845   Fisher's County Atlas Of England And Wales  
    London, Liverpool & Manchester. Fisher, Son & Co. (1845), (18453). CB, BL, B, Leeds; C, NLS.

[1] The original Gilbert maps were of Berks, Derby, Glocs, Leics with Rutland, Lincs, Northants, Notts, Oxford and Warwick.

[2] Most maps have been trimmed close to the edge and the imprint is missing.

[3] The Gilbert maps now bear altered imprints.