128. F P Becker / Henry Besley – Devonshire II 1854

  

Henry Besley’s Route Book Of Devon was first published in 1845 complete with a route map (121). A county map was added for the second edition in 1846 (122). A new, larger map was introduced for a second reprint of the 1850 New Edition similar to, but replacing, the previous map which had been based on Walker’s map of 1836. In 1871 and subsequent editions further maps appeared and the county was also shown in 2 parts (134).

The text was written before 1851 on the evidence of dates included but the first issues had no illustrations. In later issues Besley introduced engravings of the county. A series of views was drawn and engraved by G Townsend; the south coast in 1853 and the north in 1854. These first appeared in the New Edition and provide an accurate ‘earliest date’. George Townsend (1813-1894), Artist, Lithographer and Drawing Master of 59 High Street, Exeter went on to produce some 117 illustrations of the county until c.1870 and was then succeeded by S R Ridgway who completed the series with another 40 engravings.1 As for the accompanying Route Map (included in the 1854 and 1856 editions), Besley again employed the company of F P Becker & Co. Omnigraph (litho) Engravers. This firm also produced maps for a variety of different publishers: e.g. Adlard's Ireland, Fisher's County Atlas of England and Wales, Frederic Kelly's Post Office Directories, the map of England and Wales in Barclay's Dictionary, and Scotland in Reynolds’ Geological Atlas. Becker was renowned for the Omnigraph (a versatile ruling machine see Introduction).

The map below also appeared in The West of England and Trewman’s Exeter Pocket Journal in 1861 but though the journal continued until 1869 there are no Devon maps in copies extant for 1862, 1864 or 18692In 1870 the journal became Besley’s West of England and Exeter Pocket Journal and was published until 1877 but the map has only been found in issues to 1873.3 The Exeter Pocket Journal had a long and distinguished career being first published in the eighteenth century4: and an edition of 1755 was printed by Andrew Brice for Barnabas Thorn. In the 1816 and 1817 editions a map of Devon and Cornwall was included (83) by a local person, E A Ezekiel optician and goldsmith in Exeter. The Exeter Pocket Journal continued to be published by Trewman to c.1856 and from 1822 sometimes with a new map by Smith and Davies (93).

Size: 315 x 380 mm.                                                                                                                               ENGLISH STATUTE MILES (15 = 60 mm).

DEVONSHIRE (Ed). Imprint: Printed & Published by Henry Besley, Directory Office, South Street, Exeter.  (CeOS) and signature: Engraved by BECKER’S Patent Process on Steel, 11, Stationer’s Court, London. (EeOS). Note: N Northern Division S Southern Division (Ea).  A topographical note, election and polling places and  Poor Law Unions tables are below the title. A list of Boroughs (Ae) and Key to Divisions are shown (Be). Railways: into Cornwall, to Tiverton, Torquay and Bideford.

1.   1854 The Route Book Of Devon ... A New Edition  
    Exeter. H Besley. (18545). E, KB.
       
    The Route Book Of Devon ... New Edition  
    Exeter. H Besley. (18566). RGS, E, KB.
       
2. 1861            Railways added: Exmouth, Kingswear and Tavistock.  
       
    The West of England and Trewman’s Exeter Pocket Journal 1861  
    Exeter. H Besley. 1861. E.
       
3. 1863            Proposed railways to Moreton Hampstead, Launceston via Tavistock and Oakhampton from Crediton.  
       
    The West of England and Trewman’s Exeter Pocket Journal 1863  
    Exeter. H Besley. 1863. E.
       
4. 1865             Proposed railway Tavistock-Oakhampton added.  
       
    The West of England and Trewman’s Exeter Pocket Journal 1865  
    Exeter. H Besley. 1865.                                    E.
       
5. 1866            Railways: Launceston via Tavistock and Crediton as far as Oakhampton. Projected: Sampford Courtenay to Bude and Bideford, Sidmouth, Budleigh, Ashburton, Ilfracombe (via Bittadon), Watchet and Barnstaple-Taunton.  
       
    The West of England and Trewman’s Exeter Pocket Journal 1866, 67, 68  
    Exeter. H Besley. 1866, 1867, 1868. E; E; E.
       
6. 1869             All notes removed. Railway to Seaton. Heavier inking for railway lines.  
       
    The Route Book Of Devon ... New Edition  
    Exeter. H Besley. (18697). E.
       
    Besley’s West of England and Exeter Pocket Journal. 1870  
    Exeter. H Besley. 1870. E.
       
7. 1871            Key to divisions and boundaries restored (Be).  
       
    Besley’s West of England and Exeter Pocket Journal. 1871  
    Exeter. H Besley. 1871. E.
       
    The Route Book Of Devon ... New Edition  
    Exeter. H Besley. (1871). BL, NLS, E, Pl, KB.
       
8. 1872  Becker´s signature removed. Railways to Ilfracombe (west via Braunton, projected via Bittadon still shown) and Barnstaple-Taunton.  
       
    Loose map possibly from Besley’s West of England and Exeter Pocket Journal. 1872                         [DEI].
       
9. 1873  Railways to Ashburton, Bideford to Torrington. Note on distances added (Dd).  
       
    Besley’s West of England and Exeter Pocket Journal. 1873  
    Exeter. H Besley. 1873. E, BL.
       
10. 1873          Railways Oakhampton to Tavistock complete as L&SW RY TO PLYMOUTH; Sidmouth; line complete (erroneously) from Sampford Courtenay to Holsworthy via Hatherleigh and then projected to Bude. Distance note deleted.  
       
    Devonshire folding map in covers  
    Exeter. H Besley. (1873). KB.
       
11. 1876 Incorrect projected line to Ilfracombe now deleted. Line from Sampford Courtenay demoted to a projected line.  
       
    Besley’s West of England and Exeter Pocket Journal. 1876  
    Exeter. H Besley. 1876. KB.
       
12. 1876 Railway now drawn from south of Oakhampton to Holsworthy and projected route south of Hatherleigh deleted. Line to Hemyock.  
       
    Besley’s West of England and Exeter Pocket Journal. 1876  
    Exeter. H Besley. 1876. BL.
       
13. 1877 Note on Oakhampton to Tavistock line L&SW RY TO PLYMOUTH deleted.  
       
    Besley’s West of England and Exeter Pocket Journal. 1877  
    Exeter. H Besley & Son. 1877. BL.
       
14.  1877 Note on Oakhampton to Tavistock line L&SWRY TO PLYMOUTH reinstated. Railway to Minehead added.  
       
    The Route Book Of Devon ... New Edition  
    Exeter. H Besley and Son. (1877). BL.
       
    Besley’s West of England and Exeter Pocket Journal. 1881  
    Exeter. H Besley & Son. 1881. BL.
       
    Besley’s West of England and Exeter Pocket Journal. 1882  
    Exeter. H Besley & Son. 1882.  
       

[1] J V Somers Cocks; 1977; pp. 10 and 306.

[2] Earlier copies of the journal have been seen with a map of England and Wales.

[3] Copies mentioned are held by the Westcountry Studies Library (now Heritage Centre), Exeter.

[4] The National Library of Scotland has the 1755 copy. Copies for 1788, 1791 and 1796 are held at Exeter.

[5] Engravings are dated 1853 and 1854.

[6] An advert relates to Queen Victoria’s visit to the county in 1856.

[7] Contains advertising section in which two pages have (69) in the bottom right corner.