131. Vincent Brooks 1856


Charlotte Chanter (1828-1882) in 1856 wrote a short ‘guide’ book to the area around Ilfracombe and dedicated it to her parents, the Rev. Charles and Mrs Kingsley. Charlotte illustrated her book with her own drawings of ferns and (her own) map of Devonshire. The map details the areas of her own excursions, largely along the north coast and Dartmoor. Although the first edition did not include the map, one was included in the second and third editions.

Charlotte married John Chanter, the vicar of Ilfracombe, in 1849. The Chanter family wrote a number of topographical works on North Devon, largely concerning Barnstable. Charlotte’s sister Gratiana wrote and illustrated Wanderings in North Devon in 1887, a book about Ilfracombe, the Combes and her father’s life.

Vincent Brooks (1814-1885) was a lithographer well-known for his topographical views and naval subjects, often copying artists of the day. After working for Day & Son1 he set up his own printing and publishing company, buying his former employer’s business after William Day (1797-1845), the co-founder, died.2 Day had started up the business together with Louis Haghe (1806-1895), a Belgian from Tournai. Haghe moved to England in 1823 and worked with Day; he later gave up lithography and turned to watercolours.

In about 1872 the company Vincent Brooks, Day & Son Lith. are known to have produced a few maps of other counties. If it was intended to be a series it was never completed. The maps may have been printed for an atlas, Cassell's County Geographies, to be published in parts at 1d or 2d per county,3 but Devon was not one of the series. These maps were similar in size to the map of Devonshire in Ferny Combes and were also signed by Brooks. They showed only county divisions, main roads, railways and rivers.

There are eight delightful plates in Ferny Combes.4 The first is a view of the Entrance to Clovelly, the others are varieties of fern. The book was printed by Lovell Reeve5 who had premises at 55 Henrietta Street in Covent Garden.

Size: 149 x 174 mm.                                                                                                                                    No scale [Scale 1M = 2.25 mm]

MAP of DEVONSHIRE.  Signature: Vincent Brooks Lith. (Ee). Rivers and principal towns.

1.  1856  Ferny Combes. A Ramble After Ferns In The Glens And Valleys Of Devonshire ... Second Edition.  
    London. Lovell Reeve. 1856. NLS, DevA.
    Ferny Combes.Third Edition.  
    London. Lovell Reeve. 1857. BL, DevA.

[1] Day & Son Lithographers to the Queen produced some of the Weekly Dispatch maps (135). A local guide book, The Teignmouth, Dawlish, And Torquay Guide (by Edward Croydon, 1830) included views: Printed by W Day, 17, Gate Street. The map included was a small section copied from John Cary’s 1807 map of the county.

[2] Ian Mackenzie (1988); pp. 65, 95 & 145.

[3] David Smith (1985); p. 135.

[4] These are signed Vincent Brooks Lith. in the second edition. In the third edition the signature reads Vincent Brooks. Day & Son. Lith.

[5] According to Carroll (1996), Lovell Reeve was publishing The Naturalist: A Monthly Journal of Natural History for the North of England in 1895 when they included a copy of the Lincolnshire map from Philips’ Handy Atlas complete with new soil information.