135. William & Alexander Keith Johnston 1858


William Johnston (1802-1888) opened his printing business in 1825 after training with two well-respected companies including W & D Lizars (a company he and his brother would acquire in 1862). The following year his brother, Alexander Keith Johnston (1804-1871), joined the flourishing company. They produced their first maps in 1830. The firm is also known for its connection with G W Bacon & Co.; its present publishing activities are carried out in partnership with Bacon.

The Johnstons produced a map of the whole country, Modern Map of England and Wales constructed by W & A K Johnston (BL 1175) and transfers of Devon with Cornwall together were used for Murray’s Handbook Devon, Cornwall 4th, 5th, 6th and 8th editions1; a folding map of Devon and Cornwall being slipped into a pocket in the inside back cover.2 The handbooks were all printed by W Clowes and Sons.

Sectional maps covering the county were taken from the same (virtually unchanged) plates of the whole country and used in Cassell's Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland. This was published by Cassell and Co. in parts from 1893 - 1898 and Devon is found mainly on sheets XIX, XX and XXV in Volumes II and III. The Johnston brothers produced a series of maps as advertising for Dexter’s Weatherproof Clothing: this contained one map of the complete southwest peninsula with slogan Dexter Proofing is proof against time as well as tempest and As British As The Weather - But Reliable. The W & A K Johnston plates were also used to prepare maps for two Sidmouth guides by Day Brothers and by Macvean and Williams.

In 1889 W & A K Johnston published their county atlas The Modern County Atlas of England & Wales. Each county map was a transfer taken from their earlier map of the whole country. These maps show the county in detail, the surrounding areas are left plain.

In 1892 the transfers were also used to provide a set of maps for Deacon’s Devon and Cornwall Court Guide. These contained four maps of Devon and Cornwall: Political; Geological showing rock strata etc.; Climatological, the weather; Hydrographical, depicting rainfall and run-off areas. This was probably the first hydrographical map of the county excluding De la Beche’s small map (118).

Size: 335 x 485 mm.                                                                                                                    SCALE 7 Miles to one INCH (20 = 75 mm).

HANDBOOK MAP OF DEVON AND CORNWALL (CaOS) (length 100 mm). Signature: Engraved by W. & A. K. Johnston. Edinburgh. (EeOS). Imprint: Published by John Murray, Albemarle Street, London, 1858. (CeOS). Inset map of the SCILLY ISLANDS (Ad) 12 mm from border. Railways to Bideford, Tor Mohan, Tiverton and Penzance.

1. 1858  A Handbook for Travellers inDevon and Cornwall. Revised by T C Paris Fourth Edition  
     London. John Murray. 1859, 1859 (1860). C, DevA; KB.
2. 1863

Date changed to 1861. Wolf Rock deleted. Railways to Kingswear, Tavistock and Exmouth.

    A Handbook for Travellers in Devon and Cornwall. Fifth Edition  
    London. John Murray. 1863. C, KB.
 3.   1865  The date is removed from the imprint, Scilly inset moved nearer to the border.  
     A Handbook for Travellers in Devon and Cornwall. Sixth Edition  
     London. John Murray. 1865.  DevA.
 4. 1867            Date 1866 added to imprint. Title rewritten (125 mm). Bristol Channel re-written (ST lower than B and L). Note on authorised railways added. Railway to point on Torquay-Brixham road marked Sandridge, then to Brixham and projected to Kingswear. Planned railway Taunton-Barnstaple added. L&SWR Railway as far as North Tawton only and projected lines from there south and west. Railways to Bideford and Watchet and proposed lines Ilfracombe via Bittedon, to Torrington etc.  
     A Handbook for Travellers in Devon and Cornwall. Sixth Edition ....  
     London. John Murray. 1865 (1867), 1865 (1871).  TQ; DevA3 .
 5.  1872 The imprint date is changed to 1872. Railways are now shown to Ashburton, Launceston, Seaton and Exmouth and the L&SWR line to Okehampton and Bodmin-Wadebridge.  
     A Handbook for Travellers in Devon and Cornwall ... Eighth Edition revised  
     London. John Murray. 1872.  BL, KB.
 6.  1875 The imprint date is changed to 1874.  
     A Handbook for Travellers in Devon and Cornwall ... Eighth Edition revised  
     London. John Murray. 1872 (1875), 1872 (1876).  KB; KB.
 7.  1889 Map is reduced to show Devon alone and has new title DEVON (Dd). Imprint removed, new signature: W. & A. K Johnston. Edinburgh & London. (EeOS). Scale English Miles (15 = 55 mm). Detail in surrounding counties reduced. Size 245 x 340 mm. Grid ABCD and abcd added. Note: ‘Plymouth to Southampton 150 miles’. Foreland, Prawle & Lundy break the border, Eddystone is outside. Railways shown to Berry Head, Torrington, Holsworthy, Ashton, and Exeter-Morebath via Tiverton. Scilly Isle map deleted.  (DEI4 ).
    The Modern County Atlas Of England & Wales  
    Edinburgh and London. W & A K Johnston. 1889.  BL, RGS, B, CB, GUL.
    The Handy Library Atlas Of England & Wales  
    London. Charles William Deacon & Co. 1894.  [P5 ].
 8. 1894            Railways added; to Kingsbridge, Launceston-Halwill and L&SWR line Plymouth-Tavistock.  
     Loose sheet possibly from revised copy of The Modern County Atlas                         (DEI).
 9.  1896            Following work has four maps of Devon all with imprint Charles William Deacon & Co., London.(EeOS). The Explanation key, Lundy Island and Scillies inset map are all removed. Scale bar now (CeOS). Wolf Rock shown (Ae). Railways extend to Sidmouth and Budleigh Salterton, Ashton (and pecked to Exeter), Moreton Hampstead and Okehampton-Tavistock.  
     a) Title: Deacon’s Devon and Cornwall, Political (CaOS)  
     b) Title: Deacon’s Devon and Cornwall, Geological. Explanation Key (Bb).  
     c) Title: Deacon’s Devon and Cornwall, Hydrographical. Explanation Key (Ab).  
     d) Title: Deacon’s Devon and Cornwall, Climatological. Explanation Key (Ab).  
     The Devon and Cornwall Court Guide and Country Blue Book ... with coloured maps ...  
     London. Charles William Deacon & Co. 1896.  DevA, TQ, KB.

[1] According to Lister (p. 69) there was no Seventh Edition. The Sixth Edition was revised as late as 1871, but the copy at Devon Archives Library in Exeter is torn and the central section is missing.

[2] The first edition appeared in 1850 (reissued 1851, 1856) and contained copies of the J & C Walker map (116); the 9th and 10th Editions also had the Walker map; the 11th Ed. has a Bartholomew map (150.16).

[3] Both maps are badly torn.

[4] Has number 15 on reverse.

[5] Sold on ebay August 2006.