145. Thomas Spargo 1865


Thomas Spargo is noted for his interest in the mining activities of Devon and Cornwall, and he called himself both a Mining Engineer1 and Share Broker. In his book The Mines of Cornwall and Devon published in 1865 he included a map of each county with the divisions in the county outlined and coloured. An earlier edition of 1864 did not contain the map of Devon2. Devon has no publisher's imprint but the equivalent map of Cornwall is by Valentine Smith, 5 London Wall whose imprint also appears on many of the plans; other companies used were Newbery and Alexander of Holborn and Varty of Camomile Street in EC London. Cornwall was drawn to a scale of 12 ½ miles to the inch and showed only the divisions in the county. In 1870 Spargo published The Mines of Wales, their present position and prospects.

The Mines of Cornwall was published by Emily Faithfull, Printer in Ordinary to Her Majesty, at the Victoria Press, 83a Farringdon Street, EC, London. Emily was born in Headley, Surrey on May 27th 1835, the daughter of the rector. A member of the affluent middle class she was soon engaged in movements such as the National Association for the Promotion of the Social Sciences. She did not totally support the suffragette movement as she felt employment was more important than the right to vote and became involved in the Society for Promoting the Employment of Women in the late 1850s. In 1860 she opened the Victoria Press employing female compositors in the face of criticism and malicious damage by male workers. She founded The Victoria Magazine in 1863 and Work and Women, a penny weekly, in 1865. Both publications focussed on the improvement of women's knowledge. From 1872 she visited America three times giving talks on women's employment. In 1886 she received £100 from the Royal Bounty and in 1889 a Civil List pension of £50. She died on May 31st 1895 in Manchester.3

Size: 232 x 353 mm.                                                                                                                      Scale, 12 ½ Miles – 1 Inch (50  = 102 mm) Miles.

PLAN OF THE COUNTY OF DEVON Shewing its Divisions &c. (Ca). There is a north point and key to railways. A table of Devonshire Districts shows area and population statistics for 1861. Devon has the following railways: lines to Bideford, Kingswear, Plymouth (and indication of continuation into Cornwall), Tavistock and Exmouth; proposed lines are to Kingsbridge, completion of the Dartmoor Loop, Newton Abbot to Moretonhampsted, Totnes to Buckfastleigh, Barnstaple to Ilfracombe, L&SWR to Sidmouth and Budleigh Salterton.

1. 1865 The Mines Of Cornwall And Devon: Statistics And Observations by Thomas Spargo  
    London. Emily Faithfull. 1865                                                                             BL, B.

[1] Spargo titled one of the Cornish maps: Map of Fowey Consols and Par Consols Mining District - dated Sept. 1863 - and signed it By Thomas Spargo Mining Engineer - at a scale of 600 fathoms to 1 inch.

[2] A copy is in the Devon and Exeter Institute in Exeter. Facsimiles were issued (without maps) between 1959 & 1961.

[3] Eric Ratcliffe; The Caxton Of Her Age; Images Publishing (Malvern) Ltd.; 1993.