146. Henry James - Boundary Commission 1868


In 1867 the Boundary Commission produced 196 plans of English Boroughs (Newport, Isle of Wight, is represented by two plans) and 51 of Welsh Boroughs. Although the report purported to include each Borough and County, very few county or part-county maps were included.1 Those that were, were reproduced from the Ordnance Survey 4 inches to the mile with title NEW DIVISIONS OF COUNTY. But in the case of Devon it was probably reduced from the 1809 survey carried out by Colonel William Mudge nd Robert Dawson.

Henry James (1803-1877) whose name appears on the map of Devon, had overseen the initial stages of the later surveying of towns and boroughs in the West Country. He joined the Ordnance Survey in 1827 and became the director-general in 1854, a post he held until 1875. He had taken over from Lt-Colonel Lewis Hall as head of the Ordnance Survey and it was largely his efforts that led to the standard 1:2500 scale being adopted. James was a supporter of lithography and his enthusiasm for the new technique of photo-zincography (in 1860 he wrote a treatise Photo-zincography) and led to it becoming a standard process in the production of Ordnance Survey maps. He became a Fellow of the Royal Society, was knighted in 1860 and promoted to Lieutenant-General in 1874.

The boundary maps were prepared under the direction of Captain R M Parsons by lithographic transfer with overprinted colour representing the parliamentary boundary of 1832, the proposed Parliamentary boundary of 1868, the municipal boundary, and the parish and township boundaries. A note explains that: A map of each Borough and County taken from the Ordnance Survey plans is appended to the Reports for the purpose of illustrating the existing and proposed Boundaries. These maps, however, many of which are of old date, are far from conveying an adequate idea of the extension of building which has taken place in recent years, and must not be considered as indicating the character of the Districts within the new proposed Boundaries2: the railways, for example, are hopelessly out of date, e.g. the railway to Paignton is included (1859) but not that to Kingswear (1864). The report was printed by George Edward Eyre and William Spottiswoode for HMSO.

Size: 480 x 335 mm incl. panel.                                                                                                  Scale Five Miles to an Inch (5+20 = 130  mm).

DEVONSHIRE (NEW DIVISIONS OF COUNTY) in frame (Ea). Map is orientated slightly north-east with compass (Ba). Below map is a panel with REFERENCE to the boundaries and places of elections and ‘handwritten’ signature Henry James. Colonel Royal Engineers. Imprint: Zincographed at the Ordnance Survey Office Southampton under the superintendance of Captn R M Parsons R.E. F.R.A.S. Col. Sir H. James R.E. F.R.S. &c. Director. Date 1868 is below the imprint (both CeOS).

1. 1868 The Representation Of The People Act, 1867 ... Report Of The Boundary Commissioners For England And Wales  
    London. HMSO. 1868. BL.

[1] Besides Devonshire only 8 county maps were included: Cheshire, Derby, Essex, (North and South) Lancs, Lincs, Norfolk, Somerset and Staffs. There were further maps of West Kent, East Surrey and the West Riding of Yorkshire.

[2] The Representation of the People Act, 1867; pp. xiii-xiv.