147. Seeley, Jackson & Halliday and S W Partridge & Co. 1868


A map series produced for children’s amusement as well as their education appeared in a 16-page children's monthly magazine from 1868. The simple outline woodcut maps have little detail and show only unnamed rivers and a few towns. Devon appears on an illustrated page in The Children’s Friend, published by Seeley Jackson & Halliday of Fleet Street, and Samuel W Partridge & Co. of Paternoster Row. The map is part of a simple puzzle in which the child has to decipher the county’s descriptions by using the adjoining delightful pictures.


 Original printer's binding for complete 1868 volume

The first map puzzle was of Anglesea and Holyhead (volume LXXXVII, map is unnumbered) on March 2nd 1868. Other British and Irish counties appeared regularly, most editions bing dated the 1st of each month, with these subsequent issues being numbered consecutively. The other counties published in 1868 were Cambs, Beds, Devonshire, Berks, Brecknock, Bucks, Caermarthen, Banff and Antrim. The reverse of Devon is dated June 1, 1868 and has running title THE CHILDREN’S FRIEND.  (Ca) and page number 83 (Ea) with the finish of a moral story, two Christian morals and the SOLUTION TO NO. III - BEDFORDSHIRE.

According to Curiosmith1, Robert Benton Seeley (1798-1886) was born in Ave Maria Lane in London. He worked in his father's bookstore at 169 Fleet Street until 1826. In 1826 he took control of the publishing branch with a Mr. Burnside. In 1827 he moved the shop to 10 Crane Court and from there in 1830 to 172 Fleet Street. In 1840 he moved to 54 Fleet Street and some 14 yxears later he entered into partnership with Jackson and Halliday (1854) both who died a few years later. In 1884 the business moved to Essex Street and then to 38 Great Russell Street.

Obviously subscribers could have their 12 monthly magazines bound, giving arise to different bindings. However, at least three different binding combinations of this work have been seen as an annual, i.e. with all issues for the year bound together. The author has had two different copies; red cloth binding with gilt decoration and no advert pages (subscriber´s copy?); and with publisher's printed cover with picture of a girl with a book and spine printed details (see illustration above) indicating it was sold by the publishers as such. This latter copy has eight pages of adverts for Partridge’s publications as well as printed endpapers with further adverts. A copy in the collection of Francis Bennett, although disbound, had a different set of advertisements to the second KB copy. A further volume in the author's collection is a double volume for 1867 and 1868. This has a title page for 1867 naming only Seeley (as Seeley & Co.) and Partridge, although the final page for January has all the publishers mentioned above ( the first page of each individual issue had no publishers imprint). This volume has a Supplement issued in March 1868 compising a four page leaflet of adverts for Partridge's publications.

Many of the same maps and pictures, but with different verso, appeared some sixteen years later in another children’s publication, Early Days in 1883. Other counties including Devon had new maps (see 158).

Size: 36 x 40 mm.                                                                                                                                                                       Scale is irrelevant.

The map is (Bb) on a page 175 x 127 mm entitled HIEROGLYPHICAL (Ca) COUNTY (Ba) READINGS No. IV. (Da) with the county arms (Cb). The page number 84 (left) and running title [ THE CHILDREN’S FRIEND, June 1, 1868.  (right) are at top of page. The map title is DEVONSHIRE (Ce). The map and illustrations form part of the text, or puzzle; The scenery in (map) is very varied and beautiful; including (vales) and (waterfalls) and remarkable (coastal) views ... .

1. 1868            The Children’s Friend. Price One Penny. No. XC  
    London. Seeley, Jackson & Halliday and S W Partridge & Co. 1868 . BL.
    The Children's Friend  Volume VIII  
    London. Seeley, Jackson & Halliday and S W Partridge & Co. 1868 (1869). KB.

[1] See Curiosmith.com/index.php/publishers/558-seeley-jackson-and-halliday for a short history.