152. Edward Weller / William Collins 1875


William Collins1 (1789-1853), first member of Britain's first Temperance Society, founded his publishing company primarily to publish the works of the great Scottish cleric Dr Charles Chalmers. His son, William II (1817-95) became a partner in 1843 (and was knighted 1881) and grandson William III (1846-1906) continued the firm which still survives today. As early as 1827 William Collins was touring Devon and selling atlases. Collins issued books and maps designed for use in schools and in 1856 the company produced its first atlas.

Edward Weller, engraver of the successful Weekly Dispatch plates (136), engraved new plates, c.1875, for William Collins‘ set of County Geographies which were edited by W Lawson (Devon was written by the Rev. C S Dawe) and produced county by county (although Lancashire was by Bartholomew).

The map was first used in a small school primer which probably sold at twopence a copy. The map later appeared in  directories published by Percy and Co., before Collins exploited the maps in an Atlas of England And Wales in 1877. Then in 1878 Collins produced a number of regional atlases: each volume contained sixteen maps, grouped into sets, with each set bound into a paper cover printed with county plans for parts of Great Britain. Devon is on the same buff coloured sheet as Somerset with a coloured map of Cornwall on the reverse.

Size: 206  x 158 mm.                                                                                                                                          English Miles (10 = 21 mm).

DEVONSHIRE. No imprint2 . Signature: Edwd Weller. (EeOS). Railways; Tiverton, Paignton, Plymouth-Launceston, Moreton Hampstead, Seaton, Torrington, Watchet, Exmouth, Barnstaple-Taunton and Okehampton. Plain border broken at Lyme Regis. Coloured to show Parliamentary Divisions (N, S and E).

1. 1875 Collins County Geographies  
    London. William Collins, Sons and Co. (1875). KB3.
    Up and Down the River Dart … Third Edition …by Robert Cranford  
    Dartmouth. Robert Cranford. (1876). BL4.
    The First Issue: The Devonshire Calendar and Register for 1876.   
    London. Percy and Co. 1876. E.
    Percy´s Calendar & Register for 1876. Cornwall & Devon   
    London. Percy and Co. 1876. KB5.
2. 1877

Imprint:William Collins, Sons & Co. London & Glasgow. Signature removed. Printer´s mark letter E (EeOS). Plate number 32(EaOS) added and on reverse.

    Collins Series of Atlases. Atlas Of England And Wales  
    London. William Collins, Sons and Co Ltd. 18776, (1882). C, BL, B, KB; W, EB.
3. 1878            All imprints removed. Size: 195 x 128 mm.  

The South Western Counties Atlas. Consisting of sixteen maps.....by John Bartholomew 

    London and Glasgow. William Collins, Sons and Co. (1878). C.

[1] The House of Collins; David Keir; Collins; 1952.

[2] Although the imprint William Collins, Sons & Co. London & Glasgow is present on most maps 2-3 mm below border, Devon is cut 3 mm from border and in state 2 above imprint is 2 mm below border. Dorset also has no imprint.

[3] R Carroll; 1996; p. 330. The author´s copy is one of 24 county geographies bound together in two volumes, undated with title page (for each county) but no individual covers.

[4] BL 10358.aaa.49(7) is a number of guides bound together: the map has been incorrectly bound with a guide on Herts (pp. 16-17) by John Harris. Last date in text is 1870 and reference to Notes about Newcomin (sic) by Thomas Lidstone (1871).

[5] Cover title. The author´s copy contains Cornwall and Devonshire. Each title page calls for four maps (Devon, Cornwall, Somerset and Dorset) but the combined edition has only one set added after the Devonshire section (and before adverts).

[6] These copies have a preface dated May 1877.