154A. Edward Stanford / Aaron Arrowsmith 1880


Aaron Arrowsmith (1750-1823) was a well-known engraver and publisher of maps throughout the nineteenth century. Together with his sons, Aaron and Samuel (and later a nephew, John) the company established a reputation for their detailed and well-engraved maps, especially of the Americas and the new discoveries. Aaron was born at Winton, County Durham, on 14th July 1750 but not much is known about Arrowsmith´s early career although it is conjectured that he received some training from John Cary; his name is linked with Cary´s Actual Survey of the Great Post Roads (1784): by A Arrowsmith, Land Surveyor.1

The Arrowsmiths published at least two maps of Devon for government publications: a map of Devon and Somerset was completed for a report in 1833, probably by Samuel (110); and a map of Devon and Cornwall in the Third Report from His Majesty’s Commissionerswas signed by Samuel (117). In 1815 Aaron Arrowsmith completed a Map of England and Wales on 15 full and 3 half sheets, published as book and individual sheets and reissued 1816 / 1818. Until recently no map of Devon was known by Aaron, but a transfer from a Map of England and Wales was taken by Edward Stanford some fifty years later when Stanford acquired the plates.

We know the plates were reused in the 1870s by Stanford to produce a Railway & Station Map of England & Wales in 24 Sheets. Central and west Devon was on sheet 19, south Devon below Torquay on sheet 24 and east Devon (from Exmouth) on sheet 20: single sheets are known with dates 1876 to 1884. In 2005 a map of Devon and Cornwall was discovered which has all three sections joined and folds into 48 sections to fit into a slipcase. Although this particular copy is dated to 1880 on railway evidence, earlier examples may be found.

Size: 930 x 960 mm.                                                                                                                                                   Scale of Miles (10 = 85 mm).

LARGE SCALE RAILWAY & STATION MAP OF ENGLAND & WALES (BaOS and DaOS) with SHEET 18 (CaOS) and SHEET 19 (EaOS). Imprint: London. Printed by Edward Stanford, 55 Charing Cross: March 1st 1880. (BeOS) with Scale of Miles (AeOS) and Key to adjoining sheets (CeOS). The map includes all of Cornwall and extends as far as Exmouth and Minehead in the east, i.e. a portion of east Devon is missing. Railways are consistent with a date of shortly before 1880, i.e. neither Holsworthy (1879) nor Ashton (1882); however, a large number of planned railways are included, including some that never materialised (e.g. North Tawton to Hatherleigh and Holsworthy).

1. 1880 Large Scale Railway & Station Map Of England & Wales  
    London. Edward Stanford. 1880. KB.

[1] For a good overview of Arrowsmith´s work see Aaron Arrowsmith – Hydrographer to the King by Ashley Baynton-Williams in MapForum issue 5, Spring 2005.