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Second Time Around

GBG Furnival
Salop GBG
L: Geological colouring by Greenough [1814-1830s] on basemap 'North Wales', published by J & E Furnival, Llanymynech (1814). Greenough collection, ref: LDGSL/947/6/E/3
R: Geological colouring by Greenough, [?1813-1830s] on base map 'A New Map of Shropshire divided into hundreds' by John Cary (1811). Greenough collection, ref: LDGSL/947/6/D/9/3
Both of these maps contain multiple notes and overlaid colouring indicating that they probably derived from the first edition but were reworked for the second. Click to enlarge.

A few years after the publication of the first edition, Greenough began asking his geological friends for their opinion. Knowledge of the geology of Britain had developed much since work had first begun in 1812. William Daniel Conybeare (1787-1857) pointed out errors in the Oolite, Purbeck and Oxford Clay and Adam Sedgwick (1785-1873) took issue with how the geology of Yorkshire was depicted. A helpful Fellow even suggested that Greenough might like to seek out the advice of William Smith!

Buckland Conybeare
W D Conybeare's critique on the errors Greenough's Geological Map and England and Wales in the hand of William Buckland, 9 Jan 1825. Greenough collection, ref: LDGSL/947/1/BUCKLAND/1. Click to enlarge.
  Adam Sedgwick's list of errors in the depiction of strata in Yorkshire, [c.1825]. Greenough collection, ref: LDGSL/947/4/3/5/1. Click to enlarge.

Work seems to have started on a second edition around 1831, with Greenough employing the same drafting techniques as before. In some cases he reworked maps compiled for the first edition such as those for North Wales and Shropshire above.

The path to production was smoother this time as the base map had already been created. Only the upper part of sheet 5 (South Wales) and all of sheet 6 (SE England) were substantially re-engraved in order to facilitate the inclusion of new geological researches, such as those by Adam Sedgwick and Roderick Murchison (1792-1871). Old roads were left in as it would be too costly to remove them, but the new railways were added to modernise the map. By the time that the new Map Committee, comprising William Buckland, Greenough, Henry Warburton, John Taylor (1779-1863) with William Lonsdale (1794-1871) as secretary, convened on 20 November 1839, the map was all but ready.

GBG 2nd ed
Greenough’s ‘Geological Map of England & Wales (2nd edition), [1839-1840]. This is one of two pattern copies which were nos 2 & 3 produced by Gardner before his sudden retirement. The pattern copy is the version from which the colouring for all the other maps should follow. Archive ref: LDGSL/979A/2. Click to enlarge.

Greenough again underwrote the construction of the map to the tune of £718 2s 5d. The Society, however, was to pay for the printing, colouring, advertising and distribution for the new map. Greenough generously suggested that the Society’s expenses should be paid back first.
Colour key 2nd ed
Colour key for the 2nd edition of Greenough’s map showing the new colour palette. Archive ref: LDGSL/979A/2. Click to enlarge

The publisher James Gardner’s estimate for printing and colouring of the maps was accepted and he was commissioned to produce the first 25 copies. Two months later he informed Greenough of his intention to immediately retire so the work was given over to Samuel Arrowsmith the son of Aaron Arrowsmith.

The legend on all the maps state that it was published in 1839, but it wasn’t issued until March 1840.


The colour scheme for the map was revised by Greenough for the second edition, notably the use of stronger hues which allowed him to play with how dull and bright colours interacted with each other. For instance he would emphasise smaller, but important geological units, by using a brighter tone in amongst more muted, coloured surroundings to make them stand out.  Hand patterning which relied very much on the consistency of the colourist and the quality of paint in question was also reduced, replaced with engraved lines or dots on the underlying plate.


Prices were slightly cheaper than the first edition - £4 to Fellows and £5 to the general public. In total 224 maps were distributed. 29 were presented gratis to various national and international institutions. Greenough was given 30 maps for private distribution. Sales of the map whilst steady were not spectacular and Greenough received less than a third of his money back in small annual instalments from 1844-1854 totalling £189 11s 6d.

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