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'New Geological Atlas of England & Wales', 1819-1824

Map of Oxfordshire
  County map of Durham
Geological Map of Oxfordshire, 1820    Geological Map of Durham, 1824
 Click to enlarge

The noted cartographer, engraver and publisher John Cary (1755-1835) collaborated with William Smith on a number of his geological projects, notably the 1815 Map and geological sections (1817-1819). Cary had previously produced large, topographical county maps for his ‘New and Correct English Atlas’ and the plates which were being prepared for a new edition were instead adapted to accommodate Smith’s detailed geology, the first set of counties issued in 1819.  

Each set was priced at £1 1s, but individual maps could be purchased for 5s 6d each. Only six sets were issued:

Part 1 – Kent, Norfolk, Sussex and Wiltshire, published 1 January 1819
Part 2 – Berkshire, Gloucestershire, Suffolk and Surry [sic], published 1 September 1819
Part 3 – Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Essex and Oxfordshire, published 1 February 1820
Part 4 – Yorkshire (in four sheets), published 1821 
Part 5 – Huntingdonshire, Leicestershire, Nottinghamshire and Rutlandshire, published 1822
Part 6 – Cumberland, Durham, Northumberland and Westmorland, published 1824

Confusingly, the copper plates which printed the underlying base maps (and included the markings of the outcrops of Smith’s geology) were reused for Cary’s and his successor’s own county atlases, including regions which had never made it in print, such as Somersetshire. Unfortunately some of these new editions were also available with Smith’s geological colouring but with any acknowledgement removed. Up until the early 20th century you could still purchase these county maps, now with railways and other features added, replete with Smith’s signature fading colouring technique.

County map of Durham 1831
  County map of Durham box 1831
County Map of Durham, 1831. Although the map is clearly coloured using William Smith's geology, nowhere on the map is he acknowledged. (LDGSL/1008/180)   Original box from the map. This copy belonged to George Bellas Greenough.
 Click to enlarge

All Smith's published County Maps can be found on our Picture Library.

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