Complete set of the Ordnance Survey of England and Wales in a fine presentation box
By MUDGE, Lieutenant Colonel (later Major General) William; COLBY, Major Thomas; BAKER, Benjamin and others, 1870
Ordnance Survey of England and Wales, and Part of Scotland.
- Author: MUDGE, Lieutenant Colonel (later Major General) William; COLBY, Major Thomas; BAKER, Benjamin and others
- Publication place: [London
- Publisher: Henry James
- Publication date: c1870].
- Physical description: 111 hand-coloured engraved maps (including index map) printed in electrotype at the Ordnance Survey Office, each dissected and mounted on linen, with numbered vellum tabs, preserved in purpose-made wooden map chest, lettered on front ‘Ordnance Maps of England’. Dimensions: chest: 1100L x 410H x 340D mm (43 x 16 x 13 in); each map (approximately): 680 x 980mm (26.75 by 38.5 in).
- Dimensions: each sheet approximately 680 by 980mm (26.75 by 38.5 inches).
- Inventory reference: 10869
In 1820 Captain Thomas Colby (1784–1852) was put in charge of the survey. It soon became apparent that much of the early surveying work was of insufficient standard. As a result, he ordered the revising of much of the existing survey work, which would take the next 13 years to complete. By 1844, publication of the Old Series, one inch to one mile, was complete for the whole of Britain south of Preston and Hull. The survey now became mired in what would become known as the ‘Battle of the Scales’. The origin of the debate was borne from the fact that the survey of Ireland, began in the 1820s, was upon a much larger scale of 6 inches to the mile. Many suggested the scale be adopted for northern Britain and Scotland, however, when the larger scale was taken up the progress was painfully slow, and by 1851 only Lancashire and Wigtowshire had been surveyed. This led to a House of Commons Select Committee to suggest the abandonment of the scale; a suggestion that the parsimonious Treasury readily accepted. Even so this did not settle the matter and the debate would rage on for some years to come.
The set was published around 1870, by which time the whole of England and Wales had been mapped. The maps are all upon a scale of one inch to one mile, and are here housed within a custom-made box, with each of the maps having numbered vellum tags.
- Oliver, Dr. Richard, ‘A Short History of the Ordnance Survey of Great Britain’, The Charles Close Society.