Willdey’s rare map of the environs of London

By WILLDEY, George, 1720 
£1,500
£900

A New & Correct Map of Thirty Miles Round London Shewing all the Towns, Villages, Roads &c with the Seats of the Nobility & Gentry & whatever else is remarkable: Done from the Best Surveys Together with an Alphabetical Table for the ready find of all the Places contain’d in the Map.

British Isles London
  • Author: WILLDEY, George
  • Publication place: London
  • Publisher: Sold by G. Willdey at ye Corner House in Ludgate Street next St. Pauls
  • Publication date: c.1720
  • Physical description: Engraved circular map, on two sheets joined, hand-coloured in outline, table of place names to left and right of map, mounted on new linen, some minor loss to old folds, trimmed to upper and lower neatlines.
  • Dimensions: 670 by 1020mm. (26.5 by 40.25 inches).
  • Inventory reference: 1856

Notes

The map extends from Wokingham in the west to Rochford in the east, and from Stevenage in the north to Horsham in the south. the map bears grid lines for ease of reference, and a key to the bottom right gives details of towns, market towns, parish churches, gentlemen’s houses, castles, windmills, watermills, villages, and hamlets. Surround the map are vignette view of London, upper left, London’s commerce, upper right; depictions of Ceres, Hercules, a river god (probably the Thames), a winged messenger (most likely Mercury), and Atlas beard the world on his shoulders. Below the map are the goods available at Willdey’s shop together with an advertisement, offering reasonably priced prints and maps.

George Willdey (fl.1707–1737) had broad commercial interests; his shop was stocked with all manner of goods and commodities, many of which are listed and illustrated on this map, including snuff, clocks, globes, wallets, lanterns, a camera obscura, and many scientific instruments. However, the cartographic side of his business seems not to have been very successful, and few examples of his maps survive. 

Bibliography

  1. Howgego 69 (1).
    • Howgego, J. (1978). Printed maps of London, circa 1553–1850. Folkestone: Dawson.