105 Robert Kearsley Dawson / James Gardner 1832


Robert Kearsley Dawson prepared the boundary surveys as a result of the Reform Bill of 1831 and related to the Boundaries Act passed in July 1832. The original maps were prepared for government reports and were subsequently published in two volumes in 1832 in Plans of the Cities and Boroughs of England and Wales. Most volumes have maps in various states.

There are two distinct variations of the map of Devon. The earlier map is signed R.K:Dawson (104) and this later one is signed Robt.K.Dawson. The later map also has a new engraver’s signature J Gardner Regent Street. Both maps have the same outline and are the same size but the placing of town names clearly shows the two maps are distinct. This later map has a legend Explanation which properly includes the Maltese Cross; this had been clumsily added to the first version. Other changes which identify this state are the plain style of lettering in the title and Newton Abbot (not Newton Bushel).

The earlier map is clearly of inferior quality and was updated with the polling places information. The lettering and outline engraving of this later map are much superior. Possibly either Dawson or the publishers were unhappy with the quality of the previous lithographic map (this was one of the earliest series of lithographic county maps), and had a new map engraved using the same outline as the first.

James Gardner’s father, also James, was an official Agent for the Sale of Ordnance Maps. James junior took over the business in Regent Street but moved to Brewer Street during the early 1840s and returned to Regent Street (129) in 1846. He probably ceased trading before 1850.1


Size 300 x 300 mm.                                                                                                                                              Scale of Miles (10 = 47 mm).

DEVONSHIRE in plain script (Da). Imprint: Engraved by J. Gardner, Regent Street. below scale bar (Ee). Script signature: Robt. K. Dawson Lieut. R. E. just below Explanation which includes Polling Places shown by Maltese Cross


1. 1832   Instructions given by the Secretary of State for the Home Department with reference to Parliamentary Representation. Reports from Commissioners on Proposed Division of Counties and Boundaries of Boroughs. Part 1. 1832. (E), (DEI).
    London. James & Luke G Hansard & Sons. 1832.                                                           W.
    Reports on the Proposed Division of the Counties mentioned in Schedule (F.) of the Reform Bill. …Ordered to be printed 27th March 1832.  
    (London. James & Luke G Hansard & Sons.) 1832.                                               KB, CB2 .
    Plans of the Cities and Boroughs of England and Wales; showing their boundaries and divisions into wards.  
    London. James & Luke G Hansard & Sons. 1832.                            CCCCXXXIX, BL, B.

[1] J B Harley and Yolande O’Donoghue in the introduction to; The Old Series Ordnance Survey Maps of England and Wales - Vol II; H Margary; Lympne Castle; 1977; p.xxxviii.

[2] A volume without title page but title on the spine is Boroughs Of England.