17 Richard Blome 1681


Richard Blome’s first published series of county maps (14) was followed in 1681 by an issue of smaller maps, Speed’s Maps Epitomiz’d, engraved by Wenceslas Hollar and Richard Palmer, who signed six of the maps including the map of Devon. Most of these maps were engraved at about the same time as the maps for Britannia were being prepared and many have imprints with earlier dates (eleven maps are dated either 1667 or 1671). Devon may have been available earlier. Ashley Baynton-Williams believes the plates were completed but sold to a different publisher before Britannia appeared, but came back into Blome´s hands after the mysterious publisher had erased all references to Blome in the titles.1 Perhaps Blome was not happy with the sales of Britannia but felt that a smaller volume would sell better; it was certainly published until 1731.

As in Britannia each map was dedicated to a county dignitary, this often being amended or erased in later editions. Blome´s financial strategy meant subscriber´s paying an advance on copies ordered. A subscriber would be approached and in return for a prepayment would be able to have their arms put on the map of their choice; for an additional fee their names would also appear in the text. The dedication might be changed in a later edition.

William Oldys´ unfinished translation of Britannia of 1735, printed and published by R Penny2 , appeared in four volumes. Only the first and fourth volumes have a title page: Volume I is undated but Volume IV is dated 1735. Cornwall and Devon, the first two counties in the work, are the only ones to have the map.

Size 187 x 235 mm.                                                                                                                                                     Acale of 10 Miles (32 mm).

A MAPP of DEVON SHIRE With its Hundreds. Signature: R:P. Sculp. Signs of erasure in top left corner and cropped names, eg (Bag p)eynt and (Cre)die Baye (Aa).       

1. 1681   Loose sheet, probably a proof. Max. paper size 210 x 340 mm - map unfolded.  (DevA), (P).
 2.  1681 Dedication To ... Sr William Courtenay (Aa), but signs of new erasure (post state 1). (DevA).
    Speed’s Maps Epitomiz’d  
    London. R Blome. 1681. CX,S104, BL.
    Speed’s Maps Epitomiz’d  
     London. Sam Lownes. 1685. S105, W.3.
3. 1693  Dedication removed, St GEORGES CHANNEL and Hartland Poynt added where dedication was and cropped names now written in full.  
    Cosmography and Geography (3rd impression)  
    London. Richard Blome. 1693. S114, W, C, (DevA), (TQ).
4.  1715  Plate number, 11, above title (Ea). An issue folded three times to fit the pocket.  
    England Exactly Described ... Printed Coloured and Sold by Tho: Taylor  
     London. Thomas Taylor. 1715. CXXXVI, H139, BL, RGS, W, C, B.
5.  1717 Roads added. Distances between towns added in circles. (DEI).
    England Exactly Described ...  
     London. Thomas Taylor. 1717. CXXXVIa, H140, BL, W, RGS, BCL.
     England Exactly Described ... Printed Coloured and Sold by Tho: Bakewell  
     London. Thomas Bakewell. 1731. CXXXVIb/c, H141, BL, W, C.
     Britannia ... by William Cambden ... translated into English by W. O. Esq  
     London. R Penny. (1735).  H141, B.


[1] See Richard Blome by Ashley Baynton-Williams in MapForum issue 6, summer 2005.

[2] Donald Hodson; County Atlases of the British Isles Vol I; Bracken Press; p.55.