22 Robert Morden 1701

Revised July 2023

Robert Morden engraved this series of maps before 1693, possibly for inclusion in Dr. Edmund Gibson´s new edition of Camden´s Britannia (which appeared in 1695) and may have rejected them as too small or there was some form of misunderstanding.[1] The greater inaccuracy when compared with his later map (B&B 21) is one reason for assuming this map was produced earlier. Consequently, the complete set of these smaller maps did not appear until 1701, as The new description and state of England and published in London by Robert Morden, Thos Cockerill and Ralph Smith. The Second Edition was issued in 1704 (only change being a new title page) as The New Description and State of England published this time by S and J Sprint, J Nicholson, and S Burroughs; A Bell and R Smith. Quarto editions (with layout changed accordingly) have also been reported.

The 1708 edition, Fifty Six New and Accurate Maps ... Begun by Mr Morden: Perfected, Corrected and Enlarg´d by Mr Moll and now published by John Nicholson, John Sprint, Andrew Bell and Ralph Smith, was intended as a road book (it included a table of the road distances) with maps revised by Hermann Moll (see, for example, 25, including his distinct upside-down directions). Consequently, maps show a number of changes (see below) including a simple compass road and name changes. There was no second edition.

Also in 1708 John Nicholson started to compile a new complete system of geography, the Atlas geographicus. The monthly series began with Europe (less British Isles), with Asia and Africa following. America was published in 17 parts spread over two years in 1714-15. With so much new material Nicholson had decided with John Morphew to publish Britain separately as Magna Britannia et Hibernia. Originally planned to be a monthly publication (like the Atlas geographicus), the project actually took 17 years to finally complete.

Published in 92 parts starting in 1714, Devon appeared in Sept/Nov 1716 in Nos 11 (second part of Derby and first part of Devon) & 12 (Devon completed and first part of Dorset). Hence, individual monthly issues of Devon are from 1716 (but none are recorded) and extracted counties would lack a title page. 

From advertisements in newspapers and various letters it seems that the Rev. Anthony Hall (1679-1723) of Queen’s College, Oxford, was the compiler of at least parts of the work, basing the text on Camden but supplementing it with local information and including a mileage table adapted from Garrett (see Simons, B&B 9). The later publishing history of the county maps is fairly complicated and Donald Hodson´s work is the first point of reference.

Thomas Cox, a publisher (and not a cleric), acquired the publication in 1724 and completed the part work in 1731. As such the later Volumes I to VI were published as bound volumes in 1724, 1727, 1730 and 1731 respectively.[3] The counties were also sold separately from about 1730, possibly to clear stocks, but each usually with a new title page: i.e. A Compleat History of Devonshire ... Printed by E & R Nutt and sold by T Cox Cornhill MDCCXXX.[4] However, no advertising for these individual sections (or the complete work) have been seen after April 1731 and county volumes in this form are comparatively rare. The printers were Elizabeth Nutt (her husband, John, had died 1716) and later Richard, her son.

Cox died in 1734 and his complete stock was sold to Caesar Ward and Richard Chandler in 1738-9 who quickly began selling copies of Magna Britannia using the existing typescript but new title pages for Volumes I to VI.[5] But, although the six-volume work itself had new title pages, the individual counties were sold without title page - although three counties have been reported with the old title page (Cox from 1730) with a pasted slip over the Cox imprint.[6] These were presumably available until 1744-5; Chandler died in 1744 and Ward became bankrupt in 1745.

Around the end of the century some counties appeared with spurious title pages. Six variants[7] are known and Devon has been seen with four different titles. This was possibly an attempt to sell them off as of interest to any antiquary and although Hodson alleges they are found “fairly commonly” only a few counties are known. They can usually be identified by alleging the author was a “Rev.” Thomas Cox[8] and the inclusion of a mileage chart after the final page of text.

For a full record and illustrations of all variant titles, see Kit Batten Robert Morden´s Smaller Series of Maps.

Size: 175 x 215 mm. 

Three scales: A Scale of 10 Miles - Great, Midle and Smal (30, 28 & 27 mm).

 DEVON SHIRE by Robt Morden. No compass.  

1.  1701  The New Description and State of England  [9]
    London. Robert Morden, Thos Cockerill and Ralph Smith. 1701. [10]
    The New Description and State of England. The Second Edition  
     London. S and J Sprint, J Nicholson, and S Burroughs; A Bell and R Smith. 1704.    [11]  
2. 1708 Maps amended by Moll: main roads double-lined and new roads added (eg Dartmouth-Newton Bushel). Compass(Dd). Directions added outside the county, even upside-down in Cornwall (To Truro). Dartmore named (Dart More) and representaion of hills. Towns added, especially in South hams: Morley, Holwell, Wrangalin (for Morleigh, Loddiswell and Wrangaton) and Dodbrook corrected: Beare Alston added. Other places such as Crockern Tor (Crockha Tor) and Lemin B and Ivy B, probably to show bridge rather than town.  
    Fifty Six New and Accurate Maps ... Begun by Mr Morden: Perfected, Corrected and Enlarg´d by Mr Moll  
    London. John Nicholson, John Sprint, Andrew Bell and Ralph Smith. 1708. [12]
    Magna Britannia et Hibernia Antiqua et Nova ... Mr Cambden (Devon in parts 11 and 12)  
    London. John Morphew. 1716.    [14]
    Magna Britannia et Hibernia  
    London. M Nutt and J Morphew. 1720-1731. [15]
    A Compleat History of Devonshire  
    London. T. Cox. 1730.  [16]  
    Magna Britannia Antiqua et Nova  
    London. Caesar Ward and R Chandler. 1738 (1739).    [17]  
    Devonshire (no title page; pages 465-546 of complete work)  
    (London. Caesar Ward and R Chandler. 1739.) [18]
    A topographical, ecclesiastical, and natural history of [Devonshire] : with pedigrees of all the noble families and gentry ... biographical notices of eminent and learned men ... also an alphabetical table of the towns, villages, and hamlets, with the several hundreds and deaneries in which they stand ... / collected and composed according to the best relations extant by Thomas Cox.  
    London. M Nutt and J Morphew. MDCC  (1797).  [19]
    A topographical, ecclesiastical, and natural history of [Devonshire] : with pedigrees of all the noble families and gentry ...  
    London. M Nutt. 1700 (1797). [20] 
    Magna Britannia et Hibernia, Antiqua & Nova or a New Survey of Great Britain  
    London. T Cox. 1720-31 (1797).  [21] 
    Magna Britannia Antiqua & Nova or A topographical, ecclesiastical, and natural history of [Devonshire]   
    London. M Nutt and J Morphew. MDCCXX  (1797). [22] 


[1] See Donald Hodson; County Atlases of the British Isles; Vol. I; The Tewin Press; Welwyn; 1984. The majority of this text has been adapted from this work but with addition of more library holdings. See also Carroll, Printed Maps of Lincolnshire 1576-1900; Lincoln Record Society; 1996; Woodbridge.

[3] See Hodson entry 128, page 10 for reference numbers and collation of the copies. Volume I contains preliminaries, general maps and counties A-E including Devon.

[4] Two copies of Devon known; author´s collection and at Bodleian.

[5] Gatherings B-G are, however, new as the existing supply had run out; hence the first pages can be dated with certainty; later pages are from the revised work.

[6] Sussex (reported by Kingsley), Lincs at BL and two libraries in Lincoln, Derby at NLS.

[7] See especially Carroll, pages 65-66 where he records 6 variants for Lincolnshire.

[8] Of the five variant titles recorded, four refer to “Rev. Cox”, only one has simply T Cox. Hence some later researchers assumed Rev. Cox had written the text. There were actually two Reverends but neither is now thought to be involved. T Cox was a publisher with two known addresses in London.

[9] The references which follow are intended to help future researchers: figures in Roman numerals refer to entries in Chubb (see bibliography) and H plus a number refer to the entries in Hodson (see footnote 1). Library holdings under publication details are those given in Hodson; others are inserted as footnotes but must be treated with caution: these works have not been seen and the list is compiled from online sources, especially the main library online catalogue JISC Discover. Many entries have been excluded as they were thought to refer to one common online source, only available to university students and staff. Many of the entries included have never been listed together before. Many of the late eighteenth-century copies will be in local libraries not listed on JISC.

[10] CXXIV; S123 lists BL, RGS, B. Also reissued by same publishers in 4to format with unfolded maps (previously unrecorded edition) in collection of CB.

[11] CXXV; H125 lists BL, C; H126 lists B, CUL, NLW also in collection CB (4to).

[12] CXXVI; H127 lists BL, CUL, Lancs RO (Allen collection), RGS also B.

[14] This would be the serial numbers: no unbound copy with cover wrap has been seen.

[15] CXXVI; H128 lists BL, B, C, ULL, NLS, Sheffield, MCL: the B copy has Volumes I and II with reference to Atlas geographicus. Also reported to be at RGS (Vols 1,2, 5, 6), University of Birmingham, Society of Antiquities, University of Wales Trinity St Davids, London Library, Bangor University Library, Liverpool John Moores University, Northumbria University Library, University of Surrey Vol. I only at Cardiff University Libraries and University of Essex Library. 

[16] B, KB. Other counties known in this form (JISC) are Essex and Suffolk both held at University of Cambridge, Trinity College; Yorkshire held at York Minster (multiple copies) incorrectly ascribed to Cox, Thomas, Rector of Stock Harvard the elder; Yorkshire at Senate House Library, University of London; Durham at Durham University Library; Oxfordshire at Bodleian Library; and Cambridgeshire at the BL. Hodson has a different list: Warwickshire (noted by Harvey), Hertfordshire (seen by Hodson), BL has Sussex, the Bodleian has Kent, Leeds has a copy of Yorks with an adapted title page from the final Volume VI and Sheffield has Yorks with the title page to Parts issue 86 (which began with the first part of that county).

[17] CXXVIII; H129 lists BL, CB, JR (actually has three different variants) and also at Institute of Historical Research, NLS, B, TCD, C (5 of 6 vols), Eton College.

[18] KB. Author´s copy is without title page and the mileage chart (which would have been on the reverse of the following county) but in contemporary binding with spine label DEVONSHIRE COX´S” implying it was purchased while Cox was still involved with its publication. These copies could have appeared any time between 1720 and 1744: for a short time circa 1730-31 specially printed title pages were available (as Compleat History). Other counties known in this form (e.g. lacking a new title page) are Leicestershire and Nottingham (Univ. of Nottingham), Dorset and Worcester at Society of Genealogists, Lancashire at Chetham´s Library Manchester, Manchester Public Library and the Univ. of Lancaster, Rutland at Univ. of Leicester, the Bodleian Library has Sussex, Somerset, Durham, Oxford and Northumberland, Bucks at IHR, Hampshire at Univ. of Southampton and Univ. of Leeds, Warwickshire (National Trust), Middlesex at UCL, Berks at Reading Univ., Essex at the Gibson Library (Saffron Walden), Lincs at Lincoln Library, Devon & Exeter Institute has Dorset and Somerset, Northampton (on offer at Forest Books, Grantham, 2023) and Northumberland at Dundee Univ. UE has Devon and Dorset in two volumes: no title pages.

[19] DEI, KB. Other counties with this title and probably published late in the eighteenth or even early nineteenth century are Yorkshire (York Minster) and Somerset at Univ. of Keele.

[20] North Devon Studies Library.

[21] KB. One of the Lincolnshire variants from this time has a watermarked title page “1797”. The six titles are listed in Carroll; Hodson entry 129, page 31 only notes four. See also next entry. Other counties with title Magna Britannia Antiqua & Nova and a reference to the Rev. T Cox are held at the national Trust (Westmoreland) and Winchester College Fellow´s Library (Yorks and Kent), Bangor Univ. has Cheshire, Lincolnshire at Lincoln R Library, Norfolk (private collection) and Cumberland (on sale by Rosley Books, Wigton, in 2023). Magna Britannia; or Topographical … History of Sussex has been seen (on sale by Stephen Rench, Shipston-on-Stour, 2023).

[22] North Devon Athenaeum.