40 John Gibson 1759


John Gibson (fl.1750-92) was a well-known geographer, engraver and draughtsman at No 18 George’s Court Clerkenwell. He worked with Thomas Kitchin, Thomas Jefferys and with Emanuel Bowen (Atlas Minimus 1758) and produced maps for the Gentleman’s Magazine 1758-63. Gibson also produced a number of maps between 1762 and 1770 for The Universal Museum and Complete Magazine which contained 10 county maps including Devon (47).

In 1759 (the date is taken from an advertisement) his miniature maps for John Newbery’s atlas of 53 British county maps appeared in New and Accurate Maps of the Counties of England and Wales (12mo). This is a delightful series; each map has a delicate rococo title cartouche, compass, scale-bar, main roads, rivers and a number of place names. Below the map is an engraved topographical note giving the number of houses, inhabitants, parishes, members of parliament, and the main products and commodities within the county. Fine lines above some of the maps indicate that they were probably engraved and printed two or more to each plate.

John Newbery is well known to those interested in juvenile literature: he seems to have specialised quite early on in the publishing of books for children. He moved to London in 1744 producing A Little Pretty Pocket Book, the same year and proceeded to publish all sorts of books for children. Most of his books sold for 6d. or a shilling. When the atlas appeared it was appreciably more expensive at 4s but was included in an advertisement with 11 other useful and pretty books and could well have been aimed at a younger audience. Newbery’s son took over the business forming a partnership with Thomas Carnan. This dissolved about 1779. There was a further issue of the atlas in or after 1779 after the partnership broke up.

Size 112 x 65 mm.  English Miles (20 = 16 mm).

Devon Shire. Plate number 10 (EaOS).   

1. 1759 New and Accurate Maps of the Counties of England & Wales Drawn from the latest Surveys by J Gibson.   (DevA).
  London. J Newbery. (1759). CCXIII, H219, BL, C, B.
  New and Accurate Maps of the Counties of England & Wales  
  London. T Carnan. (1779). CCXIV, H220, B, W.