47 John Gibson 1767


One of the more successful of the eighteenth century magazines was The Universal Museum or Gentleman’s and Ladies Polite Magazine of History, Politicks and Literature. It was issued monthly between January 1762 and December 1764. It then continued as The Universal Museum and Complete Magazine of Knowledge and Pleasure and was again issued monthly, from January 1765 until December 1770, with a variety of maps including 10 county maps.

Each month consisted of a number of articles and a map of Devon was included with a four page description of the county in the issue for July 1767. Each number of the magazine contained approximately 50 pages, numbered consecutively, with July consisting of pages 327 to 384 with a title page and a half title. Presumably at the end of the year a title page was issued to subscribers for binding the 12 monthly issues together1.

The maps in this series may have been engraved by John Gibson, although maps by Thomas Kitchin (Roads of England and Wales) and W Fowler (Oxfordshire) were included in the magazine at this time. The connection with Kitchin is very clearly seen. Devon was a copy of Kitchin’s map for the London Magazine of 1750 (34), but with the imprints to identify it and the cow and cowherd reversed. Market days have been added but the arms of Exeter omitted. It appeared in volume 3 of the new series, opposite p.358, published in July 1767, Publish’d Monthly by J Payne, at No 54 Pater Noster Row. Although the British Library has a copy of the Universal Museum for 1767 the map of Devon is missing.

John Gibson had previously produced a charming set of miniature maps in John Newbery’s New and Accurate Maps of 1759 (40).

 Size 204 x 182 mm.  British Statute Miles (20 = 49 mm).

An Accurate MAP of DEVONSHIRE from the Best Authorities by J. Gibson. Imprints: Engrav’d for the Universal Museum and Complete Magazine. (CaOS) and Printed for J. Payne at No. 54 Paternoster Row. (CeOS).                                                                                                                                                           

1. 1767 The Universal Museum and Complete Magazine of Knowledge and Pleasure     (DevA2).
    London. J Payne. 1767. CCXXI, Jolly UMUS24, P3.

[1] The title page of a copy formerly belonging to the author has Volume II for 1766 (ie old title page being used again).

[2] Illustration courtesy of the Devon Archives and Heritage Centre, Exeter .

[3] Bound in volume compilation of all 12 months of 1767. Each individual issue is dated correctly.