49 Thomas Kitchin 1769


Although he collaborated with his former master and father-in-law, Emanuel Bowen, on many atlases Thomas Kitchin is known for a much wider variety of engraved work than Bowen. The most striking feature of his cartographic output is the sheer quantity of it. He was involved in the preparation and publication of more than a dozen different sets (and part sets) of county maps, including this set for Kitchin’s Pocket Atlas which appeared in 1769 (oblong 8vo, 47 maps). He also engraved some of the most important individual maps of the 18th century and furnished illustrative maps for countless travel-books, geographies and gazetteers.

The maps published by Kitchin and J Gapper were said to be the first set of counties, ever published on this plan, i.e. to a uniform scale. This was not strictly true as Mathew Simons’ atlas of 1636 (9) had the same intention, though at a much smaller scale. The next atlas to be drawn to a uniform scale was that of the Greenwoods in 1834.

When the maps reappeared some 13 years later they were published by Carington Bowles. This was one of only two atlases to have the name Bowles in the title (the other was also a Bowen and Kitchin production - Bowles New Medium Atlas  a reissue of Atlas Anglicanus 48). Carington was a member of a family of map sellers and publishers which, through four generations, contributed a great deal to English cartography.

Thomas Bowles, in all probability working from St. Paul’s Churchyard in London, was the father of John and Thomas Bowles. The latter as well as continuing his father’s business became an established engraver of maps and prints including some notable engravings of plans and views of London, much of his work being sold through his brother, who using his patrimony started his own firm in 1723 and was involved in publishing for some sixty years. He published numerous maps and atlases and both their names are found as publishers of the maps of Hermann Moll (25).

Carington Bowles joined the family business in 1754 and the firm traded under the name John Bowles and Son. In 1764 Carington took over his uncle’s business, his father continued trading as John Bowles. Carington died in 1793 and his business was continued by his son and W Carver who traded for only two years as Bowles and Carver. Although the atlas was listed in a Bowles and Carver catalogue in 1782 Chubb dated it 1785.

The map of Devon was larger than most and was folded. It was graticuled at 40 West and 510 North. It was pasted in at the bottom left hand corner and many maps were torn when removed from the atlas.

Size 308 x 280 mm. British Statute Miles (18 = 63 mm).

No title but DEVON SHIRE is written across the county.

1. 1769 Kitchin’s Pocket Atlas  
    London. T Kitchin and J Gapper. 1769. CCXXXV, BL, C, W.
2. 1774 Title added: BOWLES’S REDUCED MAP OF DEVONSHIRE. (CaOS).  Page number - 16 - added (EaOS).  
    Bowles’s Pocket Atlas  
    London. Carington Bowles. (1774).1   CCLVI, BL, C.

[1] In 2007 Bonhams, the London auction house, sold a copy of this work with a manuscript inscription of John Laroche dated 1774. The original dating by Chubb (1785) and Hodson (1778) has been revised accordingly.