60 Henry Mutlow / William Marshall 1796


There was a great interest in agriculture, geology and economics shown in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries as attested by the work of William Tunnicliff (58), Robert Fraser (59) and the contemporaries who wrote similar tracts on the agriculture of the counties. In 1808 Charles Vancouver’s General View of the Agriculture of the County of Devon was published complete with a map of Devon by Neele (70) and in 1820 William Smith would use the larger Cary maps to produce some fine geological maps (71).

Between 1791 and 1794 William Marshall traversed most of the greater Devon area and produced a two-volume work on the rural economies of the western counties. From the introduction it is clear that Devon was the focal point of his research but, as in agriculture county boundaries are meaningless, outlying districts were included. Consequently, Mutlow’s map includes the whole of Devonshire, with parts of Somerset, Dorset and Cornwall; from the River Parret as far west as Padstow. The map is very simple with rivers shown but smaller rivers not named. Only larger towns are given and there are no roads. There are some antiquated spellings such as Dartmore and Tamer which one might not expect at this time. Other names are also somewhat unusual, eg Quantoc Hills and The Cornish Mountains.

Marshall was an early proposer (1790) and then perforce a competitor of the Board of Agriculture which was established about 1792. Marshall’s comprehensive work on the west country, based on his earlier experiences in the midlands, looked at every aspect to do with farming and agriculture in the area. He seems to have been very impressed with the sheepdogs in the east of the area. Another custom that interested him was Devonshiring, or Denshiring; this was the local method of ‘burning the beat’, or sodburning after harvest. The work was also published in Dublin by P Wogan, P Byrne, J Rice and J Moore. The only copy seen had no map.

Henry Mutlow was an engraver and printer in Russell Court, London who produced a large number of maps including several related to the west country in this period. He engraved the map printed by Caddell in 1822 for Lyson’s Magna Britannia (89) and executed a somewhat simplified town plan of Exeter.1 Mutlow produced maps for William Tunnicliff in 1789 for the Topographical Survey of the Counties of Stafford, Chester, and Lancaster. He also executed two maps of Sussex in July 1798 for The Rural Economy of the Southern Counties again by William Marshall and the same publishers.2 He was born about 1756, married Sarah Wodman in 1786 and died in 1826. For a period he traded as Henry Mutlow and Son(s); his son, James, carrying on the business at York Street.3

Size 184 x 214 mm. Scale 1M = 2.1 mm.
PART of THE WEST OF ENGLAND. Signature H. Mutlow, sc. Russel Cot. London 1796 (EeOS).  


1. 1796  The Rural Economy of the West of England Including Devonshire and Parts of Somersetshire, Dorsetshire and Cornwall ... By Mr Marshall in Two Volumes. LONDON: Printed for G Nicol ... G G and J Robinson ... and J Debrett ... MDCCXCVI.  
    London. G Nicol, GG & J Robinson and J Debrett. 1796.  BL.
2. 1796 Date erased from imprint. Two notes added: Published as the Act Directs (AeOS) and To be put in with a Guard before the Title Page (CeOS).    
    The Rural Economy of the West of England Including Devonshire...  
    London. G Nicol, GG & J Robinson and J Debrett. 1796.  DevA, KB.


[1] See Printed Maps of Exeter entry 19; Batten & Bennett; Little Silver Publications 2011; slightly updated edition now on-line at Kit´s Blog.

[2] D Kingsley: The Printed Maps of  Sussex; Sussex Record Society; 1982.

[3] See Worms and Baynton-Williams British Map Engravers.