70 Samuel J Neele / Charles Vancouver 1806


Early in the 1800s the newly founded Board of Agriculture decided to expand the 18th century Agricultural Surveys and asked one of their leading surveyors, Charles Vancouver, to rewrite the report on the agricultural condition of Devon. Vancouver had previously written the reports for Cambridgeshire (1794) and Essex (1795). He also completed a report on Hampshire in 1813. He was able to base some of his report on Devon on the earlier, preliminary report, by Robert Fraser, General View Of The County Of Devon (59) and, no doubt, on Marshall’s Rural Economy of 1796 (60).

Accompanying Vancouver’s report was a map of Devon. The map is dated 1806 and the engraver was Neele, probably S J Neele, who produced a large number of maps for different publishers and who had probably produced the earlier map for Fraser. There is far more detail on this map regarding towns, roads and other features and considerable detail with regard to the geology and agriculture. Vancouver obviously made some use of Fraser’s map as the notes in the explanation Veins of Limestone described by Mr Vancouver followed by Do by Mr Fraser testify.

Other maps and plans that were included in this comprehensive work were of Sir Lawrence Palk’s farm buildings at Haldon and a plan of his recently constructed quay in Torquay. These and all the animal, plant and machine engravings were executed by Neele. The Devon booksellers mentioned on the title page included E Upham, G Dyer, P Hedgeland and S Woolmer in Exeter as well as Cobley and Co. and Rees and Co. in Plymouth.

Richard Phillips (1767-1840), who also used the pseudonym Rev. J Goldsmith, led an interesting life, beginning as a schoolmaster and later working as a hosier. He was imprisoned for publishing Thomas Paine’s Rights of Man, was Sheriff of the City of London and was knighted in 1808. He started the Monthly Magazine in 1796 - the editor was Dr John Aikin (see 56).1 He also published Capper’s Topographical Dictionary (72).

 Size 243 x 294 mm.                                                                                                                                    British Miles  (10=33 mm).

MAP Exhibiting the POLITICAL DIVISIONS with the Soil & Substrata of the COUNTY of DEVON Engraved for Mr Vancouver’s Agricultural Report 1806. Imprint: Neele, Sculp, Strand. (EeOS).

1. 1806 General View of the Agriculture of the County of Devon ... By Charles Vancouver.  
    London. R Phillips. 1808.2   BL, DevA.
2. 1813 Date in the title changed to 1808.  
    General View of the Agriculture of the County of Devon ... Second Edition.  
    London. Sherwood, Neely, and Jones. 1813.3 KB.


[1] D Kingsley; Printed Maps of Sussex; Sussex Record Society; 1982.

[2] London: Printed for Richard Phillips, Bridge Street; sold by Faulder & Son, Bond Street; J Harding, St James’s Street; J Asperne, Cornhill; Black, Parry, & Kingsbury, Leadenhall Street; E Upham, G Dyer, P Hedgeland, & S Woolmer, Exeter; Cobley & Co. & Rees & Co. Plymouth; & A Constable & Co. Edinburgh; By B McMillan, Bow Street, Covent Garden. Price Fifteen Shillings in Boards.

[3] London: Printed for Sherwood, Neely, and Jones, Paternoster Row: sold by G and W Nicol, Pall Mall; E Upham, G Dyer, P Hedgeland, and S Woolmer, Exeter; and Cobley and Co. and Rees and Co., in Plymouth. Price Eighteen Shillings in Boards. Except for the title page there appear to be no changes: the work even includes the adverts for Phillips books (although he is no longer the publisher) and this is only up to date to circa 1808. Probably a case of leftover stock with new title page.