72 Henry Cooper / Benjamin Pitts Capper 1807


Benjamin Pitts Capper produced a very popular cartographic publication: his Topographical Dictionary was published by Richard Phillips and contained 44 maps of the English counties and maps of the British Isles, all drawn and engraved by H Cooper. Phillips also published Charles Vancouver’s agricultural report on Devon (70) advertising the Topographical and Statistical Dictionary by William (sic) Capper in that work.

The Dictionary was to be available with maps for 24s or the Maps may be had done up in a separate Atlas, price 9s. half bound, or beautifully coloured, price 12s. half bound. Recently two sets of the Dictionary maps without title page have been discovered. The maps have an earlier imprint than those maps in the Dictionary, implying the maps were ready in 1807. Only one complete atlas has so far been discovered. [Text updated 2012.]

George Byrom Whittaker was a school-master prior to publishing and was also Sheriff of the City of London.1 Originally G & W B Whittaker the company became George Byrom Whittaker in 1826, Treacher & Arnott or Whittaker, Treacher & Co. in 1830 and finally Whittaker & Co. from 1836. About 1820 he acquired William Pinnock’s History and Topography (86).

Henry Cooper (fl. 1804-1819) was an engraver and mapseller. He was apprenticed to John Warner. He was in partnership with John Purdy for a time but bankruptcy proceedings were started when this partnership ceased in 1811.2

Size 100 x 175 mm.                                                                                                                                                British Miles (10 = 16 mm).

Map panel 100 x 130 mm.   

DEVONSHIRE. Imprint: Published August 1, 1807, by R. Phillips. Bridge Street Blackfriars London (CeOS). Plate IX (EaOS). Signature: Cooper delt et sculpt. (EeOS). Statistics: houses 57,955, population 343,004.

Note new numbering: updated December 2012.                                                                                                                                                                   

1. 1807   [A set of maps ] with no title page  (KB)3.
    London. Richard Phillips. (1807).  
2.  1808 Imprint amended: Published Januy 1, 1808, by R. Phillips. (NDL).
    An Atlas of the British Islands  
    London. Richard Phillips. 1808.   C.
    A Topographical Dictionary of the United Kingdom by Benjamin Pitts Capper  
    London. Richard Phillips. 1808. CCCXXVII, BL, B, W.
    A Topographical Dictionary of the United Kingdom  
    London. Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme and Brown. 1813. BL.
3. 1808 Cooper signature deleted.  
    A Topographical Dictionary of the United Kingdom  
    London. Richard Phillips. 1808. W.
    A Topographical Dictionary of the United Kingdom  
    London. Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme and Brown. 1813. CCCXXVIII, W.
4. 1824 Imprint: Published by G & W B Whittaker. 13 Ave Maria Lane, 1824. Statistics: houses 71,486 and population 439,040. Towns added, eg Paignton, Littleham and Devonport. (DevA). 
    A Topographical Dictionary  
    London. Geo. B Whittaker. 1825, 1826.  CCCXXIX, BL; CCCXXX, BL, KB.
    A Topographical Dictionary  
    London. Sir Richard Phillips and Co. 1829 (1834), 1839. CCCXXXI, BL; [Leics].
    A Topographical Dictionary  
    London. Whittaker & Co. 1839.  [CB].


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

[2] See Worms and Baynton-Williams British Map Engravers p. 165-6.

[3] New state 1; other states amended accordingly. One atlas was broken up in 2010. The authors are grateful to Mr Alan Yates for supplying us with this information. Twenty of the maps in this atlas also presented other changes besides earlier imprint.