76 William Ebden 1811


Robert Laurie (1755-1836) and James Whittle (1757-1818) formed a publishing partnership in 1790 and bought Robert Sayer’s business after his death in 1794. Robert Laurie was an established engraver who invented a process for mezzotint engraving in colour. He won an award from the Royal Society of Arts in 1776. He was highly regarded for his engravings of biblical scenes and portraits. The firm of Laurie and Whittle was a leader in the publication of maps and worked extensively with well-known cartographers of the day, but also including many revisions of earlier works by Kitchin, Jefferys, Faden, Sayer and Bennett, and others. They reprinted much of Sayer’s stock: Benjamin Baker’s work for the Universal Magazine (57); Bickham’s views as A Birds-Eye View of the Counties in 1796 (36); and coastal charts, including Sayer’s own charts of the Devon coast. In 1806 they published their road-book Laurie and Whittle’s New Traveller’s Companion.

In 1812 Robert Laurie retired from the business and was replaced by his son, Richard Holmes Laurie (fl.1814-d.1858), the company then trading as Whittle and Laurie until R H Laurie took the firm over in 1818 trading under his own name from then until 1903. The famous nautical chart firm Imray, Laurie, Norie and Wilson Ltd is the continuation of the same family business.

The map was engraved by William Ebden who engraved a second Devon county map on a smaller scale in 1825 which was reissued a number of times (95).

Size 558 x 730 mm.                                                                                                                               Scale of Statute Miles (11 = 79 mm).

LAURIE & WHITTLE’S New Map of DEVONSHIRE, DIVIDED INTO HUNDREDS Exhibiting The Whole of THE MAIL, DIRECT AND PRINCIPAL CROSS ROADS, Gentlemen’s Seats, Rivers, &c. &c. By WILLM EBDEN. Imprint: Published 12 Augst. 1811 by Robt. Laurie and Jas. Whittle, No. 53 Fleet Street, London. (CeOS). Signature: Engraved by W. Pearcy. (EeOS).

1. 1811  As described as a separate sheet, cut, mounted, folded and cased. C, DevA1.
2. 1823 Date changed to Jan 1st. 1823.  
    Only seen as a separate sheet.    DevA.
3. 1826 Title changed to A New Map of DEVONSHIRE ... By WILLM. EBDEN. Imprint altered to read Published April 21st. 1826 by RICHD. HOLMES LAURIE, No. 53, Fleet Street, London.  
    Only seen as a separate sheet, cut, mounted and cased.  DevA.

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