91 William Robert Gardner / Charles Smith 1822


Publisher, engraver, map and globe seller, Charles Smith was highly successful, eventually becoming Map Seller Extraordinary to HRH the Prince of Wales. From premises at No 172 Corner of Surrey Street in the Strand (1803-1862), and from 1864 at 63 Charing Cross, the firm produced notable cartographic works including the New English Atlas (63), maps of London (1803) and Bristol (1829), and plans of rivers and canals.

In 1822 a reduced version of the New English Atlas (now 4to with 44 maps), the title remaining the same, was published with the map of Devon engraved by W R Gardner (with other maps by John Pickett).

William Robert Gardner (fl. 1816-1829) was born circa 1789 and his work for Smith is amongst the earliest known. H also did engraving for well-known publishers such as William Darton and R H Laurie. In 1826 Smith compiled a road book with Gardner’s name appearing once again as engraver. In 1829 bankrupty procedings were started but but shortly after “extensive forgeries “ were detected. Soon after Gardner fled the country, allegedly with up to £10,000 in forged bills and possibly emigrated to New York with one son, leaving a wife and three children behind.[1]

A close copy of Gardner’s map was executed for Trewman’s Exeter Journal and Almanack of the same year as the smaller New English Atlas (see especially entry 93) and this was used until c.1850 (see image). In 1850 Trewman started to use the Gardner-Smith map and discontinued using his locally produced copy. Why Trewman chose to use this map at all when he had another plate at his disposal is not known but it is feasible that he may have had copyright problems with Smith and they came to an agreement of some sort. It would be interesting to know whether this had anything to do with Gardner. The Exeter Journal and Almanack was published every year from 1850 to 1857 but only three copies with maps have been found.

The maps may also have been available folded with a cover from c.1845 as Smith’s .... (County) but a map of Devon has not been seen.

Size 195 x 230 mm.  Scale of Miles (20 = 52 mm).

DEVONSHIRE. Distances from London to Exeter via 5 different routes, and from London to Plymouth via 3 different routes. Imprint: Printed for C. SMITH, No. 172 Strand 1822. (CeOS). Signature: Gardner sculpt (EeOS). 

 1.  1822  Smith’s New English Atlas being a reduction of his large folio atlas  
    London. C Smith. 1822, 1825. CCCLXXXVIII, BL, W, C; C.
2. 1828 Date in imprint erased. New link road just north of Chudleigh added.2  
    (Links Exeter-Ashburton and Exeter-Newton Abbot roads.)  
    Smith’s New English Atlas  
    London. C Smith. 1828, 1828 (1829), 1828 (1830), 1833 (1834), 1841. CB; B; C; KB; P.
    Undated map dissected, mounted and booked.  C.
3. 1844 Bristol and Exeter railway added.  
    Smith’s New English Atlas  
    London. C Smith. 1844. CB.
4. 1850 Imprint: Printed for R J Trewman & Cos Pocket Book 1850.  
    The Exeter Journal and Almanack  
    Exeter. R J Trewman. 1850. DEI.
5.  1853 New imprint: Exeter Journal and Almanack. Exeter. R J Trewman  
    The Exeter Journal and Almanack  
    Exeter. R J Trewman. 1853. BL. 
6. 1856 Map dated 1856  
    The Exeter Journal and Almanack  
    Exeter. R J Trewman. 1856. DevA.


[1] Laurence Worms and Ashley Baynton-Williams; British Map Engravers (2011).

[2] These atlases have been dated on basis of map of Yorkshire - dated 1827, 1829, 1830 and 1834 respectively. A copy of Smith’s New English Atlas with title-page dated 1825 but published in 1827 (based on the map of Yorkshire) has been reported. See Eugene Burden; County Maps of Berkshire; (1988) 1991, p.117  - atlas now broken. There is also the possibility that the date in the imprint of the Devon map was erased earlier as Kingsley recorded two states of Sussex in 1825 editions. See David Kingsley; Printed Maps of Sussex; Sussex Record Society; 1982.