102 John & Charles Walker / Henry Fisher 1831


One of the most attractive of illustrated guide books to be produced in the early 1800s was Devonshire & Cornwall Illus­trated. This was a superb piece of cooperation between the artists Thomas Allom and W H Bartlett who provided the original drawings, John Britton and Edward Wedlake Brayley, who provided the text to each illustration, together with the various steel engravers, printer and publishers. The whole work was originally published in parts by H Fisher, Son & Co1 and Devon was published concurrently with the Cornish volume (although a large portion of Devon was complete before the first section of Cornish text appeared) between circa September 1829 and 1832. The work was a monthly publication consisting of two leaves of views (two to a page) and two leaves of text as: Devonshire & Cornwall Illustrated; exhibiting the picturesque scenery, buildings, antiquities, &c of those highly interesting counties. … Forming part of … Fishers’ Grand National Improvements, and Jones’ Great Britain Illustrated. The maps of Devon, which had an attractive vignette view of Babicombe Bay signed by Allom and Floyd, and Cornwall appeared in issues 29 and 33, are dated 1831 and 1832 respectively, and were bound as frontispieces in the bound version. Usually, the two counties are found bound together but each with its separate title page still dated 1829 (Devon, or 1831 for Cornwall) but a new joint title page was issued for insertion in 1832. The publishers commissioned the maps from the company of J & C Walker who produced a number of maps (see also 116 and Creighton 103 and 113) of the two counties for various works.

The work was already being issued bound as a complete work in 1832 by H Fisher, R Fisher and P Jackson: while the form was the same, the pagination and order were changed. It was reprinted 1835; reprinted again in 1840 and 1844 by Fisher, Son & Co, London & Paris, as Fisher's Views In Devonshire & Cornwall; and finally in 1849, again with latter title, by P. Jackson, London & Paris, with only 1 plate to a sheet. From the late 1830s into the 1840s selected plates also appeared in Fisher's Annual Drawing‑Room Scrap Books.2 The work was also reissued as a part series at least twice.

Henry Fisher (fl.1816-37d) and his son were publishers at the Caxton Press in St. Martin-le-Grand, London. In 1842 the company completed Fisher’s County Atlas of England and Wales, an atlas originally started by Gilbert (see entry 120). They also traded under the name, Fisher Son & Co. 

Rather surprisingly a second part worked was launched on the same day, 1st September 1829. Thomas Moore's History of Devonshire appeared in booksellers at exactly the same time but took nearly 7 years to complete. This included the map of Devon by Schmollinger (entry 115) and a map of Exeter. 3 For a complete overview of the history of these two part works see Kit Batten: Jennings vs Fisher: Two Illustrated Books on Devon.

Size 185 x 235 mm.                                                                                                                                                English Miles (20 = 46 mm).

DEVONSHIRE. (CaOS). Vignette view of BABICOMBE BAY. Imprint: FISHER, SON & Co. LONDON, 1831. (CeOS) and signature: Drawn & Engraved by J & C. Walker. (EeOS).

       (DevA), (NDL), (DEI).
1. 1831 Devon & Cornwall Illustrated – Part No. 29  
    London: H Fisher, Son & Co., Jones & Co.: Plymouth. J Gibson. 1831. KB4.
    Devonshire Illustrated  
    London. Fisher Son & Co. 1829 (1832).  DevA.
    Devonshire & Cornwall Illustrated  
    London. H Fisher, R Fisher and P Jackson. 1832.  FB, KB.
    Fisher’s Picturesque Illustrations of Great Britain and Ireland. Third Series, comprising Views in the Counties of Devon and Cornwall.  
    London. Fisher, Son and Co. and J Gibson. 1834.5     Assumed.


[1] It was originally published in parts by H Fisher, Son & Co, 38 Newgate-Street (London); Jones & Co., Finsbury Square (London); J Gibson, 8 Lady-Well-Place, Plymouth; and all booksellers (although this meant obviously only the retailers). This edition had 36 monthly parts.

[2] See Somers Cocks entry S. 107 and p. 265.

[3] For a comprehensive overview of this and Moore's work see Kit Batten Moore vs Fisher at Kit's Blog Two Illustrated Books on Devon. The Exeter map is entry 26 in The Printed Maps of Exeter.

[4] The author has an almost complete set of the monthly parts. Part 29 was probably issued December 1831 or January 1832.

[5] The author has Parts 1 and 9 suggesting a 9-part set and with a date of 1834 on an advert for another work.