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Scarce two-sheet plan of Edinburgh

Stock No. 13763 Category: Tags: , , , , , , , Cartographer: JOHNSTON, Andrew.

The Plan of Edenburgh exactly done From the Original of ye famous D: Wit.
London: Joseph Smith, c. 1728. Two sheets conjoined, total 420 x 1040mm.

£3,000

Out of stock

A fine two-sheet plan of Edinburgh, with the buildings in profile, showing the city from the south. On the left is Edinburgh Castle with the Royal Mile running east to Holyrood Palace. The three inset views are prospects of the city from the North and South and Edinburgh Castle from the East, the approach from the city. It was engraved by Andrew Johnstone c.1710, using Frederick de Wit's 1694 edition of James Gordon's survey of 1647 for the plan, and John Slezer's 'Theatrum Scotiae' of 1693 for the prospects.

James Gordon (c.1615-86 ) was working with his father Robert Gordon to create the first atlas of Scotland. It is recorded that the Edinburgh paid him 500 merks (a Scottish silver coin equivalent to an English shilling) for the map in Aprl 1647. Events such as the Civil War delayed the atlas, which was eventually published by Johannes Blaeu in Amsterdam, 1654, but this map was not engraved until afterwards, 1655-6. Blaeu examples are rare, as they were only published as separate-issues: it was only after De Wit bought the plates than the plan was issued in atlases.

The dedication is to Sir George Lockhart of Lee (1673-1731), the member of the Parliament of Scotland for Edinburgh and a member of the commission that arranged the Act of Union with England in 1705. However he was a secret Jacobite, spying for the exiled family of James II. He published a list of bribes paid by the English to the Scottish MPs to facilitate the Union, inspiring the Robert Burns line 'bought and sold for English gold'. After a period in exile he was allowed to return to Scotland in 1728, dying in a duel three years later.

Additional information

Cartographer

Date

1728

Extra Info

The Plan of Edenburgh exactly done From the Original of ye famous D: Wit.

Publication

London: Joseph Smith, c. 1728. Two sheets conjoined, total 420 x 1040mm.

Condition

A good example.

References