Impeccable example of this gorgeous wall map of North America, issued shortly after the conclusion of the Revolutionary War. This is the scarce 12th edition of the map, distinguishable by the recognition of the French Fishing rights in Newfoundland in Blue along the islands western coast. Originally issued separately by Bowen & Gibson in 1755, this map was periodically updated following the conclusion of the French and Indian War and the American Revolution and beginning in 1775 was bound into some of the most influential American Atlases of the era, including those issued by Jefferys, Faden and Sayer & Bennett. Beginning the 1770s, the map was updated to include surveys compiled by Governor George Pownall, including information from Evans' and other indigenous sources. Included on the map is an inset of Hudson's Bay and an inset based upon Fra. Eusebio Kino's explorations to the mouth of the Colorado River. The map is packed with Indian placenames in the west, forts along the Mississippi and west of the Appalachians and full compliment of annotations on early roads, explorations and other geographically specific facts. A visually striking example of this four sheet wall map of North America, which is rarely found in such superb condition. Stevens & Tree 49L.
Richard Holmes Laurie (1777-1858) was the son of mezzotint engraver Robert Laurie, who had taken over Robert Sayer's publishing house with James Whittle in 1794. Richard Holmes Laurie joined in a partnership with Whittle when his father retired in 1812. The name of the firm then switched from Laurie & Whittle to Whittle & Laurie. Whittle died in 1818, leaving Richard Holmes to continue publishing alone as R. H. Laurie.
When the Hydrographic Office opened in 1795, it was tasked with creating and producing all the nautical charts for the Royal Navy so as to wean the Navy off dependence on foreign charts. By the 1820s, private publishers were augmenting HO charts and competing with them, including Richard Holmes Laurie. Richard gave up publishing anything except nautical materials by 1830. He also sold charts to Trinity House, the lighthouse and maritime safety fraternity. He died in 1858.
The firm continued to print under the name R.H. Laurie even after 1858. Later, the firm was managed by Laurie’s draughtsman, Alexander George Findlay, and, later, Daniel and William Kettle.
James Whittle (1757-1818) was a British engraver and map printer. Whittle was employed by Robert Sayer (ca. 1725-1794). Together with Robert Laurie (1755?-1836), he took on Sayer’s business when the older man died in 1794. The two traded together as Laurie & Whittle until 1812, when Laurie retired. They had specialized in sea charts and maritime atlases. Whittle then partnered with Laurie’s son, Richard Holmes Laurie, until he died in 1818.