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"A Landmark map which was used directly or indirectly for nearly all Scottish maps for the next 40 years"  (National Library of Scotland)

Nice example of James Dorret's highly important General Map of Scotland . . . , issued in 1750.

Initially, Dorret was retained to survey and create a map Argyll for his then employer, the Duke of Argyll.  The success of the project resulted in the expansion of the project to all of Scotland.

Dorret conducted is own survey work, relying also upon William Roy's Military Survey of Scotland (1747-1755), and current estate and maritime surveys.  

The map was "an immense improvement on anything that preceded it" (Inglis et al.   The islands of Skye and Lewis, are drawn with greater accuracy than any prior maps. The island of Lewis finally loses flat top present since Blaeu's maps of the early17th Century, which by Dorret's time had been corrected by the maritime charts of Murdoch Mackenzie. 

As noted in the title, the map shows:

  • Modern Fortifications
  • Roads
  • Military Ways
  • Roman Camps
  • Roman Forts
  • Roman Walls
  • Roman Military Ways
  • Danish Camps & Forts

Dorret's map of Scotland was the standard depiction of Scotland for the next 40 years, used by the likes of Thomas Kitchin, Marcus Armstrong, and Robert Campbell. 

A curious comment about Dorret and his map can be found in William Wenman Seward's Topographia Hibernica, Or The Topography of Ireland, Ancient and Modern (Dublin 1797), wherein Seward states at page 63:

“A general map of Scotland and islands thereto belonging . . . By “James Dorret", land surveyor.” 1750. In four large sheets: also in four smaller, incorrectly engraved for cheapness, and reduced in two and one. It was copied from particular MS. surveys taken at the expence of the duke of Argyle, who revised the whole, and procured the best information both of the names and situation of places. Another in one sheet taken from this, and a map of Great-Britain and Ireland sans date. Dorret was a barber, and afterwards servant to the duke of Argyle, who patronised him. He is said to be living in low circumstance in London. 

Seward's comments notwithstanding, Dorret's work was the single most enduring map of Scotland published in the 18th Century and the standard model for other mapmakers until nearly the close of the century.

Condition Description
Laid on two sheets of unjoined linen. Soiling along folds.
Inglis, H. G., J. Mathieson, and C. B. B. Watson, The Early Maps of Scotland with an account of the Ordnance Survey, Edinburgh: Royal Scottish Geographical Society, 1934; Tooley, R. V., Maps and map-makers, London: Batsford, 1978