First state of this scarce John Arrowsmith map of western Australia, first published in 1840.
The map covers the present-day counties of Melbourne, Glenelg, Grey, Carnarvon, Twiss, Victoria, Durham, Lansdowne, Perth, Yorke, Howick, and Beaufort, in the District of Victoria.
The inland route shown is that Captain George Grey.
Perth and Swan River are shown.
Dorothy Prescott, in her exhaustive description of Arrowsmith and Stanford's Australian maps, provides the following note:
The states of the map are basically the same with the removal in the second state of the word 'Australind' from the phrase 'Australind & Port Grey'. This was an error on Arrowsmith's part as the location of Australind is just north of the present day Bunbury.' This means that it does not appear on this map as it lies south of the present limits of this map.
The second state has however several additional insets of harbours.
The main chart extends from the settled parts in the south of Western Australia to north of Shark Bay. In its middle latitudes it shows exploration for a short distance inland. North of 27°50'S only coastal detail shown until the Gascoyne River is reached at 24°50'S.
The area from 27°40'S to 29°30'S has been given the district name of VICTORIA.
The inset map on a larger scale is a copy of Grey's original traverse and much greater detail of topography is given.
The Arrowsmiths were a cartographic dynasty which operated from the late-eighteenth century to the mid-nineteenth. The family business was founded by Aaron Arrowsmith (1750-1823), who was renowned for carefully prepared and meticulously updated maps, globes, and charts. He created many maps that covered multiple sheets and which were massive in total size. His spare yet exacting style was recognized around the world and mapmakers from other countries, especially the young country of the United States, sought his maps and charts as exemplars for their own work.
Aaron Arrowsmith was born in County Durham in 1750. He came to London for work around 1770, where he found employment as a surveyor for the city’s mapmakers. By 1790, he had set up his own shop which specialized in general charts. Arrowsmith had five premises in his career, most of which were located on or near Soho Square, a neighborhood the led him to rub shoulders with the likes of Joseph Banks, the naturalist, and Matthew Flinders, the hydrographer.
Through his business ties and employment at the Hydrographic Office, Arrowsmith made other important relationships with Alexander Dalrymple, the Hudson’s Bay Company, and others entities. In 1810 he became Hydrographer to the Prince of Wales and, in 1820, Hydrographer to the King.
Aaron Arrowsmith died in 1823, whereby the business and title of Hydrographer to the King passed to his sons, Aaron and Samuel, and, later, his nephew, John. Aaron Jr. (1802-1854) was a founder member of the Royal Geographical Society (RGS) and left the family business in 1832; instead, he enrolled at Oxford to study to become a minister. Samuel (1805-1839) joined Aaron as a partner in the business and they traded together until Aaron left for the ministry. Samuel died at age 34 in 1839; his brother presided over his funeral. The remaining stock and copper plates were bought at auction by John Arrowsmith, their cousin.
John (1790-1873) operated his own independent business after his uncle, Aaron Arrowsmith Sr., died. After 1839, John moved into the Soho premises of his uncle and cousins. John enjoyed considerable recognition in the geography and exploration community. Like Aaron Jr., John was a founder member of the RGS and would serve as its unofficial cartographer for 43 years. Several geographical features in Australia and Canada are named after him. He carried the title Hydrographer to Queen Victoria. He died in 1873 and the majority of his stock was eventually bought by Edward Stanford, who co-founded Stanford’s map shop, which is still open in Covent Garden, London today.