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A Comprehensive Compilation of Australian Exploration Routes Into The Interior Parts of the Continent.

Fine 2 sheet map of Australia, published by John Arrowsmith in London, shown in the midst of the decade of Australia's gold rushes and rapid expansion.

First issued in 1838, Arrowsmith's two sheet map of Australia is one of the most up-to-date and accurate maps of the continent.  Highly accurate and expertly executed, the map was periodically revised and re-Issued between 1838 and 1862, each new discovery was displayed on the updated edition of the map. 

In this edition, the results of John McDouall Stuart's explorations in the central and northern interior regions are shown, with the results  illustrated in minute detail.  Other explorations into the interior of Australia include:

  • William Landsborough (1856-1861)
  • Burke & Wills Expedition (1860-1860)
  • Frederick Standish (1861)

Twenty-one editions of the map are recorded.  One of the finest maps of Australia from this period and offered here in remarkably good condition.

For a comprehensive overview of the changes to this edition, please click here:

John McDouall Stuart

John McDouall Stuart (1815 – 1866) was a Scottish explorer and one of the most accomplished of all Australia's inland explorers. Stuart led the first successful expedition to traverse the Australian mainland from south to north and return, through the center of the continent. 

In all, Stuart led a total of six expeditions into the interior. The explorations of Stuart eventually resulted in the 1863 annexation of a huge area of country to the Government of South Australia. This area became known as the Northern Territory.  In 1871–72 the Australian Overland Telegraph Line was constructed along Stuart's route.  


John Arrowsmith Biography

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.