Finely detailed map of the area around London, published by Thomas Kitchin for Noorthouck's History of London.
The map's primary focus is to convey information regarding travel distances to and from London from the surrounding towns and cities. At the time of its creatrion, the map covered Middlesex County and parts of Buckinghamshire, Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire, Essex, Kent, Surrey, Hampshire, and Berkshire. The outer limit of the London Penny Post, re-established by an Act of Parliament in 1765, is marked in red. though what this might have been is unknown.
The map notes that "The Towns & Villages on the Roads are Ichnographically laid down thus.... Figures annexed to a place denote its Distance from London in Measured Miles", with symbols for:
- Close Roads
- Open Roads
- Noblemen & Gentlemens Seats
- Wind Mills
- Water Mills
- County Boundaries
- Circuit of the Penny Post
Thomas Kitchin was a British cartographer and engraver. Born in Southwark, England, Kitchin was the eldest of several children. He was apprenticed to the map engraver Emanuel Bowen from 1732 to 1739, and he married Bowen’s daughter, Sarah, in December 1739. By 1741 Kitchin was working independently and in 1746 he began taking on apprentices at his firm. His son Thomas Bowen Kitchin was apprenticed to him starting in 1754. By 1755 Kitchin was established in Holborn Hill, where his firm produced all kinds of engraved materials, including portraits and caricatures. He married his second wife, Jane, in 1762. Beginning in 1773 Kitchin was referred to as Hydrographer to the King, a position his son also later held. He retired to St. Albans and continued making maps until the end of his life.
A prolific engraver known for his technical facility, clean lettering, and impressive etched decorations, Kitchin produced several important works throughout his career. He produced John Elphinstone’s map of Scotland in 1746, and the first pocket atlas of Scotland, Geographia Scotiae, in 1748/1749. He co-published The Small English Atlas in 1749 with another of Bowen’s apprentices, Thomas Jefferys. He produced The Large English Atlas serially with Emanuel Bowen from 1749 to 1760. The latter was the most important county atlas since the Elizabethan era, and the first real attempt to cover the whole country at a large scale. In 1755 Kitchin engraved the important John Mitchell map of North America, which was used at the peace treaties of Paris and Versailles. In 1770 he produced the twelve-sheet road map England and Wales and in 1769–70 he produced Bernhard Ratzer’s plans of New York. In 1783, he published The Traveller’s Guide through England and Wales.