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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.

Place/Date:
London / 1804 (1808)
Size:
59 x 48 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
64045
Place/Date:
Philadelphia / 1804
Size:
10 x 8 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
68748
Place/Date:
London / 1808
Size:
15 x 10 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
64595
Place/Date:
Philadelphia / 1841
Size:
50 x 62.5 inches
Condition:
Fair
Stock#:
54662
Place/Date:
London / 1842
Size:
24 x 18.5 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
58052
Place/Date:
London / 1842
Size:
24 x 19 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
67941

Archived

Place/Date:
London / 1795
Size:
56 x 47 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
15539
Place/Date:
London / 1798
Size:
56 x 47 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
32200
Place/Date:
London / 1798
Size:
31.5 x 25 inches each sheet
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
41296hc
Place/Date:
London / 1798 (1814)
Size:
31.5 x 25 inches each sheet
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
60573op
Place/Date:
Boston / 1800
Size:
15 x 8 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
t0055
Place/Date:
London / 1801
Size:
49 x 58 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
49972
Place/Date:
London / 1801
Size:
28.5 x 24.5 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
64620
Place/Date:
Boston / 1802
Size:
10 x 8.5 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
7781
Place/Date:
Boston / 1802
Size:
10 x 8.5 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
54178
Place/Date:
Boston / 1802
Size:
10 x 8.5 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
63976
Place/Date:
London / 1803
Size:
76 x 48 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
7299
Place/Date:
Boston / 1804
Size:
10.5 x 8.5 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
0143
Place/Date:
Philadelphia / 1804
Size:
10.5 x 8.5 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
0144
Place/Date:
Philadelphia / 1804
Size:
14.5 x 7.5 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
10304
Place/Date:
Boston / 1804
Size:
10 x 8 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
14020
Place/Date:
Philadelphia / 1804
Size:
10 x 8 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
14021
Place/Date:
Philadelphia / 1804
Size:
10 x 8 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
14659
Place/Date:
London / 1804
Size:
59 x 48 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
4004
Place/Date:
Boston / 1804
Size:
10.5 x 8.5 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
6059h
Place/Date:
Philadelphia / 1804
Size:
10.5 x 8.5 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
6942
Place/Date:
Boston / 1804
Size:
10.5 x 8.5 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
7146
Place/Date:
Philadelphia / 1804
Size:
10 x 8 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
18596
Place/Date:
London / 1804
Size:
59 x 48 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
23728
Place/Date:
Boston / 1804
Size:
10.5 x 8.5 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
30097
Place/Date:
Boston / 1804 circa
Size:
10 x 8 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
31127
Place/Date:
Boston / 1804 circa
Size:
10 x 8 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
39389
Place/Date:
Philadelphia / 1804
Size:
10 x 8 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
40827
Place/Date:
Boston / 1804 circa
Size:
10 x 8 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
43120
Place/Date:
Boston / 1804 circa
Size:
10 x 8 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
45487
Place/Date:
London / 1804
Size:
59 x 48 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
48822
Place/Date:
Boston / 1804 circa
Size:
10 x 8 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
51528
Place/Date:
Boston / 1804 circa
Size:
10 x 8 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
51527
Place/Date:
London / 1804
Size:
15 x 9 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
54757
Place/Date:
Boston / 1804
Size:
10 x 8 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
57121
Place/Date:
Philadelphia / 1804
Size:
10 x 8 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
57222