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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 / 1842
Size:
10.3 x 9.5 inches (each)
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
70579
Place/Date:
London / 1840
Size:
19.5 x 23.5 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
71490
Place/Date:
London / 1840
Size:
19 x 24 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
64963
Place/Date:
London / 1840
Size:
24 x 20 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
64960
Place/Date:
London / 1858
Size:
23.5 x 18.5 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
64854
Place/Date:
London / 1840
Size:
24 x 19.5 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
71886
Place/Date:
London / 1840
Size:
20 x 24 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
64959
Place/Date:
London / 1832
Size:
19 x 24 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
67622
Place/Date:
London / 1836
Size:
28 x 20 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
63927
Place/Date:
London / 1840
Size:
24 x 19 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
64575
Place/Date:
London / 1864
Size:
18 x 24 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
67362
Place/Date:
London / 1842
Size:
19 x 23.5 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
67768
Place/Date:
London / 1842
Size:
20 x 24 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
68234
Place/Date:
London / 1840
Size:
20 x 23.5 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
73541
Place/Date:
London / 1858
Size:
20 x 24 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
65361
Place/Date:
London / 1842
Size:
24 x 20 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
67476
Place/Date:
London / 1840
Size:
23.5 x 18.5 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
71434
Place/Date:
London / 1842
Size:
24 x 19 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
67836
Place/Date:
London / 1834
Size:
24.5 x 24.5 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
57227
Place/Date:
London / 1841
Size:
12 x 10 inches (each)
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
70678
Place/Date:
London / 1832
Size:
24 x 20 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
64182
Place/Date:
London / 1842
Size:
24 x 20 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
67447
Place/Date:
London / 1842
Size:
24 x 20 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
67966
Place/Date:
London / 1842
Size:
20 x 24 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
58029
Place/Date:
London / 1840
Size:
24 x 20 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
65040
Place/Date:
London / 1840
Size:
24 x 19 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
67703
Place/Date:
London / 1858
Size:
20 x 24 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
65132
Place/Date:
London / 1840
Size:
19 x 23.5 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
74156

Archived

Place/Date:
London / 1842
Size:
8 x 11.5 inches (each)
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
70507
Place/Date:
London / 1858
Size:
20 x 24 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
57619
Place/Date:
London / 1834
Size:
20 x 24 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
63958
Place/Date:
London / 1861
Size:
20 x 24 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
65083
Place/Date:
London / 1840
Size:
19.5 x 23.5 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
67026
Place/Date:
London / 1828
Size:
10.3 x 9.5 inches (each)
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
73887
Place/Date:
London / 1835
Size:
19 x 24 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
63654
Place/Date:
London / 1840
Size:
19 x 24 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
67503
Place/Date:
London / 1840 (1854)
Size:
24 x 19 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
57465
Place/Date:
London / 1840
Size:
24 x 19 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
12350
Place/Date:
London / 1842
Size:
10 x 8 inches (each)
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
24885
Place/Date:
London / 1842
Size:
20 x 24 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
57245
Place/Date:
London / 1832
Size:
24 x 20 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
63758
Place/Date:
London / 1842
Size:
24 x 20 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
64853
Place/Date:
London / 1848
Size:
23.5 x 18.5 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
57195
Place/Date:
London / 1832
Size:
23.5 x 18.5 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
63450
Place/Date:
London / 1859
Size:
23.5 x 18.5 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
64412
Place/Date:
London / 1842
Size:
24 x 20 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
58040
Place/Date:
London / 1858
Size:
24 x 19 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
65360
Place/Date:
London / 1842
Size:
24 x 20 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
67153
Place/Date:
London / 1842
Size:
24 x 20 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
5040
Place/Date:
London / 1842
Size:
24 x 20 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
57356
Place/Date:
London / 1832
Size:
20 x 24 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
63531