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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 / 1864
Size:
18 x 24 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
67362

Archived

Place/Date:
London / 1840 (1854)
Size:
24 x 19 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
57465
Place/Date:
London / 1840
Size:
23.5 x 19 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
64269
Place/Date:
London / 1840
Size:
20 x 24 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
64622
Place/Date:
London / 1840
Size:
20 x 24 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
64621
Place/Date:
London / 1840
Size:
23.5 x 18 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
64699
Place/Date:
London / 1840
Size:
23.5 x 19 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
64900
Place/Date:
London / 1840
Size:
24 x 20 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
64966
Place/Date:
London / 1840
Size:
24 x 20 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
64965
Place/Date:
London / 1840
Size:
20 x 26.5 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
64961
Place/Date:
London / 1840
Size:
24 x 20 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
65002
Place/Date:
London / 1840
Size:
19.5 x 23.5 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
67026
Place/Date:
London / 1840
Size:
19 x 24 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
68219
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#:
5048
Place/Date:
London / 1842
Size:
24 x 20 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
98030b
Place/Date:
London / 1842
Size:
24 x 20 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
98030bb
Place/Date:
London / 1842
Size:
24 x 12 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
98030d
Place/Date:
London / 1842
Size:
24 x 20 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
98030e
Place/Date:
London / 1842
Size:
24 x 20 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
98030ff
Place/Date:
London / 1842
Size:
24 x 20 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
98030i
Place/Date:
London / 1842
Size:
24 x 20 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
98030ll
Place/Date:
London / 1842
Size:
24 x 20 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
98030o
Place/Date:
London / 1842
Size:
24 x 20 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
98030p
Place/Date:
London / 1842
Size:
24 x 20 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
98030s
Place/Date:
London / 1842
Size:
24 x 20 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
98030u
Place/Date:
London / 1842
Size:
24 x 20 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
98030w
Place/Date:
London / 1842
Size:
24 x 20 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
98030x
Place/Date:
London / 1842
Size:
24 x 20 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
98030z
Place/Date:
London / 1842
Size:
24 x 20 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
16099
Place/Date:
London / 1842
Size:
10 x 8 inches (each)
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
24885
Place/Date:
London / 1842
Size:
10 x 8 inches (each)
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
24931
Place/Date:
London / 1842
Size:
10 x 8 inches (each)
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
24949
Place/Date:
London / 1842
Size:
10 x 8 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
24971
Place/Date:
London / 1842
Size:
10 x 8 inches (each)
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
24979
Place/Date:
London / 1842
Size:
10 x 8 inches (each)
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
25003
Place/Date:
London / 1842
Size:
10 x 8 inches (each)
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
25034
Place/Date:
London / 1842
Size:
10 x 8 inches (each)
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
25971