This is Robert Wilkinson's finely detailed 1791 map of Poland. It covers Poland, Polish Prussia, Lithuania, and Ukraine. In addition to cities and provinces, this map notes geographical features including mountains, rivers and forests.
By the mid-18th century Poland, due to an inefficient and corrupt internal bureaucracy, had lost much of its autonomy to its aggressive and powerful neighbors: Russia, Austria and Prussia. The First Partition occurred in 1772 with Prussia occupying Poland's long coveted western territories, Austria seizing Galicia, and Russia taking part of Livonia. In the aftermath of the First Partition, the Second Partition was almost inevitable. Poland allied with Prussia to thwart the ambitions of Russia in the east. This, along with a number of other factors, lead to the War in Defense of the Constitution between Poland and Russia. Largely abandoned by their Prussian allies, Poland could not hope to stand against the powerful Russian military. Poland's defeat resulted in the loss of nearly 50% of its remaining territory to Russia and Prussia, who signed an accord in 1793. The Third Partition of Poland would dissolve what remained of the reduced Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, ending all Polish autonomy in the 18th century.
This map was engraved by Thomas Conder and issued as plate no. 7 in the 1792 edition of Robert Wilkinson's General Atlas.
Robert Wilkinson (fl. c. 1758 - 1825) was a London based map and atlas publisher active in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Most of Wilkinson's maps were derived from the earlier work of John Bowles, one of the preeminent English map publishers of the 18th century. Wilkinson's acquired the Bowles map plate library following that cartographer's death in 1779. Wilkinson updated and retooled the Bowles plates over several years until, in 1794, he issued his first fully original atlas, The General Atlas of the World. This popular atlas was profitably reissued in numerous editions until about 1825 when Wilkinson died. In the course of his nearly 45 years in the map and print trade, Wilkinson issued also published numerous independently issued large format wall, case, and folding maps. Wilkinson's core cartographic corpus includes Bowen and Kitchin's Large English Atlas (1785), Speer's West Indies (1796), Atlas Classica (1797), and the General Atlas of the World (1794, 1802, and 1809), as well as independent issue maps of New Holland (1820), and North America ( 1823). Wilkinson's offices were based at no. 58 Cornhill, London form 1792 to 1816, following which he relocated to 125 Frenchurch Street, also in London, where he remained until 1823. Following his 1825 death, Wilkinson's business and map plates were acquired by William Darton, an innovative map publisher who reissued the General Atlas with his own imprint well into the 19th century. Learn More...
Thomas Conder (1747 - June 1831) was an English map engraver and bookseller active in London during the late 17th and early 18th centuries. From his shop at 30 Bucklersbury, London, Conder produced a large corpus of maps and charts, usually in conjunction with other publishers of his day, including Wilkinson, Moore, Kitchin, and Walpole. Unfortunately few biographical facts regarding Conder's life have survived. Thomas Conder was succeeded by his son Josiah Conder who, despite being severely blinded by smallpox, followed in his father's footsteps as a bookseller and author of some renown. Learn More...
Wilkinson, R., A General Atlas being A Collection of Maps of the World and Quarters the Principal Empires, Kingdoms, etc. with their several Provinces, and other Subdivisions, Correctly Delineated, (London) 1792.
Very good. Original platemark visible. Blank on verso.