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1790 Faden Map of the Roads of Great Britain or England

The Roads of Great Britain.  Itineraire de la Grande Bretagne. - Main View

1790 Faden Map of the Roads of Great Britain or England



The Roads of Great Britain. Itineraire de la Grande Bretagne.
  1790 (dated)     30.5 x 23.5 in (77.47 x 59.69 cm)


A very attractive example of Faden's desirable 'Roads of Great Britain' in its second edition, 1790. Covering from Scotland to Cornwall, this large pocket map was designed with the traveler in mind, showing most of the major and minor roads in England. In the upper right quadrant there is a smaller inset map showing the roadways of Scotland. This map first appeared in 1781 and was published in several editions, first by Faden then by his successor Wyld, until about 1833.

Faden dedicated this map to John Henniker, Baron of Worlingsworth Hall, and a member of Parliament representing New Romney. New Romney was one of the Cinque Ports, a series of important shipping ports along the coast of Kent and Sussex where the English Channel was narrowest. Faden clearly hoped that Henniker's position as MP for New Romney would see his 'Roads of Great Britain' distributed to the many teamsters who came and went from the port. Faden must have been at least partially correct as this map enjoyed a long and popular run in numerous editions.


William Faden (July 11, 1749 - March 21, 1836) was a Scottish cartographer and map publisher of the late 18th century. Faden was born in London. His father, William MacFaden, was a well-known London printer and publisher of The Literary Magazine. During the Jacobite Rebellion (1745 - 1746), MacFaden changed his family name to Faden, to avoid anti-Scottish sentiment. Faden apprenticed under the engraver James Wigley (1700 - 1782), attaining his freedom in 1771 - in the same year that Thomas Jefferys Sr. died. While Thomas Jefferys Sr. was an important and masterful mapmaker, he was a terrible businessman and his son, Jefferys Jr. had little interest building on his father's legacy. MacFaden, perhaps recognizing an opportunity, acquired his son a partnership in the Jefferys firm, which subsequently traded as 'Faden and Jefferys'. Jefferys Jr. also inherited Jefferys Sr. title, 'Geographer to the King and to the Prince of Wales'. With little interest in cartography or map publishing Jefferys Jr. increasingly took a back seat to Faden, withdrawing completely from day-to-day management, although retaining his finical stake, by 1776. The American Revolutionary War (1775 - 1783) proved to be a boomtime for the young 'Geographer to the King', who leveraged existing materials and unpublished manuscript maps to which he had access via his official appointment, to publish a wealth of important maps, both for official wartime use and for the curious public. This period of prosperity laid financial underpinning for Faden, who by 1783, at the end of the war, acquired full ownership of the firm and removed the Jefferys imprint. In 1801, he engraved and published the first maps for the British Ordnance Survey. By 1822, Faden published over 350 maps, atlases, and military plans. He retired in 1823, selling his places to James Wyld Sr. Faden died in 1836. More by this mapmaker...


Good. Wear on original fold lines and edges. Overall toning. Backed with heavy linen which has split in some places along the folds. We have added minor versr reinforcements to some of the split folds.


National Library of Australia, MAP RM 1514.