1753 Vaugondy Map of England and Wales

Le Royaume d'Angleterre, divise selon les sept Royaumes, ou Heptarchie des Saxons, avec la Principaute de Galles; et subdivise en Shires ou Comtes. - Main View

1753 Vaugondy Map of England and Wales




Le Royaume d'Angleterre, divise selon les sept Royaumes, ou Heptarchie des Saxons, avec la Principaute de Galles; et subdivise en Shires ou Comtes.
  1753 (dated)     19.5 x 21.5 in (49.53 x 54.61 cm)     1 : 1400000


This is a scarce 1753 map of England and Wales by Robert de Vaugondy. It extends from Scotland south to the English Channel to include all of England and Wales, with parts of Scotland and Ireland. The Isle of Man is included. Vaugondy compiled this map to depict the seven ancient Heterarchies of the Saxons as well as the more modern shires or counties. Several important towns, cities, roads, rivers, lakes and other topographical features are noted. This map also offers splendid detail throughout with respect to undersea shoals and reefs in the surrounding waters.

The collective Anglo-Saxon Kingdoms of the south, east and central England existed during the Late Antiquity and Early Middle Ages and would eventually unify to form the Kingdom of England during the 10th century. These seven kingdoms or The Heptarchy including Westsex (Wessex), Sussex, Kent, Essex, East Angles (East Anglia), Mercie (Mercia) and Northumberland (Northumbria) are identified here with outline color. Counties or Shires within these are also noted.

A highly decorative title cartouche by E. Haussard fecit. appears in the top left quadrant. Drawn by Robert de Vaugondy in 1754 and published in the 1757 issue of his Atlas Universal. The Atlas Universal was one of the first atlases based upon actual surveys. Therefore, this map is highly accurate (for the period) and has most contemporary town names correct, though historic names are, in many cases, incorrect or omitted.


Gilles (1688 - 1766) and Didier (c. 1723 - 1786) Robert de Vaugondy were map publishers, engravers, and cartographers active in Paris during the mid-18th century. The father and son team were the inheritors to the important Sanson cartographic firm whose stock supplied much of their initial material. Graduating from Sanson's map's Gilles, and more particularly Didier, began to produce their own substantial corpus of work. Vaugondys were well respected for the detail and accuracy of their maps in which they made excellent use of the considerable resources available in 18th century Paris to produce the most accurate and fantasy-free maps possible. The Vaugondys compiled each map based upon their own superior geographic knowledge, scholarly research, the journals of contemporary explorers and missionaries, and direct astronomical observation - moreover, unlike many cartographers of this period, they commonly took pains to reference their source material. Nevertheless, even in 18th century Paris geographical knowledge was severely limited - especially regarding those unexplored portions of the world, including the poles, the Pacific northwest of America, and the interior of Africa and South America. In these areas the Vaugondys, like their rivals De L'Isle and Buache, must be considered speculative geographers. Speculative geography was a genre of mapmaking that evolved in Europe, particularly Paris, in the middle to late 18th century. Cartographers in this genre would fill in unknown areas on their maps with speculations based upon their vast knowledge of cartography, personal geographical theories, and often dubious primary source material gathered by explorers and navigators. This approach, which attempted to use the known to validate the unknown, naturally engendered many rivalries. Vaugondy's feuds with other cartographers, most specifically Phillipe Buache, resulted in numerous conflicting papers being presented before the Academie des Sciences, of which both were members. The era of speculatively cartography effectively ended with the late 18th century explorations of Captain Cook, Jean Francois de Galaup de La Perouse, and George Vancouver. After Didier died, his maps were acquired by Jean-Baptiste Fortin who in 1787 sold them to Charles-Fran├žois Delamarche (1740 - 1817). While Delamarche prospered from the Vaugondy maps, he also defrauded Vaugondy's window Marie Louise Rosalie Dangy of her inheritance and may even have killed her. More by this mapmaker...


Vaugondy, R., Atlas Universel (Paris) 1757.    


Very good. Some wear along original centerfold. Original platemark visible. Minor creasing and spotting, with some offsetting.


Rumsey 3353.016. Pedley, Mary Sponberg Belle et Utile: The Work of the Robert de Vaugondy Family of Mapmakers, 48.