Smith's New Accurate Map of the Lakes, 1800
The popularity of the Lake District as a destination for tourists created a market for maps of the region that were not only accurate but also gave an impression of the scenery. In this map we can follow the course of the River Duddon from the Furness Fells down through Dunnerdale and beneath the shadow of Black Combe to the sea. Black Combe features in two of Wordsworth’s poems. One was written to celebrate the work of the Ordnance Survey, which was producing comprehensive and detailed maps of the country. During 1807 and 1808, Captain William Mudge and his team of surveyors hauled their heavy equipment to the windswept peak of Black Combe. Wordsworth visited the summit where the "geographic labourer pitched his tent" and looked out over the landscape Mudge had surveyed, declaring it a "display august of man’s inheritance, of Britain’s calm felicity and power!"
This map of Lancashire dates from 1598 and is by the cartographer and antiquarian William Smith. Smith was Rouge Dragon at the College of Heralds/College of Arms, an institution that specialised in genealogical work, increasingly more so during the Elizabethan age as the gentry class rose in importance. The Rouge Dragon is the name of one of the Pursuivants, a heraldic officer attendant on the heralds, often attached to a particular nobleman, named so because of their badges. The prominent coat of arms on this plan reveals Smith's heraldic interests. In 1588, Smith completed "The Particuler Description of England. With the portratures of certaine of the cheiffest citties & townes.1588". This work consisted of drawings of English cities and towns in a traditional birds eye view style, and drawings amalgamating bird's eye view and plan. In the years 1602-03, William Smith anonymously published maps of Chester, Essex, Hertfordshire Lancashire, (for which this may be preparatory work) Leicester, Norfolk, Northamptonshire, Staffordshire, Suffolk, Surrey, Warwickshire and Worcester. These were probably engraved in Amsterdam and were intended to form sheets of a new atlas. After the publication of Saxton’s county maps in the 1570s, cartographers attempted to improve on Saxton’s atlas and replicate its success. Unfortunately for Smith another cartographer, John Speed, was also preparing county maps at this time and competition proved too great, Speed being the victor. Here the ‘Countie stone’ is marked and labelled at the boundary point which separates Lancashire and Westmorland. A panel of text at bottom right provides a description of the County of Lancashire and Duchy of Lancaster. Smith, William