Map Of London 1868, By Edward Weller, F.R.G.S. MAPCO : Map And Plan Collection Online Home Page

Map Of London 1868, By Edward Weller, F.R.G.S.
Revised And Corrected To The Present Time By John Dower, F.R.G.S.

Temple Park & West End Hampstead Hampstead Ponds, South End Green & Haverstock Hill Kentish Town Upper Holloway & Tufnell Park Upper Holloway & Lower Holloway Highbury Vale, Highbury Hill & Highbury Stoke Newington Shacklewell & Hackney Downs Upper Clapton, Lower Clapton & Homerton Hackney Marshes Hackney Marshes
Kilburn & Kilburn Vale St Johns Wood Haverstock Hill, Primrose Hill, & Regents Park Camden Town & Regents Park Camden New Town, Cattle Market, Midland Railway Depot & Great Northern Railway Depot Lower Holloway, Barnsbury & Islington Canonbury & Islington Kingsland, De Beauvoir Town, & Hoxton Dalston & London Fields Hackney, South Hackney, & Victoria Park Hackney Wick & Victoria Park Hackney Marsh & Oldford
Kilburn Park, St Peters Park, & Westbourne St Johns Wood, Lords Cricket Ground, Edgware Road, Great Western Railway Station, & Paddington Regents Park, St Johns Wood, & Paddington Regents Park, Regents Park Barracks, Cumberland Market, Clarence Gardens, Colosseum, Munster Square, Park Square, Park Crescent, Fitzroy Square, & Portland Place Somerstown & British Museum Pentonville, Clerkenwell, & Grays Inn Gardens Islington, St Lukes, & Clerkenwell Hoxton, St Lukes & Finsbury Bethnal Green, Spitalfields, Mile End New Town, & Whitechapel Victoria Park, Bethnal Green, & Mile End Oldford, Mile End Old Town, Tower Hamlets, & Bow Common Bow, Tower Hamlets, Bow Common, & Bromley
Westbourne Park, Bayswater, & Kensington Gardens Paddington, Bayswater, & Kensington Gardens Edgware Road, Portman Square, Manchester Square, St George (Hanover Square) Burial Ground, Oxford Street, Hyde Park, & Park Lane Langham Place, Manchester Square, Cavendish Square, Oxford Street, Hanover Square, Grosvenor Square, Berkley Square, Regent Street, & Piccadilly British Museum, Bedford Square, Bloomsbury Square, Oxford Street, Soho, Covent Gardent, Leicester Square, Piccadilly Circus, Regent Street, Haymarket, Trafalgar Square, Pall Mall, Charing Cross, Strand, Thames Embankment, Waterloo Bridge, & The River Thames High Holborn, Lincoln's Inn Fields, Site Of Ground To Be Occupied By The New Courts Of Justice, Strand, Fleet Street, Thames Embankment, Metropolitan & District Railway, Waterloo Bridge, & The River Thames New Meat Market, Smithfield, Aldersgate Street, Holborn Viaduct, Newgate Street, Cheapside, Poultry, Farringdon Street, Ludgate Hill, St Paul's Cathedral, Cannon Street, New Bridge Street, New Street To The Mansion House (Victoria Street), Upper Thames Street, Cannon Street Station, New Blackfriars Bridge, Southwark Bridge, The River Thames, & Southwark Broad Street Station, Finsbury Circus, London Wall, Bishopsgate Street Without, Moorgate Street, Bank of England, Threadneedle Street, Poultry, Bishopsgate Street Within, Cornhill, Leadenhall Street, Aldgate Street, Lombard Street, Fenchurch Street, Minories, Gracechurch Street, King William Street, Cannon Street, Custom House, Trinity Square, The Tower, London Bridge, The River Thames, & Southwark Commercial Street, Whitechapel, Whitechapel Road, Commercial Road East, Goodmans Fields, St Georges In The East, St Katharine Docks, London Docks, Little Tower Hill, The Tower, & The River Thames Mile End, Stepney, Commercial Road East, St Georges In The East, Shadwell, London Docks, The River Thames, & Rotherhithe Stepney, Limehouse, The River Thames, & Rotherhithe Stepney, Limehouse, & West India Dock
Kensington, Kensington Gardens, & Earls Court Kensington Gardens, Central Hall Of Arts & Sciences, Horticultural Gardens, Knightsbridge, Brompton, South Kensington, Site Of Exhibition Of 1862, South Kensington Museum & School, & Old Brompton Hyde Park, Site Of Exhibition Of 1851, Knightsbridge, Brompton, Belgravia, Sloane Street, & Sloan Square Hyde Park Corner, Piccadilly, Green Park, Buckingham Palace, Palace Gardens, The Mall, St James's Park, Buckingham Palace Road, Victoria Station, & Vauxhall Bridge Road St James's Park, Whitehall, Thames Embankment, The River Thames, Westminster Bridge, Westminster Abbey, Houses Of Parliament, Lambeth Bridge, Millbank, & Millbank Penitentiary The River Thames, Waterloo Bridge Road, Westminster Bridge, Thames Embankment South Side, Lambeth, Lambeth Palace, & Kennington Road Blackfriars Bridge Road, St Georges Circus, Borough Road, New Kent Road, & Newington Southwark, Horsley Down, Bermondsey, Old Kent Road, & Bricklayer's Arms Railway Station Wapping, The River Thames, Upper Pool, The Pool, Bermondsey, & Rotherhithe Wapping, The River Thames, The Pool, Lower Pool, Rotherhithe, Southwark Park, & Grand Surrey Docks Commercial Docks, The River Thames, Limehouse Reach, Millwall, & Isle Of Dogs Millwall, Isle Of Dogs, West India Dock, Millwall Docks, & The River Thames
New Brompton, West London & Westminster Cemetery, & Walham Green Onslow Gardens, Boltons, Little Chelsea, Chelsea Park, Fulham Road, Cremorne Gardens, Battersea Bridge, The River Thames, & Battersea Chelsea, Chelsea Hospital, Albert Bridge, The River Thames, Battersea, & Battersea Park Grosvenor Canal, Chelsea Bridge, Victoria Railway Bridge, Vauxhall & Suthwark Water Works, The River Thames, Battersea Park, & Battersea New Town Millbank Penitentiary, Vauxhall Bridge Road, Vauxhall Bridge, The River Thames, Vauxhall, & Kennington Vauxhall, Kennington, Kennington Oval, Kennington Park, Clapham Road, Brixton Road, & Camberwell New Road Walworth Walworth Bricklayer's Arms Extension Railway, Old Kent Road, & Peckham New Town St Helena Tavern & Gardens, Market Gardens, Peckham New Town, & Old Kent Road Deptford Lower Road, The River Thames, Royal Dock Yard, Market Gardens, & Deptford Isle Of Dogs, The River Thames, Royal Dock Yard, & Deptford

The Map

Title: London
Mapmaker: Compiled And Engraved By Edward Weller, F.R.G.S. (Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society)
Revised And Corrected To The Present Time By John Dower, F.R.G.S. John Dower, 1866.
Publisher: London G.W Bacon & Co. 337 Strand WC.
Scale: 9" : 1 Statute Mile
Date: Updated by Bacon to 1868
Size: 197cm x 142cm (77½" x 56")
Extent: Upper Holloway - Poplar - Kennington - North Kensington
Description: Hand-coloured map, dissected and mounted on linen. 36 sections each measuring 33cm x 24cm (13" x 9½")

Not recorded in Hyde, but would be No. 73, between states (6) and (7).

This map originates from a large scale map of London compiled and engraved by Edward Weller F.R.G.S., issued in parts as supplements to the Weekly Dispatch newspaper during 1861 and 1862. The map consisted of nine sheets on a scale of 9" to 1 Statute mile. This map predates Edward Stanford's Library Map of London (Hyde No. 91) produced for the 1862 International Exhibition, and Weller's map is on a much larger scale than Stanford's 6" to 1 mile Library map.

The map was extremely popular with the map buying public, being reprinted numerous times, and as a result was included in the Dispatch Atlas published in early 1863. The plates for Weller's London map were purchased by Cassell, Petter & Galpin in mid 1863, and the map was immediately printed for sale by them. A copy of this printing is included in the MAPCO collection. Cassell declared that their "large map of London, as well as being the largest, is universally admitted to be the best map of London ever produced".

'A new and special survey' of London was commissioned by Cassell to update the map for publication in 1866. The work was undertaken by John Dower F.R.G.S, and resulted in a much updated and improved map that included proposed developments in London as well as the new buildings, streets and railways that had already been completed.

By 1868 the Weller plates with Dower's updates had been sold by Cassell, Petter & Galpin, and were in the possession of George Washington Bacon, "the American map publisher". Bacon had been declared bankrupt on 23 May 1867 while occupying premises at 49 Paternoster Row, but by January 1868 he was rebuilding his business at 337 Strand, premises he was sharing with one William Tweedie, also a mapmaker and publisher. It was while he was at 337 Strand that Bacon first published his copy of the Weller map (displayed above).

It is important to realise that Bacon overlaid many of the new London developments over the top of the Weller and Dower plates. Some of the London features shown on the map were speculative in nature, representing known planned developments or information published in Parliamentary Papers, some of which never eventuated and were not build. For more information see the 'Aids To Dating This Map' section below.
Cassell, Petter & Galpin's Map of London 1863

Cassell, Petter & Galpin's London 1863

By June 1869 Bacon had relocated to 127 Strand, where he built one of the most commercially successful map businesses that London has ever known. G.W. Bacon & Co. flourished throughout the Victorian era, and Bacon remained associated with the business until his death at his home, Woodlawn, Bacon Hill, Hindhead, Surrey, on 21 January 1922.

An 1870 advertisement for Bacon's map reads:

LONDON in 1870. - BACON'S GREAT MAP of LONDON, six by eight feet. Largest and best published. Showing 22,000 streets. Price, in case or on rollers, £2 2s. Reduced editions from 12s 6d. - G.W. Bacon's map depot, 127, Strand, 20 doors west of Somerset-house.
(Source: The Times, Thursday, Nov 17, 1870; pg. 3; Issue 26910; col A)
There is little doubt that historians, genealogists and family historians will find this highly detailed map of London a useful street finding aid, especially for use with the 1871 Census of London.

Brief History Of This Map

The map was purchased by Alfred John Owen on a trip to England from Australia around 1880. Upon Alfred's death the map passed to his daughter Lyzette Owen, and it remained in possession of the Owen family of Victoria, Australia, from the 1880s until 2007, when it was purchased by MAPCO for display on the MAPCO : Map And Plan Collection Online website.


There is much life recorded on the surface of this map, as the ink splashes at the bottom of the map testify.

The map has been a working map at some point in its long history, having been pinned up for display for a significant period of time at some stage. The map has suffered considerable yellowing due to exposure to natural light, so it must have been on display for many years. It was hung on a wall with a window to the right of the map, as the yellowing of the map is far more extensive to the right hand side than to the left.

While it was on display many items were pinned over top of the map, resulting in uneven patchwork discolouration to the paper upon which the map is printed. Drawing pin holes and marks from the pin heads are evident over much of the surface of the map, and one can only speculate what the map may have been used for, and what was pinned upon its surface. Perhaps it was used for planning of London engineering works such as sewer extensions by the London Metropolitan Board of Works, or railway extensions by one of the many railway companies operating in the Metropolis? Perhaps it was simply displayed because it is an attractive item, or because it reminded someone of home?

It is intriguing to speculate about what this map may have been used for in its working like.

Variations In The Hand Colouring

The paper sections of this map have been individually hand coloured prior to the map being mounted onto linen.

In 1871 Bacon issued updated images of the large scale Weekly Dispatch map in his Illustrated Complete Atlas, as well as publishing it under the title "Bacon's Library Map of London and Suburbs" (Hyde No. 165). Individual map sheets could also be purchased, presumably hand-coloured to suit specific customer requirements. It seems likely that Bacon would have had a number of workers involved in hand colouring the individual sheets, so variations in colouring and accuracy to detail would be expected.

It now seems likely that Bacon was issuing the Weekly Dispatch map as individual sheets as early as 1868 from his premises at 337 Strand.

Variations in attention to detail and hand colouring and are evident in the map displayed here, and the individual sections certainly suggest different hands at work on the hand colouring process. A few examples of this variation are evident in the coloured north section and uncoloured south section of Victoria Park (the south-west corner is completely uncoloured), and in the coloured north section and uncoloured south section of the St John's Wood railway line. There are many other examples of this inconsistency throughout the map.

Aids To Dating This Map

This map was previously thought to have not been published by Bacon until 1871, so it has been important to date this copy as accurately as possible. There are many features shown on the map that aid with the dating process, not the least of which is Bacon's address at 337 Strand, where he is known to have been resident from at least January 1868 until April 1869, possibly longer.

Dating was carried out by identification and interpretation of the following London developments shown on the map. It is important to recognise that Bacon overlaid many of these features on top of the Weller and Dower plates, and that some of the features shown were speculative in nature, representing known planned developments or information published in Parliamentary Papers, some of which never eventuated and were not build.


1868 1869 1870 1871

Brief Chronology Of Bacon & Co 1866-69

1866 - Aug 1867

        Bacon at 48 Paternoster-Row

  • Daily News, Mon 30 Jul 1866
    Last mention of BACON at 48 Paternoster Row in 19th century newspapers.
  • London Gazette 23 Aug 1867
    George Washington BACON and Francis APPERTON of No 48 Paternoster-Row, in the city of London, Booksellers, Publishers and Copartners, adjudicated bankrupts on the 23rd day of May 1867. An order of Discharge was granted by the Court of Bankruptcy, London, on the 2nd day of Aug 1867.
  • Daily News, Wed 6 Feb 1867
    J.F Shaw & Co 48 Paternoster Row
  • Jackson's Oxford Journal, Sat 16 Nov 1867
    J.F. Shaw & co 48 Paternoster Row
  • The Bristol Mercury, Sat 23 Nov 1867
    Thacker & Co 48 Paternoster Row

        1867 Advertisements & Notices
  • The Leeds Mercury, Tues 17 Dec 1867
  • Birmingham Daily Post, Wed 18 Dec 1867
  • Glasgow Herald, Thurs 19 Dec 1867
  • The Leeds Mercury, Sat 21 Dec 1867
  • Birmingham Daily Post, Mon 23 Dec 1867
  • The Leeds Mercury, Tues 24 Dec 1867

Feb 1868 - Apr 1869

        Bacon at 337 Strand
  • The Pall Mall Gazette, Tues 25 Feb 1868
    W Tweedie at 337 Strand
  • Birmingham Daily Post, Thurs 27 Feb 1868
    Bacon at 337 Strand
  • Hampshire Telegraph and Sussex Chronicle etc, Sat 18 Apr 1868
    P.T. Bacon 337 Strand
  • The Leeds Mercury, Mon 20 Apr 1868
    L. Bacon & co 337 Strand
  • The Hull Packet and East Riding Times, Fri 12 Jun 1868
    H.P. Bacon 337 Strand
  • The Ipswich Journal, Sat 20 Jun 1868
    J Bacon 337 Strand
  • Birmingham Daily Post, Tues 18 Aug 1868
    G. Bacon 337 Strand
  • Trewman's Exeter Flying Post or Plymouth and Cornish Advertiser, Wed 28 Apr 1869
    R.B. Bacon & Co 337 Strand
  • The Derby Mercury, Wed 26 Jan 1870
    Tweedie 337 Strand

June 1869 -

        Bacon at 127 Strand
  • The Era, Sun 1 Nov 1868
    The Savoy Restaurant at 127 Strand opening today
  • Birmingham Daily Post, Wed 23 Jun 1869
    First mention of G.W. BACON at 127 Strand

How To Use These Map Pages

Use the thumbnail map at the top of each page to navigate your way around the map.

Hovering your mouse pointer over the thumbnails will highlight the individual sections, and display a pop-up message showing the northern and southern extent of that map section, or significant streets, buildings and places. Click the desired area to jump to a page displaying a full size image of that map section. You will need to scroll down the page a little to see the image of the map.

A coloured thumbnail image on the thumbnail map at the top of the page will show you which section of the entire map you are currently viewing.

Click To Enlarge

Once you are viewing the desired map section, you can click on the map image to view an enlarged image of that section. Clicking on the map image allows you to switch back and forth ('toggle') between the normal sized image and the enlarged view of the section.


MAPCO would like to thank:

  • Kate Schooneman for providing information about the Owen family and the history of this map; and

  • Nivard Ovington, Maree White and Adrian Whittaker for their assistance with the dating of this map.
Sincere thanks also to the 70+ people who previewed this map and offered valuable feedback prior to it being fully scanned for display. Thank you all!



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