Robert Sayer and John Bennett

Map and Printsellers, No. 53 Fleet Street.


Robt. Sayer and John Bennett. ​The LONDON DIRECTORY, or a New & Improved PLAN of LONDON, WESTMINSTER & SOUTHWARK; with the adjacent County, the New Buildings, the New Roads, and the late alterations by Opening of New Streets & Widening of others.  EXTENT: Islington – Shadewell – Newington Butts – Tyburn. Margin Marked off in half miles and lettered for reference. Imprint and table of references to churches and public buildings below map. Howgego 138 (7).

Fair. This linen-backed copy is very fragile with separation along some of the folds most notably the vertical centrefold, resulting in some loss of text in the references to churches and public buildings. There are two significant stains on the upper half of the map to the left of the centrefold, and some chips and nicks around the edges. Original hand colouring faded but discernible. Previous owner’s name in ink above title line. The original slipcase is barely legible but sturdily holding together. A word [Rutherford?] and the year 1857 have been added by hand in ink to the front of the case.

This map is believed to have been first printed circa 1765 despite there being no date in the title line. It was then reprinted numerous times – with dates – until 1792. On the first imprint Blackfriars Ridge was shown but not the approaches. In the 1775 the year was added to title and the approaches were shown. The date was altered in 1776 and the name of J. Bennett added to imprint. Our 1783 copy is the seventh state. John Bennett suffered a mental collapse in 1784 and his name was removed on the 1786 imprint. There were five more imprints in 1787, 1788, 1789, 1790 and 1792. In the final imprint ‘& Co. Printsellers’ was added after name of Sayer.  The ‘Co.’ was most likely a reference to his assistants Robert Laurie and James Whittle who took over management when Robert Sayer’s health failed in 1792 and he repaired to Bath. Sayer died in 1794.

Belonged previously to London cartographer Edward (Teddy) Rutherford. From his grand-daughter Ms E. Rutherford’s collection.