Edward Stanford was the founder of a major British publishing house in 1853 that is still in business today. During the Victorian Era, the expansion of British colonialism, the rise of railways, and the popularity of the Grand Tour provided a robust market for maps in Britain. In 1877, the company expanded, acquiring the prestigious Staunton & Son Stationers. Stanfords became the sole agents for Ordnance Survey maps in England and Wales. In 1893 the company was named Cartographer to the Queen. By then, Stanford had retired and his son, Edward Stanford II, had taken over. Stanford II’s sons ran the firm for 30 years, selling it to the publisher George Philip & Son in 1947. However, Stanfords began operating independently again in 2001. Today it claims to be the world’s largest map retailer.
The map publication credits state that it was published under the direction of the Committee of General Literature & Education of the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge (SPCK) and of The National Society. Affiliated with the Anglican Church, the SPCK was founded in 1698 by Thomas Bray (1656-1730) and others to widely distribute mainly religious literature such as Bibles and prayer books, especially in places underserved by libraries. Still active today, it is the third oldest surviving English publisher.
Full publication information: Published Under the Direction of the Committee of General Literature & Education. The Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge and of The National Society. Sold at the Depositories Northumberland Avenue, Charing Cross, S.W. 43, Queen Victoria Street, [illegible] 26, St. George’s Pl. S.W. & the Sanctuary, Westminster, also by Edward Stanford, 55, Charing Cross, London. Stanford’s Geographical Establishment, London.
Condition: Generally very good particularly for a separately issued on rollers, retains its original varnish, with light overall toning, wear, handling particularly to the varnish layer.
Marshall, Rev. Dr. William M. “Society For Promoting Christian Knowledge.” The Oxford Companion to British History. Online at Encyclopedia.com:https://www.encyclopedia.com/history/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/society-promoting-christian-knowledge (14 February 2022).
“Our History.” Stanfords. https://new.stanfords.co.uk/our-history (14 February 2022).
“Stanford’s Eastern Hemisphere Map (1877).” Stanford’s. 2022. https://www.stanfords.co.uk/Stanfords-Eastern-Hemisphere-Map-1877-Original-Size-Wall-Map-Paper_9786000529369 (11 February 2022).