[Trelawney Saunders, cartographer and map seller.] First part of long Autograph Letter to Commander James Mangles, RN, discussing his 'Illustrated Geography & Hydrography' and other works, and his desire for a London 'depot' for the sale of maps.

Trelawney William Saunders (1821-1910), FRGS, book and map seller, 6 Charing Cross, London; Geographical Assistant, India Office; cartographer [Captain James Mangles (1786-1867); Edward Stanford]
Publication details: 
6 Charing Cross [London]. 14 May 1846.
SKU: 14429

Four pages, 12mo. Bifolium. In good condition, on aged paper, with small pinholes to both leaves and slight loss at the head of the second. Substantial first part of long letter, and hence lacking the signature. BBTI has Trelawny [for Trelawney] William Saunders at 6 Charing Cross between 1846 and 1853, and Edward Stanford's entry in the Oxford DNB records that he was an apprentice there, returning as partner in 1852 ('The partnership was dissolved by mutual consent in July 1853.'), and that it was Saunders who proposed Stanford for membership of the Royal Geographical Society. A good association and a scarce example of Saunders' handwriting, which has been verified by comparison with a specimen (which will be included with the item) in the Royal Geographical Society archives. Saunders begins by expressing his 'unfeigned respect' for Mangles' 'firm & unconquerable efforts towards the production of so grand & entire a work as "The Illustrated Geography & Hydrography," of which I have received prospectuses from the Geographic[a]l. Society on Wednesday'. (Mangles published a 'Synopsis' with London publisher John Bumpus in 1848, but there is no record that the work itself was ever published.) Saunders hopes he will not be thought 'presumptuous', or acting 'from interested motives', when he states that he has 'read through all your prospectuses with avidity & am now anxious to learn something more of your fine work, and as there is no publication name mentioned, nor any other person referred to for enquiries, I have taken the liberty of addressing you directly'. He hopes Mangles will admit, on reading the enclosed 'short address', that Saunders is also 'employing the humble capacity in which providence has placed me, to promote the study of Geography'. The prospectus of Saunders' unidentified work 'has only been printed a few days', but he has 'already obtained such support, as encourages me to persevere in the plan I have laid down'. He hopes before long that there will be 'a depot in this great centre of geographic enterprise where the maps of & from all countries y be readily obtained. The pursuit of a science which requires an accumulation of materials for its successful development must be dilatory, while the means of supplying & procuring such material is confined to private societies, or scattered amongst innumerable establishments, each having a conflicting interest.' He praises Mangles' 'unique work', which he will promote, in the hope that 'the addition of my name to the splendid "Physical Atlas" [by Alexander Keith Johnston (1804-1871)] of which i enclose a prospectus, will be esteemed as one mark in my favour.' As he does not want to allow 'feelings of restraint' to curb him in communicating with Mangles on the subject, he is glad his 'person is unknown to me, inasmuch as a previous connection in our respecti positions in society would no doubt have imbued me with an idea of distance, the chains of which would now gall me excessively.' Before the letter breaks off, Saunders discusses Mangles' intention 'to divide the whole globe into sections, just like England is divided in the maps of the Ordnance Survey, with the addition of Hydrographic detail along the shores & at sea, & both variations in scale suited to the peculiar exigencies of this undertaking'. He is not sure from the prospectus whether 'you contemplate this happy continuity & oneness of plan, though I doubt not such is your intention'. The letter ends abruptly at the foot of the fourth page, with the incomplete sentence: 'Is it not possible to describe the Hydrographic portion in continuance of the Geographic, so as to avoid <...>'. Note: None of his letters listed on the NRA, but A2A records correspondence [as "Trelawny", confusingly] at the RGS, and has other material illustrating Saunders' importance in the history of map-making and exploration, contributions ranging from "Saunders' official map of the Australian Gold Country" to the map in "Stray leaves from an Arctic journal, or, Eighteen months in the polar regions : in search of Sir John Franklin's expedition, in the years 1850-51 / by Sherard Osborn". See COPAC.