If you thought the animosity between North London and South London was a recent concept, then have a look at this map of London from 1787 which barely even notices that South London exists!

OK, actually a map of Middlesex – as what we call “South London” was at the time part of Surrey and Kent and not part of London at all. Then the Local Government Act came along in 1888 and merged parts of each County to create the newly formed County of London.

The map below is by John Cary and taken from his New and Correct English Atlas originally printed in 1787. This map was itself based on the slightly earlier Dury & Andrews map of 1766, although several minor changes were made to the plate.

It was re-engraved in 1793 and published in later editions of the atlas until 1843 – the 1840 and 1843 versions showing the first railway lines. With the imprint information removed, extra railways added, etc, lithographic transfer prints from the plate were issued in Cruchley’s County Atlas of England and Wales between 1863 and 1876.

Sadly, I am not currently able to say which reprint my version is – although the lack of railway lines puts it firmly in a pre-1840 edition.

Map of Middlesex in 1787

Click here for medium, large or  very large versions.

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