Richard Horwood

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The B4 section of Horwood's map of London

Richard Horwood (1757/8–1803)[1] was a surveyor and cartographer. In 1795 he published a Plan of the Cities of London and Westminster the Borough of Southwark and Parts adjoining Shewing every House, at a scale of 26 inches to the mile. At the time this was the largest map ever printed in Britain. After he decided to chart the entire city of London, down to each individual building, Horwood set about soliciting subscriptions to finance the project in 1790. His intention was to publish the complete map within two years, at a scale of 26 inches to the mile. However, the scope of the project was so extensive, and his cost to complete it so high, that rather than taking the estimated two years, the project took almost ten to complete. Despite acquiring royal patronage from King George III, the project suffered financial hardship, making it even more difficult to produce. Despite this, Horwood eventually published the entire map, consisting of 32 sheets. The last sheet was made available in 1799.[2]

Horwood also published a map of Liverpool, the city where he died impoverished in 1803, not long after completing his extensive project.

Modern usage[edit]

Sections of an 1813 edition of the London map are reproduced in Charles Palliser's novel The Quincunx. The story is set a few years after the publication of the map, which is used by one of the characters.

A selection of the Horwood maps were used in the publication of Timbuctoo, a novel based on the adventures of Robert Adams, which includes five large fold-out maps of London.

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