This is a rare lithograph drawn on stone by I. Baker, artist of Sydenham in Kent, England and printed by D. Redman, Maiden Lane, Covent Garden, London.
The map survey was drawn originally by a distinguished English architect and engineer of his time, James Elmes of London.
Elmes was born in 1782, died in 1862 aged 80 years. He had several work places and offices in the city including 29 Charlotte Street, Portland Place as imprinted in the bottom left corner of the map. He was also a prestigious critic and an important architectural author who joined the Institute of Civil Engineers in 1829.
His father Samuel and grandfather John were both builders of the period, whilst James was being educated at Merchant Taylors School at the age of fourteen years under the watchful eye of George Gibson who recognised immediately his artistic ability.
He won a silver medal in 1805 at the Royal Academy Schools and his work was exhibited from 1801-1842.He became surveyor to the port of London but was best known as a prolific writer on architectural topics.
He became vice-president of the London Architectural Society, lectured on various architectural subjects and later became the editor of a pioneering art journal entitled, “Annals of the Fine Arts.”(1816-1820).
A friendship developed between himself and Benjamin Robert Haydon. Haydon, the son of a Plymouth bookseller, was an English Romantic painter who specialised in historical subjects (1786-1846). B.R. Haydon was already friendly with John Keats and William Wordsworth. It was through Haydon`s friendship with James Elmes that Keats was introduced to the famous Elgin Marbles, which influenced some of his poetic works.
Four poems by Keats, “Ode to a Nightingale, On a Grecian Urn, To Haydon, and On seeing the Elgin Marbles,” were first published by James Elmes in the “Annals of the Fine Arts.”
Elmes`s portrait drawn by his other great personal friend, James Lonsdale, (1777-1839), a portrait artist, hangs in the Royal Institute of British Architects` Gallery. His son Harvey Lonsdale Elmes (1814-1849) was named after his godfather James Lonsdale.
Harvey Lonsdale Elmes was also an exceptional young architect. Several of his designs were accepted by Liverpool for their city development with the plan of St. George`s Hall as an example of his artistic imagination. Harvey predeceased his father at the age of thirty-five when he died in the West Indies from disease. He had teamed up in a business partnership with Sir Charles Cockerell some time earlier in his life.
People like John Haviland, Samuel Patterson, George Allen and Harvey were known pupils of J. Elmes. For instance John Haviland (1792-1852) was regarded as one of the most important architects working from Philadelphia U.S.A. He was bound in 1811 to Elmes. A chance meeting with John Quincy Adams, the sixth President of the United States (1825-1829) persuaded Haviland to try out his talents in America. This he did and very successfully.
Elmes`s eminence as an author was worthy of the highest recognition. He was the first to document the life of Sir Christopher Wren (1632-1723), architect, scientist and mathematician. His book is rated as a standard reference on Wren`s work. Many of the Elmes publications are included in the appendix.