Scarce map of British Guiana, first published in 1838.
The English made at least two unsuccessful attempts in the 17th century to colonize the lands that would later be known as British Guiana, at which time the Dutch had established two colonies in the area: Essequibo, administered by the Dutch West India Company, and Berbice, administered by the Berbice Association. The Dutch West India Company founded a third colony, Demerara, in the mid-18th century.
During the French Revolution, when the Netherlands were occupied by the French, and Great Britain and France were at war, Britain took over the colony in 1796. A British expeditionary force was dispatched from its colony of Barbados to seize the colonies from the French-dominated Batavian Republic. The colonies surrendered without a struggle. Initially very little changed, as the British agreed to allow the long-established laws of the colonies to remain in force.
In 1802 Britain returned the colonies to the Batavian Republic under the terms of the Treaty of Amiens. But, after resuming hostilities with France in the Napoleonic Wars in 1803, Britain seized the colonies again less than a year later. The three colonies were officially ceded to the United Kingdom in the Anglo-Dutch Treaty of 1814. The UK continued separate administration of the individual colonies until 1822, when the administration of Essequibo and Demerara was combined. In 1831, the administration Essequibo-Demerara and Berbice was combined, and the united colony became known as British Guiana.
The full title of the map is:
Map of British Guiana From the latest Surveys of Schomburgk, Owen, Hilhouse, & others; & Those of Hancock, Van-Cooten, Bouchenroeder, & Bercheyck; Where not refuted by the former Shewing the Parochial divisions as well as the present extent of Cultivation of the Staple Productions; & the tracts of such that have been abandoned within the last 30 Yrs. Respectfully dedicated To His Excellency Henry Light Esqr. Governor in & over said Colony By His Excellency's Very Obedient Humble Servant J. Hadfield, . . . Crown Surveyor. George Town Demerara, 1st Augt. 1838.
John (1790-1873) operated his own independent business after his uncle, Aaron Arrowsmith, died. After 1839, John moved into the Soho premises of his uncle and cousins. John enjoyed considerable recognition in the geography and exploration community. Like Aaron, John was a founder member of the RGS and would serve as its unofficial cartographer for 43 years. Several geographical features in Australia and Canada are named after him. He died in 1873 and the majority of his stock was eventually bought by Edward Stanford, who co-founded the Stanford’s map shop that is still open in Covent Garden, London today.