|Published||B. Green sc. [Oxford, c.1763]|
|Dimensions||140 x 190 mm|
One of the rarest Oxford town plans, engraved by Benjamin Green for Prince, Rivington, and Baldwin's A Pocket Companion for Oxford, or, Guide through the University. The map has the honour, according to MacCannell, of being the very first street-map engraved for a guidebook to a British town. Considering its small size, the map is very finely engraved and detailed, even going so far as to show layouts of various gardens and parks. The footprints of the Colleges and Halls are double hatched and labelled with an alphanumeric code that corresponds to a key in the top left corner of the sheet. Streets and lanes that are too small to be named are labelled with a separate code and key, as are the City's churches, public buildings, and other noteworthy amenities. Perhaps the most interesting feature from an antiquarian perspective is the inclusion of a number of remnants of fortifications from the Civil War, beyond Holywell St along the boundaries of the Parks, and down along the Isis south of the former Blackfriars.
Benjamin Green (1739-1798) was a British publisher, printer, printmaker, painter, and draughtsman. He is best known for his plates after George Stubbs, many of which were published by Robert Sayer. By 1759, he was active in Oxford, having taken over the engraving of the Oxford Almanacks after the death of his elder brother James (1729-1759), often listed erroneously as John Green. Green went on to become Drawing Master at Christ's Hospital from 1762, and is thought to have pioneered the use of soft-ground etching in 1771. Another older brother, Amos Green (1735-1807), was also an engraver, though is best known as an animal painter.
Condition: Vertical folds, as issued. Small loss to top margin, not affecting printed area. Blank on verso.