Characteristic of being a city of linked villages, London is a mosaic of landed estates and parishes. While the landowner developed a district, the parish taxed it in return for providing an increasing array of public services.
This catalogue records how the parishes of inner London were mapped up to 1900 when they were replaced by the precursors of the modern London boroughs. It identifies over 470 parish maps, predominantly dating from 1750 to 1900, of which over 340 are illustrated.
The maps chart how London parishes evolved from ecclesiastical divisions that did little more than maintain the church and relieve the poor, to prototype civic councils which towards the end of the nineteenth century promoted sanitation, ran libraries and even generated electricity.
Introductory essays by Peter Barber and Laurence Worms place the maps in a wider cartographical context, describing how and why they were made, who made them, and the information they contain.