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Drafted for the city planning committee in 1768 by James Craig, this is the definitive plan of Edinburgh, Scotland's New Town. Oriented to the North, this plan details the streets of Edinburgh north of the Loch Nor (today the Prince's Street Gardens) between St. George's Square (modern day Charlotte Square) and St. Andrews Square. A dedication to King George the III illustrates the lower part of the map. An elaborate title cartouche decorates the lower left hand quadrant. Thompson's poem appears in a secondary cartouche at the top center. In 1766 the City Fathers of Edinburgh lead by Lord Provost George Drummond instituted a plan to extend the city's border to encompass the field's north of the Nor Loch. The plan, intended to modernize the city and ease the crowded conditions of the old Royal Burgh, was turned into a competition. James Craig, an Edinburgh native, having around this time just completed his apprenticeship as a mason, found the he had a fine hand for drafting. Inspired by his uncle James Thomson's well known poem Liberty , August, around, what Public Works I see, Lo' stately Streets, lo' Squares that Court the breeze, See' long Canals, and deepened Rivers join Eash part with each, and with the circling Main The whole enlivened Isle… Craig submitted this plan. Though conservative in its vision, Craig's plan won the city's design contest and he was awarded with the "Freedom of the City" in 1767. Sadly the Lord Provost George Drummond who instituted the contest died before his dream of expanding the city was realized. When this plan was printed in 1768, only 500 were issued. With such a small printing run as an independently issued map, we can safely assume that very few examples, other than the one you see here, have survived to this day. Only one recorded example of this map has appeared at auction in the last 30 years. Dated and copyrighted "Published according to Act of Parliament, Jan. 1st, 1768.
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