The Diaries of William Lloyd Holden, 1829 and 1830

15th January 2019

Volume 155 publishes the fascinating diary of William Lloyd Holden. In the history of cartography, William Lloyd Holden is not a familiar name; however, the chance survival of his diaries provides unique evidence of the actual processes involved in producing the county maps published by private surveyors and publishers in the period between the end of the Napoleonic Wars and the rise of the Ordnance Survey. Holden worked for William Andrewes Bryant in Cheshire – where he covered most of the northern part of the County from the Wirral to the Longdendale panhandle - and in the West Riding, particularly in the Holmfirth area and the Dales. He also spent the winter of 1829-30 in London, where he did odd pieces of work for Bryant as well as spending time with his family. The dairies show that the ‘actual’ surveys of Bryant, the Greenwoods and their contemporaries were primarily exercises in compilation and synthesis from existing large-scale local mapping, rather than new surveys. The diaries also provide a fascinating picture of the social life and activities, entertainments, flirtations and interests of an insatiably curious young bachelor, and incidentally of the communities in which he spent time.