antique map of West Indies and Central America


Antique map of West Indies and Central America. Published 1871, in ‘An Atlas of Modern Geography,’ by Samuel Butler FRS (30 January 1774 – 4 December 1839.) From a new edition edited by the author’s son, Rev T. Butler. Original hand-coloured steel engraving. Full margins not captured by scan. A nice clean Victorian map. Paper measures approx. 9×11.5 inches. Usual atlas centre fold.


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West Indies. Antique map of West Indies and Central America. Published 1871 in ‘An Atlas of Modern Geography,’ by Samuel Butler FRS (30 January 1774 – 4 December 1839.) This being a new edition edited by the author’s son, Rev T. Butler. Samuel Butler was born at Kenilworth, Warwickshire. He was educated at Rugby School, and in 1791 was admitted to St John’s College, Cambridge. Butler’s classical career was meritorious. He obtained three of Sir William Browne’s medals, for the Latin (1792) and Greek (1793, 1794) odes, the medal for the Greek ode in 1792 being won by Samuel Taylor Coleridge. In 1793 Butler was elected to the Craven scholarship, amongst the competitors being John Keate, afterwards headmaster of Eton. In 1796 he was fourth senior optime and senior chancellor’s classical medallist. In 1797 and 1798 he obtained the members prize for Latin essay. He acquired the degrees of BA in 1796, MA in 1799, and DD in 1811. In 1797 he was elected a fellow of St John’s and ordained deacon in the Church of England, and in 1798 became headmaster of Shrewsbury school, the same year as his ordination as priest, at the age of 24. As a clergyman, he was perpetual curate of Berwick Chapelry near Shrewsbury from 1801 to 1815 and in 1802 he was appointed as vicar of Kenilworth, in 1807 to a prebendal stall in Lichfield Cathedral, and in 1822 to the archdeaconry of Derby; all these appointments he had at the same time as his headmastership, but in 1836 he was promoted to the bishopric of Lichfield. It is in association with Shrewsbury school that Butler is chiefly remembered. During his headmastership its reputation increased greatly, and in the standard of its scholarship was the equal of any other public school in England. He was considered to be “in all essential respects, the originator” of the Praeposter system of placing older boys in authority over younger at the school. Charles Darwin, who recalled loathing the rote learning, was among his notable pupils. He wrote a Sketch of Modern and Ancient Geography (1813, reprinted frequently) for use by schools, and published atlases of ancient and modern geography. His large library included a fine collection of Aldine editions and Greek and Latin manuscripts. He died at Eccleshall Castle, Staffordshire, in December 1839 aged 65. Bishop Butler is buried in the church yard of the Collegiate Church of St Mary the Virgin Shrewsbury – the former parish church of Shrewsbury School.

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