Howard Vincent's map of the British Empire
By VINCENT, Howard , 1886

Howard Vincent Map of the British Empire Showing the Possessions throughout the World of the British People, their extent, population, and revenue By T.B. Johnston Geographer to the Queen. Dedicated to C. E. Howard Vincent, Esq., C.B., M.P. 1886

World World maps
  • Author: VINCENT, Howard
  • Publication place: London
  • Publication date: 1886
  • Physical description: First edition. Large engraved wall map, fine original hand-colour, dissected and mounted on linen, inset map of British Possessions in 1786 housed in original red cloth slipcase lettered in gilt, light damp-staining to slipcase.
  • Dimensions: 1570 by 1820mm. (61.75 by 71.75 inches).
  • Inventory reference: 2379


Scarce wall map of the British Empire.

The map shows the British Empire at its high water mark in the year 1886. Below the map is a table of ‘possessions of the British People’, which lists each country’s size, population, and annual revenue. The ‘Mother Country’- ie Britain – is said to have a population of 36 million, with an annual revenue of £90 million; India and Burma with a population of 257 million, has the second largest revenues of £74 million; the smallest population 150 is recorded for the naval station at Perim Island off the Horn of Africa, which has an area of a mere seven sq. miles. A key to the map marks, British colonies; telegraph lines; railways; admiralty coaling stations, secondary, primary, and mercantile; steamboat routes and naval stations. The total revenues of the Empire are said to be £206,335,000, with the Empire’s armed forces amounting to two and a quarter million, 500 battleships, 106,000 sailors and 20,000 canon. To the lower right is an insert of British possessions in 1786.

Howard Vincent (1849-1908) was a soldier, lawyer, police official, and conservative politician. After a tour of the British possessions in the early 1880 – in which Vincient became convinced of the merits of the Empire – he stood for the Conservative party in the 1885 election. He won the Sheffield Central seat – defeating Samuel Plimsoll (of Plimsoll Line fame) along the way. It was a seat he was to occupy until his death in 1908. A staunch supporter of the Empire he set up the United Empire Trade League in 1891.