The Port of London as it never was
By DANIELL, W[illiam] , 1800

To the Right Honble. Lord Hawkesbury, &c. &c. This perspective Sketch illustrating a design submitted to the consideration of the Select Committee of the House of Commons on the improvements of the Port of London Is inscribed by his obedient humble Servant Geo. Dance.

  • Author: DANIELL, W[illiam]
  • Publication place: London
  • Publisher: Published as the Act directs, for Geo. Dance Esq. R.A. Upper Gower Street
  • Publication date: 1800.
  • Physical description: Engraving with aquatint.
  • Dimensions: Image: 320 by 630mm (12.5 by 24.75 inches). Sheet: 380 by 670mm (15 by 26.5 inches).
  • Inventory reference: 12492


William Daniell (1769–1837) was a painter and engraver, specialising in scenery. He often worked with George Dance the Younger (1741-1825), the architect and designer. Dance put forward a set of plans for improvements to the Port of London in his capacity as surveyor to the City, a post inherited from his father. He proposed that there should be two bridges, replacing the current London Bridge, to ease the traffic, linked by a piazza at each end, with monuments in the centre. The existing Monument to the Great Fire of London by Sir Christopher Wren would be retained, and a new naval monument erected on the opposite side. The challenge for the architects submitting designs was that tall river traffic had to pass through the bridge. Most submissions dealt with this by making the arches of the bridge higher. Dance chose to give each bridge a drawbridge in the middle, allowing ships to pass through one while traffic continued uninterrupted on the other.

The print is dedicated to Lord Hawkesbury, later to become Lord Liverpool and Prime Minister for 15 years. At the time he was Master of the Mint, and the chairman of the Select Committee formed to consider the problem of shipping and commerce in the Port of London.


  1. Not in the BL or BM.