“Stanford’s Map of India” By Edward Stanford

stanfords_indiaEdward Stanford

Edward Stanford (1826-1904) began apprenticing as a printer and stationer in 1841. After his master’s death in 1844, he moved to London to work under the publisher Trelawney Saunders, and in 1852 Stanford and Saunders entered into a partnership. The next year the partnership disbanded and Stanford retained full control of the business. Stanford also became a fellow of the Royal Geographical Society in 1853, which gave him access to a wealth of sources for publication. Before producing this map of India, Stanford also published many surveys of India and works from the British India Office, as well as a map of the geology of India by G B Greenough. Stanford’s business is still a successful company in the United Kingdom, focusing on maps, travel books and resources.

War & Stanford’s Map

The nineteenth century proved to be a period of vast expansion, in which Great Britain solidified its influence over Australia, India, and Africa. In particular, the mid-nineteenth century saw the forced assimilation of many formerly independent Indian territories. Tensions arising from British expansion in India came to a head in May of 1857, in Meerut, when Sepoys, or Indian soldiers in the service of the British, initiated an outright rebellion. This began the Indian War of Independence, also called the Sepoy Rebellion of 1857.

Stanford took a particular interest in cartography related to British Imperial interests and produced maps of various regions in Africa and Australia, as well as the West Indies. When war broke out in 1857 in India, Stanford presented this map within the year, likely in an attempt to profit off of the increased interest in the state of affairs in India. In order to legitimize Britain’s right to govern India, Stanford included a table that lists various Indian regions and the dates the British acquired them.


Herbert, Francis. “The ‘London Atlas of Universal Geography’ from John Arrowsmith to Edward Stanford: Origin, Development and Dissolution of a British World Atlas from the 1830s to the 1930s.” Imago Mundi 41 (1989): n. pag. Web.

“The History of Stanford’s.” Stanford’s. Web.

Patel, Nilesh. “Sepoy Mutiny of 1857.” Postcolonial Studies @ Emory. Spring 1998. Web.

Stanford, Edward. “Jamaica.” London: Edward Stanford, Ltd., 1880?. British Library. Web.

Stanford, Edward. “Stanford’s new map of Australia.” London: Edward Stanford, Ltd., 1860. British Library. Web.

Stanford, Edward. “Stanford’s Map of British South Africa.” London: Edward Stanford, Ltd., 1895. British Library. Web.

“Stanford, Edward (1827-1904).” Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004. Web.

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