The cartographers, publishers & illustrators of Kensal Green Cemetery

Every morning my walk into work takes me through the beautiful Kensal Green Cemetery, which I can see through my window as I work. This famous Victorian cemetery is immortalised in G.K. Chesterton's "The Rolling English Road" - one of my favourite poems - which ends "For there is good news yet to hear and fine things to be seen, Before we go to Paradise by way of Kensal Green."

The cemetery contains the graves of a number of well-known 19th century cartographers, geographers, illustrators and artists. These include:

Rudolph Ackermann (1764-1834) was an Anglo-German bookseller, inventor, lithographer, publisher and businessman. We stock the wonderful aquatint prints from his "History of the University of Oxford" (1814)

Thomas Allom (1804-1872), was an English architect, artist, and topographical illustrator. He was a founding member of what became the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA). He designed many buildings in London, including the Church of St Peter's and parts of the elegant Ladbroke Estate in Notting Hill. He also worked with Sir Charles Barry on numerous projects, most notably the Houses of Parliament. However, he is best known for his numerous topographical views, especially of Great Britain, including his Midland Counties, Northern Counties, and Caledonia Illustrated& Devon and Cornwall Illustrated, of which we have an extensive stock.

Carlo Pellegrini (1839-1889), Italian artist who served from 1869 to 1889 as a caricaturist for Vanity Fair magazine, a leading journal of London society. He signed his work under the pseudonym of Ape. He is buried in the adjacent St Mary's Roman Catholic Cemetery. We have extensive stock of his Vanity Fair cartoons.

Leslie Ward (1851-1922) was a British portrait artist and caricaturist who over four decades painted 1,325 caricatures which were published weekly by Vanity Fair magazine, under the pseudonyms "Spy" and "Drawl". We have extensive stock of his Vanity Fair cartoons.

James Wyld the elder (1790-1846), cartographer. Wyld married the daughter of his employer, the cartographer William Faden (1749-1836), who was the Geographer Royal, a title which Wyld assumed when he succeeded to the business on Faden’s retirement. We have a selection of his maps here.

James Wyld the younger (1812-1887), cartographer Son of the James Wyld met near the beginning of this trail, Wyld Junior was a geographer and cartographer; he became Geographer to Queen Victoria. He created and published Murchison’s Geological map of England and Wales in 1843 for the Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge (SDUK). Best known for his 60ft "Great Globe", which had a gas lit-interior. He had originally intended to exhibit it at the Great Exhibition, however it was too large to be exhibited inside the Crystal Palace; it was instead a fixture of Leicester Square for 10 years until i t was dismantled in 1862.

John Murray II (1778-1843), publisher. The John Murray publishing house was founded by John Murray I, the father of John Murray II, who died when his son was just 15; he nevertheless developed the business substantially. He published authors including Sir Walter Scott, Lord Byron and Jane Austen. The concern continued as a family business until 2002.

[This blog entry is a work in progress and will be enlarged in due course]