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  • Writer's picturePeter Berthoud

An Edwardian Map of the River Thames


"Map of the River Thames" was published for Joseph Mears Launches & Motors Ltd. of 5 Hill Street, Richmond around 1914.

"Map of the River Thames" was published for Joseph Mears Launches & Motors Ltd. of 5 Hill Street, Richmond around 1914. The cartography is by George Philip & Son Ltd. and the mapping was carried out between 1904 and 1914.


Joseph Mears ran a large fleet of motor launches on the Thames from the early 1900s up until World War II. He was also the co-founder of Chelsea Football Club, you can read a little more about him and his fleet of vessels here.


The guide appears to have been produced by George Philip for sale to operators of various Thames services. A very similar guide, The Mex Motor Spirit Map of The River Thames, was produced for Bowring Petroleum Co. at around the same time, the major differences between the two guides are the covers, title pages and the company emblems printed on each spread. It is clear from the standard index that 2 pages were reserved for each company to use for advertising. Bowring used their two pages to provide a company history. Mears left their two pages completely unused, not even a picture of Montmorency, what a shame.


Table of Contents

Table of Contents


Together there are twenty-nine different overlapping maps, each spread oriented in a slightly different direction, presenting the Thames in strip map fashion from Westminster Bridge to the river's source. The Key to the map and all its sections are below, following those are two pages of Bye-Laws and Rules of the River.


General Map & Key to Sections

General Map & Key to Sections



Travelling from Westminster to Kemble the guide provided a heads-up view of the river ahead but we will begin our journey in Gloucestershire and head downstream for 164 miles to Westminster Bridge. Click on any map for a larger view.

Thames Head & Ashton Keynes

Thames Head & Ashton Keynes


Cricklade & Kempsford

Cricklade & Kempsford


Lechlade & Kelmscot

Lechlade & Kelmscot


Radcot & Shifford

Radcot & Shifford


Standlake & Oxford

Standlake & Oxford


Oxford & Abingdon

Oxford & Abingdon


Sutton Courtenay & Wallingford

Sutton Courtenay & Wallingford


Goring, Streatley & Whitchurch

Goring, Streatley & Whitchurch


Pangbourne, Tilehurst & Reading

Pangbourne, Tilehurst & Reading


Sonning, Henley & Hurley

Sonning, Henley & Hurley


Marlow, Cookham & Maidenhead

Marlow, Cookham & Maidenhead


Windsor & Datchet

Windsor & Datchet


Staines, Shepperton & Sunbury

Staines, Shepperton & Sunbury


Hampton Court, Kingston & Richmond

Hampton Court, Kingston & Richmond


Kew to London

Kew to London



Abstract of certain Bye-Laws (1914) affecting petrol motor launches.

Abstract of certain Bye-Laws (1914) affecting petrol motor launches.


Abstract of certain Bye-Laws (1914) affecting petrol motor launches.

Customary Rules of the River.

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