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c.1770 – c.1820
William Larkin was a land surveyor, notable for creating county maps in the early nineteenth century. Not much is known about him, other than that he attended the Dublin Society’s drawing school in 1788. He was most prolific in the early 1800s when he created a series of remarkable maps, beginning with 1805 map of the post roads of Ireland (British Library Maps 10835 (2)). He followed with road surveys for the Post Office such as Dublin – Enniskillen (1806), Dublin – Ratoath and Curragha (1807), and several other routes which saw him work across a large part of southern and western Ireland (1807-1808). 1807 also saw him complete a set of estate maps for the earl of Leitrim’s Manorhamilton estate.
Aorund this time, Larkin began to produce county maps, beginning with County Westmeath. Between 1817- 1819 he had published Meath, Waterford, Galway, Leitrim and Sligo. He had also had drafted manuscript maps for Cavan, Louth, Monagahn and King’s County.
The map for King’s County was completed in 1807 for the Grand Jury for their rooms at Philipstown (now Daingean). The map was never engraved or published due to a lack of subscribers. The manuscript map is now presumed lost.
In 1809, however, the newly constituted Bogs Commissioners engaged Larkin to produce a map of King’s County exhibiting all the bogs of the county. This was based on the manuscript county map and is now held by the National Archives of Ireland.
Larkin died some time before 1824.
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Arnold Horner, 'Mapping Offaly in the early 19th century' with an atlas of William Larkin's map of King's County, 1809', Wordwell (2006)