Views Of The Old And New London Bridges. Drawn And Etched By Edward William Cooke. With Scientific And Historical Notices Of The Two Bridges; Practical Observations On The Tides Of The River Thames; And A Concise Essay On Bridges, From The Earliest Period; &c. &c. Derived From Information, Contributed Exclusively For This Work, By George Rennie, Esq. F.R.S. F.A.S. &c. &c. [Epigraph]

Edward William Cooke RA

RA Collection: Book

Record number




London:: Published By Brown And Syrett, 17, Old Broad-Street; J.And A. Arch, Cornhill; Paul And Dominic Colnaghi And Co. Printsellers To The Royal Family, Pall Mall East; And George And E.W. Cooke, Barnes Terrace, Surrey., 1833.

Physical Description

[4], vi, 24 p., 12 pl.; 479 mm. (Folio.)


[T.p.] - Address (by George Cooke and Edward W. Cooke) - Description Of The Plates (by G. and E.W. C.) - [Plates] - [Text]; [colophon].

Responsibility Note

All plates are signed as drawn and etched by Edward William Cooke.

Plates 1-8 carry the publisher's imprint of J. Brown; pl. 9-12, the publishers' imprint of Brown & Syrett and J. and A. Arch.

The printer is named on the verso of the title page and in the colophon: 'W. Wilson, Printer, 57, Skinner-Street, London.'


Royal Institute of British Architects, British Architectural Library ... Early printed books, 1 (1994), no. 697, p.388; A.W. Skempton, British civil engineering 1640-1840: a bibliography (1987), no. 300, p.45; London Topographical Society, Old and new London Bridge: a selection of drawings reproduced from originals in the possession of the Guildhall Art Library (1970).

A.W. Skempton et al., A biographical dictionary of civil engineers in Great Britain and Ireland (2002). Sir John Rennie published his own Autobiography (1875). On Edward W. Cooke see J. Munday, E.W. Cooke (1996).

Studies of the history of bridge-building include J. Sweetman, The artist and the bridge 1700-1920 (1999); D.J. Brown, Bridges: three thousand years of defying nature (1993); J. Gies, Bridges and men (1963). An overview of the development of London in the early 19th century was C. Fox, ed., London: world city, 1800-1840 [exhibition catalogue] (1993).

Summary Note

The publication-date of 1833 is given on the title page. Plates 1-4 carry the date June 1832; plates 5-8, October 1832; plates 9-12, 20 April 1833.

The work describes the construction of the new London Bridge, carried out between 1823 and 1831 by John Rennie, from designs by his father, John Rennie, and his brother, George; for which Rennie was knighted.

All twelve plates are engraved as 'Proof'. All are views, and are captioned as follows:

1. Part Of Old London-Bridge, St Magnus And The Monument. Taken at Low-water, August 15th, 1831;

2. The Old And New London-Bridges, Taken from the Steps at the City end (looking South) during the progress of the Works, August 27, 1830;

3. Arch Of Old London-Bridge, Called Long-Entry-Lock, Taken from the Sterling at Low Water, Oct. 1. 1831;

4. Demolition Of Old London-Bridge. (Low Water.) As it appeared January 24th. 1832;

5. Steps Of New London Bridge. St Magnus, The Monument, And Part Of The Old Bridge;

6. Demolition Of The Great, Or Chapel-Pier, Of Old London Bridge. With the Derrick used in Drawing the Foundation Piles &c. March 1832;

7. Ruins Of The Crypt, Or Under Chapel, Of St Thomas, On Old London Bridge. As discovered Feb. 1832, at the late Demolition of the Bridge;

8. The Southwark End Of Old London-Bridge. From a Drawing taken at Low-water 25th Novr. 1831;

9. London Bridge. From the upper landing of the Steps near Tooley Street;

10. Old London Bridge As it stood since the repair of 1760 until it's dissolution in 1831-2;

11. New London Bridge. from Billingsgate. (low water.) drawn July. 31. 1832;

12. Dilapidation Of The Long-Entry Arch, Old London Bridge. As it appeared March 20th. 1832. Exhibiting a portion of the Original Structure, & the various additions on either side, for widening the bridge.

J. Munday states that seventy original studies survive as a collection presented to the City of London, and that reproductions published by the London Topographical Society in 1970 show eight of Cooke's pencil drawings dated 1826-1832.

The text following the plates consists of: Historical Description Of Old London Bridge; Historical Account Of New London Bridge; Particulars Of The Total Cost Of London Bridge; Practical Remarks On The Arch - Bridge Building, &c.; Table Of The Principal Bridges In Europe; On The Former And Present State Of The Tides In The River Thames, In Consequence Of The Removal Of Old London Bridge.


The title-page is inscribed in ink, 'Presented to the Library of the Royal Academy by E.W. Cooke: 15th. Jany. 1852.'

Binding Note

19th-century half dark red morocco, dark red watered-cloth-covered boards, upper cover lettered 'Old And New London Bridges. By E.W. Cooke'; spine lettered 'Cooke's Old And New London Bridges.'

Name as Subject


Bridges - Engineering - Masonry - Arches - Vaults (structural elements) - Great Britain - London - London Bridge - History - 19th century
Views - Great Britain - 19th century
Pictorial works - Great Britain - 19th century


Edward William Cooke RA, draughtsman, engraver, publisher, previous owner, donor
George Rennie
George Cooke, publisher
William Wilson, printer
Brown and Syrett (London), publisher
John and Arthur Arch, publisher
Colnaghi and Company, publisher