Friday, 18 September 2009

George Martin Hinds Ramsgate Cartographer.

I have just received the following information by email:

“George Martin Hinds was almost certainly the man who drew up 'The Hinds Map'; he was also my great-great grandfather.

He was born in Ramsgate in 1802 and became an Architect & Surveyor, joining the Ramsgate firm of the architect Collard. He married the boss's daughter, always a good career move, in 1829 and eventually took over the firm. He had several sons, one of whom, Brook Hinds, also became an architect, and another, Henry Hinds (1834-1924), who was my great-grandfather, became a surveyor. My grandfather, H.G.R.Hinds (1866-1956) was also a surveyor. The office of the family business was established at 57 Queen Street and remained there until the 1950s; the business records of the family firm from 1817-1950s are deposited in the East Kent Archive Office.

George Martin Hinds was a complex character; he was responsible for many buildings within Ramsgate, several of which are still present today, including the synagogue, which has been mentioned recently in the blogs; he was also involved in matters of the town, overseeing works for the poor. In addition he was much interested in maritime matters, as well as being chapel preacher, learning Hebrew so that he could understand the bible more thoroughly. The last member of the Hinds family to live in Ramsgate was my aunt, Mary Hinds, who died in the 1990s.

Alison Hinds”

Ed, I am in the middle of a difficult period at the moment and am just catching up on some of the correspondence I have had recently. One of the things I have been working on is a reprint of my 1849 map of Ramsgate, still not finished to my satifaction.

Below my reply to Alison Hinds.

Hi Alison this is very interesting indeed, I have often thought that Hinds’s 1849 map of Ramsgate was just too good to be a crib of Collard and Hurst’s 1822 map with revisions.

I am pretty much convinced by the similarity of style that they were both drawn by the same hand and as Hinds was working for Collard’s I think it fairly safe to assume that Hinds drew both maps.

The only surviving copy of the 1822 map that I know of was destroyed in Ramsgate library fire, various black and white copies of Hind’s 1849 map survive however I have the only known coloured one. These maps were coloured then cut into sections and mounted on linen, the quality of the colouring is such that I think it likely that it was done by Hinds.

If you didn’t find it this link will take you to a copy of the map

My understanding was that the synagogue was designed by David Mocatta, a pupil of Sir John Soane and architect for railway stations on the Brighton Line, so I would be very interested in more information on Hinds involvement.

My 1849 directory lists George Martin Hinds as architect, surveyor, auctioneer, appraiser and agent to the Kent Mutual Fire Office, his address at that time being 37 Queen St. The numbering of Queen St was different at that time so it would be difficult to identify the actual building if it still exists today.

With his map of Thanet see I am fairly certain it was drawn in 1819 or earlier suggesting he was 17 or younger, this is consistent with its more primitive style.

It is interesting that three important Ramsgate history books date it as 1871 and the map they show includes additions made in 1895 when Hinds would have been 93 were he alive.

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