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Allard, Carol

The Allard family ran an active publishing business in Amsterdam in the latter half of the seventeenth century. Most of their publications consisted of atlases made up of maps and town plans by their more famous predecessors, Blaeu, Jansson, de Wit, Visscher and others, but one of their most attractive and interesting sheet maps was of New England (Hugo Allard, 1656), based on Jansson, which included a view of New Amsterdam by C. J. Visscher.

(Ref: Moreland and Bannister)


Bellin, Jacques Nicolas

Bellin spent over fifty years at the French Hydrographic Service where he was appointed the first `Ingenieur hydrographe de la Marine'. During his term of office there he was commissioned to carry out major surveys, first of the coast of France and later of all the known coasts of the world. These tremendous undertakings resulted in the production of a very large number of sea charts of the highest quality, which appeared in many editions with varying numbers of charts to the end of the century. He was appointed Hydrographer to the King and was a member of the Royal society in London.

(Ref: Moreland and Bannister).


Blaeu, Willem & Joan

At the beginning of the seventeenth century Amsterdam was becoming one of the wealthiest trading cities in Europe, the base of the Dutch East India Company and a center of banking and the diamond trade, its people noted for their intellectual skills and splendid craftsmanship. At this propitious time in the history of the Northern Provinces, Willem Janszoon Blaeu, who was born at Alkmaar in 1571 and trained in astronomy and the sciences by Tycho Brahe, the celebrated Danish astronomer, founded a business in Amsterdam in 1599 as a globe and instrument maker. It was not long before the business expanded, publishing maps, topographical works and books of sea charts as well as constructing globes. His most notable early work was a map of Holland (1604), a fine World Map (1605-06) and Het Licht der Zeevaerdt (The Light of Navigation), a marine atlas, which went through many editions in different languages and under a variety of titles. At the same time Blaeu was planning a major atlas intended to include the most up-to-date maps of the whole of the known world but progress on so vast a project was slow and not until he bought between 30 and 40 plates of the Mercator Atlas from Jodocus Hondius II to add to his own collection was he able to publish, in 1630, a 60-map volume with the title Atlantis Appendix. It was another five years before the first two volumes of his planned world atlas, Atlas Novus or the Theatrum Orbis Terrarum were issued. About this time he was appointed Hydrographer to the East India Company. In 1638 Blaeu died and the business passed into the hands of his sons, Joan and Cornelis, who continued and expanded their father's ambitious plans. After the death of Cornelis, Joan directed the work alone and the whole series of 6 volumes was eventually completed about 1655. As soon as it was finished he began the preparation of the even larger work, the Atlas Major, which reached publication in 1662 in II volumes (later editions in 9-12 volumes) and contained nearly 6oo double-page maps and 3,000 pages of text. This was, and indeed remains, the most magnificent work of its kind ever produced; perhaps its geographical content was not as up-to-date or as accurate as its author could have wished, but any deficiencies in that direction were more than compensated for by the fine engraving and colouring, the elaborate cartouches and pictorial and heraldic detail and especially the splendid calligraphy. In 1672 a disastrous fire destroyed Blaeu's printing house in the Gravenstraat and a year afterwards Joan Blaeu died. The firm's surviving stocks of plates and maps were gradually dispersed, some of the plates being bought by F. de Wit and Schenk and Valck, before final closure in about 1695. It ought to be mentioned here that there is often confusion between the elder Blaeu and his rival Jan J ansson (Johannes Janssonius). Up to about 1619 Blaeu often signed his works Guilielmus Janssonius or Willems Jans Zoon but after that time he seems to have decided on Guilielmus or G. Blaeu.
(Ref: Moreland and Bannister)


Blome, Richard

Heraldic writer and cartographer, Blome flourished in the latter half of the seventeenth century. He was a prolific, but not at all an original, worker and indeed was frequently accused of plagiarism although it must be said for him that usually he made no attempt to hide his sources. His maps were attractive and quaintly designed and they still retain their charm.

(ref: Moreland and Bannister)



Emanuel Bowen, map and print seller, engraver to George II and to Louis XV of France worked in London from 1714 producing some the best and most attractive maps of the 18th century. He had plans for completing a major County Atlas but, finding the task beyond his means, joined with Thomas Kitchin to publish "The Large English Atlas". Many of the maps were issued individually from 1749 onwards and the whole atlas was not finally completed until 1760. With one or two exceptions they were the largest maps of the counties to appear up to that time (27" x 20") and were unusual in that blank areas around each map are filled with historical and topographical detail which makes fascinating and amusing reading. The atlas was reissued later in reduced size. Apart from his county maps and atlases of different parts of the world he also issued (with John Owen) a book of road maps based, as was usual at that time, on Ogilby but again incorporating his own style of historical and heraldic detail. Thomas helped his father during his lifetime and produced many fine maps in his own right after his fathers death

(Ref: Moreland and Bannister).


Brion de la Tour, Louis

Beyond the fact that Brion de Ia Tour was an engineer by profession and held the post of Ingenieur-Geographe du Roi, little is known of his career. He published a wide range of statistical works and a number of atlases.

(Ref: Moreland and Bannister).


Cary, John

Many writers regard John Cary as one of the finest of English cartographers. His maps, of course, are not decorative in the seventeenth-century sense but he came on the scene at a time when the large-scale county maps had recently become available, roads were being used as never before and accurate geographical information from distant countries was being received in greater and greater detail. His fine craftsmanship and ability as an engraver enabled him to make the fullest use of these sources and from them he produced a wide range of maps of great accuracy and clarity. His work covered not only county maps but world atlases, road maps, town and canal plans, sea charts and terrestrial and celestial globes. His business was eventually taken over by G. F. Cruchley ~. 1822-75) who continued to use Cary's engravings throughout his life and it is believed that some plates were still in use in the present century.

(Ref: Moreland and Bannister).


Chatelain, Henri

The Atlas Historique published by Chatelain was part of a major work of its time, an encyclopaedia in seven volumes, including geography as one of its main subjects. The text was by Nicholas Gueudeville and the maps by Chatelain. The Atlas included one of the finest maps of America (4 sheets) surrounded by vignettes and decorative insets.

(Ref: Moreland and Bannister).


Cluver, Philipp

Petrus Bertius grew up in Beveren in Flanders and as a young man travelled widely in Europe. In company with so many of his compatriots he moved to Amsterdam as a refugee from religious persecution and after completing his studies there he was appointed a professor of mathematics and librarian at Leyden University. As well as being a prolific writer on mathematical, historical and theological subjects he is known as a cartographer for his editions of Ptolemy's Geographia (based on Mercator's edition of 1578) and for the miniature atlases detailed below. In i6i8 he moved to Paris and became Official Cosmographer to Louis XIII. He was related by marriage to Jodocus Hondius and Pieter van den Keere.

(Ref: Moreland and Bannister).



The Colton family were perhaps the most distinguished American cartographers of the nineteenth century. The plates were used as the basis for other early American works and thus may be considered as the foundation for the industry in the USA.


De Fer, Nicolas

Cartographer, engraver and publisher, Nicolas de Fer issued altogether rather more than 600 separate maps, including atlases, sheet maps and large wall maps. It has been said that he aimed at quantity rather than quality but he gained a great reputation in his lifetime and was appointed Geographer to the King. Today his maps are still popular, in spite of' or perhaps because of, their rather flamboyant decoration and even for their geographical errors.
(Ref: Moreland and Bannister).


De L'Isle, Guillaume

The Delisle (de L'Isle) family followed the Sansons as a major influence in the development of French cartography at the very beginning of the eighteenth century at a moment when Dutch publishers were finally losing their control of the map trade. Like Nicolas Sanson, Claude Delisle was a geographer and historian and had four sons, all of whom made their mark in the life of the time, but Guillaume was the most remarkable member of the family. Said to have drawn his first map at the age of nine he was elected a member of the Academie Royale des Sciences by the time he was twenty-seven; later he was appointed to the highest honour as 'Premier Geographe du Roi'. His critical approach to the maps of his predecessors, backed by his training in mathematics and astronomy under J. D. Cassini, earned him early recognition as the 'first scientific cartographer' and the foremost geographer of his age. His maps were re-published long after his death in 1726.

Two of his brothers, Joseph Nicolas and Louis, spent many years in the service of Peter the Great in Russia where they organized a school of astronomy and carried out extensive surveys in areas hitherto hardly visited.

(Ref: Moreland and Bannister).


De La Feuille

Daniel de la Feuille, a Frenchman from Sedan, settled in Amsterdam about 1683 and built up a business there as an engraver, art dealer and book and map publisher.

Ref: Moreland and Bannister.


De Vaugondy, Robert & family

Gilles and Didier Robert De Vaugondy were father and son, respectively, and produced their atlas, globes and maps in concert. In many cases they did not use the initials of their first names when signing their maps, so it can be unclear at times who made a given map. On some maps fils or filio follows the name, designating its author as the son. In other instances, the authorship can be determined by the distinctive way each signed his maps: the father normally used "M.Robert," leaving off the last name, and the son, "Robert de Vaugondy." The Atlas Universal [Paris, 1757] was one of the most important 18th century atlases and one of the great achievements of the French Enlightenment. The Vaugondy's employed strict standards for including maps in this atlas and in many cases subjected them to astronomically derived readings for latitude and longitude. Moreover, 'their frequent use of eighteenth century sources, often from the 1740s, provided their atlas with up-to-date information. While their preference was for maps that bad been surveyed in the field and maps published in the region itself, they did not hesitate to turn to older sources when more recent maps were found to be lacking." (Pedley, p. 61) For their maps of Canada and South America, the Vaugondy's had access to sources held by the Depot de la Marine, the official French repository for maritime-related information. Like Ortelius and Mercator before them, the Vaugondy`s listed the sources of their maps, which is of incalculable benefit to anyone seeking to understand not only their maps but also those of the period. "A feature of the maps of the Atlas Universel which attracted unanimous praise from critics was the cartouches." (Pedley, p. 64) A number of artisans worked on their design and engraving; several cartouches were engraved and signed by the Haussard sisters. Among the most pictorial cartouches are the four found on maps showing the postal routes of Great Britain, France, Germany, Spain and Portugal. They depict postal carriers en route in richly detailed settings

(Ref: Moreland and Bannister)


Homann, Heirs

Following the long period of Dutch domination, the Homann family became the most important map publishers in Germany in the eighteenth century, the business being founded by J.B. Homann in Nuremberg about the year 1702. Soon after publishing his first atlas in 1707 he became a member of the Berlin academy of Sciences and in 1715 he was appointed Geographer to the Emperor. After the founder's death in 1724, the firm was continued under the direction of his son until 1730 and was then bequeathed to his heirs on the condition that it trades under the name of Homann Heirs. The firm remained in being until the next century and had a wide influence on map publishing in Germany. Apart from the atlases the firm published a very large number of individual maps. The Homman's produced a Neuer Atlas in 1714, a Grosser Atlas in 1737, and an Atlas Maior with about 300 maps in 1780. They also issued a special Atlas of Germany with full sized plans of principal cities, school atlases and an Atlas of Silesia in 1750 with 20 maps.
(Ref: Moreland and Bannister).



Jodocus Hondius, one of the most notable engravers of his time, is known for his work in association with many of the cartographers and publishers prominent at the end of the sixteenth and the beginning of the seventeenth century. A native of Flanders, he grew up in Ghent, apprenticed as an instrument and globe maker and map engraver. In 1584, to escape the religious troubles sweeping the Low Countries at that time, he fled to London where he spent some years before finally settling in Amsterdam about 1593. In the London period he came into contact with the leading scientists and geographers of the day and engraved maps in The Mariner's Mirrour, the English edition of Waghenaer's Sea Atlas, as well as others with Pieter van den Keere, his brother-in-law. No doubt his temporary exile in London stood him in good stead, earning him an international reputation, for it could have been no accident that Speed chose Hondius to engrave the plates for the maps in The Theatre of the Empire of Great Britaine in the years between 1605 and 1610. In 1604 Hondius bought the plates of Mercator's Atlas which, in spite of its excellence, had not competed successfully with the continuing demand for the Ortelius Theatrum Orbis Terrarum. To meet this competition Hondius added about 40 maps to Mercator's original number and from 16o6 published enlarged editions in many languages, still under Mercator's name but with his own name as publisher. These atlases have become known as the Mercator/Hondius series. The following year the maps were re-engraved in miniature form and issued as a pocket Atlas Minor. After the death of Jodocus Hondius the Elder in 1611, work on the two atlases, folio and miniature, was carried on by his widow and sons, Jodocus II and Henricus, and eventually in conjunction with Jan Jansson in Amsterdam. In all, from 1606 onwards, nearly 50 editions with increasing numbers of maps with texts in the main European languages were printed.

(Ref: Moreland and Bannister).


Jansson, Jan

Johannes Janssonius, more commonly known to us as Jan Jansson, was born in Arnhem where his father was a bookseller and publisher (Jan Janszoon the Elder). In 1612 he married the daughter of the cartographer and publisher Jodocus Hondius, and then set up in business in Amsterdam as a book publisher. In 1616 he published his first maps of France and Italy and from then onwards he produced a very large number of maps, perhaps not quite rivaling those of the Blaeu family but running a very close second in quantity and quality. From about 1630 to 1638 he was in partnership with his brother-in-law, Henricus Hondius, issuing further editions of the Mercator/Hondius atlases to which his name was added. On the death of Henricus he took over the business, expanding the atlas still further, until eventually he published an 11-volume Atlas Major on a scale similar to Blaeu's Atlas Major. The first full edition of Jansson's English County Maps was published in 1646 but some years earlier he issued a number of British maps in the Mercator/Hondius/Jansson series of atlases (1636-44); the maps were printed from newly engraved plates and are different from the later 1646 issue and are now rarely seen. In general appearance Jansson's maps are very similar to those of Blaeu and, in fact, were often copied from them, but they tend to be more flamboyant and decorative.

(Ref: Moreland and Bannister).



The Johnson firm produced a prolific output of maps and charts in the early pioneering years of the American cartographic industry. As such their status is assured.


Kino, Eusebio

Father Kino was a Jesuit priest whose surveys of the California region helped to finally put to rest the theory that California was an island. As such his status is assured in cartographic history.


Kitchin, Thomas

Working at premises at The Star in London's Holborn as an engraver and publisher, Kitchin produced a very wide range of books on many subjects as well as topographical work. For many years he worked in conjunction with Emanuel Bowen and Thomas Jefferys and apart from the atlases he published with them, he produced maps of every sort for magazines and books on history and the antiquities.

(Ref: Moreland and Bannister).


Mercator, Gerard

For nearly sixty years, during the most important and exciting period in the story of modern map making, Gerard Mercator was the supreme cartographer, his name, second only to Ptolemy, synonymous with the form of map projection still in use today. Although not the inventor of this type of projection he was the first to apply it to navigational charts in such a form that compass bearings could be plotted on charts in straight lines, thereby providing seamen with a solution to an age-old problem of navigation at sea. His influence transformed land surveying and his researches and calculations led him to break away from Ptolemy's conception of the size and outline of the Continents, drastically reducing the longitudinal length of Europe and Asia and altering the shape of the Old World as visualized in the early sixteenth century. Mercator was born in Rupelmonde in Flanders and studied in Louvain under Gemma Frisius, Dutch writer, astronomer and mathematician. He established himself there as a cartographer and instrument and globe maker, and when he was twenty-five drew and engraved his first map (of Palestine) and went on to produce a map of Flanders (1540) supervising the surveying and completing the drafting and engraving himself. The excellence of his work brought him the patronage of Charles V for whom he constructed a globe, but in spite of his favor with the Emperor he was caught up in the persecution of Lutheran Protestants and charged with heresy, fortunately without serious consequences. No doubt the fear of further persecution influenced his move in 1552 to Duisburg, where he continued the production of maps, globes and instruments culminating in large-scale maps of Europe (1554), the British Isles (1564) and the famous World Map on 18 sheets drawn to his new projection (1569). All these early maps are exceedingly rare, some being known by only one copy. In later life he devoted himself to his edition of the maps in Ptolemy's Geographia, reproduced in his own engraving as nearly as possible in their original form, and to the preparation of his 3-volume collection of maps to which, for the first time, the word 'Atlas' was applied. The word was chosen, he wrote, 'to honor the Titan, Atlas, King of Mauritania, a learned philosopher, mathematician, and astronomer' . The first two parts of the Atlas were published in 1585 and 1589 and the third, with the first two making a complete edition, in 1595 the year after Mercator's death. Mercator's sons and grandsons, named above, were all cartographers and made their contributions in various ways to the great atlas. Rumold, in particular, was responsible for the complete edition in 1595. After a second complete edition in 1602, the map plates were bought in 1604 by Jodocus Hondius who, with his sons, Jodocus II and Henricus, published enlarged editions which dominated the map market for the following twenty to thirty years.
(Ref: Moreland and Bannister).


Munster, Sebastian

After Waldseemuller three names dominated cartography in the 16th century; Mercator, Ortelius & Munster, and of these three Munster probably had the widest influence in spreading geographical knowledge throughout Europe in the middle years of the century. His Cosmographica, issued in 1544, contained not only the latest views of many well known cities, but included an encyclopedic amount of detail about the known - and unknown - world and undoubtedly must have been one of the most widely read books of its time, going through nearly forty editions in six languages. An eminent German mathematician and linguist, Munster became professor of Hebrew at Heidelberg and later at Basle, where he settled in 1529. In 1528, following his first mapping of Germany, he appealed to German scholars to send him descriptions, so that all Germany with its villages, towns, trades etc. may be seen in a `mirror`, even going so far as to give instructions on how they should map their own localities. The response was far greater than expected and much information was sent by foreigners as well as Germans so that, eventually, he was able to include many up-to-date, if not very accurate, maps in his atlases. He was the first to provide a separate map of each of the four known continents and the first separately printed map of England. His maps, printed from woodblocks, are now greatly valued by collectors. His two major works, the Geographia and Cosmographia were published in Basle by his sep-son, Henri Petri, who continued to issue many editions after Munsters death of the plague in 1552. Munster's dominance of the cartographic market was relatively short lived once Ortelius produced his "Theatrum Orbis Terrarum" in 1570. Munster's somewhat naive engravings of the world, continents and countries were revised and re-published by Sebastian Petri with more sophisticated maps in 1588, using the Ortelius Atlas as a guide. In Munsters defense though, he had little in the way of examples or reference to help produce what was the first comprehensive atlas of the known world.
(Ref: Moreland and Bannister).


Ortelius, Abraham

Abraham Ortel, better known as Ortelius, was born in Antwerp and after studying Greek, Latin and mathematics set up business there with his sister, as a book dealer and 'painter of maps'. Traveling widely, especially to the great book fairs, his business prospered and he established contacts with the literati in many lands. On one such visit to England, possibly seeking temporary refuge from religious persecution, he met William Camden whom he is said to have encouraged in the production of the Britannia. A turning-point in his career was reached in 1564 with the publication of a World Map in eight sheets of which only one copy is known: other individual maps followed and then - at the suggestion of a friend - he gathered together a collection of maps from contacts among European cartographers and had them engraved in uniform size and issued in 1570 as the Theatrum Orbis Terrarum (Atlas of the Whole World). Although Lafreri and others in Italy had published collections of 'modern' maps in book form in earlier years, the Theatrum was the first uniformly sized, systematic collection of maps and hence can be called the first atlas, although that term itself was not used until twenty years later by Mercator. The Theatrum, with most of its maps elegantly engraved by Frans Hogenberg, was an instant success and appeared in numerous editions in different languages including addenda issued from time to time incorporating the latest contemporary knowledge and discoveries. The final edition appeared in 1612. Unlike many of his contemporaries Ortelius noted his sources of information and in the first edition acknowledgement was made to eighty-seven different cartographers. Apart from the modern maps in his major atlas, Ortelius himself compiled a series of historical maps known as the Parergon Theatri which appeared from 1579 onwards, sometimes as a separate publication and sometimes incorporated in the Theatrum.

Ref: Moreland and Bannister.


Plancius, Petrus

Plancius was a theologian and minister of the Dutch Reformed Church who fled with many of his compatriots from religious persecution in Flanders to settle in Amsterdam in 1585. There he became interested in navigation and cartography and, being fortunate enough to have access to nautical charts recently brought from Portugal, he was soon recognized as an expert on the shipping routes to India. He was interested, too, in the idea of a North East passage until the failure of Willem Barentsz's third voyage in 1597 seemed to preclude the possibility of such a route. In 1602 he was appointed cartographer to the new Dutch East India Company.

Although Plancius produced no atlases his individual maps and charts, over 100 in all, exercised much influence on the work of other cartographers at the turn of the century. His very large wall map of the world dated 1592 was of particular significance.
(Ref:Moreland and Bannister).