1552 - 1629

    John Speed is probably the most famous English mapmaker. He was born in Cheshire in 1552. He lived in Moorfields in London with his wife Susanna who bore him twelve sons and six daughters. He became a freeman of the Merchant Taylors Company like his father. He followed his father’s trade as a tailor until about the age of fifty. From a young age he pursued his passion for history and cartography. He produced maps for the Queen and the Merchant Tailors Company. As a result of his joining the society of Antiquarians his mapmaking skills came to the attention of Sir Fulke Greville, who became his patron. Queen Elizabeth granted him the use of a room in the Custom House.

    His maps are distinctive and decorative and are filled with historical detail and heraldic devices. Speed was influenced by the earlier works of Saxton, Norden and others, however much of the up-to-date information especially relating to the town plan details drawn on his maps was his. He must have wasted little time in his preparatory work for the first individual maps. For his atlas, Theatre of the Empire of the Great Britain all Speed’s draft material was taken to Amsterdam, to be engraved by the talented Dutch engraver, Jodocus Hondius, the plates were then returned to London for printing.

    In 1627, just before he died, Speed published A Prospect of the Most Famous Parts of the World which became the first World Atlas produced by an Englishman.

    Antique Maps Moreland and Bannister

    Collecting Antique Maps Jonathan Potter

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    1818 - 1876

    John Tallis was one of the most successful English publishers of the nineteenth century. He first published the Illustrated Atlas in 1851 which featured a series of beautifully engraved maps of different countries of the world. The atlas was a compilation of information from explorers, geographers, artists and natural historians from all around the world. It reflected the geographical political, commercial and statistical world of the mid-nineteenth century.

    These maps were drawn and engraved by John Rapkin and the vignette views were drawn and engraved by a number of prominent artists. Leading cities and towns are shown along with national costumes, and indigenous flora and fauna. The vignettes also reveal other things such as gold washing in California, clipper ships in the harbour of Hong Kong, the splendours of Polynesia, developments of New Zealand and Australia, the bridal chase of the Tartars, the great sphinx and pyramids in Egypt, a convoy of diamonds in South America, along with many other wonders.

    The Tallis Illustrated Atlas was a classic publication of its time. The maps were engraved on steel plates and they continued to be revised until about 1865. This was one of the last great decorative atlases issued in the tradition of the Dutch atlases of the seventeenth century. It was one of the first to be published in both London and New York.

    John Tallis’ partnership business, “The London Printing and Publishing Company” continued to flourish until the 1870s. Sadly the business ended in bankruptcy when they attempted to take over the enormously popular Victorian newspaper The Illustrated London News which is still produced today.

    Antique Maps Moreland and Bannister

    The Illustrated Atlas of the Nineteenth Century World Introduction by Jonathan Potter.

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    fl. 1785 - 1825

    The English mapmaker and publisher Robert Wilkinson was working in London at the end of the eighteenth century and the beginning of the nineteenth century.

    Antique Maps Moreland and Bannister

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    1790 - 1836

    James Wyld was an English geographer who worked in London. He was geographer to the King and a founder member of the Royal Geographic Society. He produced a number of atlases.

    Tooley’s Dictionary of Map makers R.V.Tooley

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    fl. c. 1775 - 1797

    Antonio Zatta was a Venetian cartographer and publisher who was working in the second half of the eighteenth century. He was working at the time when the English navigator, Captain James Cook was making new discoveries in the Pacific Ocean and around Australia and New Zealand.

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