River Thames

Norden's maps of London and Westminster

Norden's maps of London and Westminster

This copy of Norden's Maps of London and Westminster is an 1899 facsimile of the original 1593 maps. The 1593 maps were produced by John Norden based on his own survey work. The maps were originally published in John Norden’s Speculum Britanniae. They were re-engraved for the 1723 reprinting of that work. Peter van den Keere, a Fleming map engraver was employed by Norden to engrave his map of Middlesex and plans of London and Westminster. Norden was not able to find a publisher for his Speculum, so he published the book himself. The maps were originally published as separate items. 

John Norden, born around 1547, was a cartographer and graduated of Oxford. In 1600, he became surveyor of the Crown woods and forests in southern England, and in 1605, he became surveyor of the Duchy of Cornwall. In his notebook of 1623, he listed 176 manors that he had surveyed. He retired several times from his position as surveyor of the Duchy, but the Duchy re-stated him. In 1607, he wrote The Surveyor’s Dialogue to educate the landowner and tenant in the usefulness and trust of the surveyor. In 1583, he started on his Speculum Britanniae while travelling with King Antonio of Portugal. In 1593, he wrote a guide to Middlesex, with the map of the county and two plans of London and Westminster. This map was the first English county map to mark roads and included a sheet with a key to the symbols used on the map. Speculum Britanniae and the maps were published in 1597. Norden is credited with the innovations in English cartography of marking roads, administrative units, and hierarchies of place, a grid-reference system, and triangular tables of distances.

Norden's maps of London and Westminster Georeferenced File

Plan of part of the city of Westminster

John Thomas Smith, born in London in 1766, was a printmaker and draughtsman. He assisted the sculptor Joseph Nollekens, studied with the engraver John Keyse Sherwin, and worked as a drawing master for Sir James Winter Lake. One of his primary patrons, John Charles Crowle, commissioned him to do work for Thomas Pennant’s Some Account of London in 1790. In 1791, he produced his first part-work, a series of ninety-six etchings and aquatints for Antiquities of London. In 1810, he produced Ancient topography of London.  He was keeper of prints and drawings at the British Museum. He died in 1833.

View of London

This view of London, depicted from the top of Saint Paul’s Cathedral, provides a first-person perspective of the city. In a band around the central illustration is an index with thirty-one points of interest. These are divided into sections and numbers. The outer portion of the map is a low-angle aerial view that is lightly colored, starting in dark sepia and gradually fading to gray. At the top of the aerial view is the sky that is blue with white clouds. 

Hoegnagel's plan of London

The first volume of Braun and Hogenberg’s Civitates orbis Terrarum, published in 1572, contains a plan of London with the title “Londinum Feracissimi Angliae Regni Metropolis” and is without a signature. It is assumed to have been drawn and engraved by Frans Hogenberg, having been attributed by A.M. Hind in his 1952 Engraving in England in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Hoefnagel has three signed works in the Civitates of panoramic views and his signed works are less formal in design than the other views. 

While the map was published in 1572, it is based upon earlier information. The map shows St. Paul’s with a spire that was destroyed in 1561. The cross in St. Botolph’s Churchyard, which burnt in 1559, is also shown. The map is derived from the “copperplate” map as evidenced by the strap work from of the title panel and the place name titles on both being S. Bwttols instead of St. Botolph and St. Taphins instead of St. Alphage. The “copperplate” map is an undated and anonymous large-scale map of the city of London, a section of which was on the back of a painting on copper of the Tower of Babel. It is believed to be comprised of twenty plates, but only three exist.

Georg Braun, born in Cologne in 1541, was a topographer, geographer, and publisher. His primary occupation however, was as a cleric. He published the first atlas of town plans and views titled Civitates Orbis Terrarum with Frans Hogenberg. This was a six-volume work. The first volume was published in 1572, while the last was in 1618. Braun was the principle editor of the work. 

Frans Hogenberg, born in 1535, was a Flemish artist and engraver. He co-published Civitates Orbis Terrarum. He engraved most of the plates for the Theatrum Orbis Terrarum of 1570. This work is considered the first true atlas due to is comprehensive scope and systematic organization. He also engraved a majority of the plates for the Civitates

Joris Hoefnagel, born on 1542, was a Belgian painter, poet, miniaturist, and topographer. He produced nearly 100 views for the Civitates Orbis Terrarum. Although over a hundred different artists and cartographers worked on the Civitates, Georg Hoefnagel did much of them. He engraved the copperplates from drawings. After his death, his son, Jakob continued work on the Civitates