Biographies of Some of the More Famous Cartographers
Alexis Hubert JAILLOT
Alexis Hubert Jaillot (c.1632-1712) was from Saint-Claude, Franch-Comté and came to Paris in 1657. In 1664 he married Jeanne Berey, the daughter of Nicolas Berey, the map publisher, and following the death of his father-in-law and his brother-in-law (also Nicolas), the business passed to Jaillot and he was to gain access to much of the stock and also Berey’s former shop, ‘Aux Deux Globes’.
On the death of Nicolas Sanson, his firm passed to his sons Guillaume and Adrien. They took Alexis Hubert Jaillot into partnership in 1671, now well-established at ‘Aux Deux Globes’, and he was to become second only to Sanson himself among the early school of French cartographers.
A number of Sanson’s maps had been prepared but never published and others were in need of revision, so Jaillot began the process of preparing new maps on larger plates. These were published in the “Atlas Nouveau”, published from 1681 onwards, although individual maps date from 1672. Tooley wrote, “Jaillot’s maps are in large and handsome format, finely printed on the best paper, the titles and scale of miles with elaborate and large cartouches, usually depicting the characteristic costumes and products of the country delineated ...”. Individual atlases were coloured to meet the customer’s wishes, and some maps were involved in full and bright wash colour, which Fordham describes as “the finest specimens extant of this decorative art”.
After the break-up of his partnership with the Sansons, Jaillot joined with the Amsterdam publisher Pierre Mortier, who engraved virtually identical copies of these large maps, re-issued from 1692 onwards. In a similar vein, Mortier also copied the maps from Jaillot's “Atlas Francois” to be re-issued by him in the “Atlas Royal”.
These Jaillot atlases, both in the French and Dutch versions, mark the end of the dominance of the flamboyant Dutch school of cartography, which was superseded by the more scientifically based French school. Jaillot exemplified the scientific approach of the French school, which was to reach full maturity in the next century under Guillaume de l’Isle and his heirs, and Jean Baptist d’Anville, who established France as the centre of European cartography.
Mireille Pastoureau, Les Atlas Francais XVI-XVII Siecles, pp.229-234.
Alexander Keith JOHNSTON
Alexander Keith Johnston I (1804-1871) was a geographer and Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society from 1842. He was the younger brother of Sir William Johnston, founder of the family firm, and joined the firm in 1826 having been apprenticed to J.Kirkwood and Sons. He produced many maps in his own name, most of which were engraved and published by the firm W. and A.K. Johnston. He titled himself “Geographer at Edinburgh in Ordinary to the Queen”. His many atlases included “The Physical Atlas” (1848), the first British atlas to give a synoptic view of physical geography after Heinrich Berghaus.
Johannes Janssonius Jr. (1588-1664) was the son of the bookseller and publisher, Johannes Janssonius of Arnhem (ie. Janssonius, the elder). The elder Janssonius of Arnhem acted as co-publisher, with Cornelis Claesz, of the early editions of Hondius’ “Atlas Minor”.
Janssonius Jr. settled in Amsterdam and further strengthened his family links with the Hondius family when he married Jodocus’ daughter Elisabeth in 1612. From about 1633 onwards Janssonius’ name and imprint started appearing on the Mercator/Hondius “Atlas ...” After 1636 the name of the “Atlas ...” was changed to “Atlas Novus “with Janssonius being responsible, in the main, for its publication.
The “Atlas Novus” was expanded by Janssonius over the years of its publication in an attempt to rival Blaeu’s “Atlas Maior” for size and quality. Janssonius’ “Atlas Novus” eventually comprised six volumes with a nautical atlas and an atlas of the ancient world included. The maps were relatively similar format to those of Blaeu, although a difference in style is certainly discernible.
Janssonius' county maps from the "Atlas Novus" are seen far less frequently than those of his rival Blaeu, but are similar in appearance with coats of arms and decorative title cartouches. Janssonius, like Blaeu, used Speed maps when creating his own thus showing hundreds but no roads. However, Janssonius (and Blaeu) chose to omit Speed’s innovative town plans.
Janssonius also issued an “Atlas Maior” of his own, again in competition with Blaeu, but this was not issued as regularly as the Blaeu version. The “Atlas Maior” comprised some ten volumes - eleven if the Cellarius celestial volume is included.
A revised reprint of Braun and Hogenberg’s “Civitates Orbis Terrarum”, retaining many of the existing plates, but also adding a number of new ones, was also published by Janssonius in 1657 and comprised eight volumes. Janssonius also published a number of separate maps as well as the German text edition of Petrus Bertius’ “Tabularum Geographicarum” and several editions of the “Accuratissima Orbis Antiqui Delineatio” amongst other volumes.
I.C.Koeman, Atlantes Neerlandici Volume II, pp.159-204.
Thomas Jefferys (1719-1771) was one of the leading English publishers of the eighteenth century. His career was distinguished and placed him at the forefront of cartographical endeavours at this time.
Jefferys’ career began with an apprenticeship to Emanuel Bowen in 1735 where he was to learn his trade, joining Thomas Kitchin in the workshop and he was able to specialise in map compilation and production from the very start of his career. From 1744 his independent career began to take off and Jefferys took on apprentices of his own; John Lodge and John Spilsbury being two noted examples.
Jefferys’ first publications were maps for books and magazines as well as “The small English atlas” co-published with Kitchin in 1748-1749. However, it was with his publication of a number of town plans (Noble & Butlin’s Northampton, Samuel Bradford’s plans of Coventry and Birmingham, and Isaac Taylor’s Wolverhampton, amongst others) that he really began to come to prominence in English mapping
In 1750 Jefferys moved to new premises at Charing Cross and it was from here that he was to issue some of the most important maps of the era. His career spanned the period of the Seven Years War and the political wrangling which preceded this war. “The American Atlas: Or, A Geographical Description Of The Whole Continent Of America;....” was published, posthumously, by Robert Sayer in 1775 although many individual sheets had been issued by Jefferys in the 1750s. Individually remarkable maps from the atlas include William Scull's "A Map of Pennsylvania", Lt. Ross's "Course of the Mississippi" and Capt. Samuel Holland's "The Province of New York and New Jersey" among others. In his introduction to the facsimile edition of "The American Atlas" Walter Ristow said, "It's timely publication, on the eve of the American Revolution, assured a good audience, and as a major cartographic reference work it was, very likely, consulted by American, English and French civilian administrators and military officers ...".
Jefferys is also well-known and respected for his large-scale mapping of the British counties. In 1759 the body that is now the Royal Society of Arts announced a prize of £1000 to be awarded for an original survey at a scale of one-inch-to-the-mile. The first recipient of the award was Benjamin Donn whose map of Devon, completed in 1765, had taken five and a half years to produce – this was engraved by Jefferys. Jefferys went bankrupt in 1766 but was redeemed by friends who financed his continuing in business. Without the financial buoyancy provided by these friends Jefferys would not have surveyed, engraved and published large-scale maps of Bedfordshire, Huntingdonshire, Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Westmoreland and Cumberland (published after his death, by request).
Laurence Worms, Thomas Jefferys (1719-1771) Beginning the World Afresh, in MapForum Issue 3, pp.20-29.
Gerard de JODE
Gerard de Jode (1509-1591) was a Dutch engraver, cartographer and publisher working in Antwerp, which had emerged as the centre of European map-making in the second half of the sixteenth century. De Jode primarily published maps by other map-makers, by Gastaldi and Ortelius among others, but his ultimate target, and the one for which he is best known now, was the production of an atlas to compete with Ortelius’ “Theatrum Orbis Terrarum”.
The competition between de Jode and Ortelius was intense, but the better-connected Ortelius was able to influence events - possibly even ensuring a denial of the necessary Royal Privilege for de Jode until 1577. De Jode’s “Speculum Orbis Terrarum” was issued the next year. The Speculum had to compete against the “Theatrum Orbis Terrarum”, in its eighth year of publication and its sixteenth edition, and was unable to make any serious impression on the market-hold enjoyed by Ortelius.
De Jode commenced work on a second enlarged and revised edition, but died before it was completed. His son, Cornelis, continued the work, which was published in 1593. Although this edition sold better it was still not commercially viable and after Cornelis’ death the plates were bought by Johannes Baptist Vrients, who was publishing Ortelius’ “Theatrum” at this time, but he never reprinted De Jode’s atlas.
De Jode’s maps are appreciably rarer than those by Ortelius and are often better engravings, much of the work having been completed by the highly respected van Deutecum brothers.
Further information about many of these cartographers may be found in the volumes of Tooley's Dictionary - an invaluable addition to any map collection or single item.