Home > 001560. William Mayo > Decorative Printed Maps of the 15th to 18th Centuries

Decorative Printed Maps of the 15th to 18th Centuries

Source: H.L. Humphreys, Decorative Printed Maps of the 15th to 18th Centuries (London: Staples Press Limited, 1952).

[page 72]

After the Hanoverian settlement English cartography developed on independent lines, and economic conditions in the map-trade no longer checked, but encouraged, original work.  The growth of country estates and changes in methods of cultivation and land tenure created security of employment for the surveyor.  His principal masters were still the landed gentry whose houses and parks, with their owner’s names and coats of arms, were laid down on the county maps of the 18th century.  Nor, in a period of commercial expansion and politcal rivalry, was there any want of official patrons for both marine and land surveyors at home and oversea.  The Army and Navy, government offices like the Board of Trade and Plantations, colonial Governors and chartered Proprietors, all had need of accurate maps.  Able English surveyors, such as William MAYO, sought their opportunities in the American colonies, and their work (Pl. 83, 84) was engraved and published by London mapsellers like SENEX and JEFFERYS, whose output thus acquired a semi-official character recognised by the appointment of Geographer to the King.

[page 76]

Plate 84    Detail from William MAYO’s map of Barbados.  Engraved by John SENEX, 1722.  Reduced to about half-size.  The title cartouche is enriched with exuberant and gaily coloured naturalistic detail.  In the vignette is seen the colonial surveyor using plane-table and chain, while one of his negro assistants holds a ‘wheel dimensurator’.  On the map, parishes are distinguished by contrasting colours and the names of landowners are given.  Houses, mills and other buildings are in profile, as on OGILBY’s map (Pl. 69).

[Plate 84:  The map reads: “A New & Exact MAP OF THE ISLAND OF BARBADOES IN AMERICA According to an Actual & Accurate Survey Made by William MAYO; Approved by the ROYAL SOCIETY & Authorized BY HIS MAJESTY’S ROYAL LICENCE”]

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