John Barrow

John Barrow (1735–1774)

Barrow was an English mathematician, naval historian and lexicographer.

Nothing is known of his family. He was initially a teacher of mathematics and navigation aboard ships of the Royal Navy. He retired before 1750 and devoted himself to writing and compiling dictionaries and other works related to his knowledge of mathematics and science.

Barrow’s best-known work was Navigatio Britannica (1750), a practical handbook of navigation and charts. It included an examination of nautical instruments and explained the recently introduced vernier scale.

In 1756, he published the New Geographical Dictionary anonymously in London. In the same year, he also published the first edition of his principal work, ‘A Chronological Abridgment or History of the Discoveries made by Europeans in the different parts of the world.’ In his introduction, Barrow shows a considerable knowledge of astronomical geography and the finding of latitude and longitude by the stars. This was an obvious tribute to his time as a teacher of navigation in the Royal Navy.

Jacques Nicholas Bellin

Jacques Bellin (1703 – 1772) served for over fifty years as the first `Ingenieur hydrographe de la Marine’ at the French Hydrographic Service. During his term of office, 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 surveys resulted in the production of a large number of sea charts of the highest quality. They were issued in many editions with varying numbers of charts until the end of the century. He was appointed Hydrographer to the King and was a member of the Royal society in London.

Willem Janzoon Blaeu and Joan Blaeu

Willem Janszoon Blaeu (1571-1638) born at Alkmaar, trained in astronomy and the sciences by Tycho Brahe, the Danish astronomer, founded his business in Amsterdam in 1599. Originally a globe and instrument maker, he later expanded into publishing maps, topographical works and books of sea charts. He bought between 30 and 40 plates of the Mercator Atlas from Jodocus Hondius II which he utilized in part, in 1630, to complete his Atlantis Appendix, a 60-map volume. It was another five years before the first two volumes of his planned world atlas, Atlas Novus or the Theatrum Orbis Terrarum were issued. At about this same time he was appointed Hydrographer to the East India Company. A true rivalry developed between Willem and Jan Jansson.  Before 1620, Blaeu signed his works Guilielmus Janssonius or Willems Jans Zoon. From 1620 onward, he apparently preferred Guilielmus or G. Blaeu.

After his death the business passed into the hands of his sons, Joan (1596-1673) 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 of Atlas Novuswas eventually completed about 1655. As soon as it was finished, Joan began the preparation of the even larger work, the Atlas Major, which was first published in 1662 in 11 volumes.  Later editions contained between 9 and12 volumes and with nearly 600 double-page maps and 3,000 pages of text. This was the most magnificent work of its kind ever produced.

Following a serious fire in his Gravenstadt house and Joan’s death 1673, the firm’s surviving stocks of plates and maps were sold, some to Frederick de Wit, Pieter Schenk and Gerard Valck.

Rigobert Bonne

Rigobert Bonne (1729 – 1795) served as Royal Hydrographer and as a result produced primarily marine charts. However, he also issued a number of other works including maps by fellow cartographers.  Additionally, he produced maps for an atlas by Guillaume Raynal and for a Historical Atlas and Encyclopedia published with Nicholas Desmaret.

Jacques-Benigne Bossuet

Jacques-Benigne Bossuet (1627 – 1704) was a French bishop and theologian. He has been considered by many to be one of the most brilliant orators of all time and a renowned French stylist.

He was appointed tutor to the nine-year-old Dauphin, oldest child of Louis XIV. Bossuet’s tutorial functions involved composing all the necessary books of instruction, including manuals of philosophy, history, and religion fit for a future king of France.

Among the books written by Bossuet during this period are three classics. First came theTraité de la connaissance de Dieu et de soi-même (1677), then the Discours sur l’histoire universelle (1679, published 1682), and lastly the Politique tirée de l’Ecriture Sainte(1679, published 1709). His works contained a few maps fashioned on the work of Nicolas Sanson and were published well into the 18th century.

Emanuel Bowen and Thomas Bowen

Emanuel Bowen (1714 – 1767) map and print seller, engraver to George II and to Louis XV of France, worked in London producing some the best and most attractive maps of the 18th century. Along with Thomas Kitchin, he published “The Large English Atlas”. Many of the maps were issued individually from 1749 onwards and the whole atlas was not finally completed until 1760. The atlas was also reissued later in reduced size. His work is noted for Bowen’s own style of historical and heraldic detail. Thomas (1767-1790) helped his father during his lifetime and produced many fine maps in his own right after his father’s death.