Back to the William R. Talbot Home Page.  Back to the Maps Page
  John Rocque. "England and Wales," 1794.
Rocque, England and Wales

Rocque, England and Wales
John Rocque. “England and Wales Drawn from the Most Accurate Surveys . . .” (London: Laurie & Whittle, No. 53 Fleet Street as the Act directs, 12 May 1794 [1790]). Maps 6 and 7 from Sayer’s General Atlas of 1790. Four-sheet wall map, each “half” measuring 22 7/8 x 38 3/4" at neat line plus margins. Strong original outline hand color. Fine laid paper with bold crown watermark clearly visible. Cartouche uncolored as issued. Some minor transference, right margin close, very minor marginal wear. Otherwise, excellent condition for a map this size.

This impressive large-scale map was drawn by Rocque, an immigrant Huguenot who worked in London from 1735 to 1762. Not much is known about the early life of this surveyor, engraver and publisher, even though he is mentioned in nearly every major scholarly work on British maps of the period.

The map exemplifies the strong graphic presence of Rocque’s signature topographic detail as well as an elaborate cartouche, here uncolored as issued. Rocque is recognized as an innovator of the British town plan and a master of large-scale cartographic style. The map of England and Wales was conceived during the high point of the map maker’s career and seems to have been completed as a part of a series of four-sheet British Isles maps. According to the reference literature, examples of his large maps with all sheets intact are not common.

A wonderfully detailed four-sheet map with title contained within a large decorative allegorical cartouche depicting the artistic, scientific, and commercial accomplishments of the English. Abbeys and castles are duly noted. Small inset of the “Isles of Scilly.” Tall ships sailing solo and as part of fleets decorate the seas around the islands.


Copyright 2003, William R. Talbot