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John Rocque: Map of the County of Middlesex, reduced from an actual survey in four sheets

Map: MIDDX491
Cartographer: John Rocque
Title: Map of the County of Middlesex, reduced from an actual survey in four sheets
Date: 1757
Published: London
Width: 27 inches / 69 cm
Height: 21 inches / 54 cm
Map ref: MIDDX491
A reduction of Rocque's wall map of Middlesex published in 1754. The map covers Staines to Enfield west to east and central London to Rickmansworth south to north. The Huguenot refugee John Rocque settled in London in the 1730s and proceeded to set up business as a surveyor, cartographer and map publisher. He specialised in large scale estate plans, gardens and county maps; he proceeded to produce a series of extraordinary wall maps of English cities, among which his two plans of London are the most famous.

To complement his wall maps, he often published reduced versions of the same map. These served a two fold purpose. They were an added income stream and they also acted as a marketing exercise for his large maps.

One of Rocque’s unique selling points was the use of his own surveys for his maps of the cities and counties. This ensured that they were the most current geographical documents produced at the time; this map of Middlesex is a case n point as he points out in the title that it is based on an “actual Survey on four sheets”.

All maps by Rocque are rare since they were issued as separate issues or not part of an atlas. They were either folding and linen backed or sold as bound examples of single maps in multiple sheets.

This example of the reduced map of Middlesex is separately issued, segmented and linen backed. A price for its purchase as a single sheet is quoted on the lower margin as two shillings and sixpence. The same line then states that Rocque used St. Paul’s Cathedral as his Prime Meridian.