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The English cartographer John Bill

JOHN BILL

Born in the 16th century. A mapmaker and printer who produced a series of small county maps of England and Wales. The look rather like Pieter van den Keere's maps but are so much rarer

The abridgment of Camden's Britannia. With The Maps of the seuvrall Shires of England and Wales. Printed by John Bill Printer to the King's most excellent Maiestie, 1626

  •  Titlepage to The abridgement of Camden's Britannia ... John Bill 1626

    Titlepage to The abridgement of Camden's Britannia ... John Bill 1626

Just the one edition of this atlas published in 1626

John Bill was born in 1576. Although probably born up north he worked in London from around 1590. He was apprenticed to the printer John Norten in 1592 and was involved in the production of Theatre of the Whole World published in 1606. This was a version of the Abraham Ortelius atlas with English text. He was a successful businessman having addresses as a printer at Northumberland House, St. Martins Lane, Aldersgate and Hundson House in Blackfriars, London. John Bill became associated with the King's Printing House from 1617. He became Master and Freeman of the Stationer's Company. Sir Thomas Bodley well known for his support for the Oxford University library commissioned John Bill to travel abroad collecting books. The library was re-opened on 8th November 1602 under the name of "Bodleian Library".

Although John Bill's English county atlas was entered in the Stationer's Register in 1620 it was not until 1626 that *The abridgment of Camden's Britania With The Maps of the severall Shires of England and Wales* was published.

There is just the one edition of this now rare series of miniature county maps by this English cartographer. Rather similar in style the miniature county maps by Pieter van den Keere but slightly more attractive and with flamboyant lettering much larger blank margins. They were amongst the first maps to show degrees of longitude and latitude marked on each map. The English text on verso does not match the map. This was done so that when you are viewing a map on the right hand side of the atlas (recto) the descriptive text appears on the left hand side (verso). You will probably find it difficult to locate a John Bill map for the county of your choice but that just adds more excitement to the quest. I have read that perhaps the number of copies printed was less than 200.

  •  Map of England and Wales by John Bill 1626

    England and Wales

The English Counties

in the order that they appear in my copy the atlas. This varies slightly from the listing in Chubb which shows Hertfordshire, Oxford and Buckinghgamshire wereas the order in my copy of the atlas is Hertfordshire, Buckingham and Oxfordshire.

  •  County map Cornwall by John Bill 1626

    Cornwall

  •  County map of Devon by John Bill 1626

    Devon

  •  County map of Dorset by John Bill 1626

    Dorset

  •  County map of Somerset by John Bill 1626

    Somerset

  •  County map of Wiltshire by John Bill 1626

    Wiltshire

  •  County map of Wiltshire by John Bill 1626

    Hampshire

  •  County map of Berkshire by John Bill 1626

    Berkshire

  •  County map of Surrey by John Bill 1626

    Surrey

  •  County map of Sussex by John Bill 1626

    Sussex

  •  County map of Kent by John Bill 1626

    Kent

  •  County map of Middlesex by John Bill 1626

    Middlesex

  •  County map of Essex by John Bill 1626

    Essex

  •  County map of Hertfordshire by John Bill 1626

    Hertfordshire

  •  County map of Buckinghamshire by John Bill 1626

    Buckinghamshire

  •  County map of Oxfordshire by John Bill 1626

    Oxfordshire

  •  County map of Gloucestershire by John Bill 1626

    Gloucestershire

  •  County map of Worcestershire by John Bill 1626

    Worcestershire

  •  County map of Warwickshire by John Bill 1626

    Warwickshire

  •  County map of Northamptonshire by John Bill 1626

    Northamptonshire

  •  County map of Bedfordshire by John Bill 1626

    Bedfordshire

  •  County map of Huntingdonshire by John Bill 1626

    Huntingdonshire

  •  County map of Cambridgeshire and Isle of Ely by John Bill 1626

    Cambridgeshire and Isle of Ely

  •  County map of Suffolk by John Bill 1626

    Suffolk

  •  County map of Norfolk by John Bill 1626

    Norfolk

  •  County map of Lincolnshire by John Bill 1626

    Lincolnshire

  •  County map of Rutlandhshire by John Bill 1626

    Rutlandhshire

  •  County map of Leicestershire by John Bill 1626

    Leicestershire

  •  County map of Staffordshire by John Bill 1626

    Staffordshire

  •  County map of Derbyshire by John Bill 1626

    Derbyshire

  •  County map of Nottinghamshire by John Bill 1626

    Nottinghamshire

  •  County map of Yorkshire by John Bill 1626

    Yorkshire

  •  County map of Durham by John Bill 1626

    Durham

  •  County map of Northumberland by John Bill 1626

    Northumberland

  •  County map of Cumberland by John Bill 1626

    Cumberland

  •  County map of Westmorland by John Bill 1626

    Westmorland

  •  County map of Lancashire by John Bill 1626

    Lancashire

  •  County map of Cheshire by John Bill 1626

    Cheshire

  •  County map of Shropshire by John Bill 1626

    Shropshire

  •  County map of Herefordshire by John Bill 1626

    Herefordshire

The Welsh Counties

in the order that they appear in the atlas

  •  County map of Radnorshire by John Bill 1626

    Radnorshire

  •  County map of Breconshire by John Bill 1626

    Breconshire

  •  County map of Monmouthshire by John Bill 1626

    Monmouthshire

  •  County map of Glamorgamshire by John Bill 1626

    Glamorganshire

  •  County map of Carmarthenshire by John Bill 1626

    Carmarthenshire

  •  County map of Pembrokeshire by John Bill 1626

    Pembrokeshire

  •  County map of Cardiganshire by John Bill 1626

    Cardiganshire

  •  County map of Montgomeryshire by John Bill 1626

    Montgomeryshire

  •  County map of Merionethshire by John Bill 1626

    Merionethshire

  •  County map of Caernarvonshire and Anglesey by John Bill 1626

    Caernarvonshire and Anglesey

  •  County map of Denbighshire and Anglesey by John Bill 1626

    Denbighshire

  •  County map of Flintshire and Anglesey by John Bill 1626

    Flintshire

List of Maps in the Atlas

  • Cornwall
  • Devon - Shire
  • Dorset Shire
  • Somerset Shire
  • Wilt Shire
  • Hant Shire
  • Barke Shire
  • Surrey
  • Sussex
  • Kent
  • Middlesex
  • The County of Essex
  • Hartford Shire
  • Oxford Shire
  • Buckingham Shire
  • Gloucester Shire
  • Worcester Shire
  • Warwick Shire
  • Northampton Shire
  • Bedford Shire
  • Huntingdon Shire
  • Cambridge Shire and Isle of Ely
  • Suffolke
  • Norfolke
  • The Countie of Lincoln
  • Rutland Shire
  • Leicester Shire
  • Stafford Shire
  • Darby Shire
  • Nottingham Shire
  • Yorke Shire
  • The Bishoprick of Durham
  • Northumberland
  • Cumberland
  • Westmor Land
  • Lancashire
  • Cheshire
  • Shropshire
  • Hereford Shire
  • Radnor Shire
  • Breckock Shire
  • Monmouth Shire
  • Glamorgan Shire
  • Carmarden Shire
  • Penbroke Shire
  • Cardigan Shire
  • Mountgomerie Shire
  • Merionyth Shire
  • Carnavan
  • Denbigh Shire
  • Flint Shire

References:

  • Tooley's Dictionary of Mapmakers Revised Edition A - D
  • Antique Maps of Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly by R. C. E. Quixley, Expanded by J. M. E. Quixley
  • The Printed Maps in the Atlases f Great Britain and Ireland. A Bibliography, 1579 - 1870 by Thomas Chubb
  • Miniature Antique Maps by Geoffrey King, 1996

AN ANTIQUE MAP OR PRINT MAKES THE PERFECT GIFT

RICHARD NICHOLSON of CHESTER

Stoneydale
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Christleton
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CH3 7AG

Telephone
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44 1244 336004

email:
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Richard Nicholson

I have been buying and selling antique maps since the early 1960's during which time I had a gallery in Watergate Street, Chester for 30 years. I am now able to offer through my websites a personal service to map and print collectors.

The English cartographer John Bill

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