WILLEM, JOAN AND CORNELIUS BLAEU 1571 Willem Janszoon Blaeu was born in Amsterdam (He died also in Amsterdam in 1638). He was the founder of the Blaeu Publishing House and established the great reputation of Blaeu cartography. Willem Blaeu can also be found as Willem Janszoon Blaeu, Willem Jansz Blaeu, Guilielmus Janssonius, Willems Jans Zoon, Guilielmus or G. Blaeu. Blaeu was a maker of globes and scientific instruments and purchased some early map plates from Jodocus Hondius. Hondius was more of a craftsman engraver than a cartographer and so Blaeu was buying the work of other- possibly English- map makers. Hondius was the Amsterdam engraver who had worked with Speed, and so Speed works could have been among those early purchases, and Speed copied much from Saxton, so a given map- say Blaeu’s Herefordshire- could have this complex provenance. From this small beginning the Blaeu house was to emerge one of the largest and most prolific map publishing businesses of the seventeenth century. Willem’s great interest in mathematics and astronomy led him to travel to Denmark to meet Tycho Brahe where he learned globe-making. He returned to the Netherlands, set up a business in Amsterdam , produced globes and added a printing press which was to be the embryo of the family company. 1581 The Dutch Revolution and consequent rise of the Dutch Republic, from 1581, freeing the Provinces from French German and Spanish authority, had been one of the most remarkable events of modern European history. A small, low-lying region,smaller than Yorkshire, where the Rhine Amsel and Scheldt met the sea : essentially a group of estuaries lacking natural resources, developed an mercantile society based on shipping which came to dominate Northern Europe and out perform England as a naval power. The rise in commerce saw a flowering of art and science. It was tailored to a bourgeois clientele, not an aristocracy and not the Church. It was in cartography that these three disciplines: commerce, science and art, were to unite. The Dutch had a strong history in map making, most notably through Mercator and Ortelius, but by the middle of the 17th Century, it was the atelier of Blaeu stood out. The Blaeu workshop produced the fine atlases. A perfectionist, Willem Blaeu used the best engravers, printers, colourists and materials to achieve his goals. 1594 Death of Mercator. His birth name was Geert De Kremer- a German born in Flanders. Blaeu re-established the reputation of “Mercator Projection”. 1596 Joan Blaeu was born on the 23rd of September 1596 in Alkmaar. Joan Blaeu can also be found called Johannes Blaeu; John Wiliamson Blaeu; Johannes Willemszoon. Alkmaar lies north west of Amsterdam and about 38 miles distant near the coastal town of Egmond aan Zee The Zuider Zee lay due east but now that is the Markermeer. 1608 Willem is 37 years old and here in 1608 his first publications appear including sea charts in “Het Licht Der Zee-Vaert” “The Light”, in 1608 and a revised issue of Copernicus’ De Revolutionibus Orbium Caelestium. (Concerning the Revolution of Heavenly Spheres). The atlas was based around the printing plates acquired from Jodocus Hondius Jr.’s stock, who had himself published the later edition of Mercator’s Atlas. The Engraver Hondius was also the chief engraver working with Speed. The atlas contained some sixty maps. This work was expanded in 1631 to contain 98 maps and bore the joint imprint of father and son with the title Appendix Theatri A.Ortelii Et Atlantis G. Mercatoris. 1612 Death of Jodocus Hondius, who was really called Joost de Hondt. (1563 – 12 February 1612). He was the Dutch or Flemish engraver and cartographer who had sold plates Blaeu and had thus kick started that Cartographic house. a Low Countries’ engraver and cartographer. Hondius is best known for his early maps of the New World and Europe. He re-established the reputation of Gerard Mercator, and engraved for John Speed. It is interesting that Mercator’s star had waned at all. Mercator, 1512-1594, contributed two important things to cartography: first was the word “Atlas” which he took from the mythical King of Mauritania. This was a legendary King, cosmologer, geographer: he was not the same as the mythical Atlas and when designers show Atlas bearing the world of his shoulders as a symbol of a geographical atlas, they mistake this point. Secondly Mercator produced his famous projection which envisages the world, not as a sphere, but as a cylinder and thus the lines of longitude are equidistant but the lines of latitude expand to the north and south pole and in the high polar regions become nonsense. This projection allows a world map to be printed on paper continuously without “sections of a sphere” projecting north and south like fronds. It has the immediately apparent consequence of grossly exaggerating the northern realms. Greenland begins to dwarf Africa. Baffin Island is almost “continental” in size. The apparent magic of a Mercator projection is that bearings remain true; lines of bearings or Rhumb lines are constant and the map is of immense use to shipping. His new projection was introduced in 1569 as the “ Nova et Aucta Orbis Terrae Descriptio ad Usum Navigantium Emendate Accommodata” : "A New and Complete Description of the Terrestrial Sphere properly adapted for Navigational Use". Mercator is Latin for Kramer (his birth name), which means “merchant”. 1620 In 1620 Joan Blaeu became a doctor of law but he chose to join the workshop of his father, William, rather than practise law. 1630 Willem's two sons, Joan and Cornelius, both entered the family business and in 1630 the firm published its first world atlas, bound as a single volume. This first world atlas, Willem’s “The Atlantis Appendix” was published in association with his eldest son, Joan Blaeu. 1631 The early atlas was expanded in 1631 to contain 98 maps and bore the joint imprint of father William and son Joan with the title “Appendix Theatri A.Ortelii Et Atlantis G. Mercatoris.”: a form of words which recalls the official title of Speed’s atlas. 1634 This is the year cited by some for the publication of the two volume “ Theatrum orbis terrarum, sive, Atlas novus”. 1635. The Blaeu World Atlas was increased to two volumes in this year. This Atlas Novus was properly titled “Theatrum orbis terrarum, sive, Atlas novus”. That word “Theatre” had also been used by Speed for his British Atlas. This two-volume work was more extensive still and now had up to 208 maps. This atlas was published in four separate editions in four different languages: ( Dutch¸ Latin, French and ???? perhaps English?) clear evidence of the Blaeu ambitions. The success of this atlas and plans for follow on publications meant a move of premises became necessary in this year. 1638 Joan and his brother Cornelius took over the studio after their father died in 1638. In that year Joan was 40 years old. Willem had been the founder of the Blaeu publishing house and established the fine reputation of Blaeu maps. 1640 The Blaeu World Atlas Was increased to three volumes. Joan became the official cartographer of the Dutch East India Company. 1644. Cornelius died in this years. Joan would have been 48 and Cornelius was his younger brother but his birth date is not known: one must assume he was about 44 when he died. 1645 Here Joan is working by himself – both Willem and Cornelius are now deceased. In 1645 Joan Blaeu published a county Atlas of England and Wales as part of his Atlas Novus, with maps based mainly on the earlier research of Saxton and Speed. The atlas was regarded as a masterpiece with a balanced style and calligraphic quality that has never been surpassed. Each map epitomised the craftsmanship and artistry of the Blaeu workshop being beautifully ornate with fine cartouches, heraldic shields and engraved calligraphy. 1648 Blaeu's world map,”Nova et Accuratissima Terrarum Orbis Tabula”, incorporating the discoveries of Abel Tasman, (after whom Tasmania was later named) was published in 1648. This map was revolutionary for it depicted the solar system according to the heliocentric theories of Nicolaus Copernicus: that is with the earth revolving around the Sun. Although Copernicus's book: “De Revolutionibus Orbium Caelestium”: “On the Revolutions of the Spheres in the Heavens” had been first printed in 1543, just over a century earlier, Joan Blaeu was, surprisingly, the first mapmaker to incorporate this now not so revolutionary heliocentric theory into a map of the world. 1649 Around 1649 Joan Blaeu published a collection of Dutch city maps called “Toonneel der Steeden”: or Views of Towns. In 1651 he was voted onto the Amsterdam Council. 1654 In 1654 Joan published the first atlas of Scotland, a work devised by Timothy Pont. Pont, it will be noted, was long dead by some 40 years. Timothy Pont, 1565–1614, was a Scottish cartographer and topographic surveyor. He is said to have been the first to draw a detailed map of the Kingdom of Scotland. Pontius or Pont' drew maps which are among the earliest surviving to show any country in accurate and close detail, from an actual ground survey carried out for the purpose. He was also involved in the Plantation of Scots in Ulster and so might have mapped the North of Ireland too. 1655 Blaeu's map was copied as the map of the world set into the pavement of the Groote Burger-Zaal of the new Amsterdam Town Hall, (he was on the Amsterdam Council) designed by the Dutch architect Jacob van Campen in 1655. This building is now the Royal Palace. 1659 Blaeu's “Hollandia Nova” or “New Holland”, by which is meant Au stralia, was also depicted in his Archipelagus Orientalis sive Asiaticus published in 1659 in the Kurfürsten Atlas (called also the Atlas of the Great Elector). 1662 In 1662 he reissued his Atlas Novus, also known as Atlas Maior, now in 11 volumes, and one for oceans. The English maps reappeared in Volume V. of his Atlas Maior, perhaps, say some, the finest cartographic work ever produced. Joan Blaeu’s objective was the fullest possible description of Heaven, Earth and Seas and continually expanded the Novus Atlas in this limitless quest. The work grew from one to two, to four, to nine, to eleven, to twelve folio volumes by 1662. Generally regarded as the pinnacle of 17th century atlas- making; the Atlas Maior in its final state comprised 655 maps. 1663 As "Jean Blaeu", he also published the 12 volume "Le Grand Atlas, ou Cosmographie blaviane, en laquelle est exactement descritte la terre, la mer, et le ciel": “ The Great Atlas or Blaeu’s Cosmology, in which is exactly described the Earth, the Sea and the Heavens”. One edition is dated 1663. That was folio sized (which is 540 x 340 mm), 1664 Hollandia Nova was used by Melchisédech Thévenot to produce his map, Hollandia Nova: or Terre Australe in1664. So perhaps “Australia” was first coined in French not English. 1672 Fire destroyed the atelier completely in the year 1672. Though his map production still continued in Amsterdam it never fully recovered from the catastrophe of 1672. The events ended Blaeu's hegemony over the Amsterdam map trade. The loss of his life’s work (plates and equipment) probably contributed to the great man's death in the following year. It does however, mean that unlike Saxton or Speed: there cannot have been a great number of pirated plates and pulls following his death and this fact may have enhanced his reputation. In its day the Blaeu publishing house was one of the largest in the world. 1673 Joan Blaeu died in Amsterdam, Holland on the 21st of December in 1673. He was 77 years old when he died. A Description of a Joan Blaeu Plate: taken from “Herefordshire”: The map is on a double page sheet 22 3/4 inches by 20 inches. The verso is printed in Latin Text describing counties. The Map defaults to Latin for most of its major working but English for the local toponyms: Hundreds, villages and towns. The points of the compass are in Latin as is the title in a scrolled decorative cartouche at top right. The Surrounding county names are in a Latin form and the phrase “Latin name “in English” English Name” is varied thus: RADNORIA Commitatis Anglice Radnorshire; SALOPAE COMITATUS Vulgo Shropshire; WIGORNIA COMITATUS Vulgo Worcestershre; BRECHINIAW Vernacular Breknocke Shire; MONUMETHENSIS Vulgo Monmouthshire; ANGLOCENTRIST Anglice Gloucestershire. A few pieces of English are suspect even for the date and probably a copy error and proof that Blaeu was not an English Speaker: Archenfeeilde (the double e is Dutch); Mounmouth Shire, Gilden Vale (Golden Vale). Bullingbrok (Bolingbroke). Munmow Flu (Monnow), perhaps: Arro (Arrow), Lidbury (which is Ledbury in the verso text). The parks of gentlemen are circular fenced enclosures – sometimes named, sometimes not. Towns or boroughs have a red spot: Kyneton, Hereford, Rosse (sic). Hundred are names in Roman Capitals thus “ HVNLINGTON HVND.” and are separated from each other by a dotted line. No reference to Wales is made and Blaeu counts this in the Kingdom of England. Dettacjed parts or Islands of Herefordshire are seen in Brecknockshire about “The Forkoke”; Radnorshire (about Lytton); in Shropshire (about Rocheford); and Part of Monmouthshire is on the western bank of the Wye between Herefordshire and Gloucestershire containing Welsh Bicknor. The county border has a dotted engraved line and is highlighted in umber watercolour. This colour is also used in lateral lines to give a landscape look to certain districts- about the engraved hills, about the woodland, and in the parks. The hills are engraved like quite realistic mountain ranges- not in the manner of the “mole-hills- of Saxton or Speed. They are uniformly lit by a sun in the south west and shaded to the north east. The rivers are blue coloured in wash and line engraved in the intaglio. They are named in English with the Latin “Flu” behind thus: Wye Flu, Arro Flu, Lug Flu, Bradfold Flu, Liddon Flu, Frome Flu, Teme Flu. The Armorial Bearings are in a line down the right hand margin and on the bottom margin right, but those bottom ones are empty escutcheons. The shields shown William Fitz Osborn, a shield , field gules with a bend and bar. argent ; Robert Bossu E. with a Cinque-foil argent on or. Miles, Constable of England, gules with two bends argent . Henry Bohum, Lions azure on field or and lions or on a field azure, divided by a bend argent bordered gules. Henry Bullingbrok Duke: Royal arms of England and France with a bend argent. Stafford Field or, chevron gules. Up in the top left is the escutcheon of the English Arms: gules three leopards- here uncoloured. The border is lines – a wide double, a thin double and a broad single line on the outer edge- Then the plate mark which is visible on all sides. This is quite near the outer engraved edging line and has hand chamfered rounded corners. The paper is thick and tram lined in both directions in the watermark. The decorative cartouche about the title shows ears of grain, apples and pears with oak leaves. The grain looks like barley. So this festoon is designed to represent the products of the county. The allegorical figures at bottom left show two putti holding the scale which is Milliaria Anglica quoru quatuor unum constituunt Germanicum: “ English Miles of which four constitute and German mile”. On the right of this group is an orb with bands on which are fixed the planets. This is a symbol showing that Blaeu is fully supportive of the system as described by Copernicus. On the left is a strange figure. He looks like a Norwegian in an almost Sami like costume – a smock top , blue breeches and boots and a tall red cap. In his cloth belt are instruments, set squares etch. Leaning to the left against the map border are his cross staffs and in his hand are dividers. I wonder who this figure is: Mercator perhaps whom the Blaeu Company did do much to advocate: maybe an English cartographer- Saxton or Rudd. He has a very long full beard in the Eastern European manner so I guess this is Copernicus. The Hundreds of the county were those regions of Saxon times (here in the Kingdom of the Mercians) which were required to raise 100 fighting men for the Fyrd when called upon to do so. Here they are : WIGMORE; WOLSEY; BROXASHE; STRETFORDE; HUNLINGTON; EWIASLACY; WEBTREE; GRIMSWORTH; RADLOWE; GREYTREE; WORMELOWE. The Hundred of Herefordshire sure south east from Hay seems not to have a name, nor does the very small region about Llantony and Trewin which might have been a district of “Breknoke” and thus not required to raise troops for the Hereford Fyrd- being without the Kingdom. Monmouth was a Marcher Lordship and had an ambiguous status at the time of this map, though the Lordship had long been taken back by the English Crown from the Baderon Breton lords. It only became officially Wales in 1972. It is not apparent that Blaeu or his source had any good understanding of the geography of hills: The Malvern Hills are shown in the east of this map and they are in fact a straight north south volcanic range but are here the same scattered hill-symbols seen throughout the map. The script is clear and uses the medial “s” in the form of an “f”: thus: Brinfop, Rofemaund, Kingefland. This causes some ambiguity when the medial letter might be an “f”: Derefold Forest, Clyfford Castle. The script tends towards “y” not “i”: Fowemynd, Mychaelchurch. Byllyngham. In vernacular toponyms the “V”is a “U”, and in the Latin toponyms the “U” is a “V”: MONVMENTHENSIS. There are language errors on the plate such as “Part of Moumouth Shire”. THE VERSO The page was never bound into Blaeu’s atlas. It was on a tab which was in turn bound in. The verso script is Latin and described Radnor on the Left and Herefordshire on the right. There are two columns to a page with margin notes throughout. The pages here were 291-292 of the ordinal Blaeu Atlas. The text is set type not engraved but the italic script may have been on complete relief blocks for each phrase for they do not look separable into letter blocks. Some words are in a Saxon Uncial Scrips and Anglo Saxon language and are then translated into Latin. Ledbury is so called in the text which suggests that “Lidbury” on the map is a script error.