Page:Notes and Queries - Series 11 - Volume 11.djvu/505

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11 S. XL JUNE 26, 1915.] NOTES AND QUERIES.


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ISAAC TAYLOR OF ROSS, MAPMAKER.

(11 S. ix. 264.)

THIS remarkable surveyor, who produced the six magnificent maps between the years 1751 and 1777, has unfortunately been confused with Isaac Taylor of Worcester, who lived about that same time and is mentioned in the ' D.N.B.'

This is somewhat surprising, for Isaac Taylor of Worcester, who was born in 1730, left that city for London where he after- wards lived and died about the middle of the eighteenth century, at the very time that Isaac Taylor of Ross was engaged on his first two county maps. Besides, the individual work of the two engravers was wholly different.

As the result of careful investigation it is well to record the following valuable data about Isaac Taylor of Ross, though it is disappointing that nothing has been found to throw light upon the early days of this marvellous worker ; for the production of six such maps as bear his imprint is a very remarkable achievement, it being remem- bered that the whole of the work was engraved by hand.

The British Museum Catalogue of Maps enumerates the following counties, and the original dates of issue are now given : Oxford ( City of) . October 29. 1751 Hereford . . . Jan> 1 st 1754

Hants . . . Aug st 20 th 1759

Dorset . . . Jan- v 1* 1765

Worcester . . . . . 1772

Gloucester .. . Mar* 10. 1777

Unfortunately the date of Taylor's birth has not yet been traced, but the Registers of St. Mary's Church, Ross, record the following most interesting facts :

Isaac Taylor, Parish of Ross, married Eleanor Newman of Ross, in Ross Parish Church (St. Mary's), by licence, 23 Dec., 1759. G. Hill, Curate. Witnesses :

"F. Gwillim.

" Eliz">. GAvillim."

The entries indicate that there were two children of the marriage, viz. : Mary Newman, daughter of Isaac Taylor and Eleanor his wife, " christened "21 Feb., 1765 ; and Elizabeth, daughter of Isaac Taylor, Geographer, and Eleanor his wife, 1 March, 1766.

The registers further record the " burial " of Elizabeth, the younger child, on 4 March, 1770 ; and of Mary, who lived to be 15


years old, on 23 May, 1780 : also, the date of " burial " of Isaac Taylor on 17 June, 1788.

The church records give these bare facts only. There are no descendants living in Ross at the present time, but the simple statement that he, Isaac Taylor, was a "Geographer" is all-sufficient for our purpose.

It must, of course, be taken for granted that his home was at Ross, where his principal work was done, as all his maps are dated from there.

It was hoped that the gravestone of the Taylor family might be traced, but it appears that about half a century ago a broad footpath was cut through the churchyard, destroying many of the stones of that period, and there is the possibility that it may then have got buried or sent away.

Let us now turn to the subject of the map of Gloucestershire, which was first issued at Ross, on 10 March, 1777.

At the foot of the dedication and title, and beneath Isaac Taylor's name and date of issue, in the lower part of the cartouche, are the words :

" N.B. Estates are Survey 'd & Mapped in a very Accurate & Neat manner at ye usual Prices. Also Maps Reduced & Drawn in the manner of Engraving."

My own copy of this map, which is folded and in its original case, size 12 in. by 9 in., bears this interesting label on the outside :

Gloucestershire.

Sold by Wm. Faden,

Geographer to the King,

Charing Cross.

In old handwriting the date is added on the right side of the printing on the label.

A later copy of this 1777 map in the University Library, Cambridge, referred to by the REV. C. S. TAYLOR, has a label pasted over the note respecting the professional work undertaken by Taylor, at the foot of the cartouche, lettered as follows :

"London. Printed for Wm. Faden Augt. 21st

1786."

Does this not indicate that the health of the mapmaker may have given way about this time and that he had made a fresh arrangement with Faden, the London pub- lisher ? For whereas the original 1777 edition was sold by Faden, the later issue of 21 Aug., 1786, was labelled as having been " printed for Wm. Faden."

And now, within two years, in the year 1788 as we have seen, Isaac Taylor died, when probably the London publisher ac- quired the copyright of the map. Twelve