Senex, John (DNB00)

SENEX, JOHN (d. 1740), cartographer and engraver, had in 1719 a bookseller's establishment at the Globe in Salisbury Court, Fleet Street. Here Ephraim Chambers [q. v.] was for some time his apprentice. Senex engraved the plates for the London almanacs from 1717 to 1727, except in 1723; and he executed the cuts for the second edition of Sir William Browne's ‘Account of Microscopes and Telescopes.’ He was, however, chiefly known as a cartographer and globe-maker. He printed with C. Price, probably in 1710, ‘Proposals for a New Sett of Correct Mapps.’ In that year he issued, with Price and John Maxwell, maps of North America and Germany, and in 1712 one of ‘Moscovy.’ They appeared collectively in 1714 as ‘The English Atlas,’ under the joint names of Senex and Maxwell. ‘A new General Atlas’ followed in 1721. Senex ‘improved, very much corrected, and made portable’ John Ogilby's ‘Survey of all the Principal Roads of England and Wales,’ in 1719, and corrected and enlarged P. Gordon's ‘Geography Anatomized,’ in 1722 (reissued in 1730, 1735, and 1740). About 1720 he, with two others, made a representation to the House of Commons on the subject of a new globular projection. He was admitted a fellow of the Royal Society on 4 July 1728, and read there on 4 May 1738 a paper on his ‘Contrivance to make the Poles of the Diurnal Motion in a Celestial Globe pass round the Poles of the Ecliptic.’ The celestial globe was to be ‘so adjusted as to exhibit not only the risings and settings of the stars, in all ages, and in all latitudes, but the other phænomena likewise, that depend upon the motion of the diurnal axis round the annual axis.’ Senex died on 30 Dec. 1740. Many of his maps are in the library of Trinity College, Dublin.

[Gent. Mag. 1741, p. 50; Notes and Queries, 2nd ser. x. 8, 157, 237; Nichols's Lit. Anecdotes, iii. 315, v. 659, vi. 94 n.; Phil. Trans. 1738 pp. 203–4; Bryan's Dict. of Painters and Engravers; Watt's Bibl. Brit.; Allibone's Dict. Engl. Lit.; Brit. Mus. Cat.]

G. Le G. N.