Jodocus Hondius I (1563–1612) established the Hondius publishing house in Amsterdam, the center of cartographic production in the late sixteenth century. Between approximately 1584 to 1593 he lived and worked in London. Whilst there, he took a particular interest in Drake’s voyages and the man himself, with several engravings of the explorer attributed to him.
Hondius purchased many copperplates by Gerard Mercator (1512–94) in July of 1604, probably bought at Leiden at the auction of Mercator’s library, then in the possession of his grandson, Gerard Mercator, Jr. Hondius built a successful publishing career from his own Mercator-Hondius atlas, as Gerardi Mercatoris Atlas Sive Cosmographicae in 1606 with 37 newly engraved maps, taking the total to 144. A revised text was written by Petrus Montanus. In 1609 a French edition was published, with by now, 147 maps.
After Jodocus Hondius I’s death in 1612, his widow, Jodocus Hondius II and his brother, Henricus, continued publishing atlases under his name until 1620. Unfortunately, in 1621 Jodocus Hondius II split with his brother, creating a rival publishing house. Henricus Hondius continued his father’s business with his brother-in-law, Joannes Janssonius (1588–1664), who had married 24-year-old Elizabeth Hondius in 1612. After 1619 the Atlas was published under the name of Henricus Hondius, Jodocus Hondius’s son, but by 1629, the Blaeu family were becoming serious rivals to the publishing partnership of Janssonius and Hondius.