Rocque’s fine separately issued map of Middlesex
By ROCQUE, John, 1754
A Topographical Map of the County of Middlesex.
- Author: ROCQUE, John
- Publication place: London
- Publication date: 1754.
- Physical description: Large engraved map with fine original handcolour, dissected and mounted on linen, housed within original calf slipcase, defective.
- Dimensions: 975 by 1410mm. (38.5 by 55.5 inches).
- Inventory reference: 13037
Rocque’s finely engraved map of Middlesex.
The map extends from Staines in the west to Leytonstone and from Harefield in the north to Kingston-upon-Thames in the south. To the upper centre is a fine title cartouche with depictions of a Georgian surveyor holding a waywiser, and a putti using a plane. The text to the upper right gives details on the extent of the county, together with the extent of London, which is said to be 6 and a half miles in length, 2 and a half in breadth, has a circumference of 8 and a half miles or 5455 acres.
It would appear that John Rocque, a French Huguenot, emigrated with the rest of his family to London in the 1730s, where he began to ply his trade as a surveyor of gentleman’s estates, and with plans of Kensington Gardens, and Hampton Court. However, in 1737 he applied his surveying skills to a much greater task, that of surveying the entire built-up area of London — a survey that would make his name. Begun in March of 1737, the map would take nine years to produce, eventually being engraved upon 24 sheets of copper and published in 1746.