A pre-Fire view of London
By MERIAN, Matthäus, 1638
- Author: MERIAN, Matthäus
- Publication place: [Frankfurt
- Publisher: Matthäus Merian
- Publication date: c.1638].
- Physical description: Engraved print.
- Dimensions: 225 by 770mm. (8.75 by 30.25 inches).
- Inventory reference: 12476
The plate was first used in ‘Neuwe Archontologia Cosmica’ by Johann Ludwig Gottfried, published by Merian in Frankfurt in 1638. It was also issued separately, but the folds in the print suggest that it was originally from the book. It is based on earlier views by Visscher and John Norden.
Merian’s view provides some insight into life on the river. The “gally fuste” (41) is the galley foist, the official barge of the city of London, used for ceremonial occasions by the Mayor. The “eell schipes” (40) nearby were Dutch merchant vessels, transporting live eels from Scandinavia in hold tanks full of muddy water. They would then anchor in the Thames and customers would row out to buy fresh eels. “Lion Kay” (27) was a busy water station, and ten years after this print was made James II, then Duke of York, would escape from there during the Civil War.
- Scouloudi pp.42–44
- Scouloudi, I. (1953). Panoramic views of London, 1600–1666 with some later adaptations: an annotated list. London: Library Committee of the Corporation of London.