John Norden

By GRAVES, R[obert]

Mr John Norden Surveyor to James 1st 1614

Art & Architecture
  • Author: GRAVES, R[obert]
  • Publication place: [London
  • Publisher: Robert Graves
  • Publication date: early nineteenth century].
  • Physical description: Engraved portrait.
  • Dimensions: 130 by 60mm (5 by 2.25 inches).
  • Inventory reference: 18149


John Norden (c1547-1625) was a peripatetic cartographer and antiquary whose most significant work was his Speculum Britanniae’. The first volume of this chorography of Britain was published in 1593, beginning with a description of Middlesex. In his lifetime the only other county descriptions to be published were those of Essex, Surrey, Sussex, Hampshire, Wight, Guernsey and Jersey. The maps of London and Westminster in the Speculum’ form the best representations of the metropolis under the Tudors. From 1600, Norden worked as a surveyor of crown lands, and his final publication was England, an intended guide for English travellers’.

The present portrait, showing Norden in a coat, collar and cap, was engraved by Robert Graves. Graves was active in London throughout the nineteenth century, being elected associate engraver of the Royal Academy in 1836. He specialised in portraits and vignettes, with his final plate being a portrait of Charles Dickens.