The age of the great discoveries, the years between 1500 and 1700, provided mapmakers with more accurate information. The renewed maps became to be strategic documents. Mapmakers often had to be sworn to secrecy, they had to work in isolation and they had to protect their maps with their lives. These maps were very anxiously protected. When a ship was boarded, the maps were preserved in a heavy bag which was thrown into the sea! When a new place was discovered, of course, maps and borders were changed.

Herman Moll

Molls' exact place of origin is unknown. For many years it was believed that he was born in The Netherlands, in Amsterdam or Rotterdam but in his will he left all his possessions to England and Germany and also to his daughter Henderina Amelia Moll. Because of this, and given the fact that his name 'Moll' 'is not only common in the Netherlands but also in Northern Germany, it is possible that he was born in Germany. The year of birth is considered to be 1645.

It is a fact that he moved to England from the Netherlands. He settled in London in the year 1678. There he was an engraver, engaged in, for example, the drawing of the English Atlas by Moses Pritt. Later he founded his own publishing house. Well-known are the maps he produced in relation to the Spanish War of succession, his System of Geography, his Atlas Geographicus and his Atlas Minor. Very well-known are the maps he made for Gulliver's Travels of Jonathan Swift. His works were published after his death in 1732 by Thomas Bowles till 1753.

Herman Moll
1645 - 1732
(portret gemaakt door William Stukeley)


The map below was made in 1736 - Londen


Close-up with God's name in Hebrew.


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