Decorative early 18th Century English map of Scotland, from Senex's New General Atlas.
The map was originally published by Christopher Browne in 1705 and engraved by John Harris. The map includes a second title "A New Map of Scotland, the Western, Orkney, and Shetland Islands. Most Humbly Inscrib'd to His Grave the Duke of Hamilton & Brandon &c."
Robert Gordon (1580-1661) was a Scottish cartographer, poet, mathematician, antiquary and geographer. In 1641, Charles I wrote a letter to Gordon asking him "to reveis the saidis cairtiss", to complete the publication of an atlas of Scotland, which had been projected by Timothy Pont. By two Acts of the Scottish Parliament, Gordon was exempted from military service in order to afford him the time to complete the project, while the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland published a request to the clergy, to provide assistance to Gordon in his efforts to complete Pont's survey. The undertaking was completed in 1648 and was published by Joan Blaeu of Amsterdam, under the title of Theatrum Scotiae. A second edition was published in 1655 and a third in 1662. This atlas was said to be the first delineation of Scotland made from actual survey and measurement.
Gordon made other maps, and revised many others, adding geographical descriptions, and prefixing an introduction in Blaeu, in which a comprehensive view is given of the constitution and antiquities of the country. These dissertations were one of the first attempts to settle the ancient history of Scotland.
John Senex (1678-1740) was one of the foremost mapmakers in England in the early eighteenth century. He was also a surveyor, globemaker, and geographer. As a young man, he was apprenticed to Robert Clavell, a bookseller. He worked with several mapmakers over the course of his career, including Jeremiah Seller and Charles Price. In 1728, Senex was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society, a rarity for mapmakers. The Fellowship reflects his career-long association as engraver to the Society and publisher of maps by Edmund Halley, among other luminaries. He is best known for his English Atlas (1714), which remained in print until the 1760s. After his death in 1740 his widow, Mary, carried on the business until 1755. Thereafter, his stock was acquired by William Herbert and Robert Sayer (maps) and James Ferguson (globes).