The magazines of London. c1725 - c1800.
Around 1750, London witnessed the explosive circulation
growth of periodicals (mostly monthlies). These magazines,
generally extremely well researched, offered up-to-the-moment
political/economical/social information to their well educated
audience. Some of these magazines are still regularly published
today. Based mostly on/around PaterNoster Row, the Gentlemen's
Magazine, the Royal Magazine, the Universal Magazine, the
Intelligencer, the Lady's magazine, Town and Country magazine,the
Scot's magazine (in Edinburgh). were the main source of information
for the british elite when it came to detailing and explaining
the latest developments in the far reaches of the Empire.
As such, a full complement of cartographers was retained to
illustrate battle accounts, town sieges, harbor blockades,
and land conquests; almost in real time (for that period).
Thomas Jefferys, Thomas Kitchin, Emanuel Bowen and later his
son Thomas, John Hinton, John Gibson, John Lodge, John Cary,
Thomas Silver, and many other of lesser reputation, participated
in the effort.
In most cases, the maps were of rather small format, and uncolored.
Old Pt. Royal.
This plan (12 7/16" X 7 1/8") was printed for the November
1785 issue of "The Gentleman's Magazine". It shows the town
of Port Royal, founded in 1655 in Jamaica, before its destruction
by an earthquake in 1692 which killed more than half of its
residents and cut off the peninsula from the mainland.
In the 17th century, the 7000 inhabitant town was by far the
largest and most successful English colony in all of the Americas,
being almost twice as populous as Boston. The "wickedest city
on earth" became a key player in the so-called triangular
trade (of slaves, sugar and manufactured goods) run between
Africa, the Caribbean and England.
Among his most famous residents was (sir) Henry Morgan, a
shrewd welsh privateer who had amassed (looted) a great fortune,
and became the de facto Governor of the island till his death
in 1688. The capital city of Jamaica was rebuilt in part,
but suffered a massive conflagration in 1703. And whatever
the fire had not consumed was ravaged by a hurricane in1722,
when the settlement was definitely abandoned. Most of the
survivors moved their residence north across the bay to Kingston,
which became (and still is) the major urban center of the
island. Fort Charles, now on a small islet, was kept operational
long after and was once under the command of Horatio Nelson.
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