20 John Seller 1694


John Seller (1632-97) is thought to have been one of six men found guilty of treason at the Old Bailey of whom four were subsequently hanged. Pardoned and released he later received official favour becoming Hydrographer to Charles II in 1671, later to James II and Queen Anne.

Although also known as a maker of mathematical instruments and globes he was primarily a publisher of marine and terrestrial atlases and his output was considerable and wide-ranging. His principal work was the English Pilot based on Dutch charts, but he only completed the first volume. As a draughtsman he worked with Philip Lea on his revised Saxton Atlas of 1689 and it was to Lea that he sold his few folio county maps when he abandoned his Atlas Anglicanus (see Speed 6).

In 1694, Seller published his small county atlas, the Anglia Contracta. The engraver is unknown but the maps were simple, reduced copies of Speed. Many maps had Seller’s name, ornate cartouche title frame and graticule of miles but not Devon. Included in the original Anglia Contracta was a panoramic view of The Prince of Orange Landing at Tor Bay ... 1668.

After a break of sixty years Francis Grose (c.1731-91) reissued the maps in his Antiquities including a short text and a list of the most important sites: added below the map headed DEVONSHIRE and the reverse is a list ANTIQUITIES in this COUNTY worthy notice.1


Size 120 x 145 mm.                                                                                                                                                 English Miles (12 = 22.5 mm).

DEVON SHIRE in square frame. Scale bar in plain rectangular frame. Excester shown.


1. 1694  Anglia Contracta ... By John Seller                                 (E), (NDL).
    London. J Seller. (1694). CXVIII, S115, BL, B, W.
    The History of England ... By John Seller  
    London. John Gwillim. 1696. S119, BL.
    The History of England ... By John Seller  
    London. H Newman. 1697.  S120, CB.
    Camden’s Britannia Abridg’d Vol 1  
    London.Joseph Wild. 1701.  CXX, S122, BL, RGS, W.
    The History of England ... The Third Edition by John Seller  
    London. J Marshall. 1703. CXXI, S124, BL, RGS.
    Camden’s Britannia Abridg’d Vol 1  
    London.Isaac Cleave. 1711. CB.
2.  1773 Title is now DEVONSHIRE in oval frame occupying space taken by THE IRISH (SEA) previously. No frame to scale bar. Additions, eg Dawlish, Teignmouth, Eddystone Light House (Be), EXETER and ST GEORGE’S CHANNEL. (E),(DEI).
    The Antiquities of England and Wales ... by Francis Grose  
    London. S Hooper. 1773 (1787). CXXII, BL: CCXLVII,W.
    The Antiquities of England and Wales ... by Francis Grose ... New Edition.  
    London. Hooper and Wigstead. (1815). BRL, KB2.



[1] There are many text versions of these Grose issues indicating a number of different printings. The front side of the page with the Devon map ends with Topsham, and has either Loman, or Loman. on the reverse. Or, the front side catchword is Axminster or Axminster, with VOL.II bottom left, the fourth line on the reverse ending It is di- (ie di-/vided on two lines). Alternatively, the text on the first side is without VOL.II bottom left and the fourth line of the reverse ends It is divided. Dr Almond has a text with catchword Totness. There are also two variations of text - using either the modern s or the antiquated f for s.

[2] In Volume II which contains counties Derbyshire to Hertford, two-page Index to Counties and pages 59 – 250 and additional counties Hunts., Hamps. and Isle of Wight.