Herman Moll

A new map OF the whole world with the trade of wind, here as pressure from the third edition of the Atlas Minor, London 1736

Herman (n) Moll (* 1654? ; † 22. September 1732 in London) was a Kupferstecher, a Kartograph and a publisher.

Admits became Moll for its of numerous, mostly complex arranged map displays Europe and America. Besides it manufactured also maps for Daniel Defoes Robinson Crusoe and Jonathan of Swift Gullivers journeys . Molls maps are characterised particularly by the clarity in their representation and the sometimes splendourful organization of their title cartouches. In its complete work are five-restrain expenditure „of the Atlas Geographus “(1711-1717) and „the Atlas Minor “(1719) to emphasize, the two in several editions appeared.

Table of contents

lives and work


Herman Molls exact origin is unknown. Due to the paramount meaning of Netherlands cartography in 17. Century and the fact that he undertook a journey in his late years by the Netherlands, one accepted long time, he originates from Amsterdam or Rotterdam. Sein im Original überliefertes Testament, in dem er seinen gesamten Besitz „im Königreich Großbritannien, in Deutschland oder anderswo“ an seine Tochter Henderina Amelia Moll vermachte und die Tatsache, dass der Name „Moll“ nicht nur im niederländischen, sondern auch im norddeutschen Raum verbreitet war, legen jedoch eher eine deutsche Herkunft nahe. Its bio graph Dennis Reinhartz assumes that Moll originated from Bremen (Lit.: Reinhartz, S. 12-14). As a birth year the year 1654 is generally accepted.

first years in London

although Moll 1717 in a review to the thesaurus Geographicus of John Green for its incorrect representation of California as island, dips this error had been already criticized in its 1719 published Atlas Minor still on (cutout from the map A new map OF the whole world).

Since 1678 are Molls stay in London provable, but are over its first years there only few well-known. Moll worked first as Kupferstecher for publishers such as Moses Pitt, Sir Jonas of moorlands, Greenville Collins, John Adair, Seller & Price and other one. Its probably first maps with the simple titles „America “and „Europe “appeared to A in moorland new systems OF the Mathematicks containing… A new Geography in the year 1681 and carry „ H for the Imprint. Mol schulp “.

Probably Moll sold its first own maps from a stand, which he developed at changing places in London. Starting from 1688 it possessed its own shop with Vanley's Court in the Londoner quarter Blackfriars. Between 1691 and 1710 was its business at the corner jumps guards and Charing CROSS, before it finally changed to along the Themse running road beach, where it remained up to its death.

Into the 1690er years predominantly worked Moll as Kupferstecher for Christopher Browne, Robert murders and Lea, in whose business he was also involved. Into this time also its first larger independent work, the 1695 published thesaurus Geographicus falls. The success of this work probably affirmed Moll in its decision to create its own map publishing house.

the Kartograph and the Weltumsegler

in Molls 1697 published map of the world the route of Dampiers of first world orbiting is drawn in.

For the production of its maps Moll was dependent on as exact geographical an data from first hand as possible. Moll profited by it from its acquaintance with the Weltumsegler and Freibeuter William Dampier, which returned 1691 from its first world orbiting to London. Over the experiences its altogether twelve years continuing journey wrote Dampier a report, which appeared 1698 in London and already one year later its fourth edition experienced. Round the World called narration Moll made most of the maps and illustrations for the Voyage new as A. While Molls increased cartographic material the descriptiveness of Dampiers descriptions for the reader enormously, Dampiers geographical knowledge were uncommonly important for the accuracy of Molls maps. In a time, in which Kartographen were dependent by buyers and captains on the local knowledge, the acquaintance with a man was crucial such as Dampier for the economic success of a map draughtsman such as Moll. The increasing interest of the public in travel literature and the enormous success of Dampier energized again different authors such as Defoe or Swift to similar works. Also they should fall back later to Molls artistic abilities for the illustration of their works.

first work as independent publishers

in the year 1701 system appeared to OF Geography the first map work with A, which published Moll in its own publishing house. Although it did not contain fundamental innovations in the representation, it helped it to become generally accepted as independent Kartograph. Over the years the work as well as individual maps from it were copied again and again by Moll as also by other publishers and again presented.

After it had brought several volumes out with war maps in the following years, Moll published 1708 with Fifty Six new and accurate maps OF Great Britain volume with maps of the British islands. One year later The Compleat Geographer and the Atlas of manuals appeared. While the Compleat Geographer represented an only little innovative extension of A system OF Geography, the Atlas stood out manuals already due to his small format from the Atlas production of the early eight tenth century. Its forty-two in-colored arranged maps published without the usual text apparatus and captivated by its clarity and clarity. By the renouncement of colors Moll could produce its Atlas clearly more favorably than comparable works and in such a way went through the Atlas of manuals within shortest time numerous new editions.

Around 1710 more made by John a Price, Molls work very similarly seeing bag globe

two years later he published its Atlas Geographus , which appeared in monthly supplies from 1711 to 1717 and covered finally five volumes. This contained a complete geographical representation of the world in colored maps, as well as additional - not of Moll coming - illustrations. To Molls Subskribenten belonged to bookseller and publisher from London already, in addition, from a number of other English cities. Like already A system OF Geography was copied and copied also the Atlas Geographus eagerly.

At 1710 Moll began with the production worked bags globes. It concerned thereby in each case a pair of globes, whereby the larger, opening by hinges celestial globe a smaller earth globe umschloss. On the latter also again the route of the Weltumseglung Dampiers was drawn in. These globes are today very rare and represent under the work Molls a large rare piece delivered in the original (an illustration of Molls bag globe see under Web on the left of).

Moll, Defoe and the English South Seas enterprise

with its 1711 published book A View OF the Coasts, Countries, and of Iceland within the of limit OF the South Sea company intervened Moll in at that time a running debate with regard to foreign policy. Around the turn of 17. to 18. Century had strongly increased the interest of the Englishmen in enterprises into the Pacific ocean. The English buyers were on the search for new investment possibilities and the favorable process of the Spanish of succession war woke hopes for commercial options in so far exclusively the Spaniards open ports at the west coast of South America. Besides the booty courses Dampiers and other English Freibeuter had impressively occupied the increasing weakness of the Spaniards. The fact that these were obviously less and less able to protect their South American possessions sufficiently played a prominent role in the literary processing of the journeys Dampiers. Dampier painted an exceedingly positive picture of the wealth and economical potential of the South Seas simultaneous in its reports on a journey. And exactly Moll indicated these descriptions Dampiers in its preface as the most important source for its 1711 work appeared.

Its close contact exerted further influence on Molls view of the southPacific area to Daniel Defoe . Defoe and Moll met regularly in that 1680 created coffee house „Jonathan's “, a popular meeting place for the Londoner financial and stock exchange world in the town center OF London. Before the beginning of its career as a novelist Defoe had worked first as a buyer and went starting from the 1690er years as an author of different political satires and lampoons into action. Between 1704 and 1713 Defoe published the appearing three times weekly Review, a sheet, which was concerned particularly with questions of British colonial policy. Defoe occurred vehement for the penetration English requirements for rule overseas and for the development of new markets for domestic textile makes. Even if for the statement, the title of its later book Moll Flanders is of an advert with the title „The History OF Flanders with Moll's map “(dt. „The history of Flanders with Molls map “) inspired, sufficient vouchers are missing, then it is certain nevertheless that between Defoe and Moll a close exchange of ideas - in particular over questions of the English colonial policy - took place.

A new one & Exact map OF the Coast, Countries and of Iceland within ye of limit OF ye South Sea company, London 1711, here in a reproduction from the year 1720

Molls book contained the map A new one & Exact map OF the Coast, Countries and of Iceland within ye of limit OF ye South Sea company, of their dedication cartouche with the text „ton the blanks. Hon.ble Robert Earl OF Oxford and Mortimer &c… “was provided. With it Robert Harley , the founder of the South Sea company was meant, when its secretary Daniel Defoe worked among other things. This Londoner South Seas company had in the year 1710 in the anticipation on the end of war - which actually only 1713 took place - exclusive rights to the trade with Spanish America receive, it dissolved however after only scarcely ten-year existence in the so-called „South Sea Bubble “.

Molls map shows the sphere of influence of the commercial company in the area of the south Pacific. A special emphasis is thereby on the ports which were located at the South American west coast, which are registered into the map equal to hundreds. Important places such as Guayaquil are additionally still more in detail in one of the twelve Nebenkarten at the edge of the sheet represented. The representation of the Juan Fernández islands in one takes a prominent place on the map this Insetkarten. This had been exposed the place, at the Alexander Selkirk, the model for Defoes novel figure Robinson Crusoe released from one of the captains from Dampiers expedition in the year 1704 and only 1709 again was.

With maps like these Moll exerted just as strong influence on the public debate as the novelists Defoe or Swift - and this above all also, because its maps made possible also illiterate a conception of the represented areas. It exerted completely concrete influence on Defoes of South America plans however due to an error in the representation of South America. One of Defoes ideas existed in the establishment of a trading base in Patagonien, from which a business connection with Chile should be composed. Defoe had however only very inaccurate conceptions of the geography of the Anden and assumed on the basis of Molls maps, it is problem-free over passports to overcome. While Defoes of plans burst however at the latest with the South Sea Bubble, Molls map A new one & Exact map OF the Coast, Countries and of Iceland was reprinted within ye of limit OF ye South Sea company still after its death in later editions of its work The World Described.

The World Described and Atlas Minor

cutout from the Beaver in such a way specified map

in the year 1715 appeared Molls The World Described, a collection of thirty large, double-sided maps, which experienced to 1754 numerous new editions. The maps, in which Molls technical skill particularly becomes effective as Kupferstecher, were sold individually and later first bound in form Atlases. The pressure was a joint undertaking of Moll and a number of other publishers.

That volume contained two of the most well-known maps Molls, A new and exact map OF the Dominions OF the King OF Great Britain and John lord of summer This map OF North America, which admits map because of their remarkable and artful worked Insetdarstellungen as Beaver and as Codfish map became.

The Beaver map shows a scene embankment construction that beaver before the cases of Niagara, which however originally did not come from Moll, but from a little admitted map of Nicolas de Fer from the year 1698. Molls map contributed nevertheless by its popularity to the establishment of the beaver as symbol for the North American colonies.

Cutout from the Codfish in such a way specified map

Molls Codfish map shows in its title cartouche a scene from the Kabeljaufischerei before Newfoundland. Since beginning 16. Century represented the Kabeljaufischerei in the Newfoundland banks an important economic factor for European colonial powers. At present the production of the map the fight for the fishery rights was one of the central points at issue in the North America politics of France and England. With its representation of the processing of the catch-fresh Kabeljaus for shipment to Europe main header Moll the importance of this economic sector for its homeland England out.

Over the selection of the scenes for title cartouches and Nebenkarten outside Moll tried also again and again to obtain its message of the importance of the colonial power expansion of England over the inscription of the maps. In the Codfish map it marked the Atlantic ocean as „Sea OF the British Empire “and underlined thereby the English requirements on the fishery right before the coast of Newfoundland. In a west India map from the same volume it wrote into the southwest corner of Carolina the words „to Spanish away Deserted “and „Good Ground “. On many of its North America maps - among other things on the Beaver map - it drew in in particular in the proximity of important ports roads, because it knew that a sufficient infrastructure for the further English expansion was of great importance.

Title copper of the third expenditure of the Atlas Minor from the year 1736 (cutout)

in the year 1719 published Moll first of a multiplicity of expenditures of its Atlas Minor. This smaller Atlas got along without the usual pleonastic text and showed current representations of all up to then well-known regions of the earth. Moll within the range of the North America maps continued its colonial advertisement also here. It marked the map A plan OF haven Royal harbour in Carolina with the text:

Haven Royal River read 20 Leagues from Ashley River S.W. it has A bold Entrance 19 or 20 Foot RK Low Water, the Harbour is large, safe and commodious and of run into ye best Country in Carolina. Here ye air is always CLEAR and Agreeable ton of European Constituions.

Which concealed Moll thereby consciously, was the fact the fact that the number of deaths of the settlers in the damp and swampy southwest South Carolina at its time was almost just as high as on the British overseas possessions in the Karibik. The dangers by Indians it played down through decorative of haven advice of the “good wild ones” as if added to its complex arranged title cartouches and frames. In its inscription of the Beaver map he mentioned the Irokesen as „efficient friends of the Englishmen “in the fight against the Frenchmen, left however unmentioned with the fact that the Frenchmen availed themselves also of such „efficient friends “, only from other trunks.

Beyond all political adjustment Molls were maps far beyond that during its lifetimes and style-coining/shaping and belong this very day to the aesthetically most fastidious copper passes in the history of cartography. Molls Atlas Minor remained up to its last expenditure in the year 1781 one of the most important map works 18. Century.

„My worthy friend, Mr. Herman Moll “- Gullivers journeys

six years before Molls death published Jonathan Swift its novel Lemuel Gulliver's travels into several remotely nation OF the world (dt. Gullivers journeys). The work, which belongs today to the probably most popular Kinderbüchern, was originally put on as society-critical satire and sat down apart from questions to the policy, philosophy and science also with the English expansionist tendency in the first third 18. Century apart. Two persons from Swift Londoner circle of acquaintances are in particular mentioned therein: the Weltumsegler William Dampier (of Swift as a cousin the Gullivers is introduced into history) and the Kartenmacher Herman Moll.

Dampiers approximately thirty years before published - and of Swift directly specified - book A new Voyage round the World delivered the ideal blueprint for Gullivers report on a journey. Thus Swift the craze of the English read public after always new descriptions furthermore countries karikierte, used these however for its own economic advantage. And at the same time it extended Gullivers journeys by that indispensable supplement, without which a report on a journey of the time at that time could hardly get along: around the maps Herman Molls.

Map of Lilliput

Moll is mentioned in the elften chapter of the fourth part, in a passage, which describes Gullivers arrival in new Holland (Australia):

I lay all night into my canoe; and repeating my voyage early into the morning, I arrived in seven hours tons the south east POINT OF new Holland. This confirmed ME into the opinion I have long entertained, that the maps and charts place this country RK leases three degrees more ton the east than it really is; which I thought communicated many years ago tons my worthy friend, Mr. Herman Moll, and gave him my reasons for it, although he has chosen tons follow OTHER authors.
The whole night remained I in my Kanu lying; then set I mean journey in the morning further away and reached after seven hours the southeast point of new Holland. All confirmed already in former times the opinion preserved by me that the geographical maps set this country at least by three degrees too far eastward. Before several years I made concerning this my worthy friends, Hermann Moll, a report, and said to him the reasons, why I considered my thought true. It preferred it however to obey the data of other writers.

Although Swift here the persistence of its worth friend Mr. Up-mirror-image-eaten, he follows Herman Moll in holding to facts already disproved to a large extent in his other representation of geographical conditions its 1719 for the first time published map of the world A new map OF the whole world with the trade of wind (illustration see above). Prove in particular the outlines of Japan and the designation of the places that Molls served designs as collecting main of of Swift descriptions.

The maps manufactured by Moll particularly for Gullivers journeys increased - exactly the same as already with that already 1719 illustrations made for Defoes Robinson Crusoe - the descriptiveness of the novel and did not contribute in not insignificant way to the success of the work. Since the first edition of the book also Molls became maps often along and to belong thereby strange-prove - as Frederick of fallow ones determined appropriate - to the furthest common maps, which Moll ever drew (Lit.: Fallow, S. 63-64).

the last decade

haven-guesses/advises Hermann Molls of William Stukeley from the year 1723

in the last decade of its life continued Moll its cartographic work particularly on the basis representations of the British islands. 1724 a published Atlas with maps to England and Wales followed 1725 an Atlas with maps of Scotland and 1728 a volume with representations of Ireland. In addition it already created 1721 with Thirty two new and accurate maps OF the Geography OF the Ancients a historical Atlas for the school use. A rare piece under its works represents today the volumes Roads OF Europe , which appeared in the year of its death and probably experienced for this reason no high edition.

The exact circumstances of its death lie in the dark. The only delivered haven-guesses/advises Molls, manufactured from its close friend William Stukeley from the year 1723 however still represents it at the age of scarcely 70 years with a clear, attentive view.

Already in Molls last life decade, in particular however after its death, its maps were spread in a rising number of post and pirated editions. Even the errors like the representation of California as island, contained in them, were never corrected thereby. To today continuous demand for Molls an approximate conception of its lasting popularity gives copper passes. Its map OF appeared the Iceland OF Bermudos last from the year 1709 on 1987 a spent stamp Bermudas. Molls maps always reflect a specific world view, which did however no abort to its fame.

works (selection)

  • thesaurus Geographicus (1695)
  • A system OF Geography (1701)
  • A History OF the English Wars (1705)
  • The History OF the Republick OF Holland (1705)
  • A Description OF all the Seats OF the Wars OF Europe ( 1707) present
  • Fifty Six new and accurate maps OF Great Britain (1708)
  • The Compleat Geographer (1709)
  • Atlas of manuals (1709)
  • A View OF the Coasts, Countries, and of Iceland within the of limit OF the South Sea company (1711)
  • Atlas Geographus (1711-1717)
  • The World Described (1715)
  • Atlas Minor (1719)
  • Thirty two new and accurate maps OF the Geography OF the Ancients (1721)
  • A set OF fifty new one and correct map OF England and Wales (1724)
  • A set OF thirty six new one and correct map OF Scotland (1725)
  • A set OF twenty new map OF Irish country (1728)
  • Roads OF Europe (1732)


  • Dennis Reinhartz: The of cartographer and the literati: Herman Moll and his intellectual circle, Lewiston, NY [among other things] 1997, ISBN 0-7734-8604-6
  • Sarah Tyack: London map Sellers 1660-1720, Tring 1978
  • Frederick of fallow ones: The map in Gulliver's Travels, in: Huntington LIBRARY Quarterly 8 (1944/45), ISSN 0018-7895, S. 59-74

Web on the left of

Commons: Herman Moll - pictures, videos and/or audio files
  • {{#if:
| | * Literature of and over Herman Moll in the catalog of the DDB


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