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Rocque, John

(1709 - 1762)

John Rocque (originally Jean, b. not later than 1709, died 1762) was a surveyor and cartographer. He moved to England in 1709 with his parents, who were French Huguenot émigrées. He became a godfather in 1728, which suggests he was at least 21 at that time.

In addition to his work as surveyor and mapmaker, Roque was an engraver and, map-seller. He was also involved in some way in gardening as a young man, living with his brother Bartholomew, who was a landscape gardener, and producing plans for parterres, perhaps recording pre-existing designs, but few details of this work are known. Roque produced engraved plans of the gardens at Wrest Park (1735), Claremont (1738), Charles Hamilton's naturalistic landscape garden at Painshill Park, Surrey, (1744) and Wilton House (1746).

Rocque is now mainly remembered for his map of London. He began work on this in 1737 and it was published in 24 printed sheets in 1746. It was by far the most detailed map of London published up to that time, and remains an important historical resource.

The map of London and his other maps brought him an appointment at Cartographer to the Prince of Wales, 1751. A fire in 1750 destroyed his premises and stock, but by 1753 he was employing ten draughtsmen, and The Small British Atlas: Being a New set of Maps of all the Counties of England and Wales appeared. There was a second edition in 1762.

His 1756 map of Dublin featured on an Irish pound banknote.

He married twice. His widow continued the business after his death.
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