Leen Helmink Antique Maps

Old books, maps and prints by Benjamin Wright

Benjamin Wright (1575-1613)

London, Amsterdam, Bologna and Rome

Engraver and copperplate printer. Engraved a pair of celestial and terrestrial charts to illustrate John Blagrave, “Astrolabium uranicum generale" 1596;

Beschrijvinghe der zeecusten van Barbarielal tusken de straet van Gijbraltar ende caep de Cantin for Lucas Jansz. Waghenaer, “Thresoor der zee-vaert" 1596;

maps of Java, Sumatra, Madagascar and St. Helena for “Caert-thresoor, inhoudende de taflen des gantsche werelts landen” 1599, published by Cornelis Claesz of Amsterdam;

Gabriel Tatton, Nova et rece terraum et regnorum Californiae, Novae Hispaiae Californiae. Novae Hispaiae, Mexicanae, et Peruviae 1600;

Gabriel Tatton, Maris Pacifici quod Mar del Zur 1600; Hispaniae nova describtio 1600; Tabula geographica provinciarum Brabantiæ, Geldriæ comitatus, Sutphaniæ, Traiectini, Transilvaniæ, Drentiæ, Twentiæ, Hollandiæ, et Frisiæ; una cum præterlabentium fluviorum delineation 1600. for Cornelis Claesz;

Waerachtige af conterfeytinge der vermaẽr riviere van Londen, anders genaempt die Tamesis for Lucas Jansz. Waghenaer,

“Thresorie ou cabinet de la route marinesque" 1601;

Beschrijvinghe der landen ende zee-custen van Eembderlandt and eleven other charts for Lucas Jansz. Waghenaer, "Thresoor der zeevaert" 1602;

fourteen charts for Lucas Jansz. Waghenaer, "Den groten dobbelden nieuwen spieghel der zeevaert" 1603, again for Claesz;

a further thirty maps of the same size and style, including Alata castra Scotia regia urbs et metrolis vulgó Edimburgum ca. 1603 and Topographia insulæ Huenæ in celebri porthmo regna Daniæ were evidently engraved for Claesz at this time, but are extant only in Claes Jansz. Visscher, “Tabularum geographicarum contractarum libri quatuor denuo recogniti" 1649;

Italia nuova da Gio Antonio Magini 1608;

eleven maps for Magini's “Italia data in luce” 1620, the maps engraved somewhat earlier;

seven maps for Johann Isaac Pontanus, “Rerum et urbis Amstelodamensium historia” 1611, for Jodocus Hondius 1, again engraved at an earlier date, etc.

Said to have been born in 1575, and perhaps to be identified with the Benjamin Wright made free of the Goldsmiths' Company by patrimony 17 Mar 1597. Heawood suggested that the map Florentissimoru[m] Enorum Angliæ et Hiberniæ accurata descriptio veteribus et recentioribus nominibus illustrata 1594 might be by Wright, but Wright himself referred to his The armes of all the cheif corporations of England 1596 as the "first fruit of his labours”. He was working in Amsterdam by 1602 and probably for some years earlier, referred to in that year as an "Engelsch plaetsnyder woonende tot Amstelredam" [English copperplate cutter living in Amsterdam]. He subsequently worked in Bologna 1607-1608 and later Rome for the Italian publisher Giovanni Antonio Magini, who must have greatly valued Wright's work to have borne with so tiresome a collaborator, irregular in life and given to drink, for twice he had to release plates which Wright had pawned in Rome. Though other engravers known to have worked on Magini's “Atlas” ... it is surprising that no plates are signed but those bearing Wright's name” (Hind). John Evelyn bracketed Wright with Thomas Cecill as "little inferior to any we have enumerated for the excellency of their burins and their happy design”.

At the Hartshorne in Paternoster Row 1596, Amsterdam 1602, Bologna 1607-1608, Rome 1608-1613.

BBTI, BM. Burden (1996). COPAC. Goldsmiths. Griffiths. GL. Hind. Koeman. Shirley (2001). STC. Taylor (1954). Tooley.

(Worms and Baynton Williams)


Laurence Worms and Ashley Baynton Williams, British Map Engravers, London, Rare Book Society, 2011, pp 735-736.
Valerie Scott, Tooley's Dictioonary of Mapmakers - Revised Edition Q-Z, Early World Press, 2004.
A.M. Hind, Engraving in England in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries. I, The Tudor Period, Cambridge University Press, 1952, pp 212-213.

Benjamin Wright maps for sale