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I. LondonExcept for the published works which have been discovered, not much is known about John Cooke´s life. We do know that John Cooke was the son of Ann and John Cooke of Fetter Lane, a shagreen-case-maker[i]. He was baptised 1st August 1765 at St Andrew in Holborn, London, three years before a brother, Stephen William, who also became engraver. He was apprenticed to the bookbinder Mary Cooke, also of Fetter Lane on 7th September 1779 at the age of fourteen (normal practice in those days). However, he was turned over to William Wells, an engraver, of Fleet Street on 6th November 1787 “and to John Russell, by whom he was freed the same day” which points to some kind of special arrangement. Russell himself was a well-known engraver and it may be that his influence led Cooke in that direction. Between 1787 and 1812 John Cooke worked as an engraver from a number of different London addresses. Considering that he had a number of apprentices himself during this period, including his bro…
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II. PlymouthAlthough two guides to Plymouth appeared together in 1812 the first guide book to any of the Three Towns[1] is generally regarded as being The Picture of Plymouth, first issued by Rees and Curtis and which contained only one map, The Town of Plymouth Dock 1811, and this was signed by John Cooke as engraver. The text of this particular guide is credited to Henry Woollcombe, a local Plymouth resident and Attorney at Law of Frankfort Street. There was no immediate reason to think John Cooke was local as the book was sold by Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme, and Brown, a well-known London group of publishers and booksellers. Cooke’s map was reissued together with a second map in the Tourist's Companion, with much expanded and revised text, published by Granville & Son of Plymouth-Dock when it appeared in 1823 and issued again in subsequent editions of the Tourist's Companion from 1828 (see below). What is very interesting, however, is that for the second issue above, the…
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III. SummaryAs can be seen from the works quoted, Cooke was certainly resident at various London addresses until circa 1812 and various Plymouth addresses after 1817. He was certainly at 48 Union Street 1820-25 but was at 82 Union Street by 1827. Cooke is listed in Pigot´s 1830 directory[i] as engraver and copper plate printer at 82 Union Street (but under Miscellaneous) and Mrs Nile is not listed - 48 Union Street was now occupied by the baker Thomas Philips (Mrs Nile’s address in the maps and charts of 1819/1820). The map in the Tourist's Companion of 1823 only gives the address as Union Street. The (circumstantial) evidence would point to Cooke taking over Mrs Nile´s business soon after 1820 and moving along the street (to larger/smaller premises) before 1827. Robert Brindlay´s Plymouth, Stonehouse and Devonport Directory of 1830 has John Cooke as Engraver and Copper Plate printer in Union Street and has an Eliz. Nile at 85 Union Street.Except for Cooke's New Plan Of The …
IV. Short List of Cartographic Works by John Cooke1.A New Mercators Chart of the Coast of Ireland. Six large folding charts on 2 sheets joined engraved by J Cooke. Four charts are dated between January and June 1790. Published London, D Steel, 1790.[i]2. AMap of the Roads from London, to Mill Hill, & Barnet. By John Cooke Engraver, at Mill Hill, Middx. Signature: Plan & Writing Engraved by J Cooke. 1792.3a.Plan of the Position of the Confederate Armies under the Direction of Earl Cornwallis before Seringapatam, from the 5th to the 24th February, 1792 when the Cessation of hostilities took place including the Position of Tippoo Sultan's Army previous to the Action of the Night of the 6th and the Subsequent Operations of the Siege.. 3b.Plan of Bangalorewith the Attackstaken by the English Army under the command of the Rt Honble Earl Cornwallis, KG &c &c &c, March 22nd 1791. Both maps signed: Engraved by J. Cooke Mill Hill, Middx. and found in Select Views in Myso…