Engraver and Publisher: 1765 - 1845
JOHN COOKE – of London and Plymouth
An avid collector of Devon guidebooks I soon became aware that a certain John Cooke had either engraved or engraved and published plans of the city of Plymouth or of its breakwater. Some of my research was later put into an article about the Plymouth Breakwater. I had managed to acquire a number of maps and plans depicting this monumental enterprise and Cooke´s name appeared several times. The name Cooke is certainly not rare. However, there appeared to be two or even three engravers of that name around this time, with two operating from London, the other from Stonehouse, Plymouth. According to Tooley´s Dictionary of Mapmakers (the most reliable source at that time) there seemed to be a father and son team of John and Charles Cooke in London as well as a possible second John in London and yet another one in Plymouth.
In the course of my research I had the good fortune to come into contact with Laurence Worms. He is one of the leading experts on British engravers and in the meantime had compiled a list of John Cooke´s work and, like me, was convinced that the entry in Tooley was incorrect. The first edition of this present work was a result of the extra input he was able to provide. We were able to prove beyond doubt that one of the John Cookes of London was also the John Cooke who was responsible for the Plymouth output. However, we were not able to piece much of his family life together.
In the course of including Dr Atkinson’s material I have taken the opportunity to add new information which has come to my attention since the first edition; this includes one new map (entry 24A). I also removed some of the detailed information on maps and plans from the early sections; detailed analysis of each map will be found for the relevant entry.
Any errors in transcription or interpretation are all mine and where I have taken the liberty to speculate, I hope I have clearly indicated this. Acknowledgements for contributions and illustrations are included and I am indebted to all those who furnished me with details, however trivial.
Second Edition June 2021
 See Kit Batten:
Click the link (blue) to go directly to the following chapter.
An account of John Cooke´s early life 1765-1812
An account of John Cooke´s career in Plymouth c.1812-1845
A Summary of John Cooke´s life
A list of all John Cooke´s cartographic output
Addresses associated with John Cooke
Apprentices taken on by John Cooke
Maps 1 - 36 in chronological order
Thanks to those who have made this possible
Sources of those images reproduced on this website
Monograph: John Cooke - Engraver and Publisher - 1765 London -1845 Plymouth. All rights reserved. Copyright lodged with British Library and other major libraries.
Notes on using my Blog.
1. Maps are numbered in sequence as used in my monograph lodged with DevA, WDRO and BL and other major libraries. See Chapters IV and VII.
Map 24A was originally thought to be by or for Byers and was added later when it transpired it was a Cooke plan.
2. Ignore dating. To run sequentially I had to "fiddle" the publish date.
3. If you are aware of further works by Cooke, please let me have details. If you notice any mistakes (there are probably many) also contact me at KitTheMap@aol.com.
January 2010/Revised 2012/2020
Blog posted October 2020 (First Edition)
Blog updated to Second Edition June 2021 -