Africa, Corrected from the Observations of the Royal Society of London and Paris


John Senex (circa 1678-1740) was an English surveyor, engraver, bookseller, and publisher of maps and atlases. He served as geographer to Queen Anne (1665-1714), the first sovereign (from 1707 to 1714) of the United Kingdom, formed by the 1707 union of England and Scotland. Senex was elected to the Royal Society in 1728. He borrowed liberally from other mapmakers, notably the great French cartographer Guillaume de L’Isle. This early-18th century map of Africa shows how little European geographers knew at the time about the interior of the continent. The notes on the map provide information about the African kingdoms that was derived from Arab sources, slave traders, early travelers, and conversations with native peoples. Some of it is accurate, but much was speculative or incorrect. Senex’s map is dedicated, in the lower right corner, to “Sr. Isaac Newton Kt. President of the Royal Society and Master of Her Majesties Mints.”

Last updated: September 18, 2015