William Herbert

William Herbert

Robert Sayer (ca. 1724-1794) was a prominent London map publisher. Robert’s father was a lawyer, but his older brother married Mary Overton, the widow of prominent mapmaker Philip Overton and the proprietor of his shop after his death. Mary continued the business for roughly a year after her marriage and then, in early 1748, it passed to Robert. Robert became a freeman of the Stationers’ Company later that year; his first advertisement as an independent publisher was released in December.

Sayer benefited from Overton’s considerable stock, which included the plates of John Senex. In the 1750s, Sayer specialized in design books and topographical prints, as well as comic mezzotints. In 1753, he, along with John Roque, published a new edition of Thomas Read’s Small British Atlas, the first of several county atlases that Sayer would publish.

Sayer’s business continued to grow. In 1760 he moved further down Fleet Street to larger premises at 53 Fleet Street. In 1766, he acquired Thomas Jefferys’ stock when the latter went bankrupt. In 1774, he entered into a partnership with John Bennett, his former apprentice. The pair specialized in American atlases, based on the work of Jefferys. They also began publishing navigational charts in the 1780s and quickly became the largest supplier of British charts in the trade.

Bennett’s mental health declined, and the partnership ended in 1784. As Sayer aged, he relied on his employees Robert Laurie and James Whittle, who eventually succeeded him. He spent more and more time at his house in Richmond. In 1794, he died in Bath.


1757 - A New Map, or Chart in Mercators Projection, of The Western or Atlantic Ocean with Part of Europe, Africa and America. 1757.

  • $21.99

Rare Map of the Atlantic at the Outset of the French & Indian War Extremely rare separately issued map of North America, The Caribbean and the Atlantic Ocean, issued by William Herbert in London. The map is richly annotated with information both...


1760 - [Southwest Coast fo Myanmar - Myeik and Andaman Sea] Coast of Tenasserim

  • $14.99

Extremely rare English sea chart, covering some of the far southern portions of Burma, present-day Myanmar, along its Andaman Sea coastline. The map focuses on the large archipelago that sits off of Mergui, present-day Myeik, near the border with...


1760 - A Chart of the Seas between the Straits of Banca and Po. Timon: with Eastern Part of the Straits of Malacca

  • $14.99

Extremely rare English sea chart centered on Singapore nd the Straits of Malacca. First state of the William Herbert’s chart of the Malacca-Singapore navigation, the first broadly accurate British sea chart of Asia’s busiest shipping lane,...


1760 - [Part of Sumatra]

  • $14.99

The First Accurate English Sea Chart of Western Sumatra Finely detailed sea chart of the Southwestern Coast of Sumatra. The chart extends from Pulau Tanahmasa and the area north of Panang to the Straits of Sunda and Panaitan Island. Includes a large...


1779 - [Java Sea, Java and Parts of Sumatra, Borneo, Bali & Madura]

  • $14.99

Rare seperately published English Sea Chart of the Java Sea, Java and parts of Borneo, Bally and Sumatra, with an inset map of part of the Island of Lubeck, published by William Herbert. Herbert is perhaps best known for his A New Directory for the...


1760 - [Phuket, Phang Nga Bay, Krabi and Northwest Coast of Sumatra] A Particular Plan of Junk-Seilon and the Parts Adjacent

  • $14.99

Extremely rare English sea chart, covering a portion of Southern Thailand and northwestern Sumatra. At the top right, the map provides a detailed image of the area around Junk Seilon Island, now known as Phuket, along with the adjacent Phang Nga Bay...