John Norden

John Norden's map of London in 1593, engraved by Pieter van den Keere. There is only one bridge across the Thames, but parts of Southwark on the south bank of the river have been developed.
John Norden's map of Westminster, 1593.
Large version of the London map

John Norden (c. 1547 – 1625) was an English cartographer, chorographer and antiquary. He planned (but did not complete) a series of county maps and accompanying county histories of England, the Speculum Britanniae. He was also a prolific writer of devotional works.


Norden is known to have been born in Somerset, to a "genteel" family, but his family background is otherwise obscure. He entered Hart Hall, Oxford, in 1564; and graduated BA in 1568 and MA in 1573. He subsequently led a peripatetic existence, but for much of his life had his home in Middlesex on the outskirts of London: he was living in Walham Green, Middlesex, in 1592; by 1607 he was at Hendon, Middlesex, where he remained until 1619; and in the latter year he moved to the parish of St Giles in the Fields, where he eventually died in 1625. He was married and had at least two sons, John Norden junior, and Josias.