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Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 0074 ACC/0365
Held at: London Metropolitan Archives
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Date(s): 1555-1728
Level of description: Collection
Extent: 0.08 linear metres
Name of creator(s): Rose, Johnson and Hicks | solicitors


Administrative/Biographical history:

Blome, Richard (baptised 1635?, died 1705), cartographer and bookseller, may have been the son of Jacob Blome and his wife, Mary, baptized at St Ann Blackfriars, London, on 10 July 1635. Beginning his career as a heraldic painter, developing an expertise in arms-painting for funerals and other solemn occasions, Blome became a publisher and was among the first to use the advance subscription method to finance many projects. He had a shop in London between 1668 and 1679 and sold his own books at Mr Kid's at the corner of Lincoln's Inn Fields, where he lodged. In 1694 his address is given as New Weld Street near Clare-Market, according to Thomas Chubb. Much of Blome's work was heraldic and geographical, specializing in topographical works.

With his more famous rival, the cartographer and mapseller John Ogilby, Blome has been given credit for inaugurating a new period of activity in English cartography, if not geography. Blome acted more as compiler or editor than as author of his best-known work outside of the cartographic field, "The Gentleman's Recreation" (1686), which treats the utility of the liberal arts and sciences, and includes some of the earliest illustrations published of British field sports. Among Blome's other publications is "A Description of the Island of Jamaica" (1672), while his most intriguing secular study is a translation of Anthony le Grand's "Institutio philosophiae" entitled "An Entire Body of Philosophy" (1694), containing half-baked dissertations on demonology and other curious pieces. Blome also wrote on biblical themes.

By 1700 it appears that Blome's affairs generally and presumably his finances more particularly were in some disarray, although he continued to publish until near the time of his death. Already ill, he made his will on 7 May 1705, desiring to be buried in the church of Harlington, near Uxbridge. He left a total of 40 shillings to the poor of St Martin-in-the-Fields and Harlington, while the residue of his estate passed to Jane Hilton, with whom he lived for many years. His exact date of death is unknown, but as sole executor she proved the will on 22 October 1705. Recent reassessment of his work gives Blome an enigmatic reputation ranging from that of a farcical, petulant sycophant, to that of an opportunistic, business-like cultivator of both patronage and the mapmaker's art.

Source: S. Mendyk, 'Blome, Richard (bap. 1635?, d. 1705)', Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004


Scope and content/abstract:

Papers, 1555-1728, collected by the solicitors in the course of their work, including deeds relating to premises in Uxbridge, Hillingdon, and licence granted by James II to Richard Blome of London, for the sole right of printing and publishing his 'History and Chronology of the Old and New Testaments' for 14 years, 1688.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

4 items

Conditions governing access:

Available for general access.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Copyright rests with the City of London.

Finding aids:

Please see online catalogues at:

Archival Information

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

Received in 1950 (Acc/0365).

Allied Materials

Related material:

The British Library holds a large number of books by Richard Blome, while archives relating to Blome can be found at the Cumbria Record Office, British Library Manuscript Collections and Bodleian Library, Oxford University.

Publication note:

Description Notes

Archivist's note:

Rules or conventions:
Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997.

Date(s) of descriptions:
July to October 2009

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