Thomas ‘Bridge’ Taylor (fl.1711-26) had a short minor career as a map and printseller at the Golden Lion on Fleet Street, London. He is probably best known for publishing ‘The Principality of Wales’, the first separate county atlas of the country, and for re-issuing the quarto sized Richard Blome atlas ‘England Exactly Described’. His trade card stated he sold French, Italian and Dutch maps and prints, he also traded ‘Indian-picters’. oil and glass paintings and frames. His ‘most important publishing project was a series of views of the seaports of Britain … this was undertaken in partnership with Robert Hulton (fl. 1710-48), whose shop was at the corner of Pall Mall, opposite the Haymarket’ (Clayton). He was one of the first to operate west of the city in the newly expanding developments around St. James’s Square. The series was engraved by Henry Hulsburgh (fl.1702-29) who worked with David Mortier, Henry Overton, John Senex and Taylor. He is best known for his architectural work including that for Colen Campbell in the ‘Vitruvius Britannicus’, 1715-25.
This superb engraving of Newcastle is likely the first large engraving of the city. It extends from the Old Tyne Bridge in the west to Sandgate in the east. The bridge was originally built around 1250 and over the years had been damaged by floods and rebuilt. The great flood of November 1771 destroyed part of it again. The centre of the view displays the Quayside, a bustling sea port at the time. Immediately next to the bridge is the Guildhall with Sandhill behind. St. Nicholas Church dominates the skyline. Now a cathedral, it was completed in 1350. This print like others in the series are sometimes found bound into the multi-volume ‘Britannia Illustrata’ issued through the 1720s. BBTI; Clayton (1997) pp. 5-7; Hyde (1985) nos. 18 & 21; Tooley’s Dictionary (1999-2004); Worms & Baynton-Williams (2011).