Isaac Taylor (fl.1750-1778) was according to Worms and Baynton-Williams probably born in Hereford about 1720. He married Eleanor Newman of Ross in the same year that this map was published. He is often confused with another engraver of the same name born 1730 in Worcester who died 1807. Our Taylor was an active surveyor practicing in Ross-on-Wye who benefited from the growing requirement for surveyors on country estates. They were needed to prepare landscaped parks, and formal gardens. He operated mostly in the south west of England. Smith includes photographs of his house in Ross and a pair of dividers found in it. Some of his first work was plans of cities, Oxford and Wolverhampton both in 1751. The first of five large scale county maps he produced was of Hereford published in 1754.
The following year 1755 he published a proposal in Salisbury for a one inch to the mile map of Hampshire. The finished map was published 20 August 1759 and dedicated to the Dukes of Balton, Bedford and Chandos and the Earl of Winchester. The map printed on six sheets is interestingly depicted using the local prime meridian of Winchester. The whole is engraved by Richard Benning (fl. 1743-81). There are several inset views of Calshot Castle, The Needles, Ruins of Netly Abbey, Carrsbrook Castle, Porchester Castle, plan of Silchester, south view of Silchester Walls and the Amphitheatre at Silchester. The remaining cartouche list the names of the 581 subscribers to the map, not all of which are named in the title dedication. The actual number sold would have been higher indicating that this was one of the better selling large scale county maps of the period. Despite that it remains one of the less common county maps available today.
The title cartouche depicts a roman soldier and the figure of Britannia surrounded by the tools of war overlooking an estuary scene. The key to the upper right gives a clue to the extensive detail provided. ‘Seats and houses’ are graded with four different symbols, farms with two, three different water mills and two different windmills. Usefully the upper limit of navigation on rivers is marked with a small image of a boat. Taylor went on to produce only three more large scale maps of the counties: Dorset in 1765, Worcestershire in 1772, and Gloucestershire in 1777. Delano-Smith & Kain (1999) pp. 89-91, 96-7; Harley, J. B. (1965); Rodger (1972) 164; Rodger (1989) Ha20; Smith, Brian (2004) plts. 26 & 27; Worms & Baynton-Williams (2011).