Aaron Rathborne (1572-1618), The Surveyor in Foure Bookes (1616)

The Surveyor in Foure Bookes

Rathborne was a prominent engraver and professional surveyor. His book belongs to a rich tradition of surveying treatises that appeared in England from 1577 to the mid-seventeenth century, following Leonard Digges's publication of instruments for topographical measurements (prototypes of the modern theodolite) in the 1570s. Rathborne's praise of Digges's "theodolite" and his description of a new "instrument topographicall" suggest the increasing interest in surveying skills among those who were not specifically trained in mathematics. Although written in a highly technical style for the period, which tended to make the book more appealing to the trained and educated writer than the practicing surveyor, it remained in constant use for over a quarter of a century.

Courtesy of the Department of Special Collections, Memorial Library