FOSTER, George (fl.1731-1752) — London
Mapseller, print-seller, map & print publisher & printer. Produced A pocket map of London, Westminster and Southwark : with the new buildings to the year 1737, and later editions; Charles Price (see BME 2011), A correct map of South Britain, shewing the latitude, longitude, the distance of every city, market & borough town from London 1737 — a fresh edition of an older map; A new & correct map of England and Wales 1737; A new and correct map of ye world : laid down according to the latest and best observations 1737; A new and exact plan of the cities of London and Westminster 1738, and later editions — engraved by Emanuel Bowen (see BME 2011); A new map of the county of Norfolk done from the latest & best observations 1739 — engraved by William Roades (see BME 2011); co-published Thomas Badeslade & John Rocque (see BME 2011), “Vitruvius Brittanicus [sic], volume the fourth : being a collection of plans, elevations, and perspective views, of the royal palaces, noblemen, and gentlemens seats, in Great Britain” 1739; A plan of St Sebastien and parts ajacent, capital citty of the province of Gupuxcoa in Spain, 1740; A plan of the town and fortifications of Gibraltar shewing the new works made since the last siege for the better security of that fortress, and ye lines the Spaniards have built before it 1740; A plan of the town and harbour of Mahon, St Philip’s Castle and its fortifications 1740; A perspective view of the town of Chagre and castle of San Lorenzo, as attacked and reduced by the British squadron under the command of Vice Adml. Vernon 1740; A large & accurate map of the isthmus of Panama, taken from a Spanish draught exhibiting the country adjacent to that city and Puerto Bello, with the roads and course of the river Chagré, by wich the treasure of the South Sea is conveyed a cross the isthmus 1740, engraved by Bowen; The seat of war in the West Indies, containing new & accurate plans of the Havana, La Vera Cruz, Cartagena and Puerto Bello (taken from Spanish Draughts) 1740, engraved by Bowen; A sequel of the seat of war in the West Indies, containing : (1) a map of the Isthmus of Panamá 1740 — engraved by Bowen; A new map of the island of Jamaica 1740, re-issued William Knight, A new mapp of the kingdom of Ireland divided into its provinces & counties ca.1740, etc. He is believed to have originally published two maps (and probably companions of the other continents) engraved by William Roades, A new and correct map of Africa. Done from the latest and best observations, and A new and correct map of America ca.1735, both known only from later states, with residual evidence of Foster’s imprint. Also known for publishing views, satires, etc.
Foster is thought to be the person of that name baptised at St. Dunstan in the West, Fleet Street, London, 15 Jun 1704 — the son of Anthony & Mary Foster of Bell Yard. He is further thought to be the George Foster of the parish of St. Sepulchre who married (1) Frances Heasman (1706-1734?) at St. James Clerkenwell 14 May 1730. He married (2) Hannah Langley (1720-1742?) 14 Sep 1737. He and William Lathbury (see BME 2011) appraised the map stock of George Willdey (see BME 2011) after Willdey’s death in 1738. Advertised in 1740 — “a new map of ye West Indies, also a new map of St Sebastian, Gibraltar, & Portmahon, with great variety of the newest & best sort of maps & prints wholesale or retale”. A legal case concerning a print in 1749 saw the copperplate printer Henry Lewis petitioning the Duke of Bedford, claiming that the plate for an anonymously published satirical Jacobite print called The agreeable contrast between the formidable John of Gant and Don Carlos of southern extraction, “sent by George Foster of Ludgate Hill”, was printed by his workmen without his knowledge and “that he is now being prosecuted by the Attorney-General and praying to be pardoned for his servants’ error”. He is thought to have died in 1752 — the name of his eldest daughter and successor Elizabeth Foster (1731?-1794?) begins to appear on imprints in that year, and that is the final year in which his name appears in Ludgate Hill land-tax records. His daughter subsequently married the print-seller Fenwick Bull (1722-1780?) at St. George’s Chapel, Mayfair, 25 Mar 1753, at which point Bull took over the Ludgate Hill business. A number of the George Foster plates were subsequently acquired by Robert Sayer (see BME 2011). After Bull’s death in about 1780, Elizabeth Bull, née Foster, once more continued the business, her name appearing in Ludgate Hill land-tax records until 1794.
White Horse, opposite the Northgate in St. Paul’s Churchyard — 1734-1740
At the White Horse, on Ludgate Hill — 1741-1752
BBTI. BM. Frostick. GL. Harris. Howgego. LHD. NA. Rodger. Shirley (1988). Tooley.