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John George Bartholomew

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John George Bartholomew

John G. Bartholomew (1860-1920)
Cartographer and Geographer
Born (1860-03-22)22 March 1860
Died 14 April 1920(1920-04-14) (aged 60)
Memorial to John George Bartholomew, Dean Cemetery

John George Bartholomew FRSE (22 March 1860 - 14 April 1920) was a British cartographer and geographer. As a holder of a royal warrant, he used the title "Cartographer to the King"; for this reason he was sometimes known by the epithet "the Prince of Cartography".[1]

Bartholomew's longest lasting legacy is arguably naming the continent of Antarctica,[2] which until his use of the term in 1890 had been largely ignored due to its lack of resources and harsh climate.


  • Biography 1
  • Chronology 2
  • See also 3
  • External links 4
  • References 5


Bartholomew came from a celebrated line of map-makers: he was the son of John Bartholomew Junior, and the grandson of the founder of John Bartholomew and Son Ltd.

Under his administration the family business became one of the top operations in its field. Bartholomew himself was not merely a specialist in production, but also a talented geographer and cartographer. It was he who introduced the use of colored contour layer maps; he also anticipated the needs of late nineteenth and early twentieth-century travelers by publishing street maps of major cities, cycling maps, railway timetable maps, and road maps for automobiles.

He collaborated with major scientific figures and travelers of the period on projects involving their studies. Bartholomew's Atlas of Meteorology and Atlas of Zoogeography[3] were issues from a planned five-volume series that was never completed. Before he died he was able to plan out the first edition of the Times Survey Atlas of the World; this and its succeeding editions represent the most successful atlas project of the twentieth century.

He handed the reins of the business on to his son John (Ian) Bartholomew (1890-1962).

A memorial to Bartholomew, sculpted by Pilkington Jackson, exists on the northern wall of the 20th century extension to Dean Cemetery in Edinburgh.


See also

External links

  • Bartholomew: A Scottish Family Heritage - site maintained by the family.
  • Times World Atlases official website including a History and Heritage section detailing landmark Times atlases
  • J.G. Bartholomew at Open Library
  • Works by Bartholomew, John George at Internet Archive


  1. ^ Leslie Gardiner (1976). Bartholomew 150 Years. John Bartholomew & Son Ltd.  
  2. ^ "John George Bartholomew and the naming of Antarctica, CAIRT Issue 13". National Library of Scotland. 2008.  
  3. ^ Bartholomew, J.G., Clarke, W.E., Grimshaw, P.H., 1911. Atlas of Zoogeography. John Bartholomew and Co., Edinburgh.
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