William Heather

(c1766 - 1812)

William Heather was an important English engraver, chartmaker and publisher, who also operated a retail premises selling charts and nautical and mathematical instruments.

He was apprenticed in the Stationers’ Company, made free in 1789, whereupon he joined the business of John Hamilton Moore, a chartmaker and publisher, but left to set up own business in 1793. Between 1796 and 1804 he worked in partnership with William Williams, trading as Heather & Williams. The majority of his output was engraved by John Stephenson. He died on 2nd October 1812, aged forty-six and was succeeded by John William Norie and George Wilson, who bought the business and took it on to new heights.

In 1803, Heather produced The new Mediterranean pilot and in 1808 The Mariner’s Atlas Or Seaman’s Complete Pilot, in numerous issues, with varying contents, but the main thrust of his business was separately published charts of all parts of the world, for example A New Plan of Egypt (1798), arising out of the events from the Napoleonic war in Egypt, A New Chart of America with the Harbors of New York, Boston &c. (1799) and A New Chart of America with the Harbors of Port Royal, Savannah &c. (1799) to list but three of his wide-ranging output.