Charles Price

(1679 - 1733)

Apprenticed to John Seller, the father of English sea atlas publishing, in February 1694, Charles Price was made free on the 1st of September 1703, on the same day as John Seller’s son Jeremiah Seller. He worked in partnership with Jeremiah between 1700 and 1705, but unfortunately, their venture was not a success, and after the firm’s loss of the lucrative naval contract in 1705, they were declared bankrupt.

From 1705, Charles Price worked with John Senex to create a “serially published” atlas. Sadly, this plan was not a success either, and Price and Senex would dissolve their partnership in 1710. Undeterred, Price continued to pursue the same business model, with Willdey and Brandreth (fl 1707-1713), and they issued a large world map twice. The partnership lasted just two years, when Willdey acquired the engraved plates for the map, reissuing it with numerous decorative changes designed and engraved by H. Terasson (fl 1713-1717).

In 1727, Charles Price announced that work would begin on “a general atlas for sea and land”. In 1729, on his chart of the English Channel, he advertised A Compleat Sea Atlas, which would cover the whole world and contain some two hundred and fifty charts. Only thirty-one charts are known to have been published by Price before he was confined to the Fleet Prison for debt in December 1731. He continued to advertise his work at a reduced price “for ready money… ill fortune and ill usage has constrain’d me to sell my goods at this cheap rate”. He died early in 1733, leaving his stock equally to his son Charles, his daughter Ann, and his wife Elizabeth.