Frederick de Wit

(c.1630 - 1706)

Frederick de Wit was a mapmaker and publisher. He moved to Amsterdam in 1648 and studied under Willem Blaeu, and by 1654 he began his own business. Frederick de Wit was already a well-established cartographic artist, engraving a plan of Haarlem around 1648 and providing city views for Antonius Sanderus’s Flandria Illustrata. He issued his own map of the world, Nova Totius Terrarum Orbis Tabula, as both a wall map and a folio in 1660. Two years later, he began to print atlases, which developed from small compositions mainly compiled of prints from bought stock to larger productions containing his own work. By the 1770s, de Wit was making atlases of over one hundred and fifty maps.

After marrying Maria van der Way, a native of Amsterdam, Frederick de Wit was granted the privileges of a citizen, and became a member of the city’s guild of St Luke in 1664. He published a lavish maritime atlas in 1675, Tabula Maritimae, known for its elaborate decoration. In 1695, he published a book of city views of the Netherlands, Perfekte aftekeningen der steden van de XVII Nederlandsche provincien; the plates were later bought by the Blaeu family and reused for their town books. After de Wit died his widow Maria continued the business until 1710. His son was a successful stockfish merchant and so did not follow his father into cartography.