Big data in the eighteenth century
By TEMPLEMAN, Thomas , 1729

A New Survey of the Globe: Or, an Accurate Mensuration of all the Empires, Kingdoms, Countries, States, Principal Provinces, Counties, & Islands in the World…

  • Author: TEMPLEMAN, Thomas
  • Publication place: London
  • Publisher: Engraved by J. Cole in Great Kirby Street Hatton Garden
  • Publication date: 1729?
  • Physical description: Oblong folio (235 by 355mm), engraved title page, dedication leaf to the Honourable James Reynolds, four pages of introduction, five page subscriber's list with a table of the geographical plates to verso of the last leaf, contents list from Moll's Atlas Minor, thirty-five engraved tables, and 15 engraved maps (of which two are folding), blind stamped reverse calf.

    Collation: [4],ix,[1]p., 35 plates, 54 maps.

    List of maps
    Hungary and Transilvania.
    Russia or Moscovy with its Aquisitions &c. in Sweden.
    The North Part of Turkey in Europe. Slavonia &c 1726.
    Greece or the South Part of Turkey in Europe.
    Great or Aasiatick Tartary.
    The Empire of China and Island of Japan.
    The West Part of Barbary Containing Fez, Marocco, Algiers and Tunis [and] The East Part of Barbary containing Tripoli, Barca and the North Part of Egypt.
    St. Helena [and] The Bay of Agoa de Saldanha.
    A Map of Terra Firma Peru Amazoneland, Brasil & the North P. of La Plata.
    A Map of Chili, Patagonia, La Plata and ye South Part of Brasil.
    The Scots Settlement in America called New Caledonia.
    A Map of the Continent of the East-Indies &c.
    The Caspian Sea.
  • Inventory reference: 16354


A highly unusual edition of Templeman’s work with the contents leaf and 14 maps from Moll’s ‘Atlas Minor’, bound in.

Templeman’s work was intended to be a companion volume to Herman Moll’s ‘Atlas Minor’, also published in 1729, and is sometimes found bound into the rear of Moll’s work, as in the example housed in the Library of Congress. However, here a selection of 14 maps have been bound in order to illustrate Templeman’s tables.

The tables offer a wide breadth of information, statistics and data categorised by geographical area. Templeman spares no superlative in asserting on the first plate that London “is the greatest, richest, and most populous city that now is and probably ever was in ye World, notwithstanding the Wonders that have been related by travellers, and historians, of Constantinope, Grand Cairo, Isaphan, Agra, Pekin, Nankin, &c., of the Antient [sic] Cities of Nineve, Babylon, & Rome”. Studying Templeman’s tables also reveals that the Great Moguls Empire measures 1,116,000 square miles, the Red Sea spans eight miles where the Israelites crossed its waters, and the Spanish claim over Florida is spurious as it only controls Fort St. Augustin. He also corrects the misnomer that California was an Island based on the journey of a Spanish Jesuit in 1701.

Thomas Templeman (died 1729), was a schoolmaster in Bury St. Edmunds. He published a number of statistical works related to population, estimating, in the current work, that the population of the globe was 1.5 billion.


  1. Phillis 602.

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