Herman Moll (fl 1678-1732)
A Dutch emigre who came to London about 1680 following the Scanian Wars, he first worked as an engraver for Moses Pitt, later setting up his own business and becoming, after the turn of the century, the foremost map publisher in England.
As his fame grew he became a well known figure at in the group of Intelligencia who gathered at Jonathon's Coffee House in Exchange Alley or Change Alley. This narrow alleyway connecting shops and coffeehouses in an old neighbourhood of the City of London, served as a convenient shortcut from the Royal Exchange on Cornhill to the Post Office on Lombard Street. Shops once located in Exchange Alley included ship chandlers, makers of navigation instruments such as telescopes, and goldsmiths from Lombardy in Italy. The coffeehouses of Exchange Alley, especially Jonathan's and Garraway's, became an early venue for the lively trading of shares and commodities. Moll was able to obtain crucial information from the lively commercial and intellectual scene in the area.
Moll was at the forefront of mapmaking during his working life and his maps reflect his ever inquisitive nature.