Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Hondius, Jodocus

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HONDIUS, JODOCUS [Joos or Josse de Hondt] (1563–1611), engraver, born at Wacken in Flanders in 1563, was son of Olivier de Hondt and Petronella van Havertuyn. Hendrik Hondius the elder, the better-known engraver and publisher, was a brother; a sister was wife of Pieter van den Berghe, better known as Petrus Montanus. When he was two years old his parents removed to Ghent, and Hondius was educated there. He is said to have engraved original compositions on copper and ivory at the age of eight, and was apprenticed to a painter, from whom he learnt drawing. His talents attracted the notice of Alessandro Farnese, duke of Parma, the governor of the Netherlands, who gave him employment, and would have sent him to Italy. Hondius, however, remained at Ghent, studied Greek and Latin, busied himself with cosmography, type-founding, &c., until the siege of Ghent compelled him to take refuge in England. In London Hondius set up as a type-founder, an engraver of maps and charts, and a maker of globes and mathematical instruments. He made celestial and terrestrial globes larger than any known before. He engraved some of the earliest maps of England and other countries, and illustrated the voyages of Sir Francis Drake and Thomas Cavendish. He also engraved the portraits of the two navigators and those of Elizabeth, Henri IV, and Gerard Mercator. About 1594 Hondius removed with his household to Amsterdam. This may have been due to the death of Gerard Mercator, for Hondius purchased the plates of Mercator's ‘Atlas,’ and added fifty more in a new edition of the ‘Atlas’ published by him in 1606 at Amsterdam. He also published a treatise on the construction and use of the globes (1597), one on calligraphy with examples from the best masters (1594), and similar works. He died at Amsterdam on 10 Feb. 1611. He married on 11 April 1587, at the Dutch Church in Austin Friars, London, Colette van der Keere of Ghent, and by her had thirteen children, of whom two sons and four daughters survived. His two sons, Jodocus and Hendrik, both set up as publishers of prints, maps, &c., at Amsterdam, and completed the works left unfinished by their father, including the maps for Speed's ‘Britain.’

[Biography in the preface to Mercator and Hondius's Atlas (ed. 1633); Immerzeel and Kramm's Levens der Hollandsche Konstschilders, &c.; Dodd's manuscript Hist. of English Engravers (Brit. Mus. Add. MS. 33402); Moen's Reg. of the Dutch Church, Austin Friars; Hessel's Eccl. Lond.-Batav. ii. 592.]

L. C.