John Rocque

(c. 1704—1762) land surveyor and cartographer

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(1704/5?–62), French surveyor who probably reached England in 1709 as a refugee, later serving as an apprentice and journeyman. In his first publication, a plan of Richmond (1734), he described himself as dessinateur de jardins. As usual with Rocque, the authenticity of details—extent of plantations, types of trees, garden developments as shown in revisions of plan—cannot be blindly accepted. Further garden plans, notably Wrest Park (1735), Claremont (1738), Painshill (1744), and Wilton House (1746) followed. Usually the competent survey is more thought provoking than the marginal pictures, which tend to be unimaginative and may depict humans, animals, or boats out of proportion with the background. Rocque's town plans, including the often-reproduced ‘London’ (1746), show formal layouts predominating in suburban seats and details of agribusiness—cherry markets and nursery gardens.

From The Oxford Companion to the Garden in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Lifestyle, Home, and Garden.

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