Jodocus Hondius (1563-1612) a native of Flanders grew up in Ghent. He was apprenticed as an instrument and globe maker and map engraver. In 1584 he fled to London to escape the religious troubles sweeping the Low Countries. While there he came into contact with the leading scientists and geographers of the day and engraved maps for The Mariner’s Mirrour and Waghenaer’s Sea Atlas as well as others with Pieter van den Keere, his brother in law. He returned to Holland in 1593 settling in Amsterdam furnished with an international reputation. Speed chose Hondius to engrave the plates for The Theatre of the Empire of Great Britaine between 1605 and 1610. In 1604 Hondius bought the plates of Mercator’s Atlas, which although excellent, had been overshadowed by Ortelius’s Theatrum Orbis Terrarum. To compete against Ortelius, Hondius added a further 40 maps and from 1606 onwards published enlarged editions in many languages. These atlases have become known as the Mercator/Hondius series. In 1607 the maps were re-engraved in miniature form and issued as a pocket Atlas Minor. After his death, work on the two atlases was carried out by his widow and sons, Jodocus II and Henricus (1587 -1638) and eventually in conjunction with Jan Jansson. In all, from 1606 onwards nearly 50 editions, with increasing numbers of maps with texts in the main European languages were printed.