Menu
 Introduction
 Catalogue
 Essay
 Handlist
 Museums
 Makers
 Bibliography
 Places
 Conventions
 Articles
 Credits
 Glossary
 Help
 Search
 Index
 Humfrey Cole
Humfrey Cole (c. 1530-91) was the first native-born maker of the English mathematical instrument trade. He came from the north of England but worked in London and had a shop or stall in St Paul's Churchyard. As well as being responsible for 26 surviving instruments, including astrolabes, sundials, altazimuth theodolites and compendia, he also had an official position in the Mint in the Tower of London, as a die-sinker for coinage.

Recognised by contemporaries as the leading mathematical instrument maker of the day, Cole supplied navigational instruments for the voyages of Martin Frobisher in search of the North-West passage in the 1570s. As well as instruments, Cole also engraved maps and there is a surviving map of the Holy Land by him. In both media Cole's engraving style is clearly related to prior Flemish practice and he in turn was a major influence on the succeeding generation of English makers.

For instruments by Humfrey Cole, see:
   Astrolabe, Signed by Humfrey Cole, London, Dated 1574 (London, BM)
   Astronomical Compendium, Signed by Humfrey Cole, London, Dated 1568 (Oxford, MHS)
   Astronomical Compendium, Signed by Humfrey Cole, London, Dated 1575 (London, BM)
   Folding Rule, Signed by Humfrey Cole, London, Dated 1575 (Firenze, IMSS)
   Folding Rule, Signed by Humfrey Cole, London, Dated 1575 (Oxford, MHS)
   Gunner's Folding Rule, Signed by Humfrey Cole, London, Dated 1575 (London, BM)
   Gunner's Folding Rule, Signed by Humfrey Cole, London, circa 1580 (London, BM)
   Horizontal Dial, Signed by Humfrey Cole, London, Dated 1579 (Oxford, MHS)
   Nocturnal, Signed by Humfrey Cole, London, circa 1575 (London, BM)
   Plane Table Alidade, Signed by Humfrey Cole, London, Dated 1582 (Oxford, MHS)
   Ring Dial, Signed by Humfrey Cole, London, circa 1575 (London, BM)
   Theodolite, Signed by Humfrey Cole, London, Dated 1586 (Oxford, MHS)

References:

S. Ackermann (ed.), Humphrey Cole: Mint, Measurement and Maps in Elizabethan England, (London, 1998); R. T. Gunther, "The Great Astrolabe and other Scientific Instruments of Humphrey Cole", Archaeologia, 76 (1927), pp. 273-317.

|| Introduction || Essay || Museums || Bibliography || Conventions || Credits || Privacy || Help ||
|| Catalogue entries || Handlist || Makers || Places || Articles || Glossary || Search || Home ||