17.75 x 33.75 Inches.
Samuel and Nathaniel Buck were brothers who were born in Yorkshire, England at around the turn of the 18th century. After spending their formative years in the north, they moved south to the great bustling metropolis that was London, as so many rural people did in those days, seeking their possible fame and fortune. As young men, around 1724, they set out and began an ambitious work to traverse each and every county within England and Wales. They began to engrave and prepare the particular countys antiquities be they free standing or semi ruinous castles, stately homes, or religious and monastic buildings of importance and consequence although many were in an extremely poor state of neglect and abject disrepair after the first King Henry VIII in the 16th century, and then Oliver Cromwell later in the 17th century had their respective religious purges. It was during the preparation of these collections of county antiquities that the Buck brothers struck on the novel idea to also engrave some of the more important cities and towns. So, in my opinion, what resulted was the most wondrous, most influential and most important topographical undertaking that was ever done of England and Wales, not only of the 18th century but also for many years afterward. Prior to Bucks magnificent copper plate panoramas, virtually nothing had been done to depict views of significant English cities and towns. Only a handful were included in the atlas by Braun and Hogenberg in their Civitates Orbis Terrurum published in Cologne in 1581. I honestly feel that there is nothing at all to compare with these exquisite panoramas, in terms of technical skill, engraved detail and sheer scale and size. I also feel that a huge debt of gratitude is owed to these two enterprising and ambitious brothers, who have left us not only with a wonderful and enduring legacy, but also a truly unique glimpse and brief insight into an English way of life that can never be replicated nor indeed pass our way ever again. The origins of Lincoln, in the East Midlands region of England, can be traced as far back as Iron Age times, with a small settlement being founded around the first century B.C. When the Romans came, they built a hilltop fortress, overlooking the River Witham. After the Romans came the Danish Vikings in the ninth century. Lincoln was by then firmly established as a trading center; it also minted its own coins. With the Norman Conquest in 1066, William I shortly thereafter ordered a sturdy Norman Castle to be built on, and over the earlier Roman structure. This most lovely, and most attractive cathedral, as seen here, had a checkered early life. After its eventual completion in 1092 it suffered heavily as the result of fire, and in 1185, suffered at the hands of an earthquake. The Bishops of Lincoln were extremely powerful men in medieval times. The diocese of Lincoln was very large indeed, it is said that it had more monasteries within it, than all of the rest of Europe combined! In the twelfth century, Lincoln was a very wealthy city indeed, based mostly on the cloth and wool trade. As a result, in the thirteenth century it had risen to become the third largest city in England. A century later however, things were very different, the city fell into a steep decline, as plagues, and continual flooding to the lower parts of the city took their twin toll of life and trade. The city suffered also, during the English Civil war. Published in 1743, this truly marvelous copperplate panorama by Samuel and Nathaniel Buck of the city of Lincoln, shows a small city nestled neatly between the river, and the imposing medieval cathedral. As befits a city with such a large diocese, many churches are depicted, along with the ancient ruined castle. In the foreground we see a group of fishermen, with a dog, and in addition, some people taking a stroll through some delightful open woodland. Description prepared for Arader Galleries by Ian Williams.