Thomas Taylor (fl.1670-1730) was a book, print and map seller in London, between 1670 and 1721. His various addresses are recorded as 'next door to the Beehive on London Bridge', 'at the Hand and Bible in the New Buildings on London Bridge' and 'at Ye Golden Lyon, over against Serjeants Inn in Fleet Street'. He was also responsible for the publication of several maps including England exactly described [...] in 1715 containing maps of the English counties which had been issued previously in Speed's Maps Epitomiz'd in 1681 and in other works. However, Taylor is significant in a Welsh context for publishing the small county atlas The Principality of Wales exactly described [...] in 1718, which seems to have been the first published atlas relating entirely to Wales.
The title page of the volume is enclosed by a double-lined border enclosing a leaf design. Unlike the maps in England exactly described, the ten maps in his Welsh atlas appear to be new. They are not numbered and are described and arranged as follows in the atlas:
Pembrokeshire with its hundreds 1718
A new mapp of Carmarthenshire with its hundreds by Tho: Taylor 1718
A new mapp of Glamorganshire with its hundreds by Tho: Taylor 1718
Brecknockshire with its hundreds by Tho: Taylor. Radnorshire with its hundreds by Tho: Taylor 1718
Cardiganshire described with its hundreds by Tho: Taylor 1718
A new mapp of Montgomeryshire with its hundreds by Tho: Taylor 1718
A new mapp of Merionethshire described with all its hundreds by Tho: Taylor 1718
Denbighshire by Tho: Taylor. Flintshire by Tho: Taylor 1718
A new mapp of Caernarvonshire by Tho: Taylor 1718
A new mapp of the Isle of Anglesey with its hundreds by Tho: Taylor 1718
The titles and dates, except those of Pembrokeshire and Merioneth, appear within ornamental cartouches which are the only decorative features of the maps. Pembrokeshire's decorative cartouche bears a dedication by Taylor to Sir John Philipps of Picton Castle, near Haverfordwest and is the only map to have such an inscription.
The maps are all drawn to a fairly uniform scale of about 1 inch to 7 miles or 1:443520. A scale bar of 10 miles is shown on each map. All bear the imprint "Sold by Tho: Taylor at the Golden Lyon in Fleet Street", all are dated 1718 and measure 18 x 25 cm. within their double-lined plain border, each being on a double page with a blank back. Taylor’s maps generally show individual counties, together with some incomplete detail of the adjoining counties. Breconshire and Radnorshire appear on the same sheet, as do Denbighshire and Flintshire, and according to the tradition of the time, Monmouthshire is omitted as it was considered to be part of England.
The mountains and hills are represented pictorially as 'molehills' and the larger rivers are engraved and occasionally named. The locations of towns and larger villages are shown and they are named, together with the hundreds, which appear on most maps, the latter being accompanied by their listing in an inventory. Hundreds are not displayed in the maps of Denbighshire, Flintshire and Caernarfonshire. Castles, highways, distances from Ogilby's survey and a compass rose appear on each map.