Dictionary of Irish Architects 1720 - 1940

Surveyor and cartographer. John (or Jean) Rocque, who appears to have been born into an émigré French Huguenot family circa 1704-5, spent most of his career in London. His first published plan was of the garden of Richmond Lodge (1734); this was followed by plans of other English gardens and estates, including Windsor Park (1738). He is described as topographer to Frederick, Prince of Wales, in 1751. In August 1754 he came to Dublin to make a survey of the city(1) and established his premises on Lower Ormond Quay, where he also sold imported maps.(2) He had completed his plan of Dublin by September 1756, when he presented it to the Lords Justices.(3) In 1758 he annnounced his proposal to survey and engrave maps of Counties Dublin and Armagh at a price of one guinea to subscribers.(4) He also made surveys of the cities of Cork and Kilkenny and of the estates of the Earl of Kildare.(5) He left Ireland in 1760 (6) and died two years later on 27 January 1762.

Rocque's influence on Irish cartography was considerable.(7) His pupils and assistants included Samuel Andrews, John Powell, Matthew Wren, and his brother-in-law BERNARD SCAL BERNARD SCAL É. The John Rocque who was a nurseryman in Milltown Road Dublin in the 1770s and 1780s was presumably related to the cartographer, possibly a son of his brother Bartholomew Rocque (d. 1767) who was a well-known nurseryman in Walham Green, Middlesex.


For a fuller account of Rocque's career and works, see John Varley, 'John Rocque. Engraver, Surveyor, Cartographer and Map-seller.', in Imago Mundi 5 ((1948), 83-91.  For a study of his Dublin map, see Colm Lennon & John Montague, John Rocque's Dublin: a guide to the Georgian city (Dublin: Royal Irish Academy, 2010). 

(1) Faulkner's Dublin Journal, 17-20 Aug 1754.
(2) Faulkner's Dublin Journal, 22-25 May 1756.
(3) Faulkner's Dublin Journal, 18-21 Sep 1756.
(4) Faulkner's Dublin Journal, 26-30 Sep 1758.
(5) Faulkner's Dublin Journal, 12-15 Jan 1760.
(6) See note 5, above.
(7) See J.H. Andrews, Plantation Acres (Ulster Historical Foundation, 1985), 162-6 and passim.