Nicholas Lane

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Nicholas Lane
Other names Nycholas Lane
Occupation surveyor and cartographer
Years active circa 1618–1640
Employer Charles I of England

Nicholas Lane was an English surveyor and cartographer, active in the early part of the seventeenth century, rising to prominence in his works for King Charles I.

Lane's early work included a plan of Oxdownes, Cobham, Surrey dated 1618, a copy of which is held in the Surrey History Centre.[1][2]

In the 1620s he mapped land at Chessington belonging to Merton College, Oxford.[3] The area was the subject of a long running manor boundary dispute between the College's land and Royal land of Nonsuch Great Park the part of which that subsequently became known as Worcester Park. Lane's map of 1627 documents the final resolution of the dispute, a decision subsequently re-confirmed by Charles I in 1633.[4]

Charles I commissioned Lane to map the proposed site of his new hunting park at Richmond. This pre-enclosure map of Richmond Park, surveyed in 1632 but completed in 1637/8, depicts the mixture of common land and private holdings and the route of the projected wall to surround the new park. Annotations on the map are believed to be in the hand of Charles I.[5] [6] Charles I subsequently commissioned Lane for the design of the Longford River in 1638–39.[7]

Lane's noble clients included Francis Browne, 3rd Viscount Montagu, who, in 1635, commissioned Lane to survey his holdings at Cowdray, Easebourne Priory and Verdley.[8]

In 1637 Lane produced several maps of areas of fenland including Great Common Fen at Wisbech, others between Crowland and Eye and a sketch map of Laddus Fen near Upwell.[9][10][11] He also surveyed fens around Ramsey belonging to Oliver Cromwell.[12][13]

Lane's surviving work provides a valuable resource for historians. For example, Lane's 1636 plan of Putney, combined with the 1665 hearth tax list provided a key source required to reconstruct a detailed view of life in the London suburb in the late seventeenth century.[14]


  1. ^ Walker, T. E. C. (1965), "Hampton Court Chase", in Harrison, E. E., Surrey Archaeological Collections, 62, Surrey Archaeological Society, p. 85 
  2. ^ "Surrey History Centre Archives Index: Zs/126/1". Surrey County Council. Retrieved 16 November 2012. 
  3. ^ "HER 4263 – Park Pale". Exploring Surrey's Past. Retrieved 16 November 2012. 
  4. ^ Surrey archaeological collections. 64. Surrey Archaeological Society. 1858. p. 85. 
  5. ^ "Surrey: Richmond. Map of Richmond Common, Petersham Common and Mortlake Common, with parts of Roehampton, Kingston, Wimbledon and Combe, showing the extent of the 'New Park' [Richmond Park] to be enclosed by King Charles I". The National Archives. Retrieved 16 November 2012. 
  6. ^ David McDowall (1996). Richmond Park: The Walker's Historical Guide. pp. 10–11. ISBN 095278470X. 
  7. ^ "History and Architecture". The Royal Parks. Archived from the original on 23 July 2012. Retrieved 16 November 2012. 
  8. ^ "EASEBOURNE COWDRAY/1627 1635/6". The National Archives. Retrieved 16 November 2014. 
  9. ^ "Cambridgeshire: Wisbech. Map of Great Common Fen and its surroundings, showing drains and dikes". The National Archives. Retrieved 16 November 2012. 
  10. ^ "Cambridgeshire; Lincolnshire; Northamptonshire. Map of the Fens in an area between Crowland and Eye". The National Archives. Retrieved 16 November 2012. 
  11. ^ "Sketch map of part of Laddus Fen, showing Elm Leame". The National Archives. Retrieved 16 November 2012. 
  12. ^ "Sketch map showing 'Wigging Moore', 'Wigging: Sir Oliver Cromell's', 'Abbotts Pingle' and common belonging to Ramsey". The National Archives. Retrieved 16 November 2012. 
  13. ^ Wells, Samuel A. (1 August 1828). History of the Drainage of the Great Level of the Fens Called Bedford Level. 2. p. 327. 
  14. ^ Falvey, Heather. "A review of Putney and Roehampton in 1665 A street directory and guide by Dorian Gerhold". British Association for Local History. Archived from the original on 19 April 2013. Retrieved 16 November 2012. 

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