Mercator, Gerard

, an eminent geographer and mathematician, was born in 1512, at Ruremonde in the Low Countries. He applied himself with such industry to the sciences of geography and mathematics, that it has been said he often forgot to eat and sleep. The emperor Charles V. encouraged him much in his labours; and the tluke of Juliers made him his cosmographer. He composed and published a chronology; a larger and smaller atlas; and some geographical tables besides other books in philosophy and divinity. He was also so curious, as well as ingenious, that he engraved and coloured his maps himself. He made various maps, globes, and other mathematical instruments for the use of the emperor; and gave the most ample proofs of his uncommon skill in what he professed. His method of laying down charts is still used, which bear the name of “Mercator’s Charts;” also a part of navigation is from him called Mercator’s Sailing. He died at Duisbourg in 1594, at eighty-two years of age. 1


Moreri. —Foppen Bibl. Belg.Hutton’s Dict. Bullart’s Acadeinie de Sciences, vol. II. —Saxii Onomast.