Thomas Jefferys (1695 - November 20, 1771) was one of the most prominent and prolific map publishers and engravers of his day. Jefferys was born in Birmingham and was apprenticed to the engraver Emmanuel Bowen in 1735. Later, in the 1740s he engraved several maps for the popular periodical The Gentleman's Magazine. Around 1740 Jefferys was finally able to go into business for himself and in 1746 received an appointment as 'Geographer to Fredrick, Prince of Wales,' which shortly after translated to the position of 'Royal Cartographer to King George III.' Jefferys specialized in compiling and re-engraving the works of earlier cartographers into more coherent cartographic wholes. While not salaried position, Jefferys appointment as 'Royal Cartographer' allowed him preferential access to the most up to date cartographic material available. He his best known for his maps of the America, particularly posthumously published 1775 American Atlas, which included some of the finest and most important late colonial era maps of America ever made. Despite his prolific publishing history, royal appointments, and international publishing fame, Jefferys lived most of his life in dire economic straits. It is recorded that he had to be bailed out of bankruptcy by the Sayer firm during the production of the plates for the American Atlas. In the end, Jefferys died with very little. Nonetheless, his cartographic legacy survived him, even after his death in 1771, many of his important maps continued to be published and republished by Sayer and Bennet, Conrad Lotter, Georges Louis Le Rouge, and others. Many attribute some of Jefferys best maps to the colorful and criminally inclined cartographic genius Braddock Mead, who is considered the 'secret behind Jefferys.' Jefferys was succeeded by his son, also Thomas, who had little success as a cartographer and eventually sold his stock and plates to William Faden.