Leonard Digges, Tectonicon
Tectonicon was published first in 1556, two years after the seizure of Digges’ lands for his involvement in Wyatt’s revolt. So, while it is ostensibly (and practically) a mathematical text, Tectonicon’s author had a political interest in the demarcation of property. This may in part explain why Felix Kyngston printed it three times in the decade leading up to the Civil War: 1630, 1634, and 1637. This flurry of printings also reflects the efficacy of Digges’ by-then classic surveying text (it had been printed eleven other times), which is at its core a geometric polemic against preventable “vulgar errors” in the assessment of land. More than other geometry texts, like Benese’s, Digges’ employed careful diagrams which featuring the human surveyor as a means of guiding future, politically-engaged practitioners. This precision and attention to persons foreshadows the political pressure with which surveying was to be conducted, as well as the nation’s growing interest in a kind of science of land ownership.