Clive A. Burden LTD. Rare Maps, Antique Atlases, Books and Decorative Prints

The Mapping of North America

Mr. Philip D. Burden‚Äč
P.O. Box 863,
Chalfont St. Giles, Bucks HP6 9HD,
Tel: +44 (0) 1494 76 33 13

One of the most desirable and rare early maps of England and Wales. The engraver is unidentified, but fundamentally he followed Christopher Saxton. The cartographer introduced one clear advance; the peninsula of Cornwall is re-orientated more correctly north-east to south-west. Along with the county map of Cornwall within, it stands alone for some time as the only map to illustrate it correctly. Others would follow the Saxton and Speed orientation. One other noted improvement in the atlas is the addition of longitude and latitude markings to the left and lower margins, the earliest set of printed county maps to do so. The Prime Meridian is given as the Azores.

John Bill (1576-1630) was the son of Walter Bill a husbandman of Wenlock in Shropshire. Making his way to London, John Bill was apprenticed to the successful publisher and bookseller John Norton 25 July 1592. His scholarship particularly in Latin attracted the attention of Thomas Bodley founder of the Bodleian Library, who commissioned Bill to travel and acquire books on his behalf from about 1599. In 1601 he was freed and joined the Stationer’s Company setting up in business on his own in 1603. He became the King’s Printer in 1604, an honour he was to hold until his death in 1630. He was an active attendee of the Frankfurt Book Fair. His only other cartographic contribution was as co-publisher with Norton of the English edition of Abraham Ortelius’ Theatre of the World, 1606, the first folio world atlas in the English language.

On the verso of the map is a cute handwritten poem:

If any one this Book Should find; I hope they will not Prove unkind

But restore to me the same; For underneath is my own name

James Tomlinson’s Book October ye 17th. 1771

James Tomlinson is the Right Owner of the Book 1772

Provenance: manuscript notation of James Tomlinson 1771; Doreen Green 2003; private English collection. Chubb (1927) 41; ESTC 107395; King (2003) pp. 108-9; Shirley (1991) 393; Skelton (1970) 15; Worms ‘History of Cartography’ Volume 3, part 2, pp. 1711-12; Worms & Baynton-Williams (2011).

BILL, John

A Tipe of England

London, 1626
100 x 130 mm., good margins, with manuscript ownership on verso, some finger soiling, otherwise in good condition.
Stock number: 10620


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