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

The Mapping of North America

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

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This is the sixth and last Latin edition of William Camden’s ‘Britannia’ first published in 1586. It is the last to be published in his lifetime and the first to be illustrated with county maps although this had been contemplated since at least 1589. In that year Abraham Ortelius advised Camden to use the services of a Dutch firm of engravers such as the brothers Doetecum. Camden (1551-1623) was an antiquary and historian. An academic by profession he would become the headmaster of Westminster School in 1593. He spent much of his time travelling and collecting material for his highly respected Britannia. The Britannia is a noble piece of literature carefully composed over many years and is the fruit of deep and diligent research. It was the first great history of the Islands and was first published in 1586. An instant success it would go on to many editions over the ensuing two centuries.

Forty one of the maps are derived from those of Christopher Saxton, six from John Norden. The balance can be attributed to other sources including William Smith. Of the maps twenty one are signed by William Hole as engraver, thirty four to William Kip; two bear no engraver’s name. The general maps are all derived from Mercator as published in 1595. Those maps of Bedfordshire, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Cambridgeshire, Cumberland, Huntingdonshire, Kent, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Nottinghamshire, Oxfordshire, Rutland, Westmoreland, the Yorkshire Ridings and many of the Welsh counties are the first separate maps of the counties.

The publisher George Bishop (fl. 1562-1611) was one of the first English born booksellers to be significant in the import market. He married Mary Cawood daughter of the Queen’s printer John Cawood, was five times Master of the Stationers’ Company and an Alderman of the City of London. John Norton dominated the trade and published the undated miniature Ortelius, c.1601. In 1604 he acquired a patent for ‘all charts and maps’. Provenance: ‘Bibliotec Ste. Nicolai de Arenij, et usum Placidi Scammacea à Catena’. Chubb 18; Shirley BL T.Camd 1a; Skelton 5; STC 4508; Taylor ‘Late Tudor and Early Stuart Geography’ pp. 9- 13.

CAMDEN, William

Britannia, sive florentissimorum regnorum Angliae.

London, 1607
FULL CONTEMPORARY WASH COLOUR. Folio (340 x 255 mm.), contemporary calf, with gilt centre-piece of Eton College on both boards, rebacked preserving some of the original spine. Bound by Williamson the College book binder. Additional engraved title, 8 engraved plates of coins and 57 engraved maps by William Kip and William Hole after John Norden and Christopher Saxton, all in full early hand colour. Some light water staining which has affected only a small number of the maps, otherwise in very good condition.
Stock number: 2302


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