FIRST EDITION. This attractive map of the county of Essex is by arguably the most famous English cartographer, John Speed (1552-1629). It was published in the first edition of the ‘Theatre of the Empire of Great Britain’, 1612. It was the first atlas of the whole British Isles. He was a tailor by trade and had a fascination for history. He used numerous sources, in this case John Norden (1547?-1625), and had the plates engraved by Jodocus Hondius in Amsterdam. The book took several years to prepare hence earlier dates appear on some, but in this case no earlier proof exists. His maps are noted for being the first to include the boundaries of the hundreds, and for introducing town plans on the maps, here being the city of Colchester. A fine dark impression. Skelton (1970) 7.