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This map of Glamorganshire is by arguably the most famous English cartographer, John Speed (1552-1629) and first published in the ‘Theatre of the Empire of Great Britain’, 1612. Speed’s maps are noted for being the first to include the boundaries of the hundreds and for introducing town plans on the maps, here those of Cardiff and Landaffe are found in the upper corners. The title ornately sits between the two. The atlas was the first of the whole British Isles. Speed was a tailor by trade and had a fascination for history. He used numerous sources for the counties and had the plates engraved by Jodocus Hondius in Amsterdam. The work took several years to prepare, hence earlier dates appear on some maps. This issue is from the extremely rare post Bassett and Chiswell edition by Henry Overton in ‘England Fully Described’, 1743. Following the Bassett and Chiswell edition of 1676 the plates were sold by Christopher Browne of which only a handful of examples bound together exist. Browne disposed of them it is believed in 1713, upon his retirement. Despite Skelton citing their ownership by Henry’s father John Overton c.1700, the evidence appears otherwise. The date 1713 is arrived at by the fact that the last known advert by Browne was in the ‘Daily Courant’ 14 August 1712 and by 1715 his shop was occupied by George Willdey. Also in 1713 Henry Overton abandoned his scheme for a series of county maps and ceased production of newly engraved plates. There are four distinct issues by Overton over some thirty years. This is an example of 1743 edition of Overton following the removal of ‘1610’ from Hondius’ imprint lower left. Provenance: Doreen Green 2008. Hodson 138; Shirley (2004) T.Spe 1n.
SPEED, John – OVERTON, Henry
Glamorgan Shyre With the sittuations of the cheife towne Cardyff and ancient Landaffe described
Henry Overton at the White Horse without Newgate, London, 1612-
385 x 510 mm., recent outline and wash colour, small paper crease, otherwise in good condition.