This decorative map of Merionithshire is by arguably the most famous English cartographer, John Speed (1552-1629) first published in 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 for the counties and had the plates engraved by Jodocus Hondius in Amsterdam. The book took several years to prepare hence earlier dates appear on some. His maps are noted for being the first to include the boundaries of the hundreds, and for introducing town plans on the maps, here a plan of Harlech on the right. This issue is from the 1627 edition, the first to include a foreign atlas and bears descriptive text on the verso. Booth (1977) pp. 30-34; Skelton (1970) nos. 7 & 16.