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

The FIRST PRINTED MAP TO DISPLAY VIRGINIA AND NEW MEXICO. A map of such importance that I will quote directly from my book. “Known sometimes as the Hakluyt-Martyr map this accompanies Richard Hakluyt’s translation of all eight of Peter Martyr’s ‘Decades’. Hakluyt was resident in Paris between 1583 and 1588, as Chaplain to the English Ambassador to France, Sir Edward Stafford. As a scholar of geography this sojourn gave him an invaluable chance to study continental records of voyages and travel. Frequently missing from the book, the map does not really bear any relation to the text within; indeed Borba de Moraes believes that it was placed in the book after publication. It is possible that it was intended for an earlier work by Richard Hakluyt and that it was not ready at the time. This could possibly have been ‘El viaje que hizo Antonio de Espejo’ which he published in Paris in 1586. The cartographical correlation with this book is far stronger as will be seen later.

“There are a number of questions relating to this map. The doubt over its publication has already been raised, and even the identity of the engraver is uncertain. At first unknown, ‘F.G.S.’ was later taken to mean Filips Galle S(cripsit), the engraver and instigator of the miniature Ortelius atlas. However, in the lower left of the map appears a monogram noted in Nordenskiöld as being that of Leonardo Galter or Gaultier. This is more likely to be the engraver of the map. It makes far more sense for Hakluyt to have used someone resident in Paris rather than in Antwerp, and Gaultier was a well-known and prolific engraver of the period. The question then left unanswered is the meaning of the initials ‘F.G.S.’ They could only be either letters attached to Hakluyt’s name or a reference to the publisher of the map. The author, believing them to be more likely the former, has been unable to identify their meaning.

“Geographically it is a remarkable map, superior in many ways to those before it. The general shape of the continent is improved with the removal of the bulge to the west coast of South America, so prevalent in other maps of the period. The huge westward protuberance of the north-west of North America has also disappeared leaving a more recognisable coastline. Japan is positioned more accurately near the Asian coastline, with an unidentified line extending from it to California. One other feature common to maps of this period is also lacking, that of the southern continent. During Sir Francis Drake’s voyage around the world in 1577-80, having passed through the Strait of Magellan he found himself driven south by storms, possibly as far as 57o. This position south of Tierra del Fuego was amongst a series of archipelagos with no sign of a continental land mass. Drake’s presence here is recognised by the legend ‘Ins. Reginæ Elizabetæ 1579 ab Anglis’. In North America we also see an early reference to Drake on the west coast with ‘NOVA ALBION. Inuenta An.1580. ab Anglis’. A curious point about both the references to Drake is that the dates are both one year too late. This is probably an error, however it is thought that Queen Elizabeth I wanted to protect England’s new found knowledge and deceive her rivals with erroneous information.

“Here we find the first mention of ‘Nvevo Mexico’ on a printed map, and the first appearance of an inland lake in the west. This knowledge probably derives from António de Espejo who was sent out as a rescue party in 1582 to find three missing Franciscan friars. On his return he told of a large inland lake within the country he visited. The account of this voyage was first published in Madrid, 1586. Later in the same year Hakluyt published it privately in Paris and was instrumental in its translation and publication in French. This leads us back to the author’s supposition that the map was intended for one of these two latter works. The map is largely derived from Spanish and English sources, the former being given prime importance by the use of a meridian through Toledo. Various English references were then added by Hakluyt to encourage his country’s exploration in those waters. One English name is the first printed cartographic use of Virginia with the legend ‘Virginea 1584’. Walter Raleigh had been given the right to colonise the east coast of North America and after an exploratory voyage in 1584 settled upon Roanoke Island (North Carolina). The area was named after the ‘Virgin Queen’. The Carolina Banks are here depicted for the first time” (Burden). Borba de Moraes (1958) vol. 2, p. 31/ Burden 63/ Church (1907) no. 133/ Cumming (1962) no. 9/ Delpar (1980) p. 175/ The A. E. Nordenskiöld Collection no. 581/ Parks (1961)/ Skelton (1974) vol. 1, pp. 50-65/ Tyler (1952)/ Wagner (1937) pp. 82-3/ Wagner (1926)/ Wallis (1977) item 73, see p. 39/ Wheat (1957) vol. 1, p. 26/ Wroth (1944) p. 171 (erroneously calling it a world map).
HAKLUYT, Richard

Novvs Orbis Doctiss. et ornatiss. Rich. Hakluyto F.G.S.

Paris, 1587
160 x 210 mm., in good condition.
Stock number: 7049


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