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

The Mapping of North America

Mr. Philip D. Burden‚Äč
P.O. Box 863,
Chalfont St. Giles, Bucks HP6 9HD,
Tel: +44 (0) 1494 76 33 13
Email: enquiries@caburden.com

FIRST EDITION. The ‘Theatre of the Empire of Great Britaine’ by John Speed is arguably the second most important English county atlas ever printed and quite probably the most famous. Speed was a tailor by trade who had a fascination for history. It is the earliest published atlas of the entire British Isles and the first series of county maps to uniformly depict the boundaries, “the Shires diuisions, into Lathes, Hundreds, Wapentakes and Cantreds … I have separated”. He goes on to tell us that the source for much of this information was the ‘Parlament Rowles’, roads are not identified. The wood-blocks cut for the verso text are the work of Christopher Schwytzer. The text itself is largely derived from that of William Camden’s ‘Britannia’. The engraving of the maps is the work of Jodocus Hondius (1563-1612). This example of the county of Oxfordshire is from the first edition. His maps are noted for introducing town plans, this has a detailed plan of Oxford and a key to 28 locations. The side panels feature the arms of the Colleges. One of the more decorated Speed county maps. Globe (1985) p. 99; Hind (1952-55) II pp. 67-95; Schilder (2007) pp. 481-2; Schilder (2008) pp. 165-70; Shirley (2004) T.Spe 1b; Skelton (1970) no. 7; Tooley ‘John Speed. A Personal View’, in ‘The Map Collector’ no. 1 pp. 4-9; Worms & Baynton-Williams (2011).

Oxfordshire described with ye Citie and the Armes of the Colledges of yt famous University. Ao. 1605

London, 1612
390 x 525 mm., with some repair work to top and bottom of the centrefold, two minor tears in the margins repaired, otherwise in good condition.
Stock number: 9646


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