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

Previous Page Next Page
John Norden (c.1547-1625) is noted as being the first person to undertake a complete series of county histories. Unfortunately, he suffered financial issues during his life which limited the reach of the project. This is largely due to ‘the Puritan tracts he wrote to raise money and his flattering dedication to Essex shortly before the uprising of 1599 set him so far out of political favour that he never received the patronage necessary to finance expensive surveys’ (Globe). The first part was successfully published in 1593 which covered Middlesex, Hertfordshire followed in 1598. No others were published during his lifetime, but he left a few further county histories in manuscript form. That of Cornwall was written in 1610 and was eventually published here in 1728. Lowndes states that the text is derived from Richard Carew’s ‘Survey of Cornwall’, 1602, although it is thought Norden was in the county as early as 1584.

Ravenhill studies the history of the manuscript which was acquired by Benjamin Cowse in 1720. Shortly after he was persuaded to part with the accompanying manuscript maps to Roger Gale. He was a bookseller at the Globe in Paternoster Row active from 1714-44. By 1726 Cowse had sold the manuscript text to his “friend and associate” Christopher Bateman for £20 (Ravenhill). Bateman was similarly a bookseller at the Bible & Crown in Paternoster Row. He hoped to redeem his business by publishing the manuscript. Gale was happy to loan the manuscript maps which had been removed, so that they may be engraved for the intended work. This engraving was undertaken by John Pine (1690?-1756), and is one of his earlier works.

Four examples were printed on vellum, one for his patron, the Earl of Oxford, another for Dr. Richard Rawlinson. Indeed, it was Rawlinson who penned the four page ‘Some Account of the Author, by the Editor’. The plate of ‘St. Germans in Cornwall’ is duly dedicated to him. In this example it found bound as is often the case opposite page 93 and the alphabetical description of the location. One of four examples of this work printed on vellum was sold by Christie’s in 2002 for £11,950. It came from the library of Beriah Botfield at Longleat.

Ravenhill goes on to speculate that Bateman “arranged for a set of the engraved maps to be coloured with hues similar to those on the original maps”. That example went to the library of Lord Oxford from where it was transferred to the Harleian Collection at the British Museum, now British Library. He goes on to state that about 200 copies were printed. This is a desirable example in early colour; indeed no example could be found on Rare Book Hub having appeared in auction.

The manuscript, originally presented to James I, survives in the Department of Manuscripts at the British Library (Harl. MS 6252). In 1971 it was reported that the 14 manuscript maps to accompany the text had been rediscovered at Trinity College, Cambridge (MS. 0.4.19). Provenance: Blackwells Bookshop; private English collection; Clive A. Burden Ltd. Catalogue IX (2012) item 68; private English collection. ESTC T127847; Globe (1985) p. 98; ‘Imago Mundi’ no. 25 p. 100 Chronicle; Lowndes (1864) p. 1698; Quixley (2018) 6; Ravenhill (1972); Shirley (2004) T.Nord 1a & 1b; Upcott (1968) I p. 78; Worms & Baynton-Williams (2011).


Speculi Britanniae Pars. A Topographicall and Historicall Description of Cornwall

William Pearson for the editor, and sold by Christopher Bateman, London, 1728
Quarto (290 x 230 mm.), fine recent half calf, marbled paper boards with gilt ruling, rebacked preserving original ornate gilt decorated ribbed spine, with calf title label. With engraved title, typographic title, engraved dedication leaf and 10 double-page engraved maps (1 general of Cornwall), all in EARLY OUTLINE COLOUR, pp. (18), 104, (2), with 13 engravings set within the text, 1 full page and 1 letterpress table, in very good condition.
Stock number: 10957
£ 3,950
Send us your name and email address.
We'll add you to our subscriber list and alert you to new catalogues and similar news