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

EXTREMELY RARE FINAL STATE OF SAXTON’S MAP. This is the first printed map of Herefordshire in arguably its rarest state. Christopher Saxton (1542?-1610?) was born in the West Riding of Yorkshire. While the details of his early life are sketchy, it is known that he attended Cambridge University, and in 1570 he was apprenticed as a map maker to John Rudd, vicar of Dewsbury. In 1577 he received letters patent from Elizabeth I protecting his maps against plagiarism for the next ten years. As well as the Queen’s protection, Saxton also enjoyed the patronage of Thomas Seckford, Master of the Queen’s Requests, whose mottoes are found on the maps. Saxton began work on his county maps in about 1574. He had this map engraved in 1577, but the atlas was not completed until 1579. It is engraved by Remy Hogenberg. The atlas was priced at £5 in 1585. A very high price when Abraham Ortelius’ atlas was available for 10s. An instant success the plate was issued for over 120 years.

Ownership of the plates passed to William Webb and then to Philip Lea. They then passed to George Willdey who applied his imprint below the now Anglicised title. Thomas Willdey, successor to George, died in 1748 and the business was closed as there were many creditors. It would seem logical to assume that it was sometime shortly after that Thomas Jefferys (1719-71) acquired them. Only two years earlier he had been appointed Geographer to the Prince of Wales and was just finding his feet. He began his esteemed career as an engraver and turned to publishing. No doubt these plates came his way at a tempting price. The atlas was not advertised and it would seem that Jefferys was content to sell the maps loose only binding a collection of the maps on request. Certainly this is supported by the fact that only FOUR EXAMPLES SURVIVE. Jeffery’s removed the imprint of Willdey and in most cases it is otherwise difficult to differentiate this state from that of Philip Lea previously. An extremely rare edition. Evans (1964) MCC no. 13 p. 6; Evans & Lawrence (1979) pp. 53-8 & 163; Hodson (1984-97) I no. 184; Shirley (2004) T.Sax 1h; Skelton (1970) 1; Smith (2004) Hereford p. 64; Worms & Baynton-Williams (2011).

SAXTON, Christopher – JEFFERYS, Thomas

The County of Hereford resurveyed & enlarged

London, 1577-[c.1749]
EXTREMELY RARE FINAL STATE OF SAXTON’S MAP. 375 x 505 mm., lower margin extended, otherwise a nice impression in good condition.
Stock number: 10904
£ 1,750
Send us your name and email address.
We'll add you to our subscriber list and alert you to new catalogues and similar news