This map is part of the great Quartermaster’s Map. It is known as this because of the general title referring to its usefulness to ‘all Comanders for Quarteringe of Souldiers, & all sorts of Persons, that would be informed, Where the Armies be; never so Commodiously drawne before this. 1644’. It was as stated used widely during the English Civil War, particularly by the Parliamentarians with whom the publisher Thomas Jenner’s sympathies lay. Jenner (fl. c.1618-73, d.1673) was a print and mapseller who set up in business at the White Bear in Cornhill about 1618. Until the impending Civil War Jenner was not known for cartographic material. Then in 1643 he published a revised edition of the ‘Direction for the English Traviller’ whose plates he had acquired from his printer Matthew Simmons. Jenner had timed his move perfectly. Demand for maps and tools to help the large numbers of people moving about the country at the time of the Civil War was on the increase. The market for the little atlas clearly proved so great that he was attracted to do more. He engaged the services of the noted engraver Wenceslaus Hollar to etch a reduction of Christopher Saxton’s great wall map of 1583. This would enable his customers to have a more detailed and yet still portable map of England and Wales.
Hollar (1607-77) is described by Pennington in glowing terms: ‘Of all etchers, Hollar is certainly the most varied in subject, one of the most accomplished in technique, and with a style that is full of a charm, a humour, and a good nature that are evidently the character of the man himself’. He was born in Prague and made his way to England in the party of Lord Arundel arriving in London in late December 1636. By 1644 Hollar had already done some work for Jenner which included working on at least two of the re-engraved plates for the ‘Direction for the English Traviller’ published in 1643. The published history of the Quartermaster’s Map is long and complicated extending to 1824. Its earliest form is that which bears the date 1644 on the title. The plates were then acquired by John Garrett who issued the third edition in 1675. It was revised almost immediately in to a fourth edition the following year. In 1688 single line roads were added to those double-lined which had only just been introduced. It is this edition from which this plate comes. It is the fourth state of this particular plate which covers East Anglia and much of the midlands. Harley & Skelton (1972); Pennington (1982) 652-7; Shirley (1980) no. 537; Wing H2447.