This card is part of a pack that was first announced by Robert Morden (fl.1669-1703) in the ‘Easter Term Catalogues’ for 5 May 1676 and are otherwise undated. For each county Morden displays below the map its Length, Breadth and Circumference in Old English miles. Below that he gives the chief city or town and its distance from London first in reputed and then measured miles according to John Ogilby. Lastly, he states their latitude. Each map bears the roads featured by Ogilby in his ‘Britannia’ of 1675 ‘with his leave’, the main ones double lined and minor ones identified by one. Each bears a compass for bearing. In most cases, they are the first printed maps of the county to include roads, included within only six months of Ogilby’s publication.
This map of Worcestershire is from a rare later issue of Morden’s playing cards entitled ‘A Brief Description of England and Wales’ by Homan Turpin. The whereabouts of the plates since Morden last issued them is unknown, but they eventually came into Turpin’s possession. He was a bookseller from at least 1764 to 1787 who interestingly traded in second-hand books and buying libraries. The date of their issue is speculative, as none of the six known Turpin catalogues list the cards it has been presumed to have been issued late in his career. Arber (1903-06) I. 263; Hodson no. 273; Mann & Kingsley ‘Playing Cards’, in Map Collector Series no. 87 p. 26, 3.3.