DEVON-L Archives

Archiver > DEVON > 2000-11 > 0975461942

Subject: Re: Old Map
Date: Tue, 28 Nov 2000 20:39:02 EST


The map was indeed one prepared by John Speede and copies are readily
available at a small price from all good map dealers, some book sellers and
even some "souvenir" sellers. Individual maps are printed on an "olde
parchment style" paper. On line sources include

I have the maps in modern book form (reduced to folded A3). Entitlred "The
Counties of Britain. A Tudor Atlas by John Speed" by Nigel Nickolson,
published 1988 in Association with the British Library. Dont know if its
still in print but you can try to track it down through bookseller or library
by its ISBN number 1-85145-131-5.

He prepared his famous set of maps between 1596 and 1610, based largely on a
revision of those of Saxton. Saxton's atlas was published in 1579, covering
England and Wales. Speedes was dated 1611, actually published in 1612. Speede
has individual maps for all of the counties of England and Wales plus the
four Tudor "provinces" of Ireland. Ireland was disputed territory even then -
two cartographers killed and generally regarded as a dangerous place - much
more so than now. Whilst Speede was preparing his maps Queen Elizabeth I
died. James VI of Scotland became James I of England and the Act of Union
joined the two countries of England and Scotland. Speede also includes maps
of various islands, including Jersey, Guernsey, Isle of Man, Isle of Wight,
Farne Island and Holy Island (the last two off Northumbria)

The maps are really extraodinarily good for their age and are most important
for their illustration of Britain at the close of the Tudor period, around
the same time as Parish Registers appear.

One small error can be noted on the Devon map. Mount Edgcombe / Maker parish
on the west side of the tamar estuary had by that time been ceded to Devon
but Speede shows it in Cornwall. It has of course now been rightfully
returned to Cornwall.


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