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Speed, John
Speed, John 1611
THE COUNTIE PALATINE OF LANCASTER DESCRIBED AND DIVIDED INTO HUNDREDS 1610

From John Speed's Theatre of the Empire of Great Britaine.

John Speed (1552-1629), born in Cheshire, was a Tailor, becoming a member of the Worshipful Company of Merchant Taylors in 1580. He became interested in History and antiquities and became a member of the Society of Antiquaries and friend of William Camden. In 1611 he published his History of Great Britaine followed by his Theatre of the Empire of Great Britaine the following year. The Theatre was designed as the topographical section to his History and the inclusion of county maps with inset town plans has ensured Speed's name will be remembered. The maps were designed and engraved by Jodocus Hondius in Amsterdam from materials and instructions sent to him by Speed. Speed's main cartographical contribution was the town plans, Speed claiming authorship to those that include a scale of paces "by mine owne travails".  The county maps are based on the surveys of Christopher Saxton and John Norden. The inclusion of the internal administrative divisions of the counties was a new innovation by Speed perpetuated in most county maps that followed for the next 300 years. The descriptive text on the back of the maps is taken from Camden and as the text had to be re-set for each issue enables us to date an individual map. On 29th April 1608 George Humble obtained the rights to print and sell the atlas for 21 years but publication did not actually start until 1611. Publication of John Speed's maps continued by various publishers until at least 1770, a publication period of 160 years!

Lancashire, with the portraits of the Yorkist and Lancastrian Kings and Queen in the flanking panels is one of the most decorative and sought after of Speed's county maps. 

This is a very fine example from the first edition. A dark impression in very good hand colour. Good margins all round and with no restoration except for a few archival tape repairs to small nicks at the edges of the map, only one, at the bottom centrefold, just reaching the plate edge.

A superb map.

 

 
Size: 51x39 (Centimetres)
Ref: m6002
 £1,800
 
 
Speed, John
Speed, John 1611
Gray & Son
Gray & Son 1833
Pigot, James
Pigot, James 1842
Moule, Thomas
Moule, Thomas 1845
Archer, Joshua
Archer, Joshua 1860
Weller, F. S.
Weller, F. S. 1891
Weller, F. S.
Weller, F. S. 1894
 
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