Cumberland and the Ancient Citie Carlile Described  FIRST EDITION

Cumberland and the Ancient Citie Carlile Described FIRST EDITION

Code: 53199

£425.00 Approx $539.34, €476.46
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Author: Speed, John

Publisher: John Sudbury and George Humble

Date published: 1611

First edition. Copper engraving with later hand colouring. English text verso describing the county. Overall size : 52.6cms.x 41cms. Image size : 502mm.x 380mm. Title in decorative circular roundel and history of the 'Picts Wall' (Hadrian's Wall) in corresponding roundel top right. As Speed notes Cumberland was not divided into Hundreds but into Wards, largely for military purposes. Its role as a frontier or military zone against Scottish incursions is reflected in their being permitted to own and carry firearms and other weapons in Speed's time (this had been phased out for most southern counties). Town plan of Carlisle bottom right (shows the updating of its defences during Henry VIII's reign with the construction of a citadel and batteries to mount artillery). Speed comments on the chilliness of the county, the piercing air and the amount of snow that falls there. Speed illustrates the map with four samples of the Roman altars and inscriptions which had come to light through excavation, noting that many more,'as yet lie hid'. The unicorn of James I of England top right adorn the map together with a large sailing ship and sea monster of equal size. (Counties of Britain ed Nigel Nicholson). Archival strengthening top and bottom of centrefold on verso (13cms each) and two other small strengthenings and three remnants of old tape top margin on verso. A highly attractive map, the uncommon first edition in in good condition Until his late thirties, John Speed was a tailor by trade but his passion for history and map-making led him to gain a patron in Sir Fulke Greville, the poet and statesman, who found him a post in the customs and helped subsidize his map-making, giving him "full liberty to express the inclination of my mind"". He became aquainted with the publisher William Camden