Date: 1611 FIRST EDITION
FIRST EDITION. Long title :Cambridgshire described with the devision of the hundreds, the Townes situation with the Armes of the Colleges of that famous Universiti. And also the Armes of all such Princes and noble men as have heertofore borne the honorable tytles and dignities of the Earldome of Cambridg. Copper engraving. Possibly early hand colouring, certainly not modern. Overall size : 53cm. x 39.8cm. Image size : 517mm. x 383mm. Centre fold as issued. This is one of the most decorative maps of the county, with two columns of college arms, a plan of the city of Cambridge and the figures of four scholars.
The map is backed with Japanese tissue which repairs a split of some 7.5cms on the bottom centrefold, now barely noticeable. The map is trimmed to the neatline on both sides and bottom and augmented with old paper and some re-instatement of border top left and right . One of Speed’s most desirable maps and a strong, velvety impression as one would expect of this rare first state- an opportunity for a Cantab scholar..
Unfortunately, there are no surviving records of how many examples of the First Edition (or indeed of any edition) were printed. One might speculate that the First Edition could have numbered between about five hundred and one thousand examples. It should be remembered that the market for maps was not well developed in England in 1612. This, together with the cost of the atlas, the need for a second edition soon afterwards, and the high quality of impressions from the third, Latin text, edition of 1616, suggests that the first print-run may have been closer to five hundred copies or so. Unfortunately, until an attempt is made at a census of surviving examples, these figures can be regarded as only the roughest of estimates. Ashley Baynton-Williams see http://www.mapforum.com/02/speed.htm