Long title:Penbrokshyre (Pembrokeshire)described and the sittuations both of Penbroke and St Davids shewed in due form as they were taken by John Speed. Copper engraving; later but not recent hand colouring. .Overall size 52.3cms.x 40.8cms. Image size : 512mm x 383mm. Decorative cartouche surmounted by royal coat of arms containing county name. Plan of Penbroke at upper left, plan of St.Davids lower right. Scale of distance at bottom centre. Eleven armorials. English text to verso. Centre fold as issued . New text on verso printed by Thomas Snodham. Backstrip laid down on centrefold and strengthening at bottom of centrefold 8.3cms wide by 3.5 cms; repaired tear bottom margin into table not visible from front; right and left margins augmented with old paper but so skilfully and not recently that it is hard to distinguish else good condition and very attractively coloured.
Alasdair Hawkyard in his commentary in the counties of Britain by John Speed declares the: Speed’s map for Pembrokeshire is one of the most successful in the way it conveys a sense of the county’s landscape with its hilly uplands and less dramatic southern parts , and the variety of its coastline with its offshore islands and rocks, headlands and havens. Slate was quarried in the north of the county, and Pembrokeshire slates had been used in roofing Sir Thomas Gresham’s Stock Exchange in London. Speed commented on the number of empty houses at Pembroke and the indifferent state of repair of all its buildings, and of St David’s he said: A city with few inhabitants, and no more houses than inserted in the draught (drawing); yet hath it a fair cathedral church.
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 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
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