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Long title: Barkshire Described with the sittuation of the Shire-towe Described Ann 1610. Published by Henry Overton in 1743. Copper engraving, later hand colouring .Overall size : 54cms.x 41.4cms. Image size : 510 x 385 mms. Considered the most decorative map of the county with its inset elevation of Windsor Castle, as seen from across the Thames, dominating the top; top left is a list of those who first received the honourable order of the garter. Ogilby’s roads added. Blank back. Very 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 subsidise his map-making, giving him “full liberty to express the inclination of my mind”. He became acquainted with the publisher William Camden, whose descriptive text was used by Speed for most of the maps in his atlas “The Theatre of Empire of Great Britain” published most probably in 1612 although it bears the date 1611 on the main title page. The maps were engraved in Amsterdam by Jodocus Hondius, one of the foremost engravers of his time. Speed’s maps are unique historical documents of their time and the town plans featured on the maps are in most cases the first information we have of their early appearance. Their artistry has guaranteed the collectability of these maps in the centuries that have followed.