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Copper engraving with early hand colouring. Overall size : 54.2cms x 41.7cms. Image size : 500mm x 375mm. .The map is in four sections, Holy Island and Farne(Lindisfarne) are off the coast of Northumbria while Jarsey and Garnsey are in the English Channel. Four scales of distance surmounted by dividers and each section has an attractive compass rose. At the bottom of the centrefold two cherubs hold ribbons which are tied to a shield surmounted by the royal crown. English text to verso describing the history and geography of the area. Browning to margin edges and faint line from old mount in bottom margin, one remnant of old tape bottom margin verso and two slivers extreme top margin; one pinhole and one faint crack in border; extreme bottom right margin tip missing else 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, 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 Speed’s maps are unique historical documents of their time and the town plans featured on the maps are in most cases the first information we have of their early apppearance. Their artistry has guaranteed the collectability of these maps in the centuries that have followed.