|Method||Copper engraved with hand colour|
|Published||Jodocus Hondius caelavit Anno Domini 1610. Performed by Iohn Speed. And are to be solde in Popes head alley by G. Humbell cum Privilegio [London, 1611-12]|
|Dimensions||375 x 502 mm|
A first edition printing of John Speed's iconic county map of Lancashire, featuring an inset map of Lancaster in the upper right corner. Adorning the map are eight portraits: Henry IV, Henry V, and Henry VI of the House of Lancaster, Edward IV, Edward V, and Richard III of the house of York, along with the 'Peacemakers' Henry Tudor and Elizabeth of York, whose union marked the end of the so-called War of the Roses. A large compass rose is featured in the lower right corner, the sea is decorated with sea monsters and ships, and the Royal Crest and the arms of Edmund Crouchback and John of Gaunt are also featured.
English text on verso describing the county, accompanied by a list of Lancashire's hundreds, and an alphabetical list of place names.
John Speed (1552-1629) is the most famous of all English cartographers primarily as a result of The Theatre of the Empire of Great Britaine, the first atlas of the British Isles. The maps from this atlas are the best known and most sought-after of all county maps. The maps were derived mainly from the earlier prototypes of Christopher Saxton and Robert Norden but with notable improvements including parish "Hundreds" and county boundaries, town plans and embellishments such as the coats of arms of local Earls, Dukes, and the Royal Household. The maps are famed for their borders consisting of local inhabitants in national costume and panoramic vignette views of major cities and towns. An added feature is that regular atlas copies have English text printed on the reverse, giving a charming description of life in the early seventeenth century of the region. The overall effect produced very decorative, attractive and informative maps.
Speed was born in 1552 at Farndon, Cheshire. Like his father before him he was a tailor by trade, but around 1582 he moved to London. During his spare time Speed pursued his interests of history and cartography and in 1595 his first map of Canaan was published in the "Biblical Times". This raised his profile and he soon came to the attention of poet and dramatist Sir Fulke Greville a prominent figure in the court of Queen Elizabeth. Greville as Treasurer of the Royal Navy gave Speed an appointment in the Customs Service giving him a steady income and time to pursue cartography. Through his work he became a member of such learned societies as the Society of Antiquaries and associated with the likes of William Camden Robert Cotton and William Lambarde. He died in 1629 at the age of seventy-seven.
Condition: Vertical centre fold as issued. Surface cracking and large tears professionally repaired and reinforced with archival tissue.