Copper engraving, 37.5 x 58.5 cm, map of the county of Norfolk engraved by John Sturt, modern hand-colour, closed split to left-hand fold, blank verso.
Robert Morden’s maps were engraved to illustrate Gibson’s edition of William Camden’s Britannia, first published in 1695 and reprinted in various 18th century editions. Camden was an Elizabethan historian who wrote a county by county description of England. He continued to revise and expand his work, which set new standards for historical research, and an illustrated edition with maps engraved by William Kip and William Hole was first published in 1607. By the late 17th century it had become scarce and expensive and there were calls for a new edition. Bishop and antiquary Edmund Gibson completely revised the text and commissioned a new series of maps from Morden, which are known for their clarity and elegance.
Morden is is thought to have come from the north of England, possibly Yorkshire (see Worms and Baynton-Williams, British Map Engravers, 2011). Established in London, he was part of Robert Hooke’s circle, taking coffee with him at Garraway’s and Mann’s, and Samuel Pepys was among his customers.