Speed’s Map of Sussex

£1,000.00

Sussex Described and divided into Rapes with the situation of Chichester the cheife citie thereof. And the armes of such Nobles as have bene dignified with the title of Earles since the conquest and other accidents therein observed.

In stock

Copper engraving, 38.5 x 51 cm, map of Sussex engraved by Jodocus Hondius, black and white, inset plan of Chichester, closed centrefold split, English text on verso.

John Speed (1552-1629) is unquestionably the most significant English map-maker of the seventeenth-century. A brief note, from Granger’s Bibliographical History of England (1779) contains most of the information we have about Speed’s life: “John Speed, who was bred a Tailor, was by the generosity of Sir Fulk Grevil, his patron, set free from a manual employment and enabled to pursue his studies, to which he was strongly inclined by the bent of his genius. The fruits of them were his Theatre of Great Britain, containing an entire set of maps of the counties drawn by himself, his History of Great Britain, richly adorned with seals, coins & medals, from the Cotton collection; and his Genealogies of Scripture, first bound up with the Bible, in 1611 which was the first edition of the present English translation. His maps were very justly esteemed & his History of Great Britain, was, in its kind incomparably more complete, than all the histories of his predecessors put together …”

The first edition of Speed’s “Theatre” was published in 1612. It was the first atlas of the British Isles, and the first attempt made by an Englishman to match the achievements of the great continental publishing houses – although much of the engraving of the copper plates was performed in Amsterdam by Jodocus Hondius. Speed was an antiquary, and intended that his atlas should be read in conjunction with his history of Britain. He managed to include a great deal of historical detail on his ‘modern’ county maps and the inset town plans, some surveyed by himself, together comprise the first collection of town plans of the British Isles, all in all making the Theatre a highly decorative as well as a useful volume. It was a great success and there were editions printed throughout the 17th century. Kingsley, Printed Maps of Sussex, 7 (iii).

Title

Speed’s Map of Sussex

Mapmaker(s)

SPEED, John

Engraver(s)

HONDIUS, Jodocus

Publisher

HUMBLE, George

Place of publication

London

Date of publication

c.1627

Colour

black and white

Printed Area Measurements

38.5 x 51 cm