Atlas of the Counties of England and Wales, c. 1579, by Christopher Saxton

MAP Christopher Sexton's Signature (1579)

While searching for something else (17th-century maps of England’s counties), I stumbled upon the extraordinary cartographer Christopher Saxton and his 16th-century atlas housed in the Special Collections of the University of Glasgow. Caxton set “a new standard of cartographic representation in Britain,” says the university website, and his atlas shaped the contours of county maps for the next century. Here are two images from the website: a detail of his signature from the map of Monmouthshire and his “Anglia.”

MAP Christopher Sexton's Anglia (1579)

Early Modern London

Brainchild of a professor and her students at University of Victoria, Canada, this site maps “the streets, sites, and significant boundaries of late sixteenth-century and early seventeenth-century London (1560-1640).” The interactive map is based on the 6′ by 2′ “Agas” map (see below),  the earliest known bird’s-eye view of London. “The project links encyclopedia-style articles, scholarly work, student work, editions, and literary texts to the places mentioned therein.”

Forests and Chases of England and Wales, c. 1000 to c. 1850

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAA  project that issues from St. John’s College, Oxford, “the largest [gazette] yet compiled on the known forests and chases of England and Wales.” Many large stands of woods were exempt from Common Law, which sheds light on the association between forests and outlawry in early modern (and medieval) culture. If the topic interests you, take a look at Jeffrey Theis’s Writing the Forest in Early Modern England (2009). Although the Atlas and Gazetteer are the site’s main features, it’s also rich with early maps.

London and Environs Maps and Views

Great map site Ariel discovered, which offers “64 high quality London maps and views.”

London c. 1673 by by Wenceslaus Hollar

England c. 1642-1649 by Wenceslaus Hollar

“Map of the British Isles with battle ships in the North Sea, and a view of Prague and the Battle of the White Mountain of 1620, comparing the English and Bohemian Civil Wars; sixteen scenes of related historical events surround the map; text in four columns provides a key to the events shown. These include, under C, a scene in which Jenny Geddes throws her stool at Mr Hannay the Dean of St Giles, Edinburgh, when he began to read from the new prayer book; under F, the King dissolving his fourth parliament in 1640; under I, the King confronting Speaker Lenthall as he arrives in parliament attempting to arrest five members; under O and P, peaceful scenes of shepherds and harvesting indicating life before the wars; under Q, a comet as a bad omen; under T, Emperor Matthias making Ferdinand King of Hungary; under V, the citizens of Prague giving the crown of Bohemia to Frederick of the Palatinate; under W, the defenestration of Prague with Barons Slabata and Martinitz, and their secretary Fabricius being ejected from the castle window; under Z, the execution of Protestant prisoners after the Battle of the White Mountain 1620; M refers to a roundel in the middle of the verses showing a cow kicking over milk-pail, an emblem of civil war.”

England c. 1642-1649 by Wenceslaus Hollar


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