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Maps by John Speed

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John Speed (1552-1629) is arguably the most famous English cartographer of any period, as a result of his atlas The Theatre of the Empire of Great Britaine. The individual maps are the best known and among the most sought-after of all county maps.  The maps themselves were derived from the best and most up- to-date sources available. However, Speed also made innovations of his own - introducing town plans on many of the maps, including county boundaries on almost all maps and also the coats of arms of local Earls and Dukes as well the Royal arms. The overall effect is to produce very decorative, attractive and informative maps. 

Speed, a tailor’s son from Cheshire, conceived the Theatre Of The Empire Of Great Britain as a supplementary volume to his monumental History of Great Britain published in 1611. Finally published as a complete work in 1612, the atlas was the culmination of several years work during which pre-existing maps by Saxton and Norden were updated, information was gathered and collated, and new surveys were completed before the plates were engraved, mainly by Jodocus Hondius of Amsterdam. Many of the maps bear earlier dates and would have been available for sale as loose sheets prior to the completion of the atlas.
 
Text on the reverse describes that county, its industry and agriculture, its physical features and history. One Latin text edition was published in 1616, targeting the continental market, otherwise the several editions published before Speed’s death had English text.
 
Early editions of the Theatre Of The Empire Of Great Britain were published by John Sudbury and George Humble, who realised, given the increasing popularity of both county and world atlases and in the light of the success of Ortelius’s Theatrum …, the potential demand for an English world atlas. Consequently, in 1627, Speed’s Prospect Of The Most Famous Parts Of The World was published with 21 finely engraved maps.
 
The Prospect ...was the first world atlas by an Englishman, and its maps are famous for their bordering panels of national characters in local costume and panoramic views depicting the areas of major towns and cities.  In addition to the obvious decorative quality of the maps, regular atlas copies have two pages of English text printed on the reverse, giving a charming description of life in the early seventeenth century of the area shown. The maps of the world and America show California as an island and are amongst the earliest ever printed to depict this seventeenth-century cartographic “fact”.
 
By the time of the publication of the Prospect … in 1627, John Sudbury had retired from the partnership with George Humble, and, after his death in 1640, the copperplates were in possession of his son, William Humble. William continued publication on a rather ad hoc basis before relinquishing rights to William Garrett who, in turn, passed the plates to Roger Rea. William made some changes to the dates on some of the plates but issued only small numbers of any edition of the atlas.

Europe Maps   Asia Maps   English County Maps B-K   English County Maps L-Y   Wales Maps & Charts   Ireland Maps & Charts  

Europe Maps

A New Mappe Of The Romane Empire ...
A New Mappe Of The Romane Empire ...

By J. Speed / C.Browne of London, 1627-c1688, copperplate, original outline colour, 385 by 500mm (15¼ by 19¾ inches). mm

Ref: 39976

Price: reserved

A New Map Of Ye XVII Provinces of Low Germanie ...
A New Map Of Ye XVII Provinces of Low Germanie ...

By J. Speed of London, 1626-1631, copperplate, coloured, 390 by 510mm (15.25 by 20 inches). mm

Ref: 29667

Price: £ 1650£ 990

The Mape Of Hungari ...
The Mape Of Hungari ...

By J. Speed of London, 1627, copperplate, uncoloured, 390 by 510mm (15.25 by 20 inches). mm

Ref: 42256

Price: £ 1400£ 840

Asia Maps

The Kingdome Of Persia With The Cheef Citties And Habites ...
The Kingdome Of Persia With The Cheef Citties And Habites ...

By J. Speed of London, 1627, Copperplate, coloured, 400 by 520mm (15.75 by 20.5 inches). mm

Ref: 40956

Price: £ 1600£ 960

A Newe Mape Of Tartary ...
A Newe Mape Of Tartary ...

By J. Speed of London, 1627-1676, Copperplate, coloured, 390 by 505mm (15.25 by 20 inches). mm

Ref: 42542

Price: £ 1250£ 750

English County Maps B-K

Bedford Shire And The Situation Of Bedford Described ...
Bedford Shire And The Situation Of Bedford Described ...

By J. Speed of London, 1612-1646, copperplate, coloured, 380 by 510mm (15 by 20 inches). mm

Ref: 40034

Price: £ 600£ 360

Bedford Shire And The Situation Of Bedford Described ...
Bedford Shire And The Situation Of Bedford Described ...

By J. Speed of London, 1612-c.1616, Copperplate, uncoloured, 385 by 510mm (15.25 by 20 inches). mm

Ref: 40095

Price: £ 500£ 300

Buckingham Both Shyre, And Shire Towne Describ.
Buckingham Both Shyre, And Shire Towne Describ.

By J. Speed of London, 1612-c.1616, Copperplate, uncoloured, 385 by 510mm (15.25 by 20 inches). mm

Ref: 40051

Price: £ 950£ 570

Cambridgshire Described With The Devision Of The Hundreds, ...
Cambridgshire Described With The Devision Of The Hundreds, ...

By J. Speed of London, 1612-c.1616, Copperplate, uncoloured, 385 by 510mm (15.25 by 20 inches). mm

Ref: 40096

Price: £ 2600£ 1560

Darbieshire Described
Darbieshire Described

By J.Speed of London, 1612-1646, copperplate, coloured, 380 x 500 mm

Ref: 33883

Price: £ 850£ 510

The Bishopricke And Citie Of Durham
The Bishopricke And Citie Of Durham

By J. Speed of London, 1612-c.1616, Copperplate, uncoloured, 385 by 510mm (15.25 by 20 inches). mm

Ref: 40068

Price: £ 700£ 420

The Bishopricke And Citie Of Durham
The Bishopricke And Citie Of Durham

By J. Speed of London, 1612-c.1676, Copperplate, coloured, 385 by 510mm (15.25 by 20 inches). mm

Ref: 42243

Price: £ 650£ 390

Essex Devided Into Hundreds With ... Colchester ...
Essex Devided Into Hundreds With ... Colchester ...

By J. Speed of London, 1612-c.1616, Copperplate, uncoloured, 385 by 510mm (15.25 by 20 inches). mm

Ref: 40088

Price: £ 1000£ 600

Glocestershire Contrived Into Thirty Thre Severall Hundreds
Glocestershire Contrived Into Thirty Thre Severall Hundreds

By J. Speed of London, 1612, copperplate, uncoloured, 380 by 510mm (15 by 20 inches). mm

Ref: 38212

Price: £ 1400£ 840

Hantshire Described And Devided
Hantshire Described And Devided

By J. Speed of London, 1612-c.1616, Copperplate, uncoloured, 385 by 510mm (15.25 by 20 inches). mm

Ref: 40083

Price: £ 1600£ 960

Hantshire Described And Devided
Hantshire Described And Devided

By J. Speed / C. Browne of London, 1610-c.1695, copperplate, coloured, 380 by 505mm (15 by 20 inches). mm

Ref: 42326

Price: £ 950£ 570

Herfordshire Described With The True Plot Of The Citie Of Hereford...
Herfordshire Described With The True Plot Of The Citie Of Hereford...

By J. Speed of London, 1612-c.1616, Copperplate, uncoloured, 385 by 510mm (15.25 by 20 inches). mm

Ref: 40055

Price: £ 800£ 480

Herefordshire Described With The True Plot Of The Citie Of Hereford...
Herefordshire Described With The True Plot Of The Citie Of Hereford...

By J. Speed of London, 1612, Copperplate, uncoloured, 385 by 510mm (15.25 by 20 inches). mm

Ref: 41497

Price: £ 720£ 432

Hartfordshire Described
Hartfordshire Described

By J. Speed of London, 1612-, copperplate, coloured, 385 by 510mm (15.25 by 20 inches). mm

Ref: 42409

Price: £ 1200£ 720

Kent With Her Cities And Earles Described And Observed
Kent With Her Cities And Earles Described And Observed

By J. Speed of London, 1612-c.1616, Copperplate, coloured, 385 by 510mm (15.25 by 20 inches). mm

Ref: 40080

Price: £ 1500£ 900

English County Maps L-Y

Leicester Both Countye And Citie Described, ...
Leicester Both Countye And Citie Described, ...

By J. Speed of London, 1612-1646, copperplate, coloured, 380 by 500mm (15 by 19¾ inches). mm

Ref: 33880

Price: £ 780£ 468

Leicester Both Countye And Citie Described ...
Leicester Both Countye And Citie Described ...

By J. Speed of London, 1612-c.1616, Copperplate, uncoloured, 385 by 510mm (15.25 by 20 inches). mm

Ref: 40098

Price: £ 680£ 408

The Countie And Citie Of Lyncolne Described ...
The Countie And Citie Of Lyncolne Described ...

By J.Speed of London, 1612-1627, copperplate, coloured, 380 x 510 mm

Ref: 26295

Price: £ 740£ 444

The Countie And Citie Of Lyncolne Described With The Armes ...
The Countie And Citie Of Lyncolne Described With The Armes ...

By J. Speed of London, 1612-c.1616, Copperplate, uncoloured, 385 by 510mm (15.25 by 20 inches). mm

Ref: 40056

Price: £ 750£ 450

Northumberland
Northumberland

By J. Speed of London, 1612-1616, copperplate, uncoloured, 380 by 510mm (15 by 20 inches). mm

Ref: 39668

Price: £ 1200£ 720

Northumberland
Northumberland

By J. Speed of London, 1612-c.1616, Copperplate, uncoloured, 385 by 510mm (15.25 by 20 inches). mm

Ref: 40066

Price: £ 850£ 510

The Countie Of Nottingham Described ...
The Countie Of Nottingham Described ...

By J. Speed of London, 1612-1646, copperplate, coloured, 380 by 500mm (15 by 19¾ inches). mm

Ref: 33882

Price: £ 740£ 444

The Countie Of Nottingham Described ...
The Countie Of Nottingham Described ...

By J. Speed of London, 1612-c.1616, Copperplate, uncoloured, 385 by 510mm (15.25 by 20 inches). mm

Ref: 40100

Price: £ 650£ 390

Oxfordshire Described ...1605
Oxfordshire Described ...1605

By J. Speed of London, 1612-c.1616, Copperplate, uncoloured, 385 by 510mm (15.25 by 20 inches). mm

Ref: 40047

Price: £ 2800£ 1680

Rutlandshire With Oukham And Stanford ...
Rutlandshire With Oukham And Stanford ...

By J. Speed of London, 1612-1646, copperplate, coloured, 380 by 500mm (15 by 19¾ inches). mm

Ref: 33879

Price: £ 560£ 336

Shropshyre Described The Sittuation Of Shrowesbury Shewed ...
Shropshyre Described The Sittuation Of Shrowesbury Shewed ...

By J. Speed of London, 1612 - 1676, Copperplate, coloured, 385 by 510mm (15.25 by 20 inches). mm

Ref: 42241

Price: £ 780£ 468

Stafford Countie And Towne With The Ancient Citie Lichfield ...
Stafford Countie And Towne With The Ancient Citie Lichfield ...

By J.Speed of London, 1612-1627, Copperplate, coloured, 375 x 505 mm

Ref: 33135

Price: £ 750£ 450

Stafford Countie And Towne With The Ancient Citie Lichfield ...
Stafford Countie And Towne With The Ancient Citie Lichfield ...

By J.Speed of London, 1612-1646, copperplate, coloured, 380 x 500 mm

Ref: 33870

Price: £ 850£ 510

Suffolke Described And Divided Into Hundreds
Suffolke Described And Divided Into Hundreds

By J. Speed of London, 1612-1646, copperplate, coloured, 380 by 510mm (15 by 20 inches). mm

Ref: 40037

Price: £ 650£ 390

The Counti Of Warwick The Shire Towne And Citie Of Coventre Described
The Counti Of Warwick The Shire Towne And Citie Of Coventre Described

By J. Speed of London, 1612-c.1616, Copperplate, uncoloured, 385 by 510mm (15.25 by 20 inches). mm

Ref: 40097

Price: £ 1000£ 600

The Countie Westmorland And Kendale The Chief Towne Described ...
The Countie Westmorland And Kendale The Chief Towne Described ...

By J. Speed of London, 1612-c.1616, Copperplate, uncoloured, 385 by 510mm (15.25 by 20 inches). mm

Ref: 40049

Price: £ 850£ 510

Wilshire
Wilshire

By J. Speed of London, 1612-c.1616, Copperplate, uncoloured, 385 by 510mm (15.25 by 20 inches). mm

Ref: 40048

Price: £ 1000£ 600

Worcestershire Described
Worcestershire Described

By J. Speed of London, 1612-c.1616, Copperplate, uncoloured, 385 by 510mm (15.25 by 20 inches). mm

Ref: 40054

Price: £ 750£ 450

Wales Maps & Charts

Caermarden Both Shyre And Towne Described
Caermarden Both Shyre And Towne Described

By J.Speed of London, 1610-1676, copperplate, coloured, 385 x 520 mm

Ref: 27526

Price: £ 650£ 390

Montgomery Shire
Montgomery Shire

By J. Speed of London, 1612-c.1616, Copperplate, uncoloured, 385 by 510mm (15.25 by 20 inches). mm

Ref: 40060

Price: £ 550£ 330

Wales
Wales

By J. Speed of London, 1612-c.1616, Copperplate, uncoloured, 385 by 510mm (15.25 by 20 inches). mm

Ref: 40061

Price: £ 2200£ 1320

Caermarden Both Shyre And Towne Described
Caermarden Both Shyre And Towne Described

By J. Speed of London, 1612-c.1616, Copperplate, uncoloured, 385 by 510mm (15.25 by 20 inches). mm

Ref: 40063

Price: £ 650£ 390

Breknoke Both Shyre And Towne Described
Breknoke Both Shyre And Towne Described

By J. Speed of London, 1612-c.1616, Copperplate, uncoloured, 385 by 510mm (15.25 by 20 inches). mm

Ref: 40064

Price: £ 400£ 240

The Countye Of Monmouth ...
The Countye Of Monmouth ...

By J. Speed of London, 1612-c.1616, Copperplate, uncoloured, 385 by 510mm (15.25 by 20 inches). mm

Ref: 40065

Price: £ 950£ 570

Anglesey Antiently Called Mona ...
Anglesey Antiently Called Mona ...

By J. Speed of London, 1612-c.1616, Copperplate, uncoloured, 385 by 510mm (15.25 by 20 inches). mm

Ref: 40073

Price: £ 800£ 480

Merioneth Shire Described 1610
Merioneth Shire Described 1610

By J. Speed of London, 1612-c.1616, Copperplate, uncoloured, 385 by 510mm (15.25 by 20 inches). mm

Ref: 40104

Price: £ 600£ 360

Cardigan Shyre Described With The Due Form Of The Shire-Town ...
Cardigan Shyre Described With The Due Form Of The Shire-Town ...

By J. Speed of London, 1612-c.1616, Copperplate, uncoloured, 385 by 510mm (15.25 by 20 inches). mm

Ref: 40105

Price: £ 750£ 450

Glamorgan Shyre With The Sittuations Of The Cheife Towne Cardyff ...
Glamorgan Shyre With The Sittuations Of The Cheife Towne Cardyff ...

By J. Speed of London, 1612-c.1616, Copperplate, uncoloured, 385 by 510mm (15.25 by 20 inches). mm

Ref: 40107

Price: £ 850£ 510

The Countye Of Monmouth ...
The Countye Of Monmouth ...

By J. Speed of London, 1612-1676, Copperplate, coloured, 385 by 510mm (15.25 by 20 inches). mm

Ref: 42234

Price: £ 650£ 390

Glamorgan Shyre With The Sittuations Of The Cheife Towne Cardyff ...
Glamorgan Shyre With The Sittuations Of The Cheife Towne Cardyff ...

By J. Speed of London, 1612-1676, Copperplate, coloured, 385 by 510mm (15.25 by 20 inches). mm

Ref: 42235

Price: £ 720£ 432

Ireland Maps & Charts

The Countie Of Leinster With The Citie Dublin Described
The Countie Of Leinster With The Citie Dublin Described

By J. Speed of London, 1612-c.1616, Copperplate, uncoloured, 385 by 510mm (15.25 by 20 inches). mm

Ref: 40109

Price: £ 1600£ 960

The Countie Of Leinster With The Citie Dublin Described
The Countie Of Leinster With The Citie Dublin Described

By J. Speed of London, 1612 - 1627, Copperplate, coloured, 385 by 510mm (15.25 by 20 inches). mm

Ref: 42429

Price: £ 650£ 390