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A Topographicall Description and Admesurement of the YLAND of BARBADOS in the West INDYAES. With the Mrs Names of the Seuerall plantacons (sic).

A Topographicall Description and Admesurement of the YLAND of BARBADOS in the West INDYAES. With the Mrs Names of the Seuerall plantacons (sic).

Author: Lignon, Richard

Medium: Ink on paper

Date: 1657

Shelfmark: Maps K.Top 123

Item number: 114

Length: 37.2

Width: 52

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Topographical Print

This is the earliest known map exclusively of the island of Barbados. It appeared in A True and Exact History of the Island of Barbados written by Richard Lignon and published by Humphrey Moseley in 1657. Lignon is believed to have redrawn the map from an original, now lost, made by John Swan, the island's leading surveyor of the time The map identifies 285 plantations by name of owner, the majority along the island's coast. According to the map much of the interior of the island is overgrown with forest and still virtually inaccessible, for the roads leading inland from the coast quickly peter out. Four churches are shown along the coast, with fortifications at Carlisle Bay protecting the island's principal town, Bridgetown. Vignettes depict planters hunting wild hogs and chasing runaway slaves. Curiously, a pair of camels is inserted in the map. According to Lignon, 'several planters imported these beasts and found them useful in Barbados, but did not know how to diet them'.

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