Chart of the mouth of the River Thames, c1540
Shelfmark: Cotton MS Augustus I.i.53
This map, showing parts of Kent and Sussex, comes from a 16th-century portfolio of coastal charts and drawings. It incorporates miniature copies of town plans that are now lost including what are probably the earliest plans of Canterbury, Rochester and Sandwich.
The mapmaker was Sir Richard Cavendish. With its emphasis on sandbanks and beaches, the map was evidently intended for navigation and defence purposes. The decorative quality of the map suggests it was meant for the eyes of the king, Henry VIII.
North is to the left of the map and East to the top, making the map appear on its side to modern eyes.