A coloured chart of "The coste of England uppon Severne," being the whole north coast of Somersetshire; with the forts erected thereon; temp. Henry VIII ca. 1540
Medium: Ink and tempera on parchment
This is a pictorial representation of the north coast of Somerset. It shows the coast from the mouth of the River Avon near East Bristol to west Porlock and can be dated to 1539. At the top of the drawing round towers represent proposed blockhouses in the neighbourhoods of Porlock and Western-super-Mare on the north coast of Somerset. The intention to mount guns on platforms at Minehead and to the north of the Parrat is also represented in this drawing. Inlets are indicated and towns are shown schematically, an emphasis on the nature of the coast is evident as the draughtsman has recorded outcrops of rocks.
The existence of this drawing and the proposals it contains can be imputed the threat of invasion which became probable in 1538 after a peace treaty was signed by Francis I of France and Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor King of Spain. England and France were ancient enemy’s and the Catholic Charles V, nephew of Catherine of Aragon, was angered by Henry VII’s decision to divorce her.
In the event, the works proposed here were not carried out. The paper upon which this map is drawn bears a watermark of a double headed eagle bearing a shield.