A Coloured Chart of the Course of the Rivers Thames and Medway, and of the Coasts of Kent and Sussex to Shoreham, with an Account of the Tides
Cartographer: [Borough, William]
Medium: Ink and pigments on vellum
This manuscript map of the south-east coast of England can be dated to around 1596. Although unsigned the handwriting suggests a possible attribution to [William] Borough who is known for his work as a harbour consultant .The map is concerned with the defence of the Thames and of London itself which was threatened by the Anglo-Spanish war. Raids on transatlantic shipping by English seamen such as Francis Drake and England’s support of the Protestant rebellion in the Spanish ruled Netherlands had induced the Catholic Philip II to plan an invasion of England.
Although the Spanish armada was defeated by the English in 1588, England remained at war with Spain for many years and further attempts to invade were made by Philip of Spain.
It is thought that this map was drawn between the dispersal of the "second Armada" in October 1596 and the assembly of the ‘third Armada’ in the following spring. The draughtsman has borrowed topographical and hydrographic information from contemporary sources, maps by Symonson and Robert Norman. The careful attention given to the coast line around Rye and the differentiation between the original line of the cliffs and the deposits which created Romney Marsh is striking.