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Essex f. 10

Essex f. 10

Cartographer: Norden, John

Medium: Ink and tempera on parchment

Date: 1595

Shelfmark: Add MS 31853 f. 10

Length: 40

Width: 50.5

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Map

This map of Essex is taken from a work entitled ""A CHOROGRAPHICALL discription of the seuerall Shires and Islands of Middlesex, Essex, Surrey, Sussex, Hamshire, Weighte, Garnesey and Jersey, performed by the traueyle and uiew of John Norden, 1595."" The map forms part of an omnibus volume of Norden's intended series of county guides, the Speculum Britanniae, which was never completed. It is dedicated to Elizabeth I, in whose reign the use of maps became more common. Under Elizabeth’s patronage the first, mostly accurate and detailed image of Britain was recorded by Christopher Saxton in his atlas of 1579. The volume that this map is from was meant for presentation to the Queen in the hope of securing her financial support for the project. This map of Essex is derived from Saxton’s work, in that relief is shown pictorially by small hill symbols, woodland and parks are shown by small trees, the later with a fence surrounding and surrounding counties are left blank. The main difference however between this and the Saxton maps is that this includes the road network and indicates the homes of the leading aristocracy and gentry. Roads are shown in beige, clearly linking the settlements, which are shown pictorially and highlighted with a red dot. London appears in the lower left corner. This development is significant as it shows the progression from a presentation of the county, to a means to practically navigate it. As a further tool in this endeavour the map is squared off with an Alpha numeric border. The depiction of roads and the orientation grid are derived from German prototypes. The Elizabethan coat of arms, appears to the left and sea monsters and ships provide decoration.

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