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Great Yarmouth

Great Yarmouth

Cartographer: Anonymous

Medium: Pigments on vellum

Date: 1570

Shelfmark: Cotton Augustus I.i

Item number: f.74

Genre: Map

By the reign of Elizabeth I maps were being employed as tools of government. This was encouraged by the Lord Burghley and the Privy Council which made it clear that local authorities were expected to submit maps and plans of their proposals where appropriate. This led to cartography becoming embedded in government by the late 16th Century. Long before this date preparation of local maps had become an accepted manifestation of humanistic culture, through its simultaneous display of cartography, mathematics and civic and national pride.
This map is a good demonstration of these tendencies. Probably based on an earlier birds eye View of Great Yarmouth, which may have derived from a plan made in 1539-40 and may have adorned the town hall, it is adapted to demonstrate the proposed harbour works to the Privy Council.

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