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Parte of Aldebroughe

Parte of Aldebroughe

Cartographer: Unknown

Medium: Pen and ink on paper

Date: 1500

Shelfmark: Add MS 8987

Item number: f. 137

Length: 54.6

Width: 71.6

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Map

This is a coloured map of Aldeburgh in Suffolk. It is probably a copy of an earlier map. It dates from the 1500s but a more specific date and information of the draughtsman remain unknown. It is clear from the details included here that the draughtsman was concerned with defence. The placement of cannons is recorded, as are two beacons, three windmills and a towered church which could also be used as vantage points. The large blank area in the middle of the drawing also reveals that the draughtmans primary concern was with the coastal extremity of the area. The layout of the area of the town closest to the sea is shown, with differentiation made between larger and more modest dwellings. The map may be the result f a programme of coastal survey initiated by Henry VIII after a peace treaty was signed by Francis I of France and Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor and King of Spain, making an invasion by their combined forces probable. England and France were ancient enemies and the Catholic Charles V, nephew of Catherine of Aragon, was angered by Henry VIII’s decision to divorce Catherine. Henry’s dissolution of the monasteries provided him with enormous wealth with which he was able to commission surveys of the vulnerable coastline and build defence fortifications.

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