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Plan of Milford Haven

Plan of Milford Haven


Medium: Ink and tempera on parchment

Date: 1595

Shelfmark: Cotton Augustus I.ii f.20

Length: 31.6

Width: 41.1

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Manuscript Map

This is a plan of Milford Haven in Wales. It is perhaps associated with proposals in the mid 1590’s for using Milford Haven as a naval base against a Spanish invasion of the Bristol Channel and the Severn. The purpose of the plan seems to be to illustrate roads and anchorages in the Haven which are indicated by ships and a galley at anchor. The map betrays concern with invasion by sea as the coast line is shown in elevation whereas no inland detail is recorded.
In August 1595 the Earl of Essex advised the Queen, “against the enemy’s design upon Wales and the River of Severn”. The Anglo- Spanish relationship had steadily deteriorated since the accession of the Protestant Elizabeth I. 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 brought tensions with Spain to a crescendo culminating in the events of the Spanish Armada. 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 II with a ‘second Armada’ dispersed in October 1596.

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