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Survey of the Sussex Coast, from Barnham Mille to Rye

Survey of the Sussex Coast, from Barnham Mille to Rye

Surveyor: Palmer, Sir Thomas, Coverte, Walter and Reynolds, Nicholas

Medium: Ink and tempera on parchment

Date: 1578

Shelfmark: Add MS 57494

Item number: f. 13

Genre: Map

Map scale description: 'Englishe Myles': 6 miles = 190mm, equating to approximately 1:50688 miles

This is part of a survey of the Sussex coast made by Sir Thomas Palmer Knight and Walter Coverte and records the section of the coast from Barnham Mille to Rye. Sir Thomas Palmer Knight and Walter Coverte were Deputy Lieutenants of Sussex and its coast line. This survey was made in the reign of Queen Elizabeth, in the year 1578 and is endorsed almost certainly by Nicholas Reynolds 1587. It contains five coloured maps of the coast and inland places of Sussex from Thorney and Selsey Bill to Winchelsea and Camber Castle. Details include compass roses and scale bars in colour. It includes a scale bar showing 'Englishe Myles': 6 miles = 190mm, equating to approximately 1:50688 miles. This survey by Palmer and Covert was commissioned in order to build up defences against the Spanish Armada. Since the accession of the Protestant Elizabeth I the Anglo-Spanish relaionship had deteriorated. Raids on transatlantic shipping by English seamen such as Francis Drake and England’s support of the Protestant rebellion in the Spanish ruled Netherlands inflamed matters further and the Catholic Philip II was induced to invade. The survey is drawn in ink and colour washes on vellum, and features descriptions of coastal locations. The concern with defence is apparent here as the draughtsman has included the beacon network of the area. Windmills in the area are also noted. Due to their height these could also be used as vantage points. Locations of battery's or arsenal stores are recorded by a group of three triangles. Camber Castle is also shown. This was one of the defences built to defend the coast after Francis I of France and Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor and King of Spain signed a peace treaty in 1538, making an invasion of England by their combined forces probable. Information is recorded in a secretary hand with the title and place names in italic.

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