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The Course of River Tyne from Newcastle to Tynemouth

The Course of River Tyne from Newcastle to Tynemouth

Cartographer: Poulter, Richard

Medium: Ink and watercolour on parchment

Date: 1590

Shelfmark: Cotton Augustus I.ii

Item number: f.5

Length: 44.8

Width: 36.2

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Manuscript Map

This is a detailed map of the course of the River Tyne from Newcastle to the mouth of Tynemouth River, it dates from around 1590. On the basis of style it can be attributed to Richard Poulter, a mariner accomplished in chart making. It is possible that Poulter’s name and the cartouche have been lost when the map was cropped. The map shows the sandbanks and sounding at low tide and notes the need for beacons to be placed on rocks which are submerged at high tide. Water depths at high tide are also indicated. The intersecting lines which cover the map are lines of constant bearing known as rhumb lines. These radiate from compass roses and allow the sailor to plot a course from harbour to harbour using dividers and straight edge. It is likely that this chart was prepared for presentation to a government official who would have power to implement the changes suggested. A possible recipient could be Lord Burghley, Elizabeth Secretary of State.

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