A new and exact map of the island of Barbados in America


This King's Topographical Collection map of Barbados is the product of the first large-scale survey of the island, carried out by William Mayo. It was on this map that the legal boundaries of Barbadian parishes (administrative subdivisions) were designated by the British colonial government. As well as parishes, the map includes churches, fortifications, plantations with the names of their owners, and mills. A surveyor, perhaps Mayo himself, is pictured in the small inset scene at centre left. He stands near a windmill, looking through an instrument which measures distances in the landscape. Two slaves attend him, one carrying equipment and the other operating a distance-measuring wheel. Another view, rendered at bottom right, shows Codrington College with a key. The College was an educational establishment financed by the wealthy sugar planter Christopher Codrington (1668-1710). It provided schooling for the children of local British gentry, and was formally opened in 1745, twenty years after Mayo’s map was published. Its inclusion in the map offers a vision of the colony’s promising future, premised not only on the lucrative export of sugar cane but also on education. Together the views present the island as a place of industry, self-sufficiency, and ‘civilisation’.  

Full title:
A New & Exact MAP OF THE ISLAND OF BARBADOES IN AMERICA: According to an Actual & Accurate Survey Made in the Years 1717 to 1721 Approved by the ROYAL SOCIETY & Authorized BY HIS MAJESTY’S ROYAL LICENCE
1722, London
John Senex
Engraving / Map
William Mayo
© British Library
Usage terms
Public Domain
Held by
British Library
Maps K.Top.123.117.2 TAB.

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