This map is a reduced version of Wenceslaus Hollar's ‘Quartermaster’s Map’ (1644), with added embellishments inspired by Christopher Saxton's detailed map of England and Wales (1573–79). Although the title describes the map as ‘ingraven’, it is in fact etched. In contrast to the ‘parliamentary’ connotations of the ‘Quartermaster’s Map’ – originally commissioned and published by Thomas Jenner, a staunch puritan – this reduced version has a royalist feel that was more in harmony with Hollar’s own sentiments. The portraits depict the kings of England from William I (1027/8–1087) to Charles I (1600–1649). They are all based on well-known models, though the blank oval after the portrait of Charles I is puzzling. The portrait of Richard II (1367–1400) is copied from an anonymous portrait done during the King’s lifetime, the earliest authentic portrait of an English king, which is still on display in Westminster Abbey. Hollar’s portrayal of Charles I is particularly convincing, perhaps because while in the service of the Earl of Arundel he may have seen Charles I in the flesh.
Hollar had to select the placenames from the vast number contained on Saxton’s original map and those in the vicinity of London are presumably ones that had a particular meaning for him: for instance, the Earl of Arundel long owned a suburban mansion in Highgate. The map was regularly republished, with only minor amendments until at least 1688 though very few examples are now known.