Agas map showing Blackfriars precinct and its proximity to the Royal Wardrobe


This map, published in 1737, gives a ‘View of London about the Year 1560’. The Blackfriars district can be seen on the north bank of the River Thames, south west of St Paul’s cathedral. Like the theatre district to the south, Blackfriars was a ‘Liberty’, which put it outside the control of the city authorities. The area had a history of theatrical associations prior to Shakespeare’s company beginning to perform there in 1609: it was previously home to the Offices of the Queen’s Revels and two companies of boy players. The Royal Wardrobe was to the east, from which costumes were borrowed.

Full title:
Civitas Londinvm ano dni circiter MDLX / Vertue Soc. Antiq. Lond. excudit 1737.
Map / Image
Ralph Agas, George Vertue
Usage terms
Public Domain
Held by
British Library
Maps Crace Port.1.8.

Full catalogue details

Related articles

Shakespeare's life

Article by:
Andrew Dickson
Shakespeare’s life and world

From Stratford to London (and back again), from ‘upstart crow’ to 'wonder of our stage', Andrew Dickson recounts some of the details of William Shakespeare’s life.

Shakespeare’s London

Article by:
Eric Rasmussen, Ian DeJong
Shakespeare’s life and world

Early modern London was an expanding metropolis filled with diverse life, from courtiers, merchants and artisans to prostitutes, beggars and cutpurses. Here Professor Eric Rasmussen and Ian DeJong describe the city that shaped Shakespeare's imagination.

Shakespeare's playhouses

Article by:
Eric Rasmussen, Ian DeJong
Shakespeare’s life and world, Deception, drama and misunderstanding

From the open-air Globe to the candlelit Blackfriars, Professor Eric Rasmussen and Ian DeJong explore early modern playhouses.

Related collection items