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John Speed: The Isle of Man

Map: BI433
Cartographer: John Speed
Title: The Isle of Man
Date: 1676
Published: London
Width: 20 inches / 51 cm
Height: 15 inches / 39 cm
Map ref: BI433
The map of the Isle of Man present in the “Theatre of the Empire of Great Britaine” is very different from the other maps within the atlas.

Two large panels on either side of the map show the coats of arms of England and the Island left and right respectively, while two panels of text below bear descriptions of the island. Under the panels, two medallions credit the authorship of the map to John Speed based on a survey by Thomas Durham, a local surveyor. Although little is known about Durham, it is most unusual that Speed gives him such prominence, especially in comparison to other maps in the atlas.

Below the medallions are two scales, one to be used on the island and the other to be used from a prominent compass rose from the centre of the island to measure distance between this point and England, Ireland and Scotland.

Aesthetically, Speed has adapted this map to fit stylistically with the contents of his famous Atlas. Two galleons adorn the sea which also contains four sea monsters, each bearing a rider carrying a flag of the four kingdoms which shared the Irish Sea, namely, Scotland, England, Ireland and the Isle of Man itself.

Coloured. English text on verso. [BI433]