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John Speed: The Countie of Nottingham, described. The Shire townes and situation and the Earls there of observed.

Map: NOTTS245
 
Cartographer: John Speed
Title: The Countie of Nottingham, described. The Shire townes and situation and the Earls there of observed.
Date: 1614
Published: London
Width: 22 inches / 56 cm
Height: 17 inches / 44 cm
Map ref: NOTTS245
Description:
Nottinghamshire. A decorative map from the second edition of Speed's seminal atlas, 'The Theatre of Great Britaine'. Showing a vignette of Nottingham.

There is no indication as to who provided the geography for Speed’s map of the county of Nottinghamshire suggesting that it was probably derived from Saxton. Industrially, it was an important commercial centre and Nottingham itself was a highly developed town with a large castle. Speed himself was moved to describe the town as “a town seated most pleasant and delicate upon a high hill, for buildings stately and number of fair streets surpassing and surmounting many other cities.” He goes on to continue his glowing description of the settlement. He was obviously highly impressed by his visit or visits there.

His praise for Nottingham is reflected by the elaborate border he engraves around the small city plan on the upper left. This is balanced by an equally elaborate border around the cartouche. These stylised decorations on the upper part of the map are also present on the lower part of the map, in the form of a panel showing the armorial shields of important families which had held the rank of Earls of Nottingham on the right and a large compass rose on the lower left.

Finally, there is a small vignette of a battle also on the lower left, with a panel next to it, describing the events as well as commemorating the Battle of Stoke Field, fought in 1487 and commonly believed to be the last battle of the Wars of the Roses.

English text on verso. Image available on request.

[NOTTS245]