Old Sussex Mapped

Speed's Sussex 1610




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This map comes from the Sussex County Record Society collection, where it can be found under the call number PM118.

The map claims that it was "described by John Norden, augmented by John Speede", and it was engraved by Jodivus Hondius in Amersterdam but printed in London. Hondius (1563-1612) was the leading cartographer and map publisher of the period. After 10 years exile in London (1584-1596) he returned to Amsterdam and in 1604 took over the business of the great Seahand Mercator. The firm later continued under the supervision of sons Jodicus and Henricus. His daughter married Jan Jansson, and Jannson took over the business after the death of Hondius in 1638.

Book Title: The theatre of the empire of Great Britaine: presenting an exact geography of the kingdoms of England, Scotland and the iles adjoining: with the shrines, hundreds, cities and shire-towns within ye kingdom of England, divided and described by Iohn Speed. London, John Sudbury and George Humble, 1611 (actually published in 1612).

N.B.-- The information about the map's background, and about John Speede's life was taken from the book Printed Maps of Sussex, 1575-1900, written by D. Kingsley for the Sussex Record Society.

John Speed
John Speed (1552-1629) was born in Cheshire. He followed his father in the tailoring trade, and was a member of the Worshipful Company of Merchant Tailors. His interest in antiquities brought him to the notice of Sir Fulke Greville. Greville made him an allowance which enabled him to devote the latter part of his life to historical research and to cartography. He is perhaps the best known of English cartographers, although he did little or no original work on the county maps themselves, a fact which he readily acknowledged, however, in completing his Theatre he was most careful to search out the best available sources, and many of the town plans were based on his own surveys. The title Theatre in this connection had first been used by Ortelius in 1570.
References : D. Kingsley. Printed Maps of Sussex, 1575-1900. Sussex Record Society, VOlume 72. Prudoced by Alan Sutton Publishing limited 17a Brunswick Road, Glousceter.

Speed's Sussex, contents 
Old Sussex Mapped 

Map PM118