Speed’s map of Herefordshire

By SPEED, John, 1627 

Herefordshire described with the true plot of the citie of Hereford as alsoe the armes of those nobles that have been intitled with that dignity.

British Isles English Counties
  • Author: SPEED, John
  • Publication place: London
  • Publisher: Performed by Iohn Speede, And are to be solde in Popes head alley against the Exchange by Iohn Sudbury and George Humbell
  • Publication date: 1627
  • Physical description: Engraved map with hand colouring.
  • Dimensions: 380 by 505mm. (15 by 20 inches).
  • Inventory reference: 11766


A beautifully coloured map of Herefordshire, with an inset of the city of Hereford and a vignette of the Battle of Mortimer’s Cross, a key battle in the Wars of the Roses. The picture shows the omen seen before the battle: three suns (a phenomenon known as a sundog, or parhelion) appeared in the sky.

John Speed (1552–1629) was the outstanding cartographer of his age. His Theatre of Great Britain’ was the first atlas of the British Isles: Speed prepared the maps himself about two years before they were published. His maps and books dominated the seventeenth-century English market. The present map is taken from the 1627 English edition published by George Humble. 


  1. Chubb XXV.
    • Chubb, T., Skells, J. and Beharrell, H. (1977). The printed maps in the atlases of Great Britain and Ireland. Folkestone: Dawson.