The first printed map of Herefordshire
By SAXTON, Christopher, 1579
frugiferi ac ameni Herefordiae Comitatus Deliniatio, Anno Dni. 1577
- Author: SAXTON, Christopher
- Publication place: London
- Publisher: Christopher Saxton
- Publication date: 1579.
- Physical description: Double-page engraved map, fine original hand-colour, original linen strip to either side of guard on verso.
- Dimensions: 405 by 530mm. (16 by 20.75 inches).
- Inventory reference: 18579
An elaborate cartouche in the top right corner of the map contains the county title in Latin, flanked by Adam and Eve, and surmounted by the royal coat-of-arms. Below this, the Seckford coat-of-arms is shown, along with its later Latin motto ‘industria naturam ornat’, in honour of Saxton’s patron, Thomas Seckford. The scale is found in the bottom left corner of the map. Despite one account claiming that the copper plate of Herefordshire was one of the only ones engraved by Saxton himself, the name of the Flemish engraver, Remigius Hogenberg, is found below the scale bar, as it is on many other of Saxton’s maps. In fact, there is no evidence that Saxton engraved any of the maps produced under his name, which are instead testament to the combined skills of cartographer, engraver and painter. Additionally, like all the maps in Saxton’s ‘Atlas of England and Wales’, this map bears his watermark, a bunch of grapes, to identify the work as original.
- ‘Herefordiae Comitatus f.95’ (The British Library Online Gallery, 2009)
- Smith, ‘Saxton, Speed and Early Mapmakers’ (The History of Ewyas Lacy, 2010)
- White, ‘The natural history of Selborne’ (Whittaker and Company, 1836).