The first printed map of Monmouthshire
By SAXTON, Christopher, 1579
[Monmouthshire] Monumethensis Comitatus
Regis Henrici quinti natalitiis celeberrimus An Dn 1577
- Author: SAXTON, Christopher
- Publication place: London
- Publisher: Christopher Saxton
- Publication date: 1579.
- Physical description: Double-page engraved map, fine original hand-colour in outline, contemporary annotation on verso in brown ink.
- Dimensions: 420 by 550mm. (16.5 by 21.75 inches).
- Inventory reference: 15368
In the upper left corner a bold blue cartouche contains the Latin county name, surmounted by the royal coat-of-arms flanked by English lion and Welsh dragon. Beneath this the Seckford family crest is adorned with a banner enclosing the family’s later Latin motto. On the lower border of the map, the scale is accompanied by another banner identifying Saxton as the cartographer. The omission of the engraver’s name has led to some reports that Saxton himself was responsible for the creation of the copper plate, but there is no evidence to suggest that he took part in the engraving process himself. It is instead thought that credit for this should go to Augustine Ryther, part of the team of craftsmen who produced the copper plates of Saxton’s surveys. Alongside these elaborate features, the majestic Elizabethan galleons and ornate outer-frame attest to the ornamental value of this map. 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.