The first printed map of Suffolk
By SAXTON, Christopher, 1579
Suffolciae comitatus continens in se Oppida mercatoria 25, Pagos et villas 464, una cum singulis hundredis & fluminibus in eodem Vera descriptio. Anno Domini 1575
- Author: SAXTON, Christopher
- Publication place: London
- Publisher: Christopher Saxton
- Publication date: 1579.
- Physical description: Double-page engraved map, fine original full-wash colour, contemporary annotation on verso in brown ink, some minor offsetting, some light marginal soiling.
- Dimensions: 420 by 550mm. (16.5 by 21.75 inches).
- Inventory reference: 15358
Inland, the map features the rivers, hills, woodlands and settlements of Suffolk, including the city of Ipswich, represented by a small but intricate collection of buildings, complete with turrets and Church spires. Nearby, Woodbridge is identified, the seat of the Saxton’s patron, Thomas Seckford. It is in this county too that Saxton himself held land, granted to him by Elizabeth I for his ‘survey of divers parts of England’, according to Gardham.
A large, ornate cartouche dominates the upper central portion of this map, containing the Latin county name, along with a record of the number of merchant towns, estates and rivers within Suffolk, and surmounted by the royal coat-of-arms. This cartouche replicates a design found in Clément Perret’s 1569 publication on calligraphy, the ‘Exercitatio Alphabetica’, engraved by Nicholas de Hooghe, who also worked on several of Saxton’s maps. While the name of the engraver who created the copper plate of Suffolk is not detailed on the map, it is known to have been Lenaert Terwoot, and a banner on the lower border of the map identifies Saxton as the cartographer. To the right of this, the map’s scale sits above the Seckford family crest, complete with its early Latin motto. 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.