Striking early map of the province of Connaught that includes the counties of Galway, Clare, Sligo, Mayo, Roscommon and many cities, towns and topographical details.
The fortified city of Galway is shown in an inset with the Galway River flowing by, complete with boats and ships. The map is adorned with three extravagant cartouches: one for the title, topped with English and Irish heraldry; one for the scale of Irish miles with a pair of cherubs; and an especially dramatic one suspended from a compass rose with more cherubs and stapwork decoration. The map has the imprint of George Humble and John Sudbury, and the verso is filled with related English text.
John Speed (1551 or '52 - 28 July 1629) was the best known English mapmaker of the Stuart period. Speed came to mapmaking late in life, producing his first maps in the 1590s and entering the trade in earnest when he was almost 60 years old.
John Speed's fame, which continues to this day, lies with two atlases, The Theatre of the Empire of Great Britaine (first published 1612), and the Prospect of the Most Famous Parts of the World (1627). While The Theatre ... started as solely a county atlas, it grew into an impressive world atlas with the inclusion of the Prospect in 1627. The plates for the atlas passed through many hands in the 17th century, and the book finally reached its apotheosis in 1676 when it was published by Thomas Bassett and Richard Chiswell, with a number of important maps added for the first time.