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Description

Rare Henry Overton edition of John Speed's map of Cambridge.

Includes large inset plan of Cambridge and 25 different coats of arms.

After 1676, Speed's maps were sold to Christopher Browne. Henry Overton acquired Speed's plates from Christopher Browne in 1713. As noted in Hodson, there are four variant editions of the Speed Overton Atlas (I-IV).

  • The first was printed very soon after he had acquired the plates
  • The second was post-1716
  • The third was circa 1720
  • The final was 1743
John Speed Biography

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.