Attractive full color example of Speed's map of Chester, from the 1676 edition of Speed's Theatre of Great Britain.
Includes multiple coats of arms and a large inset plan of the town of Chester.
British historian John Speed is perhaps the most famous English mapmaker of the seventeenth century. His reputation rests on two great books: T he Theatre of the Empire of Great Britaine, produced initially in 1611-1612 and A Prospect of the Most Famous Parts of the World, published in 1627, the first general atlas of the world to be created in England.
Speed's county of Chester is based upon the prototypes of Christopher Saxton and John Norden, but updated information wherever possible and included new cartographic features. No roads are shown, but the boundaries of the "hundreds" (English county divisions) are shown, along with town views, churches, castles, windmills, and ring-fences indicating parks.
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.