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Description

Beautiful example of John Speed's map of Oxford, from Speed's Theatre of Great Britain, first published in 1611.

Oxfordshire is shown in its early 17th-century configuration, somewhat smaller than it is today, with lands to the south still shown as part of Berkshire.

Two Oxford scholars are shown measuring out the scale of miles on a loose terrestrial globe.

In the upper right is a detailed view map of the town of Oxford at the beginning of the 17th century, many buildings, roads, fields, and city walls are shown pictorially. The rivers Thames and Cherwell are shown winding through Oxford's bridges and oxbows.

Below the map of the city of Oxford is a key to landmarks, largely colleges:

A. Sainte Giles
B. Sainte Johns Colledge
C. Trinitie Colledge
D. Balliol Colledge
E. Magdalaine Church
F. Saint Michaels
G. Jesus Colledge
H. Exiter Colledge
I. Universitie Schooles
K. Lincolne Colledge
L. All Hallowes
M. Saint Martins
N. Corne Markett
O. St. Peters in ye Bailie
P. The Castle
Q. Saint Thomas
R. Saint Ebbes
S. Saint Aldates
T. Christes Church Col:
V. Christes Church
W. Coprus Chr: Colledge
X. Merton Colledge
Y. Saint Maries
Z. All Soules Colledge
1. Universitie Colledge
2. Brasenose Colledge
3. Oriall Colledge
4. East gate

On the left and right borders are eighteen coats of arms of the Oxford colleges along with their founding dates, going back to University College in 872 (this based on a 14th-century legend, which modern historians doubt).

Condition Description
Margins extended at left and right, not affecting image.
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.