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Stock# 97232

First English Edition of Camden's Britannia

Early Female Ownership

First edition in English, translated by Philemonn Holland, of Camden's monumental topographical treatise. Published in London by George Bishop

This edition of Camden's Britannia is notable for its English translation by Philemon Holland, making it the first to be accessible to an English-speaking audience. It is the second of only three editions featuring county maps engraved by William Kip and William Hole the majority of which are drawn from Christopher Saxton's foundational survey of England and Wales. 

In addition to the Saxton's maps, three maps in this edition, all engraved by William Hole, are of note. The map of England and Wales, titled Englalond Anglia Anglosaxonum Heptarchia, presents the conventional divisions of the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms and features a detailed compass rose, nautical elements, and an elaborate title cartouche displaying the seven-scepter symbol of the Heptarchy. The map of Scotland, Scotia Regnum, derives from Mercator's 1595 map, extending to capture portions of the Hebrides and Orkney Islands and exhibiting strong topographical detailing. Like its counterpart, the map of Ireland, Hiberniae Ireland Anglis, is also influenced by Mercator's 1595 cartography, offering a detailed county-by-county depiction that includes geographical features like mountains, forests, rivers, and lakes.  

Britannia, a topographical and historical survey written by William Camden (1551-1623), was the first chorographical survey of the British Isles. First published in 1586, the sixth edition was the first folio edition and the first to contain maps. The seventh edition, 1610, was the first to be translated into English.

The engraved maps are mostly signed by Hole or William Kip. No plate numbers on the maps (which appear on later states of the maps); Skelton singles out 10 maps which had compass roses added:

Two successive alterations were made to the plates before 1622, while the text in the setting of 1610 was still unexhausted; and the maps may be found in states I, II, or III with the 1610 text. In the first alteration (state II), a compass rose was inserted on ten maps...In the second alteration (state III), plate numbers 1 to [57] were added to all [but 14 of the maps] - Skelton

The main sources are Christopher Saxton and John Norden. The map of Pembrokeshire is from George Owen.

Contains the following maps:

  1. England
  2. Cornwall. No compass rose.
  3. Devonshire
  4. Dorsetshire
  5. Somersetshire
  6. Wilshire
  7. Hamshire
  8. Barkshire
  9. Surrey
  10. Sussex. No compass rose.
  11. Kent
  12. Glocestershire
  13. Oxfordshire
  14. Buckinghamshire
  15. Bedfordshire
  16. Hertfordshire
  17. Middlesex. With compass rose.
  18. Essex
  19. Suffolk. No compass rose.
  20. Norfolk. No compass rose.
  21. Cambridgeshire
  22. Huntingdonshire
  23. Northamptonshire. No compass rose.
  24. Leicester. No compass rose.
  25. Rutland. No compass rose.
  26. Lincolnshire. No compass rose
  27. Nottinghamshire
  28. Darbyshire
  29. Warwick. No compass rose.
  30. Worcestershire
  31. Shropshire
  32. Staffordshire
  33. Cheshire
  34. Herefordshire
  35. Radnoreshire
  36. Brechnockshire
  37. Monmouthshire
  38. Glamorganshire
  39. Caermardenshire
  40. Penbrokeshire
  41. Cardiganshire
  42. LACKS: [Mongomery Comitatus]
  43. Merionethshire
  44. Caernarvonshire
  45. Anglesey
  46. Denbighshire
  47. Flintshire
  48. Yorkshire, West Riding
  49. East riding
  50. North riding
  51. Durham
  52. Lancashire
  53. Westmorland
  54. Cumberland
  55. Northumberland
  56. Scotland
  57. Ireland
Condition Description
Folio. Contemporary speckled calf expertly rebacked in antique style, raised spine bands, hand-sewn headbands. Gilt spine title. Corners neatly refurbished. A few scuffs to boards. [10], 822;[blank leaf], 233, [54] pages. Title vignette. Engraved pictorial title page with map of Britain (older restoration with numerous repaired tears in the margins). Latin dedication leaf. 56 of 57 double-page maps (all but 2 double page), plus 8 engravings of coins on 4 leaves (i.e. pages 89-96), engraving on f. Sss5v (page 770), and numerous woodcuts in the text. Early 19th-century armorial bookplate of Thomas Stanley Massey (1783-1841), 9th Baronet, of Hooton. 17th-century ownership inscription in upper margin of pictorial title (William L---?). Early (likely 17th-century) ownership signature of Ann Leighton in top margin of title page). Older repairs to upper gutter margins of first fifty (or so) leaves, text unaffected. Marginal tear (with paper loss) to map of Ireland (map image unaffected). 4-inch tear to f. Nnnn2 (no loss). Overall a very nice example, internally very clean. Except for lacking the map of Montgomeryshire (Mongomery Comitatus), a very good example.
Chubb, T. XIX; Skelton, R.A. (County) 6; Shirley, R.W. (BL Atlases). ESTC S107167. STC (2nd ed.) 4509.