'A general Plott and description of the Fennes' by Henricus Hondius c.1632
A fascinating and historically significant 17th century map of the Fens -- showing them before they were drained by Cornelius Vermuyden in the 1650s -- which was published in the Mercator / Hondius Atlas (Amsterdam: 1632-1636). On the reverse of the map there is text written in French describing the history of the Fens.
Probably based on a now lost manuscript map by William Hayward, the Fens are shown as still largely inundated with places such as Ely, Whittlesey and Thorney existing as islands (hence 'Isle of Ely'). The city of Peterborough is meanwhile shown as a port on the Fens. In the map's dedication, the names Francis Russell, Earl of Bedford and Cornelius Vermuyden, both of whom were to play a major part in the later drainage, are clearly mentioned. The map is orientated so North is pointing to the right.
- This is an original copperplate engraving with fine original hand colour.
- Printed area is approximately 55.5cms by 44cms.
- The map is in good condition with decent margins. There is some minor water staining to the centrefold with a split at the bottom. The map has also been folded over horizontally at some point though this does not detract from its fine appearance. Click on image for a better view.
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- Guaranteed to be over 380 years old.