‘BEDFORD Comitatus olim pars CATHIFUCLANORUM’ (Bedfordshire) by Saxton/Kip c.1637


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An attractive early 17th Century map of Bedfordshire which based on the first survey of the county by Christopher Saxton, engraved by William Kip and published in Camden’s Britannia (London: 1607-1637). As well as being the earliest printed map of Bedfordshire at an ‘affordable’ price it is also the first (detailed) one dedicated solely to the county. This particular example comes from the 1637 edition (state III) with plate number ’15’ added to bottom left corner.

*’Britannia’, first published in 1586, was one of the most popular and influential books of the period. The work of the Elizabethan antiquarian, William Camden (1551-1623), it was a detailed historical and topographical description of Great Britain. Its patriotic sentiments, in particular, both appealed to and generated the growing sense of nationalism that was coursing through late Tudor / early Stuart society. Between 1607 and 1637, county maps engraved by William Kip and William Hole, and based largely on Saxton’s surveys, were added. These maps have the distinction of being the first set to show each county individually as opposed to several being grouped together on one page. Camden’s Britannia continued to be published well into the 19th century; from 1695 to 1772, county maps by Robert Morden were used, and from 1789 to c.1815, those by the renowned John Cary.

  • This is an original copperplate engraving with later hand colour.
  • Printed area is approximately 33.5cms by 27.4cms.
  • The map is in very good condition with excellent margins; centrefold, as issued. Click on image for better view.
  • Click on ‘Delivery Policy’ for Postage costs.
  • Guaranteed to be over 375 years old.
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IMPORTANT NOTICE: Orders made from 15th June onwards will not be dispatched until after the 19th June.
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