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William Smith: Surriae Comitatus

Map: SURREY607
Cartographer: William Smith
Title: Surriae Comitatus
Date: c. 1655
Published: London
Width: 19 inches / 49 cm
Height: 15 inches / 39 cm
Map ref: SURREY607
The county of Surrey based on John Norden's survey of 1594.

This very early map of Surrey has only been very recently attributed to William Smith. It forms part of a series of several county maps proposed for an Atlas by Hans Woutneel but which were never published. In the mid 20th century, through new research, this group of maps was attributed to the important surveyor and cartographer William Smith. However, the similarity that this Surrey map bears to that published in William Camden’s Britannia in 1607 which is attributed to John Norden suggests that Smith certainly had access to Norden’s survey first conducted in 1594. That being said, there are also sufficient differences to note that Smith used Norden’s survey as a basis as opposed to this map being a direct derivation.

No examples of Smith’s original map c.1602-3 survive. The copper plates passed onto the publisher Peter Stent them between c.1640-60. This particular example bears the imprint “Printed and Sold by P. Stent” on the lower left as well as the imprint of Stent’s successor, “Sold by John Overton at the white horse without Newgate neere ye fountain tavern”. That specific address dates it to c.1665-6, just after Stent’s death of the plague in 1665.

A very rare and unusual map of the county. Coloured. [SURREY607]