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Sebastian Munster: Londinvm Feracis: Ang, Met.

Map: LDN6538
Cartographer: Sebastian Munster
Title: Londinvm Feracis: Ang, Met.
Date: c. 1598
Published: Basel
Width: 14 inches / 36 cm
Height: 9 inches / 23 cm
Map ref: LDN6538
Sebastian Munster's woodblock map of London is one of the earliest maps of the city available to collectors. It shows London during the lifetimes of Queen Elizabeth I and William Shakespeare. This map is a derivative of Braun & Hogenberg's map of 1572. Munster has even arranged the costumed figures in the foreground into the same poses. Instead of the Latin descriptions found in the lower corners of the map on the Braun & Hogenberg map, Munster has instead included two panels listing the seven gates in the City wall, from west to east.

The old St Paul's Cathedral with its original pointed spire sits at the centre of the map. The spire was destroyed in a fire in 1561, but frequently appeared on later depictions of the city. The cathedral itself was burnt to the ground during the Great Fire of 1666, after which Christopher Wren designed and built the modern cathedral. To the southeast of St Paul's is the old London Bridge, the only bridge crossing over the River Thames until the 18th century.

South of the river are two circular arenas for bull and bear baiting. This was a vicious, but popular, form of entertainment in Tudor London. Shakespeare's Globe Theatre would be built in 1599 on a parcel of land to the west of these arenas.

Located outside of the City of London's jurisdiction, Southwark was a riotous pleasure ground where Londoners went to escape the strict rules north of the river.

On the far left of the map is Westminster, a separate royal enclave surrounding St James's Palace and Whitehall linked to the city by the Strand and by the river. A royal barge is shown on the river to the west of London Bridge, depicting the monarch's typical method of traveling to avoid the crowded streets of the city. The royal coat of arms is appropriately placed in the upper-left corner above Westminster, while the upper-right corner contains the coat of arms of the City of London.

This is the German edition with Gothic script below the map and on the verso (image available on request). [LDN6538]