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Christopher Saxton: Essexiae Comitat' Nova Vera ac Absoluta Descriptio

Map: ESSEX276
Cartographer: Christopher Saxton
Title: Essexiae Comitat' Nova Vera ac Absoluta Descriptio
Date: 1576
Published: London
Width: 20 inches / 51 cm
Height: 16 inches / 41 cm
Map ref: ESSEX276
RARE. The first printed map of Essex. Engraved in 1576 and published in the first English county atlas, Saxton's "Atlas of the Counties of England and Wales", in 1579. Original hand colour.

Modelled on Abraham Ortelius’s atlas, the world’s first, “Theatrum Orbis Terrarum”, inspired Yorkshireman Christopher Saxton (1542? – 1610?) created and compiled an atlas of English county maps between 1570-78. The atlas was commissioned and funded by Thomas Seckford, a court official and Master of Requests for Queen Elizabeth I. As such, the title cartouche on this map has the Royal Arms belonging to the Queen, mounted atop of it.

The map was first engraved in 1576 for a composite atlas belonging to William Cecil Lord Burghley, Elizabeth I’s Secretary of State (This 1576 copy exists within the British Library’s collection). Later editions of this map, engraved date of 1642, published from 1645 by William Web, including such alterations as to include an English title rather than Latin and an inset town plan of Essex.

[Skelton, R. A.: “County Atlases of the British Isles 1579-1703” : 1] [ESSEX276]