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NOTES from ADAMS'S MAP OF THE TRACK OF THE ARMADA, 1590

Maps C.7.c.1(2)  
These notes are taken from a map of the British Isles showing the track of the spanish Armada, by Robert Adams, engraved by Augustine Ryther, 1590. The map studied is in the Map Room, British Library call number Maps C.7.c.1(2).
map type: HantsMap & Adams 1590
The map size is: wxh, sheet = 77x54.5cm; wxh, map = 754x523mm; including a 2mm gap where the map is mounted to fold into a compiled volume of maps by Christopher Saxton. The map is tinted. NB remember that these notes are biased towards a Hampshire interest.

MAP FEATURES

decorative border    
The map has a decorative border.

coat of arms    
Printed upper left is the royal coat of arms of Elizabeth I. The arms have England and France quartered, as used by the monarch since Henry IV. The supporters are a lion and a dragon. There is a crown above and the cypher:-
E R
As well as the garter motto:-
HONI SOIT QUI MAL Y PENSE
there is a motto:-
SEMPER EADEM
in the strapwork cartouche below.
Printed lower left is another coat of arms, with the garter motto. The arms are in quarters (1. gules, seme with crosslets fitchee? a bend argent having a shield bearing ? 2. gules, three lions passant or 3. chequy vert and or 4. gules a lion rampant or - all very doubtful).

orientation    
labelled borders    
compass rose    
wind heads    
up is N    

The map borders have labels:-
NORTHE
EAST
SOUTHE
WEST
There are also several compass roses. The grandest, printed on the left has label shape pointers for the cardinal, half cardinal, false and bye points, bearing the directions, as:-
NORTH
N B E
N N E
N E B N
NORTH E
N E B E
E N E
E B N
EAST
etc. On each rose, North is marked by a fleur de lys. The compass rose in the North Sea is decorated with an armillary sphere in the middle, the rose in the English Channel has a rose.
The four compass roses are drawn along the Armada track, and at each there is a wind head, a winged cherub head puffing out a wind. The compass rose on the left, in the Atlantic, the last stage of the Armada's journey homeward, has a scroll:-
A DEO FACTUM EST
roughly translated 'Made by God'. The wind that blew away the Armada.

scale line    
scale    
map maker    
engraver    

Printed lower left in a strapwork cartouche, below one of the coats of arms, is:-
The Scale of Leagues, every league co~teining 3 miles Ro: Adamo Authore
The scale line is graduated in leagues, labelled 1,2..5, 10, 15, ...50. The 50 leagues = 91.1 mm. Making an [unwarranted] assumption that a league = 3 nautical miles of 6080 feet then the map scale is 1 to 3051345; the map scale is about:-
1 to 3000000
50 (land) miles to 1 inch
Printed below the scale line:-
Augustinus Ryther Sculpsit
Other estimates of the map scale can be got from measuring between some towns:-
London - Bristol = 105mm (174.1Km)
giving a scale 1 to 1658095, say 1 to 1600000
London - York = 99mm (280.6Km)
giving a scale 1 to 2834343, say 1 to 2800000
As is pretty clear from its appearance, the map is much too long E-W.

latitude scale    
Printed within the left border is:-
The Scale of Latitude
chequered in 15 minute and 30 minute intervals, labelled at 1 degree intervals. Comparing the latitude scale with the scale line the league used by Robert Adams is the expected 3 nautical miles, each nautical mile being the length of 1 minute of latitude (within 0.5% error).
The map includes from 48d 20m to 61d 50m N; Great Britain and parts of the coasts of France, Holland, Germany and Norway.

sea area    
sea pecked    
sandbanks    
rocks    

The sea is pecked, and tinted blue. Sea areas are not labelled. Some sandbanks are drawn by dotting, and at least one is labelled:-
Owers
east of the Isle of Wight, which was significant to the Armada operation. A rock is marked by a cross (+), labelled:-
Edy stone

coast line    
coast shaded    
headlands    

The coast line is shaded for emphasis. Some headlands are noticed, eg:-
C: Lizard
Start point
S. forland
Harbours are not labelled. In Hampshire it is possible to recognise Southampton Water, but the three harbours of Portsmouth, Langstone and Chichester are all one bay.

country    
coat of arms    

The scottish/english border is a dotted line; the countries tinted along their boundary. Countries are all labelled, eg:-
ENGLANDE
England is also identified by a coat of arms; divided per pale, the cross of St George and the royal coat of arms, a crown above and the garter and motto around. Scotland and Ireland have their devices.

settlements    
Settlements are not shown over the whole map. London, York, and Bristol and clearly marked by buildings and a tower, and labelled. Settlements and other features are labelled along the coasts.


The Armada Track

The track of the Armada is drawn by a line of circles; entering from the southwest and passing the Cape Lizard. Off Dartmouth there is a drawing of a ship sinking? and another ship is on fire south of Exeter. Nothing more is suggested of the actions along the English Channel. Off Calais the two fleets:-
ye English fleete
The Spanish fleete
are drawn as great huddles of ships. The spanish ships are drawn in their crescent formation off the north part of Norfolk, chased from the south by four columns of english ships, and by further english fleet from the southwest. In the North Sea, level with Newcastle, the spanish crescent is drawn with the english massed to their southwest. The track continues up past Fair Isle where there is a shipwreck, across the top of Scotland, and out into the Atlantic on the track home.

Hampshire Places

The places labelled along the Hampshire coast are:-
Christchurch
Hurst Castel
S. Hampton
Faram
Portesmouth
Havant

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HantsMap Notes -- ADAMS2.txt
MN: 8.9.2002
last edit: 8.9.2002