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NOTES from LILY'S MAP of GREAT BRITAIN, 1546

These notes are taken from poor reproductions of the map of Britanniae ie the British Isles, by George Lily, Rome, 1546, and a number of derivative editions in the 16th century. The reproductions are given in:-
Shirley, Rodney W: 1991 (revised edn): Early Printed Map of the British Isles: Antique Atlas:: ISBN 0 9514914 2 3

map type: HantsMap & Lily 1546
The notes are particularly biased towards Hampshire interest.
This map is the first map of the British Isles issued as a single sheet. It was printed from two copper plates; its size is wxh = 535x745mm. George Lily was an english catholic exiled in Rome at the papal court. R W Shirley gives a concise note of the possible sources for the map's content.

MAP FEATURES

title cartouche    
strapwork cartouche    
coat of arms    

Printed upper right is a strapwork title cartouche:-
BRITANNIAE INSULAE QUAE NUNC ANGLIAE ET SCOTIAE REGNA CONTINET CUM HIBERNIA ADIACENTE NOVA DESCRIPTIO
Remember that the islands are not one nation at this date. Above the cartouche are two coats of arms: the lions of England quartered with the three fleur de lys of France; and the lion of Scotland in its double tressure. There is a decorative tudor rose above the cartouche.

descriptive text    
table of symbols    
map maker    

In a large cartouche lower right there is a panel of descriptive text in Latin (not safely transcribed, sorry):-
BRITANNIA [ Insularum quae in Europa continentur maxima, a meridie in septentrionem protenditur, forma triquetra. A promontorio enim quod Vectem Insularum ad meridiem prospicit, ad Cathanesiam ultimam Scotiae partem, quae ab Orcadibus insulis, freto non admodum magno dirimitur, milliaria continentur 600. A Douero autem ultima Cantij parte, quae ad Gallia non plus 30 mill. distat, in extremum Cornubiae promontorium quod Armoricum respicit milliaria habentur 320. A quo rursus per Hibernicum mare ad sepentrionem progrediens, ad Cathanesiam supremam totius insulae partem, mill inveniuntur 800. Continet insulae circuitus mill 1720 minus quam computat Caesar 280. Dividitur haec insula in duo regna, pars enim australior quae et fertilor est, et urbibus frequenterior, et moribus civilior ANGLIA dicitur, quae autem septentrionalior, moribus aspera, et ob intensissimum frigus infertilior, SCOTIA nuncupator. Divimitur Anglia a Scotia, ad orientem Jueda, ad occidentem Soluco fluminibus, mediterranea, mons Cheviota discriminat. Obiacent Scotiae ad occidentem in Hibernico mare, Insulae 43. Eboniae, sive Hebrides dictae, Harum prima, & Episcopali sede, et antiquissima Druidum memoria, MONA erat nostro autem seculo Anglo paret. Ad septentrionem sunt Orcades insulae 31 hordeo piscibus, cuniculis, abundantissime, inter has primas tenet POMONIA, et magnitudine caeteras vincens, et Episcopali sede, et regio castro ornata. Ultima omnium in ditione Scoti est JHULE, polum habens elevatum gradibus 63 in qua cum Sol Cancrum occupat, tenebrae aut nullae, aut perbreves. Idiomata quibus utuntur incolae, quinqa sunt. Cornubicum, quo Cornubiensis, Wallicum, quo Walli, Anglicorum, quo Angli, et bona pars Scotiae, Hibernicum quo Hebrides insulae et septentrionalis Scotiae pars, Gothicum, quo Orcades solae utuntur. Haber Anglia Episcopatus 22, quorum decem et octo Cantuariensi primati parent, duo autem Eboracensi Archipresuli, Gymnasia item celebria duo OXONIUM & CANTABRIGIAM, Contentus, quos et comitatus habet 22. Abundat Anglia stagno plumba ferro, lana optima, pecore & frumento. Scoti piscibus, pecore, et lana. Lupos non habet Anglia. Scotia permultos. Dividunt Angliam in tres veluti Regiones. tria ingentia flumina, Tamesis, Sabrina, Humbrus. Scotia item tria, Cluda, Forthea, Taus. Regia Angliae est LONDINUM; Scotiae, EDINBURGUS. Legibus utuntur Angli municipalibus tantum, civlibus Scoti. Cadem utriq. genti in bello ferocia; sagittis Angli, hasta longa Scotii in acte praevalent. Ram inter eos pax, dum illi propagare, isti retinere, imperium student. ROMAE, Anglorum studio & diligentia M.D.XLVI ]
In the lower border of the cartouche is a formal table of symbols showing how the capital, episcopal, and county towns and castles, are represented on the map.
METROP [circle, two towers, central staff and ?symbol]
EPISCOPATUS [circle, two towers, central staff and cross]
COMITATUS [circle tow towers, flag on staff at right]
CASTRA [circle, tower - like a child's sandcastle - and short staff]
Winchester is shown as the episcopal town, the seat of the bishop of Winchester Diocese; Southampton as the county town.
R W Shirley makes some interesting comments about what dioceses are recognised by the [catholic] map maker.
The map maker's initials:-
GLA
Georgius Lilius Anglus, are said to be almost hidden in a small emblem below the cartouche (not legible on the reproduction).

orientation    
up is W    
labelled borders    

The map is printed with West at the top of the page; this puts the islands conveniently across a double page spread of a folded sheet in an atlas. The borders are labelled:-
[ ]
SEPTENTRIO
ORIENS
MERIDIES

lat and long scales    
The borders have scales of latitude and longitude in a trapezoid projection, labelled at degree intervals. The south border (left) covers 11.5 to 27 degrees E longitude; the latitude covers from 49 to 61 degrees N. The map has part of the coast of France, and the Orkneys but not Shetland. The longitude of Greenwich can be estimated to suggest:-
prime meridian 22 degrees E
which is about the Cape Verde islands. For Hampshire:-
Winchester 20.1 degrees E

scale line    
Printed lower right is a scale of:-
MILLIARIA
200 miles chequered in 5 mile intervals, labelled at 20 mile intervals; be careful how you read the scale, the figures belong at the end of the interval, not the middle where they are printed.

sea area    
sea pecked    
ships    

The sea is stipples; the coast a bold line. The English Channel is labelled:-
MARE BRITANNICUA[]
There are a few ship for decoration.
The Solent
Southampton Water
Portsmouth Harbour
can be recognised.

rivers    
Rivers are drawn by double wiggly lines tapering inland; mostly unlabelled but notice:-
TAMESIS F
etc; as mentioned in the descriptive text.
Rivers relevant to Hampshire are:-
Stour
Avon and tributary Bourne
Test
Itchen
Enbourne ?
Loddon
Wey
The Test comes from Andover, where today this is regarded as a tributary, the Anton; and emerges into the sea instead of into Southampton Water. The Itchen emerges into Southampton Water on the wrong side of Southampton.

county    
There are no county boundaries, and only some counties are labelled, eg:-
BERCHERIA
County towns are differentiated as described by the table of symbols.

settlements    
The map includes important towns, positioned by a circle (cannot see on the reproduction if there is a dot) differentiated by added elements and lettering style. (The notes which follow are strongly biased towards Hampshire.)
capital     circle, two towers, cross, other buildings; labelled in upright block caps, eg:-
LONDINUM

city     circle, two towers, cross; labelled in upright block caps, eg:-
WINTONIA

city    
town    
circle, two towers, flag; labelled in upright block caps, eg:-
HAMTONA

town     circle, tower; labelled in italic upright text, eg:-
Basingstok



Hampshire Places

Hampshire places are listed below for this map, Lily 1546, and for some of its derivatives published through the 16th century. There are some interesting spellings. And some interesting errors of copying. Firstly, places relevant to Hampshire from Lily's map, 1546:-

WINTONIA [Winchester, episcopal town symbol]
HAMTONA [Southampton, county town symbol]
Alton
Andover
Basingstok
X eccl~ia [ie Chistus Ecclesia, Christchurch]
Fordingbrige [the label is centred on the town symbol which puts the leading F close to the symbol for Christchurch]
Odihani [Odiham, the dot on the i is legible]
Portsmouth (has only a circle, but has two castle symbols where the fortified town and the fortified dockyards might be, the name label is wrapped round the harbour area]
Reading the names from the small reproductions is unsafe, but of some interest.
Lily re-engraved by Jan Mollijns, Antwerp, 1549; up is N:-
WIN = Wintona
SOT = Hamtona
ALT = Alton
AND = Andover
BSK = Basingstock
CHR = x-eccl~ia
FDB = Fordingbrige [BUT labelling an added town at the mouthy of the Stour/Avon, misled by the label position of Lily's map]
ODH = Odiham
POR = Portmouth
Lily re-engraved by IHS? Rome, 1556; up is North:-
WIN = WINTONA
SOT = HAMTONA
ALT = Alton
AND = Andover
BSK = Basingstok
CHR = X eccl~ia
FDB = Fordingbrige [positioned more suitably
ODH = Odiham
POR = Portsmouth
Lily re-engraved by Giovanni Vavassore, Venice 1556; up is N:-
WIN = Wintonia
SOT = Antona
ALT = Alton
AND = Andover
BSK = Basigstok
CHR = X Ecclesia
FDB = Fordingbrige
ODH = Odihani
POR = Portusmouth
Lily re-engraved by Sebastuano Di Re, Rome 1558; up is W:-
WIN = Wintonia
SOT = Hamtona
ALT = Alton
AND = Andover
BSK = Basingstock
CHR = x eccl~ia
FDB = Fordigbrige
ODH = Odihani
POR = Portsmouth
Lily re-engraved by Ferrando Bertelli, Venice 1562; up is N:-
WIN = Wintonia
SOT = Antona
ALT = [no symbol, no label]
AND = Andover
BSK = Basingstoc
CHR = X ecclia
FDB = Fordingbrige
ODH = Odihani
POR = [Portsmouth]
Lily re-engraved by Giovanni Camocio, Venice 1563; up is N (the reproduction is almost illegible):-
WIN = WINTONA
SOT = HAMTONA
ALT =
AND =
BSK =
CHR =
FDB =
ODH =
POR =

REFERENCES

Close, Charles, Sir: 1931: Ancient Maps of Great Briatin, with special reference to Hampshire: ProcHFC: vol.10: pp.211-219


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MN: 20.1.2002
last edit: 22.1.2002