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Ogilby 1675
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These notes are made from the frontispiece engraving drawn by Francis Barlow, engraved by W Hollar, for the road book of strip maps, Britannia, by John Ogilby, London, 1675. The copy studied is in the Map Collection of Hampshire CC Museums Service, item HMCMS:FA2002.77.
map type: HantsMap & Ogilby 1675
The picture is a fictional landscape, city gate, country scene, full of activity, men busy at their jobs and, of course, travelling, not a lady in sight. The copy in the collection has been hand coloured, probably recently. The page size is: wxh, sheet = 26.5x42.5cm, the left edge is a recent cut; wxh, plate = 228x368mm; wxh, image = 217x353mm.


Centrally on the sheet there is a watermark:-
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This could be a fleur de lys or the Prince of Wales Feathers? Its height is about 4.5cm.

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Printed at the bottom are the names of artist and engraver:-
Fran: Barlow inv: W. Hollar fecit [1675]

title cartouche    
scroll cartouche    

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Three winged cherubs above hold banners hanging from a bow, a fourth banner hanging from the bow is a title cartouche:-
BRITANNIA VOL. I or an Illustration of ye Kingdom of ENGLAND and dominion of WALES By a Geographical & Historical Description of the Principal ROADS.
The ampersand clearly shows its source in a letter e with a cross stroke on the rising tail for a t, making the Latin 'et' ie 'and'.

strip map    
road map    
street map    
distances from London    
compass rose    

The three banners carried by cherubs are clearly engraved, readable.
The 1st scroll is a strip road map titled:-
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London is at the bottom with a road northeast to Harwic[ ]. The road north goes through Shorditch, Kingsland with turnings to Islington and Hackney, Newington, to Tottenham with its high Crosse, just over 5 miles into Middlesex. The miles from London are marked.
A compass rose on the scroll has star points for cardinal and half cardinal directions; North marked by a fleur de lys. Up the scroll is roughly north.
The 2nd scroll has a street map of:-
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with Westminster, Lambeth and Southwark labelled. This is orientated with North roughly at the top, the scroll held sideways. There is a simple compass rose, lines for the cardinal directions; fleur de lys for North, a cross for East.
The 3rd scroll has a road map of the area of:-
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and surrounding counties, parts of Westmorland, Lanc[ ]shi, Lincolnshire, etc. The map is a road map of the area, but not a strip map. This map is orientated with North at the top.
There is a scale line of:-
English miles
This is [surely] not meant as a serious scale to the map. Its 40 miles = 15.3mm gives a scale about 1 to 4200000, 66 miles to 1 inch. Measuring the positions of York, Lincoln and Durham does not reveal anything interesting, it wasn't likely to!

coat of arms    

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On the left of the scene is a city, a battlemented and decorated town gate fortified with cannons, lots of them. Above there is a flag with the royal arms. This royal standard is blowing left of the flagpole, for good design reasons no doubt, but the arms are shown the right way round. As the flag is viewed from the back the arms should be backtofront, which would be unacceptable.
The blazon is, forgive inadequacies in my use of the jargon:-
quarterly 1 and 4 quarterly i and iv azure three fleur de lys or for France, ii and iii or three lions passant guardant gules for England, 2 or a lion rampant gules within a double tressure flory counterflory gules for Scotland, 3 azure a harp argent for Ireland.
The royal banner of the Stuart kings. The particular colours used are those of a modern colourist. There are no colour letters in the engraving, nor shadings to indicate colours.
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Just below the balustrade of the gate tower is a coat of arms in an oval scroll cartouche, carved in the stonework. This repeats the royal arms. There is a rose for England to its left, a thistle for Scotland to its right. Lower, in the arch of the gateway is another oval scroll cartouche with the coat of arms of the City of London; in less formal language:-
White with the red cross of St George and the red sword of St Paul in the canton.

strip map    
road map    

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Lower left a group of men appear to be discussing a route. One of them holds a strip road map labelled:-
The Continacion of ye Roa[ ]
On which you can just see a bit of road and a compass rose.
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One of two men leaving the city on horseback carries a strip road map; nothing legible except a compass rose indicating a road to the south.

cross staff    
simple theodolite    
set square    

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Lower right in the foreground are four surveyors or cartographers round a table littered with instruments: cross staff - a Jacob's staff, magnetic compass, surveyor's chain - perhaps Gunther's chain, simple theodolite - compass to align the scale, alidade with sights to take readings, and a quadrant; and drawing instruments - protractor, set square, ruler, and dividers. The globe is worth a close look. There are Africa and Europe, with the British Isles to the east, Ireland to the east of England. The engraver has made the elementary but understandable mistake of engraving the right way round on his plate; the picture prints backtofront.
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Less obviously, in the mid ground on the right, there is a man trundling a waywiser, measuring a road. An assistant helps, and a supervisor follows on horseback. Is this a good representation of a John Ogilby field party at work?


A man with two or three fowl tied to his staff, accompanied by a dog, is approaching the city, perhaps going to market.

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A man is fishing in a river using a conical net suspended from a pole.

stag hunting    

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In a field in the middle of the scene a huntsman on horse and foot men, one blowing a horn, and dogs, chase a stag. Cattle in the field and sheep and shepherd are all unperturbed.
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The scene extends to a coastal town, town walls and town gate, towers, buildings, etc. In the harbour are ships, with other ships offshore. One of these is a three masted ship; sprit with yard for a square sprit sail, foremast with two square sails set, main mast with yards for three sails, only the top sail set, mizzen mast with a yard for a lateen sail. A smaller boat with a single square sail is nearby.

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A heavy four wheeled coach pulled by two horses is on the road from the city, climbing a hill into the distance.


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Atop the hill by road from the city is a post mill.

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On a prominence overlooking the sea is a beacon. This appears to be a post, supported by braces, with a suspended fire basket or cresset.


The costume of the two gentlemen riding out from town is well up to the fashion of the period, 1675. They have felt hats with wide brims and a cluster of ribbons at the back. Their hair is worn long, or perhaps they have elegantly curled wigs. The capes or cloaks are knee length, the fullness made by a side pleat. The sashes they wear were fashionable in France at this time. Under the coats a short doublet would be worn, but this is not visible. It is not possible to see their style of breeches, but another gentleman in the scene, lying on the ground, may be wearing petticoat breeches, full at the tops decorated with a cluster of ribbons. The riders' boots should have squared toes and heels and fashionable ribbons and buckles; the picture is not sharp enough to see the detail. Sashes and ribbons are clearly visible in the clothing of the gentlemen surveyors working at the table on the foreground, and various other persons in the scene. The dress of the lowly man delivering fowl to market is not in high fashion, but does reflect the overall style of the times.

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HantsMap Notes -- OGILBY8.txt
MN: 15.5.2002
last edit: 4.7.2002