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Simmons 1635
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These notes are made from a table of distances for Hampshire, by Mathew Simmons, 1635, published by Thomas Jenner, about 1643. There is an accompanying thumbnail map by Jenner, derived from Simmons. The table and map studied is in the Map Collection of Hampshire CC Museums Service, item HMCMS:FA1999.20
map type: HantsMap & Simmons 1635
map type: HantsMap & Jenner 1643


image snip from map

The title of the table of distances is printed in the upper left above and beside the place names:-

table of distances    
The main business of the engraved sheet is a table of distances for places in Hampshire. This is, nowadays, a familiar tool for map and guide users, it was invented, so we are told, by John Norden only a few years earlier, about 1625.
The distance between two places is given in a triangle, just half the matrix. There is no reason to give distance B-A if distance A-B is already listed (this makes forgivable assumptions about the routes going and coming). Nor are distances from a place to itself required. Less than half the matrix need be filled in; the A-A diagonal values and the reverse distances left blank. Simmons arranges his places to use the top left part of the matrix. Note that Simmons's towns are not in alphabetical, or any other sensible order. Note that the first place does not need to appear in the column as well as the header row.

distances from London    
Simmons's table makes use of the diagonal positions, which should read 0, zero, the distance from a place to itself, for the distance of the place from London. Eg:-
... Stockbridge ...
Stockbridge 61
The relationship between distances from place to place and the distances from London are interesting. Some examples:-
Alton to Alresford = 8
Alton to London = 75
Alresford to London = 62
Andover to Whitchurch = 6
Andover to London = 60
Whitchurch to London = 60
and, slightly better:-
Petersfield to Portsmouth = 15
Petersfield to London = 48
Portsmouth to London = 66

map index    
Each town in the table of distances, left side column, is given a location, its cardinal or half cardinal sector on the map - once you've turned the map to read it. Eg:-
Odyam N.E.
As there is a mismatch of places in the table and places on the map this is not as helpful as it might have been.


In the lower right part of the table, empty of figures, is a thumbnail map of The county.
up is SE    
up is N    

The space for a map is tiny; the map is really small. To fit it in better the map is turned nearly 180 degrees from the usual 'up is N', the thumbnail is 'up is SE', roughly: but, judging by the place names on the map it is intended to be read 'up is N'.

scale line    
old english mile    

image snip from map

A scale line of ten miles, chequered in miles, is given. This is fitted into the table neatly, so it is at a peculiar angle to the map; it is still useable.
Estimating from the scale line, 10 miles = 11 mm, and making the bad assumption that the mile is a modern statute mile, the map scale is roughly:-
1 to 1500000
23 miles to 1 inch.
A pair of compasses are drawn over the scale line. These are distorted; to make them fit the space one leg is much longer than the other.
Another estimate of the scale can be made from town positions, comparing known town-town distances, using DISTAB.exe. The map scale is about:-
1 to 1600000
25.5 miles to 1 inch
The map maker's mile is an:-
Old English Mile = 1.10 statute miles
As the map is so tiny, this is a poor estimate of the old english mile.

coast line    
coast shaded    

The coast line is shaded. Southampton Water, and Portsmouth and Langstone Harbours are clearly shown; Hamble and Titchfield Havens are exagerated.


image snip from map

Rivers are drawn as wiggly lines. Only one:-
Avon flu
is labelled. It is possible to identify others. Braiding in the Test is shown south of Stockbridge.
A bridge can be seen at Winchester over Itchen. But, unusually, no bridge is shown across Ports Creek to Portsea Island.


image snip from map

A couple of hillocks are drawn to indicate relief ... just to show willing?

Settlements are marked by a dot and circle with a tower.
city     image snip from map

dot, circle, buildings, and tower; labelled in lowercase upright text.

image snip from map

dot, circle, tower; labelled in lowercase italic text.
Villages and at least one house:-
The Vine
are marked by the same symbol.
image snip from map

image snip from map

The selection towns in the thumbnail map does not match the selection in the table of distances! disconcerting for the traveller.


Place names are spelled differently in the map and in the column and row of the table of distances. Places in one are not always in the other. (Places outside Hampshire are not listed.)
map table location from London
Aulton Alton N.E. 75
Andever Andover N.W. 60
Basingstok Basingstoke N.E. 42
  Beaulieu S.W. 73
Bighton Waltham B. Waltham S.E. 57
  Bramshot N.E.  
Calshot cast      
Christchurch Christ-Church S.W. 86
Farham Fareham S.E. 63
  Fording-Bridge S.W. 77
  Hertford bridge N.E. 33
Havant Havant S.E. 55
Hurst ca      
Kingesclere Kingesclere N. 84
Lemington Lymington S.W. 74
  Micheldover N. 56
Alresford Alresforde N.E. 62
Odiam Odyam N.E. 39
Overton Overton N. 55
Peterfeld Petersfeild E. 48
Portesmouth Portesmouth S.E. 66
Ringwood Ryngwood S.W. 86
Rumsey Rumsey S.W. 65
S. Hampton S. Hampton S. 65
Stockebridge Stokebridge N.W. 61
  Titchfeild S.E. 58
The Vine      
  Whit-church N. 60
  Wickham S.E. 5[8]
Winchester Winchester    


The following rivers can be seen on the map; only the River Avon is labelled.
Stour, River
Christchurch Harbour
Avon, River
Avon Water
Beaulieu River
Test, River
Somborne Stream
Wallop Brook
Park Stream
Anton, River
Pillhill Brook
Itchen, River
Alre, River
Candover Stream
Hamble, River
Meon, River
Ports Creek
Southampton Water
Portsmouth Harbour
Langstone Harbour
Loddon, River
Bow Brook
Hart, River


These notes are made from a copy of:-
Simmons: 1635 (?): Direction for the English Traveller: Garrett, John (London)

The copy studied is in the Box Collection at Winchester College, Winchester, Hampshire, seen by kind permission of the Fellows Librarian.
The book is leather bound, wxh=7.5x13cm; the spine reads:-
Title page:-
A DIRECTION FOR / The English / TRAVILLER / By which he shall be inabled to Coast / about all England and Wales / And also to know how farre any market or Noteable Towne in any Shire lyeth one from an other, and whether / the same be East, West, North or South from ye Shire Towne / As also the distance betweene London and any other Shire or / great Towne: with the scituation whereof East, West, North or South / from London. / By the help also of this worke one may know (in what Parish, Village, or Mansion house soever he be in) / what Shires, he is to passe through & / which way he is to travell, / till he comes to his / Journies / End. / Printed and are to be solde by John Garrett, at the South / Entrance of ye Royal Exchange in Corn-hill, where you / may have a most exact Mapp of England with the small / Townes described in six large Sheets also all [other ]
Instructions on using the tables are given; remember that the idea of the triangular table of distances is still fairly new, not a thing to be taken for granted as we do today.
The use of all the insueing Tables
To know the distance betweene any two Cities or Townes in any of theis Tables, seeke the places desired in the upper and side catalogues of Townes, and direct yoe. eye from either place betweene the lines both from above and from the side, and where the lines meete in square you shall find the number of miles. Ffor Example, if you would know how farre Lincolne is from Exeter, looke in the carde of Shire Townes and find Lincolne in the side and carrie yoe. eye directly from thence betweene the line untill it come under Exiter and where they make a square you shall find 178, wch is the distance of miles. If you finde any towne in the side which will not extend to make a square with the desired towne above, then looke for the Towne wch you finde in the side, in the upper pt. & the upp. part in the side: For Example if you desyre to know the distance betweene Gloucester and Oxford, if you looke Gloucester in the side, you cannot bringe Oxford in a square with Gloucester but if you looke Gloucester above and Oxford in the side you shall finde the square and the distance 35 miles and soe of the other ensueing Tables
To know whether you are to travell East, West, North or South, from the place where you are to the place whither you intend to goe, & through what Shires you must passe Looke in the small mapp of England placed before the great table of all Shire townes and draw a streight line from the next [ ]
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HantsMap Notes -- SIMMONS1.txt
MN: 19.6.1999
last edit: 20.11.1999