Old Hampshire Mapped

Blaeu's Hampshire 1645

Notes by
Martin and Jean Norgate: 2001


The whole map
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Gazetteer, in Hundreds
Index sheet to market towns, etc
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John Blaeu
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Vulgo HANTSHIRE by John Blaeu

These notes are made from a map of Hampshire by John Blaeu, published 1645. The item used is in the Map Collection of Hampshire CC Museums Service, item HMCMS:FA1998.149. Further notes have been made from a later edition of Blaeu's atlas:- Le Grand Atlas ou Cosmographie Blaeuiane by Jean Blaeu, 1667. The atlas used was the 5th volume, in the collections of Birmingham Central Library.

This study concentrates upon what can be seen from the map; studies of the background of county mapping in England, and map makers have been published elsewhere.

Willem Janszoon Blaeu, b.1571 d.1638, published a world atlas 1630, expanded in 1635 to two volumes, and to three volumes in 1640 after his death. Editions appeared with text in Latin, French, German and Dutch. There were four maps of Great Britain in this atlas; the British Isles, England, Scotland, and Ireland.

William's son, Joan Blaeu, b.1596 d.1673, published an atlas of english county maps in 1645, as volume four of the world atlas. Most of the maps are said to be derived from John Speed's maps of 1611. The volume title was:-
Guil. et Johannis Blaeu Theatrum Orbis Terrarum, sive Atlas Novus Pars quarta Amsterdami, Apud Johannem Blaeu. MDCXLV.

A later edition of the Grand Atlas has title page, volume 5:-
The page is illustrated, including an armillary sphere, and a number of mythical figures, and a motto:-
An introductory page:-

VOus avez icy, Lecteur debonnaire, le Volume de nostre Geographie qui contient L'Angleterre. Pour vous representer ce Royaume en toute perfection, nous avons suivy les cartes les plus correctes, & approvées en ce pays là, lesquelles on esté cy-devant mises en lumiere par Jean Spead. Nous les avons accompanées des descriptions naïfves de Guillaume Cambden, homme veritablement docte ez antiquitez de la Gra nde Bretagne: afin que cet oeuvre le manquast de rien, qui peust sembler necessaire pour le rendre accomply: & toutes-fois nous ne vous presentons icy que ce qui concerne l'Angleterre: car pour l'Ecosse, & l'Irelande, nous vous les donnons e n un Volume à part. loüissez de nos labeurs, acceptez cet oeuvre, & luy faites un favorable accueil. Adieu.
De nostre Imprimerie, à Amsterdam ce premier jour de Janvier, l'an M DC LXII

This has been translated by a user of the website, to whom we are grateful:-
Jean Bleau to the reader:

You have here, gentle reader, the volume of our Geography which contains England. In order to render you this kingdom in all perfection, we followed the maps which were most accurate and approved in that country, which were previously brought to light by John Speed. We have accompanied them with the descriptions of William Camden, a man who is thoroughly knowledgeable in the history of Great Britain, so that this work might lack nothing which might make it complete. In any case we have only given you here that which concerns England, as we will give you the parts concerning Scotland and Ireland in another volume. Praise our efforts, accept this work, and give it a favourable welcome. Adieu.

From our printer's, Amsterdam, January the 1st, 1642.
MW points out that L'ouissez in the original makes better sense as Jouissez. This may be a transcription error by the site authors, which we are unable to check - sorry.
Also: understand gentle reader as noble or gentleman reader.

John Blaeu
Joan Blaeu was born at Alkmaar, Netherlands, 1598-99, son of Willem Janszoon Blaeu and his wife Maritgen. His father was a maker of globes and scientific instruments. Early in the 1600s Willem had set up a business with a printing press in Amsterdam.

Joan Blaeu studied Law at the University of Leiden, gaining his doctorate in 1620. He married Geertruida Vermuelen of Gouda, 1634; and was elected an alderman of Amsterdam, 1651. His map publishing began with his father; a joint imprint on an atlas published 1630-31 which used a number of plates previously engraved by the younger Jodocus Hondius who had died in 1629. This atlas became the 2 volume Novus Atlas published 1635, which expanded towards the Atlas Major, 9 to 12 volumes, from 1662-63.

John's father died in 1638 leaving him to make the expanded editions of the atlas. He worked in partnership with a younger brother, Cornelius, from 1638-44 when the latter died. From then to 1672 John was in sole charge of one of the best known map publishers of the period. In 1672 the publishing house was destroyed: De Hollandtse Mercurius reported a serious fire early in the morning of 23 February 1672 destroying printing presses, plates, type, and premises. The fire ended the business, and probably the life of John Blaeu, who died in 1673.

References Keuning, J: 1959: Blaeu's Atlas: Imago Mundi: vol.14: pp.74-89

Stevenson, E L: 1914: Willem Janszoon Blaeu: (New York, United States)

Goss, John (editor?): 1997: Blaeu's The Grand Atlas (abbreviated reproduction): Studio:: ISBN 1 85891 588 0; does not include Hampshire; has an introductory history of the Blaeu publishing house

Box, E G: 1932=1935: Hampshire in Early Maps and early Roadbooks: Hampshire Field Club: XII: pp221-235

Penfold, Alastair J: 1994: Introduction to the Printed Maps of Hampshire: Hampshire CC Museums Service

Hodgkiss, A G: 1981 (4th edn): Discovering Antique maps: Shire Publications (Princes Risborough, Buckinghamshire):: ISBN 0 85263 581 8; an inexpensive and approachable introduction to old maps

Blaeu's Hampshire 1645, contents
General index
Old Hampshire Mapped

Map HMCMS:FA1998.149
 ©  Martin and Jean Norgate: 2005
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