Old Hampshire Mapped

Norden's Hampshire 1607

Notes by
Martin and Jean Norgate: 1998


The whole map
Index sheet to parts of the map
Gazetteer, place names
Gazetteer, in Hundreds
Index sheet to market towns, etc
Map features
John Norden
Raw data
William Camden's text, Hampshire
Other maps

Jo: Norden descripsit WHole sculp

These notes are made from a copy of John Norden's map of Hampshire in the version engraved by W Hole and published in Camden's Britannia, 1607. In the 1607 edition; the 6th in Latin, the first with maps, the last published in Camden's lifetime, the Hampshire map was printed with text pages 187/188 on the reverse. The map used here is printed from the same plate, but has no text on the reverse; it was printed for the first English translation edition in 1610. The plates were used for later editions, but by 1622 had plate numbers added. The map used is in the Map Collection of Hampshire CC Museums Service, item HMCMS:FA1996.22.

John Norden's map is a beautiful document, crammed with interesting information, both textual and pictorial. 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.

An earlier version of these notes have been published as a booklet:-

Norgate, Martin; Norgate, Jean: 1997:
Notes from Norden's Map of Hampshire:
Hampshire County Council:: ISBN 1 85975 131 8

John Norden
John Norden was born about the 1540s. He graduated from Hart Hall, Oxford and began a career as a lawyer which involved him in land tenure and surveying for country gentry. In the 1590s he had the idea of a Speculum Britanniae or Mirror of Britain , conceived as a series of pocket guide books to the counties of Britain. These would combine new maps of the counties with the sort of historical descriptions made by William Camden in Britannia . John Norden, backed by Lord Burghley, began his surveying in 1591. He had the favour of government; with financial assistance from William Waad, a clerk to the Privy Council and client of Lord Burghley. In 1594 a warrant was issued for him:-
[... to travail through England and Wales to make perfect descriptions chartes and mappes of the same by information, inquisition, and view ...]
The Privy Council instructed:-
[Lieutenants of Counties, Mayors, Sheriffs, Justices of the Peace and all others of Her Majesties officers and loving subjects ... to permit and suffer the said J. Norden quietly, and without any manner of let or hindrance, to travel and pass from place to place ...]
and to help him with access to record books etc. Norden comments about his guides; I, Norden:-
[... a straunger guided by the direction of such, as by discretion of men in Aucthoritie are thought fit to yeelde me direct information ... who yet thorogh their simplicitie or partialitie, may miscarry the most provident observer ... and what I observe is from them, if the thing be hidden (as some time it is) from mine own view ...]
When Lord Burghley died, 1598, the project seems to have collapsed. Various parts of the completed work were published, and a volume of manuscript material presented to Elizabeth I in an attempt to get funding, but without success. Norden eventually gave up the project; concentrating on land surveying and writing: he was a successful surveyor and author of religious texts.

The Hampshire map drawn for Speculum Britanniae still exists in manuscript in the collection of the British Museum. An engraving was made from this, perhaps in the 1590s but is only known from later states published by Stent and by Overton. The map described in these notes was engraved about 1607, presumably from the drawing of 1595. This slightly simplified and smaller version, engraved by William Hole, was published in Camden's 'Britannia', 1607. The map includes hundred boundaries, the hundreds listed, and consistent symbols for settlements explained by a key.

Norden was a prolific land surveyor and author; producing handbooks for surveyors and guidebooks for travellers. he invented the triangular distance table, printed for the first time in 'England: An Intended Guyde for English Travailers', 1625. He advocated the detail mapping of town centres:-
... the most principall townes cyties and castles within
evrry Shire shoulde be breefly and expartly plotted
out, in estate and forme as at this day they were ...'

References Box, E G: 1935=1937: Norden's Map of Hampshire, 1595: Hampshire Field Club: XIII: pp165-169

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

Eden, P (ed):: Dictionary of Land Surveyors and Local Cartographers of Great Britain and Ireland, 1550-1850

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

Kitchen, Frank: 1991: John Norden's Speculum Britanniae ...: ProcHFC: 47: pp.181-89

Kitchen, Frank: 1997: John Norden, c1547-1625, Estate Surveyor, County Mapmaker and Devotional Writer: Imago Mundi: vol.49: pp.43-61

Lawrence, Heather: 1982: Permission to Survey: Map Collector: no.19: pp.16-20

Norden, John: 1595: Chorograpical Description of the Severall Shires::: BM AddMSSS 31.853

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

Norden's Hampshire 1607, contents
General index
Old Hampshire Mapped

Map HMCMS:FA1996.22
Martin and Jean Norgate: 2005
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