Humber from Hull and Barton to Sea
This is a map showing the River Humber, River Hull and the town of hull. It dates from between 1541-1547. The map is drawn in a loose pictorial style but despite this the defences of Hull are shown in accurate detail. These fortifications were built under the instruction of Henry VIII to protect the eastern side of the town. Plans for the building work were made in 1541 after the king visited in October of that year and dictated that the eastern side of the town, defended only by the River Hull, must be strengthened. At this time Henry VIII feared an invasion from the combined forces of France and Spain. In 1538 Francis I of France, and Charles V Holy Roman Emperor and King of Spain signed a peace treaty. This union gave rise to the possibility that France and Spain may combine forces to invade England. France was England’s historical enemy and Henry VIII’s divorce of Catherine of Aragon, Charles V’s aunt, had offended the militantly catholic King of Spain. The town of Hull, located on the east coast of the country, near the Anglo-Scottish border occupies a position of strategic importance as it provided a base for war against Scotland or Catholic Europe As can be seen here the fortifications at Hull consisted of two large trefoil headed blockhouses’ or bulwarks’ at opposite ends of the harbour, with a castle’ between them. Connecting these fortresses was a crenellated wall almost half a mile long running parallel to the river. This would provide defences which could protect against overland attack from the east, or naval invasion from the Humber. The draughtsman has accurately recorded the unusual trefoil shapes of the bulwarks, the segmental forms of the castle and the angled bend and crenellations of the connecting wall. In December 1543 costs were given as 21,056 5s. 6d in total. This chart could date from as early as October 1541, when the King visited Hull in October 1541 and expressed concern that the east side of the town was vulnerable to an attack.
EBORACENSIS Comitatus f. 27
This map of the North Riding, Yorkshire is from thefirst edition of the Saxton atlas of England and Wales. Yorkshire is the only county to be engraved over two separate plates, due to its size. This atlas was first published as a whole in 1579. It consists of 35 coloured maps depicting the counties of England and Wales. The atlas is of great significance to British cartography as it set a standard of cartographic representation in Britain and the maps remained the basis for English county mapping, with few exceptions, until after 1750. During the reign of Elizabeth I map use became more common, with many government matters referring to increasingly accurate maps with consistent scales and symbols, made possible by advances in surveying techniques. Illustrating the increasing use of maps in government matters, Lord Burghley, Elizabeth I’s Secretary of State, who had been determined to have England and Wales mapped in detail from the 1550s, selected the cartographer Christopher Saxton to produce a detailed and consistent survey of the country. The financier of the project was Thomas Seckford Master of Requests at the Court of Elizabeth I, whose arms appear, along with the royal crest, on each map. Here Saxton’s name appears in the decorative scale bar, as does the name of the engraver of this map, Augustine Ryther, the most accomplished of seven English and Flemish engravers employed to produced the copper plates for the atlas. The strap work cartouche is mounted by the Elizabethan coat of arms and the Seckford arms of appear in the bottom left corner. The adjacent counties are named but lack any internal detail, recording only the path of rivers that cross county boundaries. Saxton, Christopher