Content of the Manors of Bayford and Goodmanston, Kent
This is a map of the manors of Bayford and Goodmanston in Sittingbourne in Kent. It is by Christopher Saxton and dates from 1590. Saxton is perhaps most well known for his atlas of England and Wales, published in 1579 under the patronage of Elizabeth I. Christopher Saxton is first recorded in 1570 as an apprentice to John Rudd, Vicar of Dewsbury from 1554 to 1570,whose keen interest in cartography had seen him engaged in the 1550’s in making a platt’ of England. The period during which Saxton worked saw great advances in the field of cartography, particularly by the Dutch and Flemish. Saxton’s pioneering maps were made possible by advancements in draughtsmanship and surveying which emerged in part as a result of the practical needs of military engineers. By the 1540 military surveyors were well able to draft plans and topographical maps to scale. A large number of treatises on surveying appeared, responding to a desire to formalise land boundaries, military textbooks were published explaining the use of the cross-staff for surveying lengths and distances. These advances lead to the construction of increasingly sophisticated surveying instruments resulting in a new accuracy in mapping. Here a scale bar is includes, showing 64 perches to 4 inches. A perch is an old form of measurement equal to 16 and a half feet. Detail includes fields and houses, an orchard, roads and waterways. A cartouche encloses the acreages of lands within the manors. Orientation is given in the margins in Latin. Saxton, Christopher
1 : 10560 This plan, showing the area around Sittingbourne in Kent, is drawn on rectangular sheet lines and enclosed by a black border. Fields are coloured brown where cultivated, and green or blank if untilled. Stonework buildings or structures are drawn in red ink at major settlements like Milton and Sittingbourne, at the centre top of the plan. Infilled or blocked areas of black or sepia ink depict structures or buildings made from impermanent materials such as wood. Corrections have been made on this plan and it is likely that the red-ink numerical annotations of altitude are measured rather than estimated or sketched.
Mouths of the Thames and Medway from Ipswich to Sandwich and Maldon and Rochester to the Sea
This is a map showing the mouths of the Thames and the Medway from Ipswich to Sandwich and Maldon and Rochester to the sea. It dates from around 1544 and is annotated Rycherd Cavendishe made this carde’. Richard Cavendish was a master gunner who had supervised new defence works at Berwick and Wark in 1522-3. The map seems to have been made with the purposes of defence and navigation in mind. Coastal forts and navigational channels are shown. The shoreline is exaggerated in order to illustrate clearly how an enemy might move ashore and how they might be stopped. In this case the enemy was England’s ancient adversary France, with whom hostilities had resumed in 1542. This map of the vulnerable south east coast, was made against this historical background. The fear of a French invasion was very real. In 1514 the French had invaded Brighton, and in 1545 French ships entered the Solent and landed on the Isle of Wight. The lines which cover the sea areas of the map are called rhumb lines. These are lines of constant bearing that radiate from compass roses and allow the sailor to plot a course from harbour to harbour using dividers and straight edge. Vignettes of several towns are included on this map, Sandwich, Rochester and Canterbury are shown. The view of Essex is possibly derived from a survey Cavendish made in 1520. Other settlements are formalized showing rows of red roofed houses with a church in the centre. A scale bar annotated by 3’ is included, however, as this occupies a green painted area it is likely that this was added later. Cavendish, Richard
Chart of the mouth of the River Thames, c1540
This map, showing parts of Kent and Sussex, comes from a 16th-century portfolio of coastal charts and drawings It incorporates miniature copies of town plans that are now lost including what are probably the earliest plans of Canterbury, Rochester and Sandwich The mapmaker was Sir Richard Cavendish With its emphasis on sandbanks and beaches, the map was evidently intended for navigation and defence purposes The decorative quality of the map suggests it was meant for the eyes of the king, Henry VIII North is to the left of the map and East to the top, making the map appear on its side to modern eyes Cavendish, Sir Richard