A Coloured Chart of the Coast of Essex and Suffolk, from the Naze to Bawdsey
This is a chart showing Essex and Suffolk from the Naze to Bawdsey showing the course of the Stour, Orwell, and Deben. It is thought to date from between 1539 and 1544. It shows miniaturized views of towns such as Ipswich and Harwich against a generalized green landscape of fields and occasional trees. The coast line and waterways are the main preoccupation of the cartographer as he has carefully recorded areas of sand in pink with stippled markings, and at certain points the depths of the water at low tide in area is noted. The cartographer is Richard Cavendish, whose family home in Suffolk is indicated. Richard Cavendish was a master gunner who had supervised new defence works at Berwick and Wark in 1522-3. It is thought that this map was based on a survey that Cavendish was paid to undertake in 1523. The date exact date of the map is uncertain. It could date from around 1538-9, a period characterised by the threat of invasion after a peace treaty was signed by Francis I of France and Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor and King of Spain in 1538. England and France were ancient enemies and the catholic Charles V, nephew of Catherine of Aragon, was angered by Henry VIII’s decision to divorce her. However, the presence of a scale bar in the bottom right corner suggests a date of post 1540. In 1543 war with France resumed and England was threatened by invasion once again. This map may be related to a large map which is referred to in Henry VIII’s inventory of 1547-80 the description of parte of Suffolke, Essexe and London painted upon clothe’
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.