This is a map of Orwell Haven, Essex. It is thought to date from1543. It shows proposed fortifications at the mouth of Harwich harbour which were not built. The forts are shown in plan form and have seem to be measured plans, recording details such as the splayed external opening of embrasures and the curved internal space for a man to stand. In this they contrast with the loose pictorial style of the rest of the map. The forts comprise a central fort with a curtain wall with bastions at each corner. The fort at Lagner Point has angular bastions in the Italian style perhaps revealing the influence of the Italian military engineers employed by Henry VIII in the 1540’s. The advantage of angle bastions is that they provide fire power outwards and flanking power along the walls so that no blind spots exist, enabling defenders to cover all the surrounding ground. The concern with the defensive capabilities of Orwell Haven and other coastal area at this date was due to the resumption of hostilities between England and France 1542. The map is the work of Richard Lee, a mason by trade was worked as a surveyor on fortification schemes in England and English territory in France. It is probable that this map was intended for personal explanation by Lee to Henry VIII.
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’
A Coloured Chart of the Coast of Suffolk, from Orwell Haven to Gorlston, near Yarmouth
This is a map of the Suffolk coast stretching from Orwell Haven to Godeston near Yarmouth. It details the defences of the area may be part of the coastal survey of 1539. Fortification of large sections of coast was carried out at this time as 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 map includes a vignette view of Ipswich, and a depiction of Orford Castle, built by Henry II in the 1160’s to guard what was then a busy port. Here a beacon is shown on the battlements, indicating that the castle, built on raised grown, has been incorporated into the early warning system that is depicted along the coast by numerous beacons. Two round tower forts are shown with gun ports and extended cannons. Such a large scale fortification plan was greatly aided by the significant advances in cartography and surveying which occurred in the Tudor period. The vast wealth Henry VIII had at his disposal after the dissolution of the monasteries provided the necessary finances for the survey.
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.