This map of Devon is from the 1583 edition of the Saxton atlas of England and Wales. 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 used 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. The decorative scale bar houses the name of Saxton and of the Flemish engraver Remigius Hogenberg who prepared the copper plate for this map. This is the only map in the atlas that features a compass rose as well as the cardinal points in the borders, seeming to indicate the Devon has been turned slightly clockwise to fit the plate. Two ships engaging in battle are depicted off the coast of Plymouth, perhaps making reference to the vulnerability of this section of south coast and the location of naval bases. Saxton, Christopher Ryther, Augustine
This map of Devon is by Christopher Saxton and dates from 1575. It forms part of an atlas that belonged to William Cecil Lord Burghley, Secretary of State to Elizabeth I. Burghley used this atlas to illustrate domestic matters. This map is actually a proof copy of one which forms part of Christopher Saxton’s Atlas of England and Wales. 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. This map was produced under the patronage of Thomas Seckford, a Master of Requests to Elizabeth I, who had commissioned Saxton’s atlas of county maps, a project overseen by Lord Burghley, Secretary of State, whose administration increasingly involved the use of maps. This map is interesting as there are several notes in the margins. In the lower right hand margin: 'A Note of hir maties Store of Ordonnaunce, powder and match, lead,&c.,remayningin ye L. Lieutenauntes, &c. hands'. In the upper right hand margin 'A Note what powder and match was appointed to be kept in store in every corporate towne'. In the left hand margin 'A Breef Note of ye places of Descent. . . yt are most daungerous and require greatest regard and assistaunce'. These annotations were most probably made by an assistant of Lord Burghley’s, and show the concern felt about coastal areas in the face of the threat from Spain which culminated in 1588 with the events of the Spanish Armada. Saxton, Christopher Hogenbergius, Remigius
Ottermouth Haven [Coasts of Devon and Dorset from Dartmouth to Weymouth with a written description of Ottermouth Haven]
This is a map of the coast of Devon and Cornwall from Dartmouth to Weymouth which forms part of an atlas that belonged to William Cecil Lord Burghley, Secretary of State to Elizabeth I. Burghley used this atlas to illustrate domestic matters. This map shows the coastline in a pictorial fashion, with buildings indicated by generic, rather than individualized images of various building types. In the left hand margin is a written description of Ottermouth haven, which also features on the map itself. A dominating feature of the map in the compass rose in the centre which has lines radiating from it, each with a direction written along side it. From the style of the lettering and the depiction of the ships the map can be dated to the around 1540. Lord Burghley has annotated the map, adding a we’y of xviii foot brod’ to a narrow bridge of land and adding Sandfoot castle to the coastline to the right of the Isle Portland. The map may have originally been drawn in connection with the 1539-40 invasion scare caused by the alliance against England of France and Spain. The fortification of the Dorset coast was an essential part of the defensive preparations and in April 1539 Lord Russell surveyed the area, sending a plat’ to Cromwell which suggested a much more ambitious fortification program than was actually carried out. Sandfoot, which Lord Burghley has inserted onto this map, was in commission by 1541-1542. The fact that it does not originally appear on the map suggests that it was not built at the time of the maps execution. This is curious however as Portland Castle, built at the same time as Sandfoot, was included by the original draughtsman. The castles were intended to be able to cross fire over the important anchorage known as Portland Roads. Lord Burghley’s interest in the area can be attributed to a new invasion threat from Spain. This threat was also rooted in religious ideology as the Catholic Philip II of Spain wanted to remove the ardently Protestant Elizabeth I from the English Throne. Unfortunately, the coastal forts in Dorset, as with others in England, had been allowed to fall into disrepair. Finally in 1584 action to repair the Dorset forts was authorised by the Privy Council. William Cecil, Lord Burghley
Pencil annotations on the bottom right of the map give the surveyors name and the drawing's date and scale. A red dashed line denotes the border of Devon and Cornwall, running partly along the course of the River Tamer. Pencil rays intersect across the plan, evidence of triangulation measurements taken by the surveyor. Although it did not become obligatory to include archaeological details until 1816, prehistoric defensive earthworks are noted at Warbstow Barrow . A windmill is shown in elevation at Holsworthy. Budgen, Charles
South Molton, Devon
This relief on this drawing,is indicated by dense interlining ('hachures'), with,the summits of hills left blank. The drawing has been made on three pieces of paper mounted as one sheet., Dirty, worn and creased, the manuscript is difficult to decipher. ,A pencil note at the base of the drawing reads "To survey from * to * as ...by...the Farms as named."
The indication of land relief and attention to communication routes on this plan conform to the military and cartographic standards employed by the West Country survey. The south of England was the area most vulnerable to invasion, especially during the Napoleonic conflicts between 1793 and 1815. Accurate mapping of the Devonshire coastline was, therefore, of great military significance. Towards the left of the plan, the sand dunes of Braunton Burrows stretch southwards from the sea at Barnstaple Bay towards Appledore and Bideford.
.Wear and tear aorund the edges of this drawing have given it an irregular shape. The scale of the plan and date of execution are recorded in pencil in the bottom right corner. Major lines of communication, such as that between Credition and Newton St Cyres, are marked at intervals of one mile and tinted yellow, conforming to military cartographic convention. A blue cross at the edge of the map, near Hatherleigh, marks a reference point that may have been used for observation.