John Speed

John Speed

John Speed (1551 or '52 - 28 July 1629) was the best known English mapmaker of the Stuart period. Speed came to mapmaking late in life, producing his first maps in the 1590s and entering the trade in earnest when he was almost 60 years old.

John Speed's fame, which continues to this day, lies with two atlases, The Theatre of the Empire of Great Britaine (first published 1612), and the Prospect of the Most Famous Parts of the World (1627). While The Theatre ... started as solely a county atlas, it grew into an impressive world atlas with the inclusion of the Prospect in 1627. The plates for the atlas passed through many hands in the 17th century, and the book finally reached its apotheosis in 1676 when it was published by Thomas Bassett and Richard Chiswell, with a number of important maps added for the first time.


1676 - America with those known parts in that unknowne worlde both people and manner of buildings described and inlarged by I.S. Ano 1626

  • $14.99

Decorative example of the 1676 edition of Speed's landmark map of America, the first atlas map to depict California as an Island and to accurately depict the East Coast of North America, from Speed's Prospect of the Most Famous Parts of the World. The...


1626 - Europ, and the cheife Cities contained therein, described with the habits of most Kingdoms now in use . . . 1626

  • $14.99

Speed’s Stylish, Striking Map of Europe Fine, decorative example of the 1626 George Humble edition of Speed's notable map of Europe. This map was featured in the first atlas of the world published by an Englishman, Prospect of the Most Famous Parts...


1676 - Asia with the Islands adjoining described, the attire of the people, & Townes of importance, all of them newly augmented . . . 1626

  • $14.99

John Speed's Map of Asia This is a fantastic map of Asia, bearing all the aesthetic strengths for which Speed's maps are prized. Asia is shown in full, with many interesting and mysterious geographical features. Eight important Asian cities line the...


1668 - A Prospect of the Most Famous Parts of the World.

  • $24.99

Rare Miniature Speed Atlas of the World. A wonderful miniature John Speed atlas of the world, first issued by William Humble, son of George Humble, in 1646. This edition published by Roger Rea in 1668. The elder Humble was the original publisher of...


1651 - A New and Accurat Map of the World Drawne according to ye truest Descriptions lastest Discoveries & best observations yt have beene made by English or Strangers. 1651.

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John Speed’s Acclaimed World Map Excellent example of Speed’s celebrated double hemisphere world map, highly sought after for its rarity, extraordinary early geographic detail, and striking illustrative ornamentation. It is one of the earliest...


1676 - A Map of New England and New York

  • $9.99

Fine example of John Speed's map of the Northeast, from the 1676 edition of Speed's Prospect of the World. Speed's map is one of the earliest maps to illustrate dramatic shift from Dutch to English dominance in the Northeast in the latter part of the...


1676 - A Map of Virginia And Maryland

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John Speed's Edition of John Smith's Seminal Map of Virginia. Nice example of John Speed's map of Virginia and Maryland, which was engraved by Francis Lamb and first appeared in the enlarged edition of Speed's Atlas in 1676. Speed's map of Virginia...


1676 - A New Description of Carolina

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Important early map of the Carolinas, engraved by Francis Lamb for the 1676 edition of Speeds A Prospect . . . of the World. The map is Speed's edition of the famous Lords Proprietors' Map of Carolina, based upon Charles II's grant to 8 of his...


1651 - A New Mappe Of The Romane Empire . . . 1626

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First Edition of Speed's Map of the Roman Empire Striking example of Speed's map of the Roman Empire. The map focuses on the Mediterranean and the regions dominated by Rome at the height of its empire. Includes views of Rome, Venice, Genua,...


1610 - The Kingdome of Great Britaine and Ireland

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Highly decorative map of the British Isles, first published by John Speed in 1611. Speed based his map upon Saxton's map of England and Wales, Hondius' map of Ireland and Mercator's map of Scotland. Speed's map is considered the most decorative map...


1610 - The Kingdome of Scotland

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Nicely hand-colored example of Speed's map of Scotland, from his Theatre of the Empire of Great Britain, first published in 1611. Speed's map is widely regarded as the most decorative early map of Scotland. The present example is the first state, with...


1676 - Isle of Man Exactly described, and the several Parish:shes divided, with every Towne, Village, Bay, Creke, and River therein conteyned . . . 1595

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Decorative map of the Isle of Man, with four decorative cartouches, numerous ships in a fully stippled sea with monsters being ridden by figures holding flags. Very decorative compass rose in the center of the island with rhumb lines radiating outward...


1676 - Wight Island

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A nice full color example of Speed's map of the Isle of Wight, including coats of arms and a detailed town plans of Southampton and Newport. Speed's Theatre of the Empire of Great Britain… was first published in 1612, employing maps which Speed...


1676 - The Invasions of England and Ireland with al their Civill Wars Since the Conquest

  • $14.99

A striking example of Speed's map depicting the invasions of England and Ireland. A highly decorative detailed map, superbly engraved by Cornelius Danckerts, who copied a prototype map by Speed issued as a separate publication between 1601-03. The map...


1676 - The Kingdome of England

  • $14.99

Striking map of England, with costumed figures, a compass rose and a detailed table of the Shires of England, published by John Speed and engraved by Abraham Goos. Originally drawn from the map of Christopher Saxton, this is the second of Speed's maps...


1610 - Huntington Both Shire and Shire Towne with the Ancient Citie Ely Described

  • $9.99

A nice example of this decorative County map of Huntingtonshire by John Speed. Includes insets of Huntington and Ely with the coat of arms for each city and 10 additional large heraldic images. The earliest obtainable map of the county, from the most...