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A rare , original 'Strip Map' showing the road London to Weymouth  - John Ogilby 1675 Ref. MA-3.

A rare , original 'Strip Map' showing the road London to Weymouth - John Ogilby 1675 Ref. MA-3.

Pre-1800s  Europe  Road Map
1 was available / Secondhand
auction closed


Joined 11 Aug 2012
bidorbuy ID: 255049604

 A rare , original 'Strip Map' showing the road London to Weymouth  - John Ogilby 1675 Ref. MA-3

The publishing of "Britannia,' which made its first appearance in 1675, was a landmark in mapping. The ‘Britannia’ was the first national road-atlas of any country in Western Europe and revolutionised map making. This famous 'strip-map' design by Ogilby (1600-1676) included all the relevant information required of a road map, the strips showing the direction in which the road went, by means of a compass rose. The distance, from the starting point, is measured in miles, and  hills are indicated to show whether the road is going up or down hill. The road is depicted as a ribbon scroll, starting  from bottom to top of the page. The adjoining roads and their destinations are also mentioned, particularly the road to a town or city of note. For the first time in England, an atlas was prepared on a uniform scale, at one inch to a mile, based on the statute mile of 1,760 yards to the mile. One of the issues Ogilby faced in creating the road maps had been that, in many cases, different counties recognised different lengths of mile, such as Scot's miles, Roman, Saxon and Irish miles. Using the statute mile, although passed by an English act of Parliament in  1593, was a time consuming period of some years for Ogilby before he obtained Government approval. Not content just to use statute miles, Ogilby also went on to measure distances correctly by using a hand-held 'Wheel Dimensurator.' The wheel was pushed along the road, and, the exact distance travelled was displayed on a dial.
The 'Britannia' was composed of  a series of 100 maps showing seventy-three major roads and cross-roads, all presented in a continuous strip-form.  The  above map, ‘The Road from London to Weymouth’ was Plate #53 in the ‘Britannia’.  Ogilby’s creation was ground breaking work and the maps are avidly collected today for their quirky style, detailed content and quality craftsmanship. So popular was the ‘Britannia” and so original in his thinking, that his work was soon copied, right through to the late 1780’s
Ogilby was born outside Dundee, in 1600, the son of a well-to-do Scottish gentleman.  While he was still a child, the family moved to London.  However, when the elder Ogilby was imprisoned for debt, the young John had to go out selling "needles" and "spangles."  He invested his savings in a lottery, won a minor prize, and settled his father's debts. He became a dancing master, a tutor, the founder of the Theatre Royale in Dublin, was a translator from Latin to English and eventually, late in life, became a  publisher and cartographer.He was was twice consigned to the debtors prison and twice during his life, lost everything, once in a shipwreck and second, during the Great Fire of London in 1666.  In 1674 he became His Majesty's Cosmographer and Geographic Printer.
The map remains in good condition and is a copper-engraved, hand-coloured map from the original 1st edition which was published in 1675.  Mounted in an older frame, the map measures approximately 49 cm x 36 cm. 
Price R3500.00
Post by Postnet -R200.00 

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