Some Thoughts About My 1720 Map Of Essex

I acquired this map as a gift on 25 December 2020. It cost the buyer £30. The map is a page cut from an old atlas / guidebook.¹ It measures 13.4cm by 18.8cm. Included with the map is a photocopy of the frontispiece of the book, which gives its date. On the front is a map of Essex with towns and villages named, and a description of the county. On the back are three detailed maps of the roads from Braintree–Chelmsford, from Sudbury–Halstead, and around Lavenham, along with descriptions of four of those towns.

sum θoətiz abaʊt miis 1720 map ov esəks

miiy akwiərid ðis map az a gift on 25 desembə 2020. hii kost ðə baiyə £30. ðə map biiy a peij kut from an oʊld atləs / gaid-bʊk.¹ hii meʒə 13.4sm bai 18.8sm. inklʊʊdəð wið ðə map biiy a foʊtəkopiiy ov ðə fruntispiis ov ðə bʊk, wic giv hiis deit. on ðə frunt biiy a map ov esəks wið taʊniz and vilijiz neiməð, and a diskripʃən ov ðə kaʊntiiy. on ðə bak bii tii diiteiləð mapiz ov ðə roʊdiz from breintrii–celmzfəd, from sudbrii–halsted, and araʊnd lavənəm, aloŋg wið diskripʃəniz ov fʊh ov ðoʊz taʊniz.


The frontispiece (photocopy, not original)

Britannia Depicta
Ogilby Improv’d ;

Being a Correct Coppy of Mᴿ: Ogilby's Actual Survey of all yᵉ Direct & Principal Croſs Roads in England and Wales:

Wherein are exactly Delineated & Engraven, All yᵉ Cities, Towns, Villages, Churches, Seats &ᶜ. ſcituate on or near the Roads, with their reſpective Diſtances in Measured and Computed Miles.

And to render this Work universally Usefull & agreeable, [beyond any of it’s kind] are added in a clear & moſt Compendious Method.

1, A full & particular Deſcription & Account of all the Cities, Borough-Towns, Towns-Corporate &ᶜ. their Arms, Antiquity, Charters, Privileges, Trade, Rarities, &ᶜ. with ſuitable Remarks on all places of Note drawn from the beſt Historians and Antiquaries
By Inᴼ. Owen of the Midd. Temple Gent.

2, The Arms of the Peers of this Realm who derive their Titles from places lying on, or near the Roads

3, The Arms of all yᵉ Bishopricks & Deanaries, their foundation, Extent, Yearly Value, Number of Pariſhes &ᶜ.

4, The Arms, & a ſuccinct Account of both Universities and their reſpective Colleges, their foundations Fellowships &ᶜ.

Laſtly Particular & Correct Maps—of all yᵉ Counties of South Britain; with a Summary deſcription of each County, it’s Circumference, Number of Acres, Boro’s, Market Towns & Pariſhes, Air, Soil, Com̄odities, Manufactures & what each Pays in yᵉ ₂ᵗʰ. Aids &ᶜ.

The Whole for its Compendious Variety & Exactneſs, preferable to all other Books of Roads hitherto Publiſhed or Propoſed; And calculated not only for the direction of the Traveller [as they are] but the general uſe of the Gentleman and Tradeſman.

By Eman: Bowen Engraver

London Printed for, & sold by Tho: Bowles Print & Map Seller next yᵉ Chapter Houſe in Sᵗ. Pauls Church Yard & E. Bowen Engraver & Print Seller near yᵉ Stairs in Sᵗ. Katherines 1720

Page 247 (original)

The Roads from
Chelmſford to Sᵗ. Edmunds Bury &ᶜ.
Containing 35:22 com. & 43'3:27'3 mea. Miles.

to Braintry. . . .9|11
Sudbury. . .21|25'2
Lavenham. . . . .26|31'6
Sᵗ. Edmunds Bury 35|43'3

From Chemlsford to Dunmow. . . . .10|12'6
Thaxted. . . .16|9 6
Saffron Walden 22|27'3

A Map of Essex

The Hundreds

  1. Ultasford
  2. Fraſhavell
  3. Hinckford
  4. Lexden
  5. Tendring
  6. Winſtre
  7. Thurſtable
  8. Witham
  9. Chelmsford
  10. Dunmow
  11. Harlow
  12. Clavering
  13. Waltham
  14. Ongar
  15. Becontree
  16. Havering
  17. Chalford
  18. Barſtable
  19. Rochford
  20. Dengy

The County of Essex is 146 Miles in Circumference; contains 1240000 Acres, is divided into 20 Hundreds, has 27 Market Towns, 3 of which sends Members to Parliamᵗ. 425 Parishes, and about 34819 Houses.—
The Air is temperate, but toward the Sea and Thames moist and Aguish. The Soil in some places is so rich that after 3 years bearing Saffron, it will bear good Barley for almost 20 years together without dunging. This County produceth abundance of Corn, Cattle, Wood, Saffron, Fowl & Fish. Tis noted likewise for Cloths, Stuffs, & Hops. This County pays to yᵉ ₂ᵗʰ. Aid 45503ᵉ.20’:20ᵃ. The Lᵈ. Lieutᵗ. is yᵉ Noble Hen E. of Suffolk. This County owes title to yᵉ Noble Witt Capel created W. of Essex Apr. 20ᵗʰ. 1661. 13 Car 2ᵈⁱ. Cheif Seat at Cashiobury & Hadham Hall both in this County.

Page 248 (original)

Lavenham Has a fair Church & Steeple, & a good Mᵗ. on Thursd. [at 32]

Sudbury i.e. the Southern Borough, Is supposed to have been formerly the Shire Ton̄ & to have had yᵉ Name given it with respect to Norwich i.e. the Northern Vitt. It still retains yᵉ preeminence in Ecclesiastical Iurisdiction, the County being divided into 2 Archdeaconries of Suffolk, & Sudbury. The Corporation is very ancient by Chart & consists of a Mayʳ. & 6 other Ald., 24 Com̄ Council Men a Recordʳ., Bayliff, Town Clerk, Serjᵗˢ at Mace. The Memb'ˢ of Parl are elected by yᵉ Freemen at large, in Nᵒ. abᵗ. 800. There are 3 Par. Chˢ. in yᵉ Town. Its cheif Trade is in yᵉ Woollen Manufacture. Mᵗ. on Sat for all manner of Provisions, & Fair's Mar. 12ᵗʰ. Iune 20ᵗʰ. & Sᵗ. Bartholemews d. Augᵗ. 24ᵗʰ.

Halstead [at 17] Was anciently a Manor of yᵉ Bourchiers of whom Robᵗ. de Bourchier, Chancellor of England, temp Ed. 3². Rˢ., obtained a Chartʳ. of yᵉ King for a Court Leet here, a Mᵗ. on Tuesd. [since altered to Friday, & noted for Corn,] & a Fair upon yᵉ Eve & day of Sᵗ. Luke. He also founded a Collegiate Ch. here for 8 Priests, & procured yᵉ Popes Licence to appropriate to it yᵉ Church of Hengham Sibil. He lies interr'd with several of his Posterity, in a Chapel on yᵉ South side of yᵉ Church now called Bowsers' Chap.

Braintry [at 11] —Called in Dooms day Book, Rains, consisting of Rain magna & Rain parva, formerly belonged to yᵉ Bʳˢ. of London, till Br. Ridley aliening it to yᵉ Crown, temp Ed. 6ᵗⁱ. Rˢ. The K. granted it to Richᵈ. Lᵈ. Rich, whose posterity not long since sold it to Herman Olinius Esqʳ. non-Lᵈ. of yᵉ Manor. The Town is noted for it manufacture of Bays, & Says: has a good Mᵗ. on Wedn for Corn & Provision, & Fair on Apr. 27ᵗʰ. [lately procured by yᵉ sᵈ. Lᵈ. of yᵉ Manor] & Sept 21ˢᵗ. holding 3 d. each. As This Town is noted for considerable dealers in that branch of yᵉ Woollen Manufacture before mentioned; so it is honoured with an Inhabitant of eminent Learning in his Profeſsion & other Studies bizᵗ. Mʳ. Sam. Dale Apothecary & Author of yᵉ Pharmacologia, seu manductio ad Matera medicam Impreſs Londini Aᵒ. 1693 & 1710 & a supplement to it printed at London 1705. He was an intimate Freind & aſsistant to yᵉ excellent Botanist Mʳ. Ray; Among many Benefactors to this Pariſh yᵉ most remarkable was Henry Smith Esqʳ. who is said to have been once a Beggar, & from a Dog that constantly followed him was called Dog Smith; He left at his Death 2800ʳ to be laid out in land for yᵉ relief of yᵉ Poor of yᵉ Parˢ. of Braintree, Henham, Tarling, Toleshunt Darcy, & Dovercourt.