1662 John Speed County Map of Pembrokeshire (Rare Rea Issue)

Penbrokshyre described and the situations both of Penbroke and St. Davids shewed in due form as they were taken by John Speed. - Main View

1662 John Speed County Map of Pembrokeshire (Rare Rea Issue)


Scare Rea edition.


Penbrokshyre described and the situations both of Penbroke and St. Davids shewed in due form as they were taken by John Speed.
  1662 (dated)     15 x 20 in (38.1 x 50.8 cm)     1 : 148500


This is John Speed's map of the county of Pembrokeshire, Wales. Engraved in 1608, this map was printed by publisher Roger Rea between 1662 and 1665. While Rea and his son produced an edition of Speed's The Theatre of the Empire of Great Britaine, examples of their output were also sold to their competitor John Overton (1640 - 1708) for inclusion in his atlases. These lacked the verso text that generally characterizes Speed maps, and such examples are scarce. Moreover, much of the stock remaining to Roger Rea the Younger after his father's death of the plague was itself destroyed in the 1666 Great Fire of London. Thus, any example of a Speed map with the imprint of 'Roger Rea the Elder and younger' is a rarity.
The Map
While many of Speed's maps were derived from the work of Christopher Saxton, this one was founded on Speed's own surveys. The map is beautifully engraved - this, the work of Jodocus Hondius - and identifies the county's towns, major villages, and its hundreds (the administrative divisions of the county). The mountainous terrain is indicated pictorially. The map's cartouche is decorated with the Royal Arms; in the lower left are the arms of the families of Strongbow, Marshall, Valence, Hastings, de la Poole, Hatfield, two Earls Herbert, Duke of Bedford, Prince of Wales and Anne Bolleyne. Two inset plans detail the cities of Pembroke and Saint Davids. Pembroke, one of the primary towns of the county, shows the walled city with St. Anne's chapel, the Monton Priory, the castle, and the churches of St. Mary and St. Michael. St. Davids, which is notable for being United Kingdom's smallest city in both population and urban area, shows St. David's cathedral and the Bishop's palace, dominating the sparsely-settled urbs.
Publication History and Census
This map was engraved by Jodocus Hondius in 1610 for inclusion in John Speed's The Theatre of the Empire of Great Britaine published in London by Sudbury and Humble in 1614. It continued in publication in the atlas in all its editions, including those that were bound together with Speed's A Prospect of the Most Famous Parts of the World. This rare example bears the Roger Rea imprint of 1662. The lack of verso text suggests that this is either a separate issue, or stock sold by Rea to John Overton for publication in his, competing atlas. The elder Rea died in the Great Plague of 1665, and much of the Reas' stock was destroyed in the Great Fire of 1666. Consequently, Rea editions of the Speed maps are rare. Perhaps eighteen examples of the separate map, in various editions, appear in institutional collections. No separate examples of the Rea imprint are catalogued in OCLC.


John Speed (1542 - 1629) was an important English historian and cartographer active in the early 17th century. Speed was born in Fardon, Cheshire and apprenticed under his father as a tailor. Though his heart was never in tailoring, Speed dedicated himself to this profession until he was about 50 years old. During all the time, Speed dedicated his spare time to research as amateur historian and mapmaker - even preparing several maps for Queen Elizabeth. In London, Speed's interest in history lead him to join the Society of Antiquaries. Eventually he befriended the wealthy Sir Fulke Greville, who sponsored his researches and eventually freed him from the haberdashery profession. Working with William Camden, Speed eventually published his 1611 Historie of Great Britaine. Though this history itself was amateurish and of minimal importance, Speed's inclusion of numerous maps of British Cities and town was seminal. In many cases these plans were the first maps ever issued of their respective subjects. Later, turning his attention more fully to Geography, Speed published the magnificent atlas Theatre of the Empire of Great Britaine and, just prior to his death, the 1627 A Prospect of the Most Famous Parts of the World. These were the first British world atlases and have a landmark position in the history of cartography. These atlases continued to be published well after Speed's death. More by this mapmaker...

Jodocus Hondius (October, 14 1563 - February 12, 1612) was an important Dutch cartographer active in the late 16th and early 17th centuries. His common name, Jodocus Hondius is actually a Latinized version of his Dutch name, Joost de Hondt. He is also sometimes referred to as Jodocus Hondius the Elder to distinguish him from his sons. Hondius was a Flemish artist, engraver, and cartographer. He is best known for his early maps of the New World and Europe, for re-establishing the reputation of the work of Gerard Mercator, and for his portraits of Francis Drake. Hondius was born and raised in Ghent. In his early years he established himself as an engraver, instrument maker and globe maker. In 1584 he moved to London to escape religious difficulties in Flanders. During his stay in England, Hondius was instrumental in publicizing the work of Francis Drake, who had made a circumnavigation of the world in the late 1570s. In particular, in 1589 Hondius produced a now famous map of the cove of New Albion, where Drake briefly established a settlement on the west coast of North America. Hondius' map was based on journal and eyewitness accounts of the trip and has long fueled speculation about the precise location of Drake's landing, which has not yet been firmly established by historians. Hondius is also thought to be the artist of several well-known portraits of Drake that are now in the National Portrait Gallery in London. In 1593, Hondius returned to Amsterdam, where he remained until the end of his life. In 1604, he purchased the plates of Gerard Mercator's Atlas from Mercator's grandson. Mercator's work had languished in comparison to the rival atlas, Theatrum Orbis Terrarum by Ortelius. Hondius republished Mercator's work with 36 additional maps, including several which he himself produced. Despite the addition of his own contributions, Hondius recognizing the prestige of Mercator's name, gave Mercator full credit as the author of the work, listing himself as the publisher. Hondius' new edition of Mercator revived the great cartographer's reputation and was a great success, selling out after a year. Hondius later published a second edition, as well as a pocket version called the Atlas Minor. The maps have since become known as the "Mercator/Hondius series". Between 1605 and 1610 Hondius was employed by John Speed to engrave the plates for Speed's The Theatre of the Empire of Great Britaine. Following Hondius' death in 1612, his publishing work in Amsterdam was continued by his widow and two sons, Jodocus II and Henricus. Later his family formed a partnership with Jan Jansson, whose name appears on the Atlasas co-publisher after 1633. Eventually, starting with the first 1606 edition in Latin, about 50 editions of the Atlas were released in the main European languages. In the Islamic world, the atlas was partially translated by the Turkish scholar Katip Çelebi. The series is sometimes called the 'Mercator/Hondius/Jansson' series because of Jansson's later contributions. Hondius' is also credited with a number of important cartographic innovations including the introduction of decorative map borders and contributions to the evolution of 17th century Dutch wall maps. The work of Hondius was essential to the establishment Amsterdam as the center of cartography in Europe in the 17th century. Learn More...

Roger Rea (1606 - 1665) was an English mapseller and publisher. He was born in London to John and Elizabeth Rea; John Rea was a goldsmith - probably an exchanging goldsmith, a precursor to modern bankers. Roger was apprenticed as a stationer to Peter Cowley. He and his son - also Roger - went into business as publishers, primarily focusing on their purchase of the publishing rights to the maps of the Speed atlases. They produced editions of the Speed pocket atlases, and in 1662 produced a full edition of Speed's A Prospect of the Most Famous Parts of the World. They may have continued publishing these as late as 1665, but the elder Rea died in the Great Plague of 1665 and the bulk of the Reas' stock was subsequently destroyed in the Great Fire of 1666. Consequently, Rea editions of the Speed maps are rare. Learn More...


Speed, John, The Theatre of the Empire of Great Britaine…, (London: Roger Rea) 1662/5.    


Very good. Few marginal mends not affecting printed image. No verso text.


Rumsey 12058.114 (1676 Bassett and Chiswell). OCLC 124070154 (1611 Humble).