King Henry's Map of the British Isles

King Henry's Map of the British Isles – The Folio Society – B.L. Cotton MS Augustus I.i.9 – British Library (London, United Kingdom)

England (United Kingdom) β€” 1536–1537

A magnificent map of his emerging island kingdom from southern England to Wales to Ireland and Scotland: the gift to King Henry VIII of England was valuable as it was practical

  1. The 1537 map Angliae Figura was a gift from the Archdeacon of Rochester to King Henry VIII (1491–1547)

  2. Henry's kingdom, from Southern England across Wales to Ireland and up to Scotland, is gorgeously presented

  3. It hung in Hampton Court Palace, the King’s favorite residence, and continuously presented his empire

King Henry's Map of the British Isles

B.L. Cotton MS Augustus I.i.9 British Library (London, United Kingdom)
Facsimile Copy Available!
Price Category: €€
(1,000€ - 3,000€)
  1. Description
  2. Detail Picture
  3. Single Page
  4. Facsimile Editions (1)
Description
King Henry's Map of the British Isles

This splendid map from the year 1537 presents the kingdom of Henry VIII of England. It hung in Hampton Court Palace, the King’s favorite residence, and continuously presented his British empire to the monarch. The map titled Angliae Figura was a gift from the archdeacon of Rochester to Henry VIII. The British Kingdom is presented in gorgeous form, from Southern England across Wales to Ireland and up to Scotland. In this way, the spirit of the 16th century under the reign of Henry VIII comes to life!

King Henry's Map of the British Isles

This splendid map from the year 1537 presents the realm of Henry VIII of England (1491–1547). It hung in Hampton Court Palace, the King’s favorite residence, and continuously presented his British empire to the monarch. The map titled Titel Angliae Figura was a gift from the archdeacon of Rochester to Henry VIII. The British Isles are presented in gorgeous form, from Southern England across Wales to Ireland and up to Scotland. In this way, the spirit of the 16th century under the reign of Henry VIII comes to life!

The Impressive Kingdom of Britain

The map with the shelf mark B.L. Cotton MS Augustus I.i.9 of the British Library in London is one of the greatest treasures of the collections. In this map of Henry VIII’s, the British Isles as a whole are depicted in detail. From the south of England over Wales and Ireland and up to the northern-most islands of Scotland, the entire region of the British Isles is represented. Additionally, Northern France is also depicted. This is a sign that the map not only showed geographic conditions, but also the Kingdom of England as Henry saw it.

A Modern Map of the 16th Century

Ireland and Scotland are drawn in a yellow tone, England on the other hand is white and furnished with a multitude of place names – 633 in all. Alongside the names of places and provinces in red and black, numerous rivers, bodies of water, and islands off the coasts are recorded. The map is made according to the most modern state of cartography at the time. A compass establishes the scale, and a schedule of coordinates is found on all four margins of the page. The title of the map is listed in a splendidly decorated cartouche on the upper right margin: Angliae Figura.

A Gift for the Famous King

This parchment map measuring 64 x 46 cm, made in England during the years 1536/7, originated from the commission of the archdeacon of Rochester, who presented the map to the English King as a New Year’s gift for the year 1537. The map was of great significance for Henry VIII and was probably viewed and admired by him countless times. His entire realm is shown here in the most realistic depiction of the British Isles of that time. The walls of Hampton Court Palace, the favorite residence of Henry VIII, were adorned with this permanent reference to the power of the King!

Codicology

Alternative Titles
Anglia Figura
Cottonian map
Karte der Britischen Inseln KΓΆnig Heinrichs VIII.
Size / Format
1 map / 64.0 Γ— 46.0 cm
Date
1536–1537
Language
Patron
Archdeacon of Rochester
Previous Owners
Sir Robert Cotton (1571–1631)

Available facsimile editions:
King Henry's Map of the British Isles – The Folio Society – B.L. Cotton MS Augustus I.i.9 – British Library (London, United Kingdom)
The Folio Society – London, 2009
Limited Edition: 2750 copies
Detail Picture

King Henry's Map of the British Isles

MARE HYBERNICUM

The Irish Sea lies at the center of the British Isles, it is where the shores of Ireland, Scotland, England, and Wales all meet. Rivers are shown coursing the way to the sea as are several important cities including Dublin (Dublinia) and Liverpool (LeΓΊpole). Individual islands are labelled, such as the Isle of Mann (Mania) and the Isle of Anglesey (Mona), as well as several island chains. The most important locations are labelled in expensive red ink.

King Henry's Map of the British Isles – The Folio Society – B.L. Cotton MS Augustus I.i.9 – British Library (London, United Kingdom)
Single Page

King Henry's Map of the British Isles

England, Scotland, and Ireland

This map from 1537 is artfully created and aside from some of the more remote corners of the British Isles, such as the southern and western coasts of Ireland, are depicted with a surprising level of detail. While England is depicted in white, the neighboring realms of Scotland and Ireland are yellow. A compass in the upper left establishes the scale of the map, which bears the title Angliae Figura.

As a gift to King Henry VIII of England, this document was intended to not only depict the realms that the King either ruled or desired to rule, but to also depict the most advanced state of British cartography in a manner that is simultaneously artful. It accomplished all three goals and as such was proudly hung in Hampton Court Palace.

King Henry's Map of the British Isles – The Folio Society – B.L. Cotton MS Augustus I.i.9 – British Library (London, United Kingdom)
Facsimile Editions

#1 King Henry's Map of the British Isles

The Folio Society – London, 2009

Publisher: The Folio Society – London, 2009
Limited Edition: 2750 copies
Binding: In this limited edition, the map is reproduced as a facsimile in its actual size, bound with a silk ribbon, and stored in a linen case.
Commentary: 1 volume (160 pages) by Peter Barber
1 volume: Exact reproduction of the original document (extent, color and size) Reproduction of the entire original document as detailed as possible (scope, format, colors). The binding may not correspond to the original or current document binding.
Facsimile Copy Available!
Price Category: €€
(1,000€ - 3,000€)
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