Maps of Hertfordshire

Britannia Depicta

by John Owen & Emanuel Bowen

Published 1755

Brittanica Depicta was published in 1755 to meet the demand for a handy sized road atlas. The maps, which are based on Ogilby's survey published in 1675, are by Emanuel Bowen while the notes are by antiquarian and lawyer John Owen.

The map shown here is the first strip of six running from St Albans, via Harpenden (Harding) and Luton to Bedford and on to Wellingborough, Kettering and Oakham. The map shows the miles from London, and the main side turnings. Note the use of a drawing of hills to indicate when the road goes uphill - and come down the other side. Landmarks such as windmills are shown - while the small symbol at Stretly (just north of Luton) almost certainly indicates a gallows.

The text describing St Albans reads:

St Albans so called from St Alban the English Proto Martyr, who suffered in the Persecution under Dioclesian Anno 203, and had afterwards a Church built here in Memory of him by King Offa. It was Incorporated by K Edward 6th by the stile of a Mayor, and 10 Burgesses, who granted that they should have a perpetual Succession a Steward and Chamberlain, and that the said Mayor & Steward & none else should be Justices of the Peace within the Borough. That the Mayor and Burgesses Should hold a Court of Record before ye Steward on Wednesday Weekly, 2 Markets Weekly Wednesday and Saturday, & 3 Fairs Annually (Viz) the Annunciation of the Virgin Mary, St Albans Day June 27th, & Michaelmass Day, & have ye Assize of Bread, Wine &c. The Corporation Elects Members for Parliament. In this Town Anno 429 was held a Synod against ye Pelagian Heresy, which Argicola a Bishop & Monk of Bangor, and Scholar of Pelagius had infected ye Nation with. But by the sound & convincing Arguments of German Bishop of Auxerre, & Lupus Bishop of Troyes in France &c. who were present at the said synod, was by degrees Extinguished. In this Town was executed John Ball that seditious Libeller under Richard ye 2nd. Elenor, who Dyed in Lincolnshire & was carried thro this Town to be interred at Westminster, as she did in Several other Towns on ye same occasion. This Town which is also called Verulam gave title of Viscount to ye Learned, Judicious and Ingenious Sir Francis Bacon Lord Chancellor of England under James 1st Created by the said King.

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