The James Catalogue of Western Manuscripts

Shelfmark O.4.19
Manuscript Title

John Norden, Speculum Brittaniae

Alternative Title

Norden's Speculum Brittaniae

James Number 1250
Century 17th
Physical Description

Well written.


Part of the Gale collection, given to T.C.C. by Roger Gale in 1738. No old mark. (A. 61. No. 437.)

Donor Gale, Roger (1672-1744), Antiquary
Size (cm) 31 x 19.5
Folio cir. 200 ff.
Material Paper
Language English
Manuscript Summary

This manuscript contains John Norden’s introduction and surveys of the counties of Middlesex, Hertfordshire and Cornwall compiled as part of series, Speculum Britanniae. The history of Cornwall also includes a fine series of manuscript maps of the Cornish hundreds that originally bound within MS Harl 6252.

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1. A Brief declaration of ye Titles, Inhabitants, Divisions and Scituations of England or Britania major: a necessary introduction to our
Speculum Britannia(e).

2. Of Middlesex.
The full work was printed in 1593. An original draft is in MS. Harl. 570.

3. The discription of Hartfortshire.
Printed in 1598. An original MS. is at Lambeth, no. 521.

4. Speculi Britanniae Pars.
A Topographicall and historicall description of Cornwall By the perambulacion view and deliniacion of John Norden.
Paper (1 page) Touching your Maties Mineralls in Corn-wall signed Jo. Norden.
Dedication to 'Jeames' I.
Table of the mapp etc.
Folding Map of Cornwall, coloured.
The General History of the Duchie of Cornwall.
Illustrated with pen and ink drawings, and folding coloured maps of each of the hundreds.
It occupies 236 pages.
Printed in 1728. The copy presented to James I. is MS. Harl. 6252.


Ravenhill W., facs. ed., John Norden's Manuscript Maps of Cornwall and its Nine Hundreds (Exeter, 1972)

Ravenhill, W., 'John Norden's maps of Cornwall: a problem in the historical cartography of South-West England' Journal of the British Cartographic Society (1970), 89-90

Ravenhill, W., 'The Missing Maps from John Norden's Survey of Cornwall', in Exeter essays in geography in honour of Arthur Davies (1971), 93-104

Ravenhill, W., 'The Newly-Discovered Manuscript Maps of Corwall by John Norden', Geographical Journal 136 (1970), 594-5

Tyacke, S, and J. Huddy, Christopher Saxton and Tudor map-making (London, 1980)

White, M., Women Writers and Literary-Religious Circles in the Elizabethan West Country : Anne Dowriche, Anne Lock Prowse, Anne Lock Moyle, Ursula Fulford, and Elizabeth Rous, Modern Philology 103, no.2 (November 2005), (Chicago, 2005), p. 187-214

This work is copyright the Master and Fellows of Trinity College, Cambridge and is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License