NORDEN, John (1548-1625?). Speculi Britanniae pars: A Topographical and Historical Description of Cornwall, edited by Christopher Bateman. London: William Pearson for the editor, and sold by Christopher Bateman, 1728.
4° (320 x 230mm). PRINTED ON VELLUM. Engraved frontispiece, engraved dedication to the Earl of Oxford, 10 double-page engraved maps and one plate, 13 engraved illustrations, engraved tailpiece. (Paper guards on maps renewed, one illustration with overpasted paper onlay, showing corrected image, H1 unevenly cut at bottom margin.) Brown morocco gilt by Hering, covers gilt-ruled, spine lettered in two compartments divided by long central compartment with strapwork design, and with two smaller fretwork compartments at head and foot, brown morocco doublures with wide tulip-roll border enclosing a central rectangle of gilt rules and blind rolls intersected by triangles with foliate tooling, gilt edges. Provenance: Botfield, purchased from Payne and Foss for £26 5s (Acquisitions p.67, the binding described as "Venetian morocco").
ONE OF FOUR COPIES OF THE FIRST EDITION SUPERBLY PRINTED ON VELLUM. Norden was the first Englishman to undertake a complete series of county histories, applying great energy to the task, but finding himself beset by financial difficulties. He succeeded in issuing the first part of his Speculum, the 'Middlesex,' in 1593, followed by 'Hertfordshire' in 1598, leaving in manuscript five full surveys of other counties. Although not published until 1728, 'Cornwall' was written in 1610 (and in Lowndes' view drew heavily on Richard Carew's Survey of Cornwall of 1602, though Norden probably first visited the county as early as 1584). Lowndes notes that, of four vellum copies, one is the Harleian copy in the British Library and one Dr. Rawlinson's copy in the Bodleian. The present copy includes an extra section at the end, not called for by Upcott, with title headed 'Original Letters relating to the Hospitals in the diocese of Exeter. Communicated at the instance of Seth [Ward] ... Anno MDCLXV,' followed by 7pp. of text. Norden's maps of Cornwall are the first in English topography to show roads. Lowndes p. 1698; Upcott, p. 78.