Rural Images: Estate Maps in the Old and New Worlds

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David Buisseret
University of Chicago Press, Jul 1, 1996 - History - 184 pages
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Quite suddenly, a new way of delineating the countryside emerged in Tudor England - the estate map. Usually drawn by trained surveyors, these finely executed maps showed the lands of a single estate at a scale large enough to detail individual fields with their names, buildings with their functions, and roads, as well as a variety of vegetation. These maps, commissioned by private landowners interested in maximizing rents and assigning land to its most profitable use, tell us much about early modern agrarian economies in Europe and the New World. In Rural Images, historians Sarah Bendall, David Buisseret, P. D. A. Harvey, and B. W. Higman follow the spread of estate maps from their origin in England around 1570 to colonial America, the British Caribbean, and early modern Europe, and link them to the social and economic contexts in which they were found. As David Buisseret points out in his introduction to the volume, this linkage is crucial to the study of estate maps, which cannot be understood apart from the social and economic circumstances that gave rise to them - and that also led to their demise by the end of the nineteenth century. From plans of plantations in Jamaica and South Carolina to a map of Queens College, Cambridge, the many handsome illustrations show that estate maps formed an important part of the historical record of property ownership for both individuals and corporations, and helped owners manage their land and appraise its value. But these hand-drawn maps, often displaying elaborate cartouches and elegant coats of arms, served as far more than mere records of property ownership - they were treasured works of art, exhibited for pleasure and as symbols of wealth, and passed down from generation to generation. With its careful tracing of the origin and spread of a specific type of map emerging from certain well-defined economic and social structures, Rural Images will interest not only historians of cartography, but also historians of agriculture and of the early modern economy in general, from Tudor England to nineteenth-century South Carolina.
 

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Contents

ONE The Estate Map in the Old World
9
Their Early History and Their Use as Historical Evidence
27
Cambridgeshire 16001836
63
FOUR The Estate Map in the New World
93
FIVE The Making of Jamaican Estate Maps in the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries
113
The Evaluation and Interpretation of Jamaican Estate Maps of the Eighteenth
137
The Incidence and Significance of Estate Maps
165
Index
179
Copyright

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Page 174 - FLINT, ABEL. A system of geometry and trigonometry: together with a treatise on surveying; teaching various ways of taking the survey of a field; also to protract the same and find the area.
Page 196 - Dracula," and requests information about holdings of Stoker's manuscripts and letters. * * * The second series of the Kenneth Nebenzahl, Jr., Lectures in the History of Cartography under the title "The British Cartography of Eighteenth-Century North America" will be presented by William P.

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About the author (1996)

David Buisseret is Jenkins and Virginia Garrett Professor of History at the University of Texas, Arlington. He is the author of Historic Illinois from the Air and editor of Monarchs, Ministers, and Maps, both published by the University of Chicago Press.

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