'The "Perfyt Scyens" of the Map; a Study of the Meaning and Interpretation of Local Maps in Early Tudor England 1509-1547'
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This thesis begins by examining an unexplored contextual background for sixteenth century local maps. It argues that the architectural drawing techniques developed by master masons in the late twelfth century continued to be taught to the King’s masons well into the sixteenth, and that these drawing techniques lie behind the innovations in sixteenth century topographical mapping. Having provided a history of the craft skills that were adapted to make sixteenth century local maps this thesis moves on to consider why masons adapted craft skills traditionally used in full scale drawings on stone and plaster surfaces to make small, paper maps in the sixteenth century. It examines the way in which sixteenth century local maps were used and argues that the changing demands of patrons put pressure on master masons to alter the way in which local maps portrayed their subjects. The surviving archival evidence suggests that Henry VIII was the principle patron of local maps and my research examines the influence of the king over the shifting form of the map. It uses the letters and drawings sent between Henry VIII and his craftsmen to examine the decisive changes that Henry VIII made to the nature of the relationship between patron and builder, and the consequent effects of these changes over the forms of the image used to communicate between them. My argument suggests that Henry employs and promotes the craftsmen whose drawings allow him the greatest level of design control over the works he finances and that through this system maps and plans rapidly advance to include the technical drawing techniques which had, during the Middle Ages, been used exclusively among masons as on-site, working drawings. This thesis focuses attention on the technical aspects of map making, examining the material skills used to construct Henrician local maps and arguing that sixteenth centry local maps need to be related back to the craft skills of an older tradition of masonic drawing. It also suggests that map historians needs to look more closely at the correspondence sent between the king and his craftsmen and it argues this archival evidence provides a new contextual background with which to understand the changing forms of the Henrican local map.
AuthorsRoberts, Lewis John Kaye
- Theses