The University Center For British Art

1683 WordsFeb 19, 20177 Pages
In the Yale Center for British Art, one can find a beautiful map titled: “The Description of Jarsey a(nn)o 1600.” One trait that stands out with this map compared to others drafted the 16th and early 17th centuries is the exquisite detail depicted in the topographical features. According to a display featured in an exhibition of the map, this is “from the collection of George Legge, first Baron Dartmouth; previously in the English Royal map collection” (Yale Center, From the Collection). One might wonder why a map with such extensive detail would be in the hands of the Royal Collection, and thus why it was commissioned by Queen Elizabeth I. According to R. A. Skelton: “it is not difficult to see how, in the course of business, some maps…show more content…
This could be a major factor in why the island was so heavily contested for hundreds of years; the island is arguably a great launching point for the French Navy to attack the British. With communication during this time period being relatively slow given the lack of modern technology, it would have been easy for the island to be captured by the French without mainland Britain immediately knowing. Thus, there was a great incentive on the part of the British to keep this island well defended so as to protect it from any potential French attacks. Such an assertion can be bolstered not only by the fact that Queen Elizabeth I decided to build a castle off the southern coast of the island in 1594, which could have been done to provide ample protection of the south coastline, but also the production of the map itself in 1600 which is now held by the Yale Center for British Art. There are many features of this map that should be acknowledged. First, there are twelve parishes noted. Within these parishes, there are 2057 households noted, all distributed within the map by town. Some churches, windmills and other landmarks are denoted on the island with pictures and names of said places. Looking past this basic information, the more detailed material begins in the southern part of the map. While topographical information is scattered throughout the map, the majority of this information is marked solely on the southern side of Jersey. What appears to be hills and
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