Speed's map of Denmark
By SPEED, John , 1631


Europe Scandinavia
  • Author: SPEED, John
  • Publication place: London
  • Publisher: Are to be sold in popes-head alley by G. Humble
  • Publication date: 1631
  • Physical description: Engraved map with hand colouring.
  • Dimensions: 408 by 509mm. (16 by 20 inches).
  • Inventory reference: 11417


A map of Denmark, parts of Poland and Norway. The upper border contains views of Copenhagen, Helsingør, Ribe, Schleswig and Hamburg. There are two portrait medallions of Christian IV of Denmark and Norway and his son the Prince-Elect Christian, although Speed appears to have amalgamated the Prince-Elect with his younger brother Frederik. The German city of Hamburg is included because of its proximity (and thus its position in trade) to Denmark. The side borders contain local figures wearing native dress.

John Speed (1552-1629) was the outstanding cartographer of his age. His ‘Theatre of Great Britain’, first published in 1611 or 1612, was the first atlas of Great Britain: Speed prepared the maps himself about two years before they were published. This map is from the ‘Prospect of the Most Famous Parts of the World’, produced in collaboration with Speed to accompany the ‘Theatre’ and published in a joint edition by George Humble in 1631. Many of the maps were anglicized versions of works by Dutch makers, who introduced the carte-à-figure style, with borders of figures in local costume and city views.


  1. Chubb XXV.